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Venice for 7 Nights

My wife and I will stay in Venice for 7 nights from December 20 - 26. We are seniors but love to walk around and sightsee. For our one and only trip here, where should we stay? I'm asking because most people on these travel sites talk about staying two or three nights. Since we are staying longer, I'd like to get some advice for the longer stay.

Posted by
2401 posts

What are your criteria for making your accommodations work better for a longer stay? Price? Comfort level? Other?

Posted by
162 posts

I like the relatively quieter neighborhoods of Cannareggio and Dorsoduro. Most of the main attractions are easy to reach and you can enjoy watching kids walk to school and hear locals greeting each other mornings and evenings. If it were my one and only trip I’d splurge and stay on the Grand Canal. I never tire of watching the boats go by.

Posted by
10837 posts

We spent two weeks in an apartment in a Cannaregio north side neighborhood. We loved doing this!
We had been to Venice several other times so we used some of our time to take day trips. Our favorite day trip was to Bassano del Grappa with its charming Alpine feel. We returned there on another trip for several nights.
I recommend both Cannaregio and Doursoduro for an extended stay.

Posted by
4459 posts

We always stay in the Cannaregio area- quiet back canals but easy walking to catch the vaporetto on the Grand Canal. You can take sunset pix without anyone in your shot.
We stay at Ai Mori d'Oriente Hotel. Book directly with the hotel for the best rate.
Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
4 posts

Hi Inbsig. I guess the criteria would be a nice relaxing place where we can walk to the sights although we can figure out public transportation too. Price is not a huge criteria but since we are staying actually 6 nights, I am trying to not have it add up to a big number. (I just realized I was off 1 day for our return date)

Lisa, the quiet neighborhoods sound good. Last year, we were on a quiet narrow street in Rome within walking distance of the Vatican. Maybe one of those neighborhoods on the Grand Canal would be the right choice. I don't expect to be in this part of Italy again.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you Suki and Pat. Cannaregio is getting the most response. I will look in that area. Pat, the hotel you mentioned looks good.

Suki, did you find the apartment on Airbnb or something?

Posted by
6186 posts

Steve, let me be the first to recommend the Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo, in Santa Croce. At least three Forum folks recommended it to us, and we loved it. It's close to a vaporetto stop (San Stae), but tucked down a quiet street. There are good eateries nearby, and in just a few minutes walk you're in lively but local neighborhoods, filled with local families.

The staff was great, our room was lovely, the breakfast was good... I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this place. In fact, we're staying there again next year!

I didn't post a review of the hotel, but here's a link to my trip report; the first few paragraphs are about the hotel and its neighborhood. Highly recommended.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/mini-trip-report-venice-and-rome-may-2022

Posted by
6896 posts

If you want a hotel, I really like staying at Unihotel Hotel Ala which is near the San Marco area. It’s at the Santa Maria del Giglio vaporetto boat stop, and there’s no bridge between the vaporetto stop & the hotel. I love walking over to the beautiful piazza in the evening and enjoying the ambiance! Also, the La Fenice opera house is convenient. The Church di San Vidal has evening classical concerts, and it is also very close, walking in the opposite direction.

The hotel is a combined building where some of the rooms are on a wiggly aisle. The other side from the front desk has an elevator and more traditional. I’ve stayed on both sections, and have been there for multiple days three times. Breakfast is an excellent buffet choice, and they make your coffee drink at their coffee bar. There’s a small rooftop area with seating although it may be too cold in December to enjoy.

Posted by
1340 posts

We do not like hotels and especially do not like to be in just one bedroom without a kitchen or a couch or a washing machine and most especially not for longer than one night. On our first trip to Venice, 20+ years ago, we stayed in a quiet apartment in the heart of San Polo for a week. On our second visit to Venice, we stayed for a week in December in a quiet smaller (maybe too small) apartment in Castello on the via Garibaldi near two vaporetto stops and a 15 minute walk from San Marco.

This year, a week from today, we'll be in what we hope is a quiet and larger apartment in the middle of Cannaregio, between two vaporetto stops but not as near to either as we would ideally like given my husband's painful arthritic ankle. We enjoy the quirky homeyness and the privacy of apartments and have never had even semi-serious problems with any of them because I have been very careful in selecting each one (which is fun for me, not a chore). A good host is at least as helpful (and English-speaking) as someone at the front desk at a hotel. The one thing that is a pain about an apartment is that you probably can't check in whenever it suits your travel schedule, but I've had good experiences with asking apartment hosts for more convenient check-in times or at least being able to leave our luggage in the apartment.

I thoroughly recommend getting a week-long vaporetto pass so that you can hop on a vaporetto whenever you want to --- it's expensive, but less so than buying a ticket for each ride. And being on a vaporetto is a uniquely Venetian experience and something we would pay to do even if it didn't take us from one place to another. The pass works for going out to Murano, Burano, and Torcello, and also for riding up and down the Grand Canal at night just for fun. With a pass, you can use a vaporetto just to cross the Grand Canal instead of having to walk to a bridge or to find one of the few remaining traghetto crossings. We never do day trips from Venice, but a vaporetto pass will also take you to and from the train station if you want to go to Padua or Ferrara or wherever.

I am happy that you are staying in Venice for a week --- I am positive that you will have a better time than day-trippers or people who can't (or don't want to) spend that long in one place.

