Private island paradise: Isola Santa Cristina

In the heart of the Venetian lagoon lies a private island that has long been a mystery, but after years of renovation Isola Santa Caterina is now an eco-friendly luxury retreat

Photos courtesy of Isola Santa Caterina

Isola Santa Caterina lies in the heart of Venice’s lagoon


Settled in the fifth century as part of a group of garden islands known as Ammiana, Santa Cristina is the only island of the original archipelago to survive. Originally home to a monastery, it was acquired in 1985 by crystal magnate Gernot Langes-Swarovski, and today is owned and cared for by his stepson René Deutsch and René’s wife Sandra.

Spread over 75 acres, the property boasts organic gardens and orchards of plums, apricots and figs, as well as vines that produce between 5,000 to 10,000 bottles of wine every year, available to a handful of leading restaurants in the lagoon, as well as guests of the island. It’s also home to an organic fish farm, bee hives and a vast array of other wildlife including pheasants, chickens and wild peacocks.

The ultimate in comfort


At the centre of the island sits the beautiful, light-filled Villa Ammiana, with nine elegantly appointed bedrooms that can accommodate up to 16 guests. Its high-tech chef’s kitchen, stylish living and dining rooms, and terraces and outdoor seating areas make the villa perfect for large groups and parties.

For guests who are keen to explore the surrounding region, exclusive excursions and activities can be arranged by local travel expert Allison Zurfluh, who specialises in crafting tailored itineraries that show the very best of what the lagoon has to offer.

But for those who are looking for sheer relaxation and tranquility, Isola Santa Cristina is the perfect place to stay and indulge yourself, with an inviting swimming pool and yoga studio, miles of paths that wind romantically through cypress and olive groves, and a rooftop Altana terrace that offers breathtaking panoramic views over the lagoon and the island’s own lake. 

Nestled between the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Dolomite mountain range to the northwest, this really is the quintessential private island paradise – and with the splendours of cosmopolitan Venice just a 30-minute boat ride away.

More information

Prices for 2020: €4,000 per night (minimum stay of five nights – depending on the season), €25,000 per week,
+ €100/person/night

For more details, and how to book, visit the Isola Santa Caterina website email or call ☎ +43 664 822 5080

For a tailored itinerary of exclusive lagoon experiences: A…Z Bespoke Venice Lagoon

Isola Santa Cristina
Sunset by the swimming pool

Getting there

By plane
The closest airport is Marco Polo Airport on the Italian mainland. A private boat transfer to Isola Santa Cristina will be arranged on arrival. The journey takes approximately 35 minutes.

By helicopter
It is possible to arrive via helicopter directly at Isola Santa Cristina, which boasts its own landing space and is only a few hours’ flight from most European cities. 

By car
If arriving in Venice by car, guests may leave their vehicles in the secure parking facilities at Marco Polo Airport, where a private boat transfer will be arranged to and from the island.


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