Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2416: Venice Rentals, Grand Canal Palazzo
4bed/3bath apartment in Cannaregio, Venice
09/30/06-10/07/06, one week
This apartment rental is a large unit in the Palazzo Fontana very near the Ca' d'Oro vaporetto stop. The location could not have been better. The balconies overlooked the Grand Canal and the entrance was from the Strada Nova.
Everything was right there. A good-sized Billa is across the Strada Nova and the traghetto across to Rialto market is about a block away. Very convenient and, even though there is a lot of activity everywhere, the palazzo walls must be very thick because, when inside the unit, it's very quiet.
The building is the Palazzo Fontana built in the 1600s. Pope Clement XIII was born in the building in 1693. There are several apartments in the building, but this one is on the piano nobile and takes up most of that floor. We rarely saw other building occupants although there appear to be perhaps 10 units all together. Upon entering the apartment, you walk into a large room that was perhaps a receiving area or maybe a ballroom. It measures 80 X 30 ft and was really pretty useless, although it gave us lots of exercise just walking across it!
The palazzo offers balconies on the Grand Canal and on a side canal. There is no sitting area outside as the balconies are not very wide.
The apartment is very well furnished. The living room has seating for more than 12 people plus a large round table with chairs that we used for some meals. The dining room is near the kitchen and could seat 10 to 12 at a table (the table is huge). This is a historical property so the furnishings are a little dated but they fit with the character of the building. The floors are terrazo so the throw rugs were a little dangerous (very slippery) so we just rolled them up and put them out of the way.
The beds were pretty typical, rather hard but good enough. There are four bedrooms on the main floor. The master, in the front, is pretty magnificent with a very good en suite bathroom. Of the remaining three bedrooms on the main floor, two have their own bathroom. One of the baths had a handheld shower device in a tub with no curtain or surround. It was best used as a sitting shower. The fourth bedroom has no access to a bathroom without going through another bedroom (unless you use the secret closet entrance to the master bath!). There is an additional room (very small) with bath on the second floor but we used that floor just for laundry.
The kitchen was galley style and fairly small. We made a few meals there including a seafood extravaganza of fresh items from the Rialto market. We were able to make due with the existing utensils; there were probably 40 to 50 place settings available (I'm not kidding!!). It was also nice that a good supply of spices, oils and vinegars were already stocked. A non-stick pan would have been a nice addition.
Problems or Bonuses
We really enjoyed the CD player as we had several discs along with us that we weren't sure we would be able to enjoy. The building is over 300 years old so there are some limitations with the electrical systems. You cannot use the washer and dryer at the same time, or the dishwasher, for that matter. But, when was the last time you had a dryer in Italy anyway? We ran all the appliances in sequence and we always had clean and dry clothes and clean dishes.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Denise and Maurizio were both very available for questions or recommendations. We were met by one of their staff who was an American studying in Venice living very near the palazzo. This was definitely a splurge property but, in our estimation, completely worth it.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
If you are traveling to Venice with a group I can't imagine how you could have a better place. This is an ideal property for three couples, even four couples would work. We didn't want to leave at the end of our week.
Things to do in this area
At this property, you're in the heart of Venice; whatever you want is within easy walking.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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