Posted by
6186 posts

I second nancy8's suggestion of getting the vaporetto pass. It's somehow liberating and stress-reducing to know you can hop on a vaporetto any time you want without worrying about buying a ticket.

Posted by
714 posts

I will second what Jane said about Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo. Osteria Mocenigo a few feet away is a great place to eat.

Posted by
15788 posts

We have been to Venice several times, starting with a 5-night stay on our honeymoon in 2003, our monthlong stay when we retired in 2013, and several stays of 1-7 nights in between.

For a visit of more than 3 nights, we stay in apartments so we have more space, and kitchen. ( My husband prefers my cooking to going to a restaurant, and it is fun to shop at the local markets and the Rialto fish market).

For first-timers to Venice, I strongly recommend either a hotel or an apartment rented from a local agency that provides support. We have helped (or rescued) so many lost visitors trying to find their AirBnB apartment that I don’t recommend that route for first-timers. We have rented apartments from two local agencies, either of which I would recommend. Both will provide someone to meet you at the closest vaporetto or water taxi stop and walk you to the apartment to hand over the keys and give you an introduction. And they are always available to answer questions or help if you need it.

The two we have used are Venetian-owned Venice Reid House, and Views on Venice, which may have UK owners ( not sure about that, but their descriptions of the apartments have a British flavour) but they have on-site managers to help.

https://veniceredhouse.com/

https://www.viewsonvenice.com/

As for location, we generally prefer Dorsoduro, and an apartment with a terrace or rooftop deck ( altana).But that is a highly individual thing. We like to walk everywhere—when we stayed for a month, we only bought one 24-hour vaporetto pass, and used that to the max to visit outer islands.

However, we have never been there in mid- winter, and different criteria may apply. It will be cold, and darkness comes early. It might be nice to be on or near a campo (Venetian for small piazza) to have maximum light and some nearby bars and restaurants.

This is the apartment we rented last March; entrance through a garden on a tiny campo (San Vio), close to the Accademia bridge in Dorsoduro. Lots of light from the windows. It might be nice in winter. Ut note there are steep steps to climb.

https://www.viewsonvenice.com/rentals/apartment-venice-ca-dell-abate-venetian-house-271899.html

Posted by
6186 posts

For a visit of more than 3 nights, we stay in apartments so we have more space, and kitchen. ( My husband prefers my cooking to going to a restaurant,

Lola, mine too. That's why we stay in hotels! I will say, though, that the only thing we miss about home when we're on an extended trip is my cooking.

Posted by
815 posts

I was in Venice for a week last year and stayed in a VRBO about a hundred metres from the Rialto bridge. It was a great location, but noisy, even though it was down a side alley. After walking the various areas, and realizing how close everything is, I will pick a different area next time. Possibly even the Arsenal area where few tourists go. I bought a one week vaporetto pass at the airport, and used it extensively and still averaged about 25000 steps a day. There is often not a direct walking route from one point to the next in Venice, so the simplest way, to avoid getting too lost in the alleys, is to just hop on the vaporetto and get off at the stop closest to your destination. You will still get lost, that is part of the fun in Venice, but sometimes you just want to get somewhere and a single vaporetto ticket is expensive. So, I would suggest picking an area further away from the main sights, and get a vaporetto pass. If you are going to rent a place that will have a kitchen so you can cook, then take a look at google maps and find a place with a grocery store close by.

Posted by
10837 posts

We found the apartment as friends had rented it several times. We were in Venice once at the same time as our friends so had actually seen the apartment. They rented it from someone in London whom they knew through work and we did the same.

Posted by
3926 posts

let me be the first to recommend the Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo, in Santa
Croce.

Since someone already 2nd'd it. I'll 3rd it.

Posted by
991 posts

And 4th for Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo. Also will recommend, as others have done, getting a 1 week vaporetto pass. We were in Venice last year in December and the vaporetto isn't as crowded before Christmas and lots of fun to ride and see the views from the water. Just bundle up and enjoy.

And Christmas is a great time to see Doge's palace. The crowds are low and they are open. We took the Secret Itineraries tour on Christmas day and then jumped on a vaporetto to go to San Giorgio Maggiore to go up the tower (also was open) for the views.

Posted by
77 posts

Yet another vote for the wonderful Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo where we’ve stayed 3 times for 4 or so days per visit, and also for getting a vaporetto pass for the reasons already noted. It’s lovely to be away from the crush around San Marco and the Rialto, and yet be able to easily access all parts of beautiful Venice as desired.

Posted by
1307 posts

I like Castello area, especially around Via Guiseppe Garibaldi, which is a nice wide street with a supermarket (Coop), A hardware store, and other local shops.

It is far enough to the east to avoid (most of) day tourists and far enough to the west to be easy to walk to Piazza San Marco. You may not be comfortable with the distance to San Marco, but the vaporetti runs the whole distance.

We prefer appartments over hotels. It gives us a chance to visit local supermarkets and food stores :-)

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks everyone for the great information. Since it is our first time there, we'll go with the hotel option. I like apartments too but we'll spend the time trying the local food in restaurants. I'll also get the week-long vaporetto pass. I love the low stress of getting on and off whenever you want. Since so many recommended the Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo, I went with that.

We'll be in Milan for a few days before Venice so we'll be staying at the Unahotels Cusani Milano.
Thank you again.