A Promising Pair Of New Hotels

Quiet piazzas, unharried help, low rates — that’s off-season, this-season Italy. See it from two new hotels.

VENICE: The first to front the city’s Grand Canal in a century, the new PALAZZO SANT’ ANGELO (pictured) does so with style. Antique furnishings and red and gold Venetian-silk-covered walls capture 18th-century grandeur in a former private home turned 14-room inn well located between the Rialto and Accademia Bridges. From $200. 011-39-041-2411-452,

MILAN: Next month, the same hotelier will open the distinctly fashion-forward GRAY in Milan. Guido Ciompi, who designed the Gucci stores in Italy’s style capital, decks the 21-room boutique lodging with ultramodern amenities that will make Milan a must in 2003. From $290. 011-39-02-879-1311