Last year’s infamous but gorgeous looking flop, The Tourist had three things going for it: the beauty of Venice set off by the beauty of both Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Key scenes of the film were set in one my favorite Venetian palace hotels—the Danieli. Although the Danieli looked marvelous, it seemed an oversight that Depp and Jolie didn’t have a scene on the veranda of the legendary Hotel Cipriani – the stunning grand hotel on the island of Giudecca that’s often mistaken for its unrelated namesake Harry’s Cipriani Bar across the lagoon in Venice, proper.

Although it is on its own little island just across the lagoon from Venice, the Cipriani is inextricably woven into the magic of Venice. George Clooney—a famous part-time resident of Italy himself, is a denizen of the Cipriani’s Gabbiano Bar and the Hotel’s connection with the Orient Express (the hotel is an Orient Express property) makes it a perfect jumping off place for the legendary luxury train’s Venice to Istanbul route.

This summer the Cipriani is offering an exclusive new way to view the beauties of Venice – by private Cessna Caravan 208 seaplane. Guests are escorted to the seaplane by private boat for a 30-minute flight over the lagoon and the islands of San Servolo, San Giorgio Maggiore, Giudecca, Sant’Elena, Lido, Murano, Burano and Torcello. The flight takes nine passengers but private groups can book the entire plane for themselves–bellinis optional.

This bird’s eye view of Venice allows travelers to see something truly amazing. From an aerial viewpoint, the islands of Venice look like a large fish, ringed by the glittering waters of the lagoon. Bellisima!