The apartment was for many years my home and atelier. Now I live in Zurich and my family and I decided to rent it for short periods of time so to be able to use it as a home / studio for ourselves. I am an architect and I travel a lot. My hart beats for many places, one of these is surely Venice.
This is my philosophy of hospitality: live and work anywhere, but possibly in the most beautiful and comfortable places in the world. This is what I believe my apartment and the city of Venice can offer.
The apartment is located in the attic of a building of the XVI century. It consist of two independent units. A small one and a bigger one that I rent separately.
This description fits the unit that I call 1, the smaller one, which I believe is an ideal place for a couple. It is not big but it is very nice and intimately cozy in the sense that there is only one open and bright living environment that contains a kitchen, library, a toiler with shower and desk in front of a nice view over Palazzo Labia and the Venice roof tops.
Personally I find it a perfect place to work and focus on a specific project if you are alone and a romantic nest for short periods of time for a couple.
The building stands on the Grand Canal, fifteen minutes walk from the train station, 20 from Rialto Bridge and next to the vaporetto stop named S. Marcuola. It is not far from the famous Ghetto and it is just off the beaten tracks. Cannaregio is the name of the area of the city where it is located. This is one of the most lively are of the city: restaurants, fruit street markets, and little shops are typical of this area. The building has a monumental entrance and a courtyard with a private well, typical of ancient Venetian palaces. The strategic location allows to move without the need to take the vaporetto each times (a ride cost 5€ per person).
Clean bed sheets and fresh towels will be provided as well as all you need to land and feel welcome in a new home: coffee, milk, sugar, and minimum amount of food you can have when you wake up hungry after a long trip.
Together with the facilities described above I always leave a bottle of prosecco in the fridge to welcome my guests in Venice and introduce them to the venetian lifestyle.
- IT IS ABSOLUTELY FORBITTEN TO TROUGHT ANYTHING IN THE WC EXEPT PLAIN TOILET PAPER: CONDOMS, TISSUES, OR ANY OTHER STUFF WOULD PUT IT PUT OUT OF ORDER. IN THAT CASE I WILL NEED TO ASK FOR IT'S REPLAICEMENT.
- The apartment is on the top floor, this means that thunderstorms are particularly noisy. For this reason you should always close all windows when you leave the house to prevent wood flooring damage by sudden storms.
- The washing machine can be used. But not later than the 9 pm (building regulation).
- The garbage must be brought downstairs and left in front of the back door not later than 8 am. PLEASE RECYCLE! (worldwide and city regulation – times and modality will be communicated on site).
- It 'absolutely necessary to close the doorways to avoid unpleasant discussions with the other tenants of the building (building regulations).
- You can not bring pets.
- No smoking.
- Do not trough anything into the sinks nor into the WC.
- Check in and check-out must be agreed from time to time with my friend and colleague Luca, who manages check in and check outs.
- The meeting point is the vaporetto stop of S. Marcuola.
- LATE CHECK IN: after 20.00 you need to provide AN EXTRA € 20 for Luca's late hours work. AFTER 23.00 the EXTRA FEE WILL BE ABOUT 40 € to be payed directly to him. ( I WOULD PREFER TO AVOID THIS BUT LATE CHECK IN MIGHT ACCOUR).
- It's very important to be careful not to close yourself out of the house with the keys inside: you would be locked out!
- You must provide a copy of a valid identity card to be delivered to the authorities as required by Italian laws.
- Please leave the apartment tidy.
I didn't actually get to meet with Antonio, but I met with one of his family members who was extremely accommodating and friendly! Also, email and other correspondence with both of them were very pleasant and professional.
The description of the space and photos are fairly accurate, and the neighborhood is incredibly convenient and just the right amount of privacy/access. It's 30 seconds away from a local vaporetto and main street, but tucked away so there's not too much noise. The train station is also only about a 10 minute walk (depending on the crowds).
It's an attic, so it's hot, especially in August. There's also five flights of steep stairs to climb and four doors to open every time you come back at the end of the day, which I welcome as a workout, but some may not be so keen.
Leaving the window open (tilted) helps a bit during the night, as there is a cool breeze, but be mindful that some insects might fly in! I used this electricity-powered insect repellent provided by the host, which seemed to work for the most part. I didn't have a huge problem with bugs during my stay because I mostly kept the windows closed at night, but it was very warm, and I often woke up in the morning sweating. The AC is a bit counterintuitive since you have to leave the window open to let out the fat exhaust tube - plus it's noisy. The great things about the early morning is the breeze and view of the rooftops. That's when I open the window completely and turn on the fan in the wetbath for ventilation.
The wetbath has no shower stall. The shower is okay, but the water takes a while to heat up and it has a relatively low flow. I just took quick cold showers since it was hot anyways - it was refreshing! Sometimes some bugs like to hang out in the drain, but a little cleaner fluid does the trick (not too much though since the smell is very strong).
The kitchen is my favorite! The fridge/freezer, gas camper stove, and rack to hang pots and stuff work great. I recommend cooking and packing lunch every day. You'll save so much money and it's great to cook in the mornings and evenings - just keep the window open - I think the kitchen fan doesn't work. Local grocery stores (BILLA and coop) and bakeries/butchers recommended by the host are also fantastic!
Antonio provides maps and guides, outlet converter, coffee, towel, basic spices/olive oil, paper towels. I added plastic wrap and hand-washing detergent to the mix.
