San Clemente Palace and Resort: Venice, Italy from Behind Bars: 9 Bone-Chilling Prison Hotels Slideshow

Behind Bars: 9 Bone-Chilling Prison Hotels Slideshow

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San Clemente Palace and Resort: Venice, Italy

Just a short boat ride from St. Mark’s Square, the San Clemente Palace Hotel and Resort is a private island retreat off the canals of Venice. The island once hosted a hospital for pilgrims returning from the Middle East and later a convent was built to house a quarantine station. Soon after, it was turned into Europe’s first all-female mental hospital, which operated until 1992. The hotel now boasts high Venetian ceilings, three sumptuous restaurants, two Old World style bars, a glistening pool, and spa treatments to make you feel like you’re living la dolce vita, but it’s strange to think that anything this sprawling could have once been so confining.