Hotel Villa Alberti, Dolo, Venice ***
This elegant 18th-century Venetian style villa has been comprehensively restructured and refurbished and combines a tasteful olde-worlde feel with all the modern comforts one would expect from a hotel of this calibre. This hotel near Venice is located on the prestigious Riviera del Brenta... View hotel
Double rooms from €85
Hotel Villa Gasparini, Dolo, Venice ***
Set in Dolo, on the Brenta Riviera Canal that joins Venice and Padua, the Hotel Villa Gasparini is an eighteenth century mansion that perfectly evokes the splendour of the golden age of Riviera del Brenta. The owners of this estate, the Gasparini clan, were originally from the Orient. View hotel
Double rooms from €60
Hotel Villa Giulietta, near Venice ****
Three-star Hotel Villa Giulietta offers stylish accommodation by the Riviera del Brenta, halfway between Padua and Venice. Comprising 57 rooms with modern furnishings and soft lighting (which nicely echoes the tranquil and artistic beauty of the area). View hotel
Double rooms from €69
The little town of Dolo lies in Italy's Veneto region (Venice province), snug below the impossibly straight and ancient Autostrada Padova-Venezia road that links Padua (Padova) in the west to Mestre, the Adriatic coast and ultimately Venice itself in the east. The slide rule linearity of the road is down to the Romans of course, who carefully mapped out this region two millennia ago. The appeal of Dolo is down to a slightly more modern development, as this whole stretch of Veneto hinterland became the country retreat for nobles from the cities of Venice, Vicenza, Padua and Treviso from the Renaissance onward.
The local hero was Andrea Palladio, who would revolutionise European architecture in the 16th century, as he reapplied the Classical 'orders' of Greek architecture to early modern Europe. Palladio was from Padua, and his testing bed, and that of his countless pupils, was in building posh villas 'Ville Venete' for the nobles of this supremely rich region of northern Italy. Head out from your hotel in Dolo and you will find the Brenta Riviera and the surrounding area peppered with dozens of honey-coloured villas with colonnaded fronts and capped with rotondas.
Dolo is also a terrific base for discovering historic Padua and Venice, lying equidistant between the two. The Veneto also has superb countryside, cuisine and wine, and there is the Adriatic Coast to explore.