Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2559: Il Giardino di Giulia, Il Giardino di Giulia - Venezia
1bed/1bath apartment in Santa Croce, Venice
December 2006 and October 2004, 6 nights (December 06), 14 nights (Oct. 04)
This wonderful apartment is located in Santa Croce, in Campo San Giacomo del' Orio, my favorite campo in Venice. I've stayed here twice and have fallen in love with this apartment and the neighborhood.
This is a real Venetian neighborhood, and Campo San Giacomo del'Orio has everything you need - a Coop Supermarket, a bank, a vegetable stand, a health food store, a hardware store, and several great wine bars, cafes, and restaurants, as well as a fascinating and funky 9th century church. It's not a highly touristed area (though you will meet other tourists in the restaurants and in the church, which is part of the Chorus Pass group). It's a great neighborhood.
The apartment is on the top (third) floor of a 16th century building, so you do have to climb some stairs to get up there. It's not that strenuous though. The building is very quiet - not sure exactly, but I guess there are probably about five other apartments in the building. There is one key for the downstairs door to the building and another for the door to the apartment. I felt completely safe here.
There is no garden or outside area, but the Campo is only a few steps away. It's one of the few Campos in Venice with trees; there are also benches where you can sit and watch the neighborhood action (lots of kids and dogs).
The apartment is very comfortable. It's not fancy or modern, but it's super clean and cozy. The living area has a small sleeper sofa, a small dining table with chairs, and a kitchenette. The bedroom is an adjacent room (there's not a door, but there are some curtains you can pull for privacy between the living room and bedroom).
There are two twin beds, both with a reading light; the bedroom area also has an armoire/closet and a small writing desk with a chair.
I wish that my bed here at home was as comfortable as the bed in this apartment! The mattresses are awesome - they have the perfect degree of firmness and also have wonderful sheets, comforters, and pillows. I'm getting misty right now as I think about waking up there, completely rested, and hearing the church bells in the morning!
The bathroom is small, but modern and clean. It has a sink, toilet, bidet, and fairly large shower stall (large for Europe).
The kitchenette has a sink, a half-size refrigerator, a hot plate with two burners, both a moka and a drip coffee pot, and a large toaster oven. The cabinets are stocked with everything you need for basic cooking (including staples like olive oil, salt and pepper, pasta, etc). I have to confess that I have never cooked anything besides breakfast there, but you could do some simple cooking if you wanted.
Problems or Bonuses
No problems, but several bonuses - the biggest is how nice Marco and Monica (the owners) are.
They call this place a B&B - they live right next door (but there are separate entrances to the two apartments). It's like what we call a "mother-in-law" apartment here in the US. They provide a simple breakfast (coffee, juice, packaged pastries, butter, milk, and jam) - however, unlike a typical B&B, they don't come over and serve breakfast - they just stock the kitchenette for you.
Another bonus is that, when you arrive, Marco will meet you at either Piazzale Roma (the bus station) or the San Stae vaporetto stop and guide you to the apartment. You don't have to worry about finding the place on your own.
And a bonus for me is that Marco and Monica have a dog named Marta -I would see her out in the campo occasionally and would get to pet her. I miss my pets when I travel, so knowing a Venetian dog was nice.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Marco is wonderful. He speaks good English and is a very kind and pleasant young man. He and Monica are very discreet owners; even though they are living next door, they keep a low profile (you won't see them everyday while you are there), but it's nice to know that they are there if you need them.
One morning on my most recent stay, Marco came over to give us a "head's up" that there was some minor acqua alta (high water) in the street below. The apartment has green rubber boots for the guests' use - we put them on and headed out. It was fine, and the water receded in a couple of hours (but I'm glad they had the boots for us to borrow!)
There are some photos on the website, but really, the place is better than it looks. There are many charming things that make you feel at home, like the small cactus garden in the kitchen window.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I have stayed here twice, and I will definitely stay here again. I love the apartment, the neighborhood, and the owners.
This place is perfect for one or two people. It would work for three (using the sleeper sofa) if you don't mind three people sharing one bath. Marco and Monica also have a larger apartment nearby in San Polo that would work for four people (two bedrooms and two baths) - I went and looked at their San Polo place in December 2006, and it's wonderful too. So if I return to Venice with more than just one other person, I will probably try to stay in their larger place. I feel lucky to have found landlords in Venice that I trust and like so much.
Things to do in this area
It's such a great area of Venice. My favorite wine bar (Al Prosecco) is there, as well as my favorite restaurant (La Zucca).
And even though it's off the beaten track, Venice is small - you can walk and be at the Rialto bridge in about 10 minutes (and the walk is fun!)
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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