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Seeking the wisdom of the Flist

I know that several (possibly many) of you have been to Venice. I'm planning a trip in June, and want to rent an apartment. I've got an offer of one right off St Marks Square - it's TINY, but the price is right and I like what reviewers have said about the landlady (and it's on the 2nd floor). However, just not sure whether just off St Marks Square would be really desirable or not... Any thoughts or ideas? If you were going to stay in Venice, especially if it were your first visit and potentially your once-in-a-lifetime chance to go, where would you choose to stay?

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
oursin
Feb. 3rd, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)
I vaguely wonder whether the area might be a bit noisy at night, but otherwise think it sounds lovely!
intertext
Feb. 4th, 2009 12:50 am (UTC)
yes - I'm thinking more and more that I might just go for it :)
owlfish
Feb. 3rd, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
It's very central, but the streets are generally crowded around there. But it does depend *exactly* where around there it is. You can be quite close and still relatively quiet if it's, say, a dead-end calle not connected to a major through-calle.

Any of the sestiere can be good for staying - I'd go for central Venice rather than an outlying island - but I would opt for sticking away from major streets when possible.

Edited at 2009-02-03 10:25 pm (UTC)
intertext
Feb. 4th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)
Well, she says it's in a quiet courtyard. I guess if it faces away from a street it could be good. I also tend to think of a bit of safety in numbers, when I'm on my own. Streets thronging with people at night might feel safer than being somewhere potentially dark and isolated.
owlfish
Feb. 4th, 2009 11:40 am (UTC)
If you want someone to check on the location, send the address to me? Otherwise, it sounds as if you might be happy with it even without further details. :)
gillo
Feb. 3rd, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
It might be a touch noisy at night, but two floors up should make that less of a bother and there are always earplugs.

You'd be right at the heart of some of the "best bits", though everywhere is actually within walking distance. You will definitely want to see St Mark's (don't miss the museum upstairs with the horses) and the Doge's Palace anyway, and an apartment there would provide a good bolthole afterwards, which might help you avoid paying the stupid money for a sit-down and a drink in the Piazza itself. Lots of waterbuses call there, but it's an easy walk to the Rialto too.

We stayed in a hotel near the station, which made arrival and departure easy, but meant a walk every day to get where we were planning to go. That turned out to be one of the best bits. Everywhere you go in Venice you turn a corner and see another breathtaking picture. Take spare camera batteries and memory cards in bulk!

A tiny apartment is fine for a place that lives half outdoors anyway. I'd say go for it!
intertext
Feb. 4th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, I'm thinking that I will.
lidocafe
Feb. 4th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
I just want to say that I have no idea, but I hope you have a great time. I know I will never have to (or have the opportunity to) make such a decision. Darn this procreating business anyway!
altariel
Feb. 4th, 2009 07:45 am (UTC)
We stayed in this hotel on Guidecca, which was incredibly quiet. St Mark's Square was heaving during the day (this was Easter) - I don't know what it would be like at night. Advice from a friend who'd lived there was to walk away from St Mark's once we'd seen it and explore the rest of Venice. Excellent advice. The entire rest of the city is worth seeing and there's no need to stay around St Mark's when there are many beautiful and quieter squares to explore.

We booked to go on the Secret Tour of the Doge's palace, which was a brilliant couple of hours. Other highlights for me were the Frari and the Peggy Guggenheim collection. We didn't get out to Torcello, which I do regret.

But by far the best thing about being there was wandering around, finding a quiet square to sit, drinking coffee, looking at the gorgeous colours...

Edited at 2009-02-04 07:47 am (UTC)
oursin
Feb. 4th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Ooh yes, the Peggy Guggenheim.
Also recommended, the Scuola de San' Rocco.
Do not eat in the cafeteria at the Doge's Palace, it's awful.
lalouve
Feb. 4th, 2009 01:58 pm (UTC)
I'd say it's worth taking - as someone above said, there are earplugs if it gets noisy. In my long-ago and limited experience, Venice is very seasonal. If you're not there smack in the middle of tourist season, it's much quieter.
intertext
Feb. 4th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm going in June, which is considered "high season" but also one of the best times of year to go, apparently. At least it's not during Carnival :)
arian
Feb. 4th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
I stayed in a lovely apartment near Ca'D'oro. To be honest, Venice is small enough that you can walk anywhere very easily, or get a boat. It might be a little noisy, but I wouldn't worry about whether or not you feel safe. It's actually a very safe city (though a lot of pickpocketing, so be careful!). I wandered around it on my own late at night without ever feeling threatened.

I totally recommend taking a trip out to the other islands - I love San Michele (the island graveyard) but I can see how others might find it morbid.

Wherever possible try to find places that look like the locals are eating in them - you won't regret it. There's a lovely one in the backstreets of Ca'D'oro, but I couldn't direct you to it.

Best advice - get lost. Find things that aren't in a guide book. I hope you enjoy yourself and love it as much as I did.
arcana_mundi
Feb. 4th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
Pretty please to share info on the apartment? I'm also looking for lodgings in Venice, but for the last week of March. I'd love to hear about it/ read the reviews/etc.
intertext
Feb. 4th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
Have sent via LJ addie :)
emmaco
Feb. 14th, 2009 11:20 am (UTC)
In case you're still looking...if it's for a shortish period of time and you can't get an apartment, we stayed at Dimora Serenissima, which is sort of like an agency for rooms scattered around Santa Croce. We were given keys to a residential apartment block (very secure) with a large double room, very clean, with own fridge and bathroom. It wasn't too expensive (for Venice), though obviously depends on demand. I think Residenza Santa Croce are the same group.
arcana_mundi
Feb. 14th, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
Many thanks to both of you - I ended up taking a room at Hotel La Fenice et Des Artistes on San Marco. My university has reservation and discounted rates through hotels.com so I was able to secure a room there for $75 a night, and it's in a very good location. And they didn't demand that I pay a two-person rate - I gave Dimora Serenissima a look, and that would have ended up making it a couple hundred euros more than the nice hotel room. :-)
emmaco
Feb. 14th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
I'd forgotten they charged the same for a single & double! Glad you found somewhere - have a fantastic holiday!
arcana_mundi
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
I appreciate the recommendation even if it didn't work for a single traveler - I'm looking forward to it - it's a research trip, but I'm sure I'll work in holiday days! :-)
emmaco
Feb. 14th, 2009 11:16 am (UTC)
I just remembered that someone on my friend's list had asked about Venice! Like everyone else, I reckon it will be fine, especially as it will feel safer at night than a quiet area and the less touristy areas are easy to walk to during the day. And walking around is the best part of Venice (plus catching the boat up and down the main canal).

Random tips:

There are some lovely Venetian mask makers (as opposed to Chinese mass produced) scattered around the city if you want a unique piece of art. We bought this one from La Bottega dei Mascereri at the artist's shop in San Polo (there is apparantly another shop near the rialto bridge too).

If you want a supermarket there's one on the main street in Ca D'oro - you can buy fresh bread, cheese etc if you want a picnic, and it's less expensive than always eating out.

Edited at 2009-02-14 11:16 am (UTC)
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