Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2108: Palazzetto da Schio, Apartment
apartments in Dorsoduro, Venice
May 2006, 3 nights
Great location: on a small, quiet canal in the Dorsoduro area of Venice, five-minute walk from the Salute stop on the Grand Canal. Never heard anyone else in the building or in neighbouring buildings or on the sidewalk below, very quiet! Yet easy to get to almost anywhere in the city from here, via foot or vaporetto.
Ten-minute walk along the Zatterre walk-way to a fairly large grocery store; about the same to other shops for coffe, provisions, etc. Restaurants everywhere in Venice!
The Contessa's palazzetto is a 15th-century (?) building, very peaceful and and nicely maintained. Our apartment, #3, overlooked the little canal. After walking up the couple of flights of stairs, we unlocked an antechamber shared by the other apartment on that floor, and then our own door into our living room (where a trundle bed pulled out for two of us). This room would have been a pleasant place for the six of us to relax in if we had taken the bedding off the trundle bed each day so we could turn it back into a couch; but since we didn't, it was a bit crowded. (The owner, Contessa da Schio, had made it clear that that two of us would be sleeping in the living room if we took this apartment, so we were prepared for there being a bed in this room), as well as a "fainting couch" and an armchair (both covered with throws) and the couch/bed, the room held the old dining table (with a bench and a couple of chairs) and a coffee-table we pushed against the wall. It was bright, the windows above the canal giving lots of light. Through the door on the right of this room was the master bedroom, with its own bathroom with tub/shower; through one door on the left was the second bedroom. A little passageway also on the left from the living room led into the tiny kitchen and small bathroom with shower and washing machine.
Through the ground floor and out the back is a small garden, presumably shared by all the guests (which would never be very many). It looked nice, but was rather shady for the cool days we had in Venice.
The Contessa does her best to ensure that her guests understand and respect the antique furnishings in the apartment, covering the upholstered furniture with throws, asking us to describe a little about ourselves before booking, and then when we arrived, showing us around the apartment and pointing out where we would find the oilcloth she wanted us to use under the pretty table-cloth to protect the old table, for instance. The apartment was clean, and the furniture was in good shape, provided just enough comfortable seating for the six of us (and there really wasn't room for anything more, with that bed pulled out), and was reasonably comfortable.
The beds were pretty comfortable, the bedrooms nicely furnished (and we were shown how to use anti-mosquito devices, if necessary, which it had just started to be. I guess window screens would spoil the ambiance a bit, and the bathrooms met our needs (first chance to have a bath for several days). Water-pressure was pretty paltry, but there was enough hot water for us all.
The bright kitchen is tiny, with a little four-burner gas stove you lifted a cover up to use, a small table for a counter-top, a 3/4-sized fridge, and sink. We told the Contessa about a rusted-out pot-rest on the stove and she appreciated the comment; I'm sure she'll look after it immediately. A small hutch contained various pieces of equipment, and there was about six feet of floor space left over. (A big wardrobe in the living room had lots of dishes and glasses.) The equipment was ok, not great quality but most things we wanted, we found. You could cook full meals here if no one tried to help, and there was a nice little view from the window over the table, but it's a bit cramped to have FUN cooking here, for me.
Problems or Bonuses
A previous cigarette-smoking guest had left a bit of a smell in the living room that really didn't dissipate during our stay, but I'm kind of ultra-aware of smells, I think; it wasn't enough to put anyone else off. The bedrooms didn't smell like smoke at all, fortunately.
The doorways were probably not much higher than 6', and the ceiling maybe a foot higher, fine since we were on the bright top floor, and it gave the whole apartment a bit of a hobbity charm (ok, hobbits live under the ground, not above it, but you probably take my point), but a very tall person might feel a bit vertically cramped here.
I had to sit down in the shower in despair, trying to figure out how to make sense of the instruction manual for the washer (a foot away from the shower), though I must admit I hadn't had much experience with Italian washing machines at that point, but eventually I kind of did the laundry, I think.
The Contessa supplied us with a cell-phone for our use during our stay, and with a lap-top with free (very slow) internet hook-up, both appreciated.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The Contessa treated us very courteously and attentively. She lives below, and stressed that she was available at any time if we had questions or concerns. Her English was excellent, and she was meticulous about providing receipts, maps, directions, etc. We paid her the full amount, 810 euro in cash for a 3-night stay for the six of us, on arrival, which was exactly what we had expected to do.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I liked the area very much; Venice is small enough and the vaporetti frequent enough to feel you're close to wherever you want to go from here. The quiet of the apartment was very pleasant (no rowdy people walking down this sidewalk in the middle of the night waking us up, like they did outside our Florence pedestrian-only-area apartment). For six adults, this apartment was a bit cramped, the low ceilings adding to this feeling for me (I'm pretty tall); if we had been four people, I would have been happier here. And maybe I was naive to imagine that staying in an apartment furnished with antiques would feel splendid; instead, the furnishings seemed fine, but, frankly, a bit shabby; probably me being unrealistic in my expectations. So I'd recommend it with some reservations.
Things to do in this area
No great discoveries in the immediate vicinity, but that was probably a consequence of us being too busy a bit further afield.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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