Hi - My parents, who are in their mid 60s, are planning to visit Venice in June. My mom is fairly active but dad had a knee replacement last year. He can walk comfortably but not for long distances in a stretch. I am trying to determine what would be the best area in Venice for them to stay assuming they will have to carry their luggage from Venezia Santa Lucia to the hotel.
Hotel Ala is a short distance from a vaporetto stop with no bridges to cross, which is great when carrying luggage. Venice is a city with lots of walking, and lots and lots of bridges (stairs up, stairs down). But being close to a vaporetto stop makes it easy to take a boat ride and enjoy the views.
They're going to need to use the vaporetto (water buses) or expensive water taxis to get around Venice. Otherwise, they have to walk. Buying multi-day vaporetto passes is probably the most practical thing for them if they will be there at least a few days.
They can either stay at a hotel close to the train station, or they can stay at a hotel near a vaporetto stop (there's one right in front of the train station).
Many people eschew staying near the train station as it doesn't seem very exciting and may be a bit run down. I've stayed in this area a few times - it's practical. Many people stay near Rialto or San Marco, but those areas are very touristy and too busy for me.
Are they planning to see any particular attractions or sites? Maybe consider a hotel near there.
I'd go to Booking dot com and check out some places using their map feature. You can see hotels near vaporetto stops right on the map, read the reviews, etc. Pick a few options, maybe ask about them here.
Another vote for Hotel Ala. Take the vaporetto to the Santa Maria del Giglio vaporetto stop. The hotel is at the opening after walking through a narrow lane. It also has an elevator. I should say that part of the hotel has an elevator. When they book their room, let the hotel know they need a room in the wing of the hotel where the elevator is located.
You mentioned the train station. If you need to go to or from the Venice airport, the Aliguna boat will pick you up at the same vaporetto stop.
They might like a ride out to Burano island. It’s the one with the brightly-colored buildings and lace for sale. The ride would let them see more of Venice from the water while saving your dad’s knee for other sites.
Check this list https://europeforvisitors.com/venice/bridges/
My wife is presently mobility challenged and we were in Venice in June. We rented an apartment next door to the train station. Although she travels with a electric portable (folding) scooter, she was limited to about 1/2 mile of waterfront. But fortunately she's been to Venice many times and knows what's there. Our 11 year old granddaughter and I hiked all over the city.
Those arch bridges are tough on people that have difficulties walking. And from the train station to the plaza where all the taxi's and buses are requires crossing a long and somewhat tall bridge--all steps.
Venice is a place where it's just not economically feasible for the city to rebuild for handicapped travelers. No matter where you go, a bridge is going to have to be crossed.
Thanks everyone. This is very helpful. I didn’t know about Vaporetto pass and that’s something I’ll look into getting. I agree that area around the station seems a bit dull based on my experience in Venice.
Again, amazing advice here from everyone and I thank you all.
The most affordable lodgings in Venice are in the area near the main train station. You won't need to take the vaporetto.
I am sorry, but I object to you referring to your parents as elderly! Ha! Ha! Hope you all have a great trip!
"Elderly" and "in their mid 60s" cannot possibly appear in the same sentence.
I also object to this Generation Z and Millennials' abuse of the English language.
The best area for a hotel in Venice for your still young parents is any of the Venice's historical Sestieri (districts), except for Giudecca, which requires boats to go anywhere. Regarding the bad knee, wherever you go in Venice there are small canal bridges to cross, which require a few steps up and a few steps down. You can't get away from that, they are everywhere.
Another vote for Hotel Ala
Another objection for "elderly in their 60's" !! ;)
I'm late 60's, have had two knee replacements, travel solo and walk most places.
If your parents start exercising a couple of months , or longer, before travel, they will be just fine.
I hope your Dad has done his post op knee exercises for a full recovery.
I would have them stay near the train station too.
Wow, can't think of a harder place for people with mobility issues
There's some stale info on the internet about vaporetto fares and pass prices. The new fare (since September 2022) is 9.50 euros, so the passes are worth very serious consideration. A 24-hour pass costs 25 euros; a 48-hour pass, 35 euros; a 72-hour pass, 45 euros. The best deal is the 168-hour (7-day) pass at 65 euros, but your parents are probably not staying long enough to benefit from that one. Be sure they understand the pass must be validated before boarding every vaporetto they use. Find a video on YouTube so they know what to do.
It's worth zooming in on a map of Venice to see how many bridges your parents will need to traverse between each hotel you're considering and its nearest vaporetto stop(s). Also note where the bridges are. There's usually just one bridge crossing each side canal, and you often have to walk out of your way to get to it. When plotting walking routes, it's usually best to take one that involves as few little islets as possible so that you're not constantly looking for, and crossing, a bridge. Routes of similar distance as the crow flies can be quite different in effort required because of the bridge situation.
A hotel near one of the few bridges across the Grand Canal can be helpful in reducing the number of vaporetti one needs to use each day, but that criterion will significantly limit your lodging options.
Just as a note of reassurance, my 75 yr. old husband with a knee replacement did fine navigating Venice and was able to carry his carry-on luggage on and off the vaparetto. He climbed all the stairs in St.Mark’s and the Doge’s Palace. He doesn’t do long distances, but didn’t have any trouble getting around Venice.
Oh, the webmaster is gonna zap me bad for this...but (censored)? The OP CLEARLY stated that her mother is fairly ACTIVE. Her father had the knee replacement and has difficulty walking "long distances in a stretch", the operative term being long distances, not general walking. People often have different results from medical procedures. Just because you had a 100%+ recovery from a knee replacement doesn't mean everyone does....
I'm in my 60's and I too had a total knee replacement then corrective surgery three months ago and can relate. I'm staying at Hotel Palazzo Stern which is only steps from the Ca' Rezzonico vaporetto stop on line 1. They won't have to carry their luggage far. The hotel also has a private water taxi if needed. There is also a traghetto stop at the same location which they can take to cross the canal and not have to walk to one of the bridges to cross the grand canal. They might be booked up and if so consider a similar hotel at one of the vaporetto stops. Best wishes.
Thanks everyone for very insightful answers.
Also, I realized I touched a raw nerve by calling folks in mid-60s as elderly. My apologies; english isn't my first language. Perhaps someone can tell me the exact age cut-off for using the term "elderly"? haha.
"Cut off age for elderly."
You trying to start another fight here???😂
"Perhaps someone can tell me the exact age cut-off for using the term "elderly"? haha."
It's a moving target...always being years older than myself, lol. I'm 73 now so "elderly" in my mind is maybe 15 years off. That will change with each of my birthdays I am sure!
I hope your parents have a wonderful time and you are a good kiddo to help them out.
I have to agree with Pam that to be considered elderly is 15 years older than myself. 😉
Well, my mother is 93 and does not yet think of herself as elderly....