Glamping in Italy
If you are looking for a holiday that blends luxury and freedom, you may find it here.
An eco escape where nature and luxury speak to each other.
In some ways, there is nothing new about Glamping (camping with glamour). Portable, round tents have been the residence of choice for many dignitaries throughout history. Indeed Herodotus, known as the father of history, describes them as existing from around 470BC. The yurt (in Turkish) or the ger (in Mongolian) was often covered in felt and walls and door frames were constructed with wood and bamboo. They were referred to in the time of Mongolian empire-builder Genghis Khan as “palaces”. An extremely impressive pavilion (made up of a collection of wood and canvas tents) was built for the Anglo/french summit in 1520 known as The Field of the Cloth of Gold it was said that it was built by a team of 6,000 people. Fast forward to the present day, and perhaps the most
infamous glamper was Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. There is rather more glamour than camping at Glamping Canonici. It actually describes itself as a boutique hotel. You could be forgiven for thinking that this is a contradiction in terms - that is, until you have stayed there. For a start, you are not on your usual campsite - the tents are set around a 17th century barn in Mirano between the Venetian lagoon and the Brenta river, the noble area which has been captured so many times by Canaletto, overlooking gardens, orchards and cornfields. Whilst you do sleep in a tent, you actually may sleep in a four poster bed and some of the furnishings would not look out of place in the Doge’s Palace. You will also be pleasantly surprised with the bathroom facilities that are very tastefully created. Another point of difference is the on-site wine cellar which in fact doubles as a magical place for a candlelit meal. Each tent also has wi-fi. And yet there is more to Glamping Canonici than its luxurious setting and make-up. There is a concept and a purpose behind it, which is very much to allow the guests to live in nature. Each “tent” (there are only 4 of them) is in fact its own microcosm, and they are all very different. One (Gelso) actually has a tree inside and natural wood is a key theme of the tent. Look out for the wooden fossilised sink which is over 10,000 years old! The area has an Asian feel to it as well with a very intricate Asian screen separating the main area from the bathroom. The second (Kaki) mixes the bohemian with the hippy and has a vintage chic feel; it is a colourful, uplifting room. The third (Bamboo, a suite) mixes the old and the new with an audacious mix of
iron and wood (note the iron chandelier and the wrought iron bed). The fourth (Bagolaro, also a suite) takes its cue from the heady days of the safari - which, in one sense, was a milestone in the development of glamping. There is a good mixture of leather and khaki, as well as ethnic touches along with a healthy measure of animal prints. There is also a round bed! Each of the tents are surrounded by the gardens, with the ability to sit outside and take in the Venetian climate whilst respecting your privacy. Away from the tents, the activity centres around the courtyard and the 17th century barn which is where you can take breakfast or just relax with a drink or a book. There are some unique collections of antique pieces and glassware from Murano (about 30 minutes away). The whole area can often be filled with flowers from the gardens and a magical atmosphere is created, particularly at night. The location is itself a great springboard for Venice, Padua or even Verona. As you know, Italy is where Stendhal syndrome is said to be most likely so after admiring all that art, it's good to go and lie down in the midst of nature and take everything in.
Previous page: breakfast is taken in the 17th century barn. This page: Views of the 4 tents, including the 10,000 year old sink and the Asian screen.