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Review 577: Living Venice, Living Venice


Review by caplanco from CO

2bed/1bath apartment in Dorsoduro, Venice


May, 2003, one week


Located on a piazza near the university, with a canal view from the kitchen windows. Quiet at night after folks are done walking through the piazza, usually by 11 - later on weekends. The neighborhood chatter begins around 8, and we always found this rather pleasant. It picks up late afternoon when the women tend to gather. The bar owner sets out his tables, children are taken to school, and the university students walk over the bridge to class. P. Santa Margherita is a short walk away.

Nearby Amenities

We walked everywhere in Venice. It is a 5-10 minute walk to San Basilio, SanToma or Accademia vaporetto stations. (Longer if you stop for caffe, as we do.) The guest book said there was a bakery next door, but it may have gone out of business. There is a supermarket within walking distance.

The House/Apartment

Enzo, the owner, was born in this apartment. It is the upper floor of a two story building and has been updated nicely.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

Enzo and his wife, Milvia, have put many nice family touches here. The kitchen has embroidered recipe "samplers" by Milvia on the wall. The lighting could be better in the living room; it is not good for reading. There is a satelite TV with 500+ stations - most in foreign languages. The sofa in the living room is small and there is only a wooden bench which fits under a writing desk, for other seating. (We used it as a coffee table.) There are loads of guidebooks, many of which we'd not seen before and found to be helpful. The apartment has many windows which, in the clever Italian fashion, can be opened either from the top or from the side. They all have shutters. It is bright with good cross ventilation.


The large bedroom has a comfortable bed, modern double wardrobe with drawers, two night tables and lamps. The smaller bedroom with a single bed is adjacent and one must walk through it to get to the rest of the apartment. It also has a modern wardrobe. The bathroom is small with modern and efficient plumbing. The shower is not enclosed, only a circular shower curtain and raised area around the floor drain, but we never had a problem with getting the floor wet.


The kitchen is large and bright and well equipped. It has gas burners and an electric oven. There is a clothes washing machine (which has a mind of its own) in the kitchen and a pulley clothesline outside the windows. We love shopping at the Rialto, so cooked in a couple of times.

Problems or Bonuses

There is dredging and building work going on in the canal adjacent to the apartment. The noise began at 7:30 every day but Sunday, and continued until 5 or so. You might want to check with Enzo to see if it is still going on.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

Living Venice does its own booking. Enzo was very pleasant to work with. He gave us excellent directions. We called him to give him some idea of what time we would arrive, and he met us at the San Basilio vaparetto stop. Milvia was waiting for us at the apartment. I understand that their daughter is at the university, but we never met her.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

I would stay here again. It is perfect for two people. If you have a child, it might work as well. Although I would prefer being a bit closer to the Guggenheim area of Dorsoduro, this location worked well.

Things to do in this area

There is always something happening at Piazza Santa Margherita. One night we happened on a group of dance teachers giving salsa lessons to youngsters and then playing non-stop salsa and meringue music for the adults.

A favorite place for both our stays in Venice is Al Bottegan for cichetti and wine. Besides having good cichetti, the family is very friendly and knowledgeable about wine you can buy from them. There are always lots of people and, if the weather is nice, they take their wine outside and mingle on the fondamenta. Also like So Moro near the Rialto for atmosphere and good cichetti. Trat. San Basilico, right near the vap stop, serves good typical food. The liver was very good, the owner very friendly.

Our favorite bakery and bar is Tonolo, which is in the San Pantelone area. Besides great pastry and caffe, they also have great chocolate dipped orange peel, to which I am very partial.

Had a very poor experience at Oniga on P. San Barnaba and would definetly not recommend this place, even though it is open until midnight. Bad food and worse service.

The local trattoria, Anzolo Rafaele, had been recommended by Enzo so we tried it. No menu, grilled fish, rather expensive for the basic place it is.

Had lunch at Ai Cugnai and agree with others who recommend going to "enjoy" the sisters, but the food is just okay. It is very convenient to the Guggenheim. The best meal we had on this trip was at Fiaschiateria Toscano. It was fabulous food and lively atmosphere. We intended to go back again before we left, but will have to wait for our next trip.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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