50 oficers and soldiers of the Royal Lancers finished the last day of their Battlefield Study at the same hotel that the 12th Lancers ended their fighting during World War 2. The story is as follows:
“The New Zealand Division, retaining 12th Lancers under command, was to lead this advance and were the first troops in Venice. This force was met by a guide from the 12th Lancers at the turn-off to the causeway, and entered the city about 4p.m. on the 29th. Thodey had orders to hold the Albergo Danieli Hotel, reputed to be the best hotel in Venice which General Freyberg VC intended to be used as a New Zealand forces club. The next day (the 30th) 169 Brigade ‘formed up and marched impressively to San Marco Square. Ironically hailed the “liberators”.’ B Company transferred 12 Platoon to the Albergo Danieli, and the New Zealanders refused all requests by representatives of the Allied Millitary Government and by 56 Division that they should relinquish the hotel. Freyberg was always anxious to have good leave centres for his men, maintaining, “You can't treat a man like a butler and expect him to fight like a gladiator.” Denying the story that he spent his honeymoon at the Danieli in Venice, but saying that he had visited the hotel in the late 'twenties and 'thirties.”
This is still one of the best hotels in Venice and is around a € 1000 a week to stay and coffees are €7 a cup. Worth a short visit as it has not changed since World War 2 and is quite spectacular.