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San Marco: Palazzo La Scala

Calle de le Scale, Phone: 041.522.25.02

* Click to book this hotel online

Reviewed by: cmvnapa from CA, review #528

When: March 2004

Lovely guest house in Venice, near Campo San Luca, close to vaporetto stop, no bridges to cross!

I would gladly stay at Palazzo La Scala again on future trips. The location was ideal. During our previous trip, we stayed at a nice pensione, which I've also reviewed for SlowTrav, but we had to haul our bags up and down the Rialto Bridge from the vaporetto stop and there was no elevator in the building. I realize that for the sake of historical accuracy, elevators may be a no-no but they sure are useful!

We took the same vaporetto, #1, to the Rialto Bridge. After disembarking, we consulted our map and discovered that we were right in front of the calle (Bembo) that we needed to trundle down to get to the La Scala. In no time we were at Calle Scale, a narrow alley, and saw the guest house sign.

This was not a hotel, so there is no star rating. The front desk always has someone there, so one must ring in order to gain access to the building, but this was not a problem for us.

The elevator was a thing of beauty and a joy forever: it accommodated both my traveling companion and me PLUS our luggage. This was a first in all of the places where we have lodged in Italy. The room was cozily small but didn't feel cramped. In fact, it is the same room on the home page of palazzo’s web site, minus the full bed-bedspread. It was the two twin beds, close together, scenario. The bathroom was of a good size, decent shower, and reasonable room for our toiletries.

The television had a good selection of channels; we liked the fact that we could get both CNN and BBC World.

A breakfast buffet was included in the price of the room. The breakfast room was small; accommodating 4 parties at one time, but provided the usual breakfast items. Our last morning, the room was closed due to a plumbing problem, and we were sent to a nearby 4 star hotel for breakfast (this buffet was huge and the only buffet I’ve seen in Italy offering scrambled eggs, bacon, and the like).

We paid 100 euros per night and were offered a 5 euro discount for cash.

From Palazzo La Scala, it was a short jaunt down to Piazza San Marco. Our first night, we dined at Le Bistrot de Venise which I later discovered is reviewed in the book, "Chow! Venice." Great meal: tagliatelle scampi, branzino, salad – but a 15% service charge with a notation of “tip not included.” ??

On the topic of restaurants ... avoid at all costs a place called Trattoria Anima Bella. We only have ourselves to blame as we didn’t see a menu but ordered based on what our wait person told us was available. But for 2 small bowls of soup, 2 medium bowls of penne with a spicy tomato sauce, two glasses of red wine, a small bottle of water, and one cappuccino, PLUS 15% service, we paid 73 euros at lunchtime. The food was good but 73 euros? We’d paid 55 euros for a staggering amount of food at Il Latini in Florence. We’d had a lovely meal at Il Ritrovo in Florence for 32 euros, also ordering sans menu. And our favorite meal of the trip was at Trattoria Mario in Florence for 35 euros. I realize Venice is more costly than Florence, but we had some wonderful, reasonably priced meals in Venice as well. See the SlowTrav restaurant review section for more details!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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