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Review 589: Visit Venice, Casa Battello


Review by Andrew Skiller from UK

house sleeps 5 in Cannaregio, Venice


March 2002, 1 week


Having been to Venice a couple of times at my company's expense, I had always wanted to take my wife there for a holiday. I was put off by the price of hotels and was delighted to stumble on an advert which led me to a really excellent website, and affordable self-catering accommodation.

Booking was easy and the owners seemed to have thought of everything. We received plenty of information in advance, and it was easy to plan our journey from the airport to the house.

We arrived late on a Saturday night but were delighted to find some excellent shops that were still open as we walked along the fondementa before entering the soportego and Casa Battello. We were able to get fresh pasta and vegetables for our first meal. The house was spacious and comfortable and we settled in very quickly.

On Sunday morning I went out to get bread. I stepped out of the cool narrow side street into brilliant sunshine by the bustling canal and felt all my senses stirring. This became a ritual each day and I don't think I could ever grow tired of it. It was wonderful to walk out to everything that Venice has to offer, and also to return to the oasis of calm that is Casa Battello.

In the evenings we would read through the many informative guide and reference books in the serene 'Blue Room', in the mornings we would enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the spacious, well-equipped kitchen, and by day we were free to enjoy Venice.

The house is in the Cannaregio district of Venice, which has much to offer. The nearby shops and market stalls are excellent, and the Ghetto area is well worth a visit. Someone once said that everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time. In Venice it is worth making the time, as walking, and even getting lost, is always rewarding. The railway station is a very short walk away, and we went by train to spend an interesting day in Verona.

Venice is well served by water buses, a cheap way to see the sights and get around, and there are two bus stops very near to Casa Battello. A weekly ticket gives complete freedom - see something interesting and jump off at the next stop to investigate!

We did eat out and there is much to choose from, but a particular pleasure was shopping for fresh food and cooking it ourselves. The great thing about the Cannarregio district is that you feel as though you are living on Venice, not just staying there. The bread shop, the draught wine shop and the little grocery shop feel like your local store and the people are helpful and friendly.

We have since been back to stay at another property in this area, Casa Tre Archi, which has the same owners, and hope to return for a third time this Autumn.

Venice, Cannaregio and Casa Battello cannot be recommended too highly.

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

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