Overall, Antonio's apartment is great for a single person/student, who enjoys day-to-day living rather than luxury vacationing. I was able to do laundry and hung it on the shutters - if only there was a clothes line haha! I greatly enjoyed wandering on peaceful mornings and had some wonderful afternoon naps! I also really like all the books!
The apartment is fantastic, and right on the San Mercuola vaporetto stop. Pros and cons--for a romantic getaway, this is a perfect cozy room with everything one needs including bialettis to make espressos in the morning. Ida, Antonio's property manager is a real gem and saved our bacon a few times.
Cons: this apartment is on the 5th floor, or 4* piano as the Italians would put it. After the second day, I grew used to the climb. And I'm not in great shape. But if you are of limited mobility, this apartment might not be for you.
That is the only con I can think of, and there are too many pros to list. It is a fantastic space and well-furnished and provisioned. I highly, highly recommend this for a couple.
I enjoyed my stay at Antonio's apartment and the convenience of the location. The apartment is very simple and basic and to be expected very hot during the summer. I appreciated the small things Antonio provided such as coffee, butter and other condiments as well as the portable air conditioner. I also enjoyed the selection of books that was stored in the apartment. The house is also accessible by one of the main ferry lines.
Petit studio super bien placé, à deux pas de la gare et au bord du grand canal dans un quartier génial. La station de vaporetto est devant la porte. Les 4 étages sont parfait pour digérer les pizze. Accueil impeccable, tout ce qu'il faut pour le petit déjeuné et même une bouteille de proseco pour féter l'arriver. Merci Antonio et Ida...
Wow, this location is not far from anything yet not too close to the very busy areas. There's a fascinating view from the window, and living on the top floor makes for a quiet abode. The small skylight and west-facing window means good lighting and a sunset view over the tops of houses. The bed is firm and comfortable, but mosquitoes begin to terrorize your sleep nightly in mid-April, primarily because of a simple-to-fix problem; there is no screen on the window. My place in Rome has window screens and little to no mosquitoes inside, also plenty of fresh air inside. Plug-in poison, organic repellents, and special mosquito incense did not solve the all night long mosquitoes. My friend visited a few days and agreed, it's a major problem. Insect repelling plants in the window and a removable window screen would easily fix this, but an attitude of negligence or indifference seems to prevent the implementation of this solution. The mosquito disturbance throughout the night was tolerated because of the great location and my sympathetic (and helpful) attitude, but I now feel compelled to express these details because Antonio's publicly described my normal concerns as "banal." In fact, I was helping to bring his apartment to a normal standard because he does not live there and is likely unaware of these basic things. His attitude was amiable, and I was thankful for the apartment but still did not expect the "furnished" apartment to lack basic items and cleanliness, and definitely did not expect four-weeks of mosquitoes waking me up at all hours, buzzing around my head. Nothing was done to help with this.
The place is a bit smaller in person and fuller with stuff than the photos depict, especially books, but all-in-all it's livable, and the kitchen is a must in Venice if staying more than a day or two, because Venice prices for everything are much higher. There were a few things that weren't a huge problem, but were important, and we fixed them along the way: no wine-bottle opener, no pot lid for cooking rice (or pasta), no wine glasses (this is Italy after all); the large coffee-maker was full of blossoming mold, which I cleaned very well and put in the sunshine but coffee still tasted badly; shower curtain very moldy (which another guest mentioned. It was replaced.); no garbage or recycling bags; no broom, dustpan, or mop; kitchen sponge was quite dirty and old; red kitchen table hangs precariously by a thin cable on a small eye-hook but works with care (hinge on a wood leg and bigger eye-hook would fix); tile around the toilet base was yellow within a 5-10 cm. (I paid a cleaner to clean this); the white walls had a lot of marks, dirt, and many dead-smashed mosquitoes (I paid a cleaner to clean this); a small toe-stubbing board was popping up about a centimeter high by the bathroom due to water (glue and a light hammer could fix this. Salve.
I had such a wonderful time staying in Antonio's attic studio for almost 3 weeks during February. From the moment of meeting his friend Luca, who was so helpful and welcoming, till the last memories of this grand gorgeous palazzo's entrance – it was a pleasure. The apartment is small, but so comfortable; it has everything one would need for living/working/studying/enjoying Venice. Plus, when you sit at the table facing the window, you have a feeling of unlimited space: the view was just mesmerising me every day. The area is also very, very nice: each morning you can enjoy pastries from the nearby bakery (the smell of croissants is noticed from the doorsteps), fruits from the nearby market, coffee from the nearby cafe, and most importantly the company of Venetians.
To be objective, I have to mention here that some things in the apartment (for example, a shower curtain or a chair) are getting oldish and could have been repaired or substituted. However, it is just a minor observation.
I've never thought of myself as a bohemian, but this attic is truly made for cinema characters (think of Gregory Peck from "Roman Holiday") and novel heroes. I highly recommend Antonio's property and would definitely be happy to come back here again.
It was a great pleasure to be hosted by Antonio and his family! They were very helpful and welcoming! Definitely, next time i find myself in Venice i will chose to stay again in their beautiful place!
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I am an architect 'sbagliato' as only a Negroni can be: the right mix of the wrong stuff. Principal at Conceptual Devices ((website hidden)).
The space I rent in Venice used to be my home and office when I was doing my PhD in Urban Design. Now my office and my life is mostly in Zurich, Switzerland. Althought I still want to use the space sometime, you know: workshops, mini sabatics, art and architecture biennales... in other words I want to keep it as temporary studio for special public or private occasions. Not bad, Hah?
So I need to keep it alive and bring not accosianal tourists in the magic city of venice.