Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4790: Venice Rentals, San Marco Via 22 Marzo
2bed/2bath apartment near San Marco, Venice
September 2010, 5 days
This apartment is located just steps off one of the main drags of San Marco, Venice. It's on a small courtyard entered from Via XXII Marzo. The apartment is the only apartment in a three-story building that appears to have business places occupying the other units on the two floors below. It is located no more than five minutes walk from Piazza San Marco, as well as about a five minute walk to the vaporetto stop Santa Maria del Giglio. San Marco is touristy - the main drag has every high end luxury clothing, shoe and other sort of shop, like Versace, Chanel, Bulgari, etc. It's also close to La Fenice, the opera house.
If you have never been to Venice, it is probably very exciting to be here. If you really want a Venetian experience, you probably want to look elsewhere, like Dorsoduro, the area or sestiere where we originally tried to book in.
Nearby were plenty of coffee shops and small grocery stores. The grocery stores are about a 10 minute walk away toward Campo San Stefano. There are not many Coops or other supermarket type places in Venice to begin with, but for sure, San Marco is not a place for a supermarket.
The building is old - this is Venice after all. It had an elevator which is very helpful carrying luggage to the third floor apartment. Interestingly, right outside the building was a canal, a favorite of the gondoliers, so many an evening, we benefited from lovely serenades and accordion tunes. It was great - the canal was completely dead all night long while we slept and only got busy after we were up and out.
As to the shape of the building, did I mention that this is Venice and the building is old? The "lobby" is a little dark and dank. The unit itself is clean and modern, with a newish stuff, but there is an electrical fault somewhere in the circuitry, as we discovered on our last night there, when we experienced torrential rains.
There is a roof top terrace that overlooks the nearby buildings and is perfect for an evening prosecco and some cichetti before heading out to dinner. And it's perfect for gondolier eavesdropping.
Beds and sofas and tables were fine, if spare. There is more than enough seating for four people. The place was clean.
Beds were comfortable. The rooms themselves had windows and air conditioning and were smallish, but not cramped. There were two virtually identical baths, with cabinets, toilet, bidet, sink and tub. There was a hand-held shower head, typical of many Italian places, but for sure, no way for standing in the tub and showering.
The kitchen was fine - we cooked there two nights, and ate all of our breakfasts there. Refrigerator, freezer, oven, cook-top and dishwasher made up the appliances. Limited counter space, for kitchen prep for cooking. Decent pots, pans, dishes and silverware. We travel with kitchen knives, because most rentals have terrible knives for meal prep, so I can't comment on quality of those things. All in all, it allowed us to do what we wanted to do for meals.
Problems or Bonuses
The only negative was the short in the electricity on our last night, which knocked out the hot water heater, which meant cold or no showers. The problem is probably because of the torrential rain mentioned above, which leaked either through the roof or the wall itself right above the circuit breaker panel in the apartment itself.
I was pleased that the apartment itself was very quiet, given its proximity to the milling mobs that throng Piazza San Marco and XXII Marzo. The elevator was a nice plus on arrival to haul our suitcases up to the third/top floor. Only problem was that given the electrical problems on departure, we decided not to use the elevator, and so we had to carry everything down four flights of stairs.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Venice Rentals is great. Maurizio, fluent English speaker, met us at the vaporetto/Alilaguna stop exactly on time and helped us get to the apartment and set up our WiFi access. He is great. Venice Rentals also was very helpful in scrambling to get us a place to stay, when the original apartment in Dorsoduro (where we really wanted to stay)we had booked through them mysteriously became uninhabitable.
All in all, Venice Rentals seems very good.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
As I mentioned, the apartment itself is good. Rooms nicely sized, kitchen well-appointed, nice roof top terrace, elevator building, quiet, convenient to the big tourist sites of Venice. I'd worry a bit about the electricity, at least if it is raining, but that could happen anywhere, I guess.
If you are really looking to stay in Venice where Venetians actually live, I'd look at Dorsoduro, Santa Croce or San Polo or maybe Cannaregio. Those places are all quieter, people-wise, and have a few more amenities like food shops.
If I were to go back to Venice (this was visit number two), I would want to be in another sestiere.
Things to do in this area
Go to Bar Ducale for your morning coffee - it's where the gondoliers hang out - no chairs or tables, just belly up to the bar like a Venetian. Head over to San Stefano for gelato at Paolin. Go to Rizzo's on Calle dele Botteghe for food and sundries, although there is an even better place about 25-35 yards beyond it. Go to San Vidal for the music (right near the San Marco foot of the Accademia Bridge). The Rialto Market is only a 10-15 minute walk away - buy fresh veggies and fruit and buy some of the freshest fish you'll ever see, and cook it up. If you must have a piece of glass from Venice (my wife did, apparently), go to L'Isola for good Murano glass (right near the ugliest church in Venice - San Stae.) Watch the gondoliers load hundreds of Asian tourists into their gondolas at the Campo San Stae - it's more fun than an actual gondola ride. (If you want a real gondola ride, hop on a traghetto for 50 cents, stand like a Venetian, and get to where you want to go faster than waiting for a vaporetto. There's a traghetto right next to the Giglio vaporetto stop, if I recall correctly.) In all, have fun in Venice, it's a great place.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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