Glamp­ing in Italy

If you are look­ing for a hol­i­day that blends lux­ury and free­dom, you may find it here.

Country House Magazine - - June - Pho­tos: An­drea Ca­co­pardi

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.

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