Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4588: Palazzetto da Schio, Apartment
apartments in Dorsoduro, Venice
May 12-19, 2010, one week
Palazzetto da Schio is located in the Dorsoduro section of Venice; this is on the southwest side of the Grand Canal about mid-way between Accademia Bridge (which connects Dorsoduro with San Marco) and Santa Maria della Salute, the large cathedral at the end of the island. It's right around the corner from the Peggy Guggenheim Modern Art Gallery.
The Palazzetto is a private, historical, charming four-storey house on the Fondamento Soranzo, a quiet canal that connects the Lagoon with the Grand Canal. Venice is closely built-up throughout the city but this is a particularly lovely area. It's a short walk to the Zattere, a wide promenade on the Lagoon; it's close to the Accademia Art Museum and a pleasant, moderate walk to Piazza San Marco. It's a residential neighborhood where local people live, take their children to school, walk their dogs, bring supplies to their businesses by boat. The only shop in this residential block hand-carves oar-locks for gondolas.
There is no driving in Venice! (only walking or taking a boat). It's a 15 minute walk to supermarket on the Zattere. Two excellent, moderately priced restaurants are a five minute walk away and there are several cafes close by. Better yet, Palazzetto owner, Contessa Anna da Schio, provides guests with their own generously-sized map of the neighborhood, complete with symbols for Post Office, dry-cleaners, restaurants and other amenities. It is particularly helpful that just a block away is a traghetto stop (this is a gondola station where for €0.50 you can be ferried in a 14 seat gondola across the canal) making the crossing to San Marco much more direct than walking to the Accademia Bridge and cheaper than taking the vaporetto (large, public boat going up/down the Grand Canal at €6.50 any length trip.)
Then Contessa includes details about the house on the website -- definitely historical -- I'll let her tell you. We were in a two bedroom apartment on the fourth floor overlooking the canal, two windows in each bedroom and two in the sitting room between them. Wonderfully light and airy space, full of antiques, beautifully decorated.
A one-bedroom apartment was across the hall, looking out on the back garden. Owner, Contessa da Schio's apartment took up the entire floor below and on the second floor were two more apartments just like the ones on our floor. The ground floor was a large entry hall leading to a small, lovely walled garden. The house has been beautifully restored, preserving old beams and fixtures while up-dating the plumbing and electricity. The neighborhood is quiet but tight windows and thick drapes can further shut out the outside world (if anyone would want to shut out Venice....)
The apartment is huge, beds for four people but a day-bed and couch as well that could serve as beds. Two baths and a small kitchen as well.
One can sit in the garden, it's small but lovely, shared by four apartments and the owner. But the apartment was so large, comfortable and had such a good view of the street, canal and roof-tops that we enjoyed spending time there and spent most of the day out sight-seeing in the city.
The floor was marble. There was a Persian rug in the sitting room and small rugs by each bed. Modern wardrobes had been built to cleverly conceal vast quantities of dishes, glassware, pots, pans, shopping bags, quilts, linens... Antique dining table, inlaid coffee table. A chaise, couch and several armchairs and straight-backed chairs in the sitting room. Old-fashioned printed lampshades. Many fine, old mirrors. Ancient, framed wall-hangings. Antique door-handles. Framed prints on the walls. Patterned throws and bedspreads. I couldn't believe that I could actually rent such a distinguished set of rooms - far more beautiful and historic than my own house!
Twin beds in one bedroom, double bed in the other. The bedrooms were beautiful and very comfortable. Each had a bathroom, with shower/tub combination in one and shower in the other. Plenty of hot-water; modern toilet. Some nice touches: a row of pegs on the back of the door as well as two towel-racks in my bathroom, a make-up mirror on a goose-neck and aluminum drying rack in my bathroom.
Kitchen was small but well-stocked with cooking utensils and equipment. Full refrigerator. Dishwasher. Large sink with well-positioned draining rack. Small gas stove. Work table covered with oil-cloth! Dishes, glasses, cups, mugs and wine-glasses for eight! Have to provide one's own food and spices. Really a one-person cooking space. But he made great, full meals!
Problems or Bonuses
Hand-made soap as a gift from our hostess.
Geranium blossom opened in the window-box on our last day in Venice. Priceless view of "our" street from our windows.
Contessa Anna's little dog, Webby, gave us a friendly greeting each time we passed their apartment.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Contessa Anna da Schio rents directly. All prices and other information is on the website along with pictures and diagrams of each apartment. She even includes a series of photos as virtual-directions from the vaporetto stop to her door so one doesn't get lost arriving there. Contessa Anna was always available to answer questions; she was incredibly helpful and gracious. She speaks perfect English (and French also!) as well as Italian. All information is complete and accurate.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Truly, I couldn't believe my luck. This is the very nicest place I've ever stayed. And it cost less than any two single rooms I could have rented in Venice. I felt as if I'd gone back in time to the Venice of Henry James in the 19th century. This was refined, under-stated elegance in a lovely, convenient neighborhood. My only hesitation in recommending it is that it might become too popular and I might have to wait in line to book.
Things to do in this area
La Piscina on the Zattere was a favorite restaurant but the Contessa can let you know about others as well. Il Pavone di Fabio Pelosin is a wonderful store close-by full of hand-printed papers that cover books, boxes, notebooks, pot-holders etc. And Bac Art Studio has fine-art prints very subtle and evocative of Venice.
Campietto Barbaro is the most charming small square in Venice and is just around the corner.
Salute is a large, magnificent church and way west in Dorsoduro is Sant'Angelo Raffaele, a small, intimate one.
But the whole world of Venice awaits across the Grand Canal--the splendid Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Market, La Fenice Opera House. Go for it!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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