Venice: walking distances / hotel choice

Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 04:51 PM
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Venice: walking distances / hotel choice

These questions are for people who really know their way around Venice. We (my husband and myself) have the choice to pick between two hotels for our stay of 10 days in Venice next September. Both seem equally good in terms of what we want and both have great reviews. So in the end it all comes down to location and accessibility.

Hotel Dei Dragomanni: San Marco 2711

Palazzo Barbarigo: San Polo 2765

Let me clarify that I have some difficulties with walking. I can walk up to 3 blocks at a time, then I need to sit for a while (10 / 15 minutes). Then I can walk another 3 blocks, then sit, then walk... However, my absolute maximum would be perhaps 30 blocks per day.

We want to visit as many museums, churches and galleries as we can but of course I want to reserve all my strength for that and not waste efforts in going from A to B (every single meter counts!). Now the questions:

Which hotel would be better located (closer to main tourist attractions) that would allow Taxis / Water taxis / Vaporettos to take us to those places?

Thank you in advance,

Silvia_B is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 05:43 PM
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I don't have any personal experience at either hotel, so I looked at for maps, etc. Since Palazzo Barbarigo had no map on TA, I looked at the hotel's website which wasn't much more helpful.

The hotels seem equidistant from Piazza San Marco. From the Barbarigo to the Piazza involves walking over the Rialto Bridge which can be very busy, and you'd have to do this each direction. The route from the Dragomanni to the Piazza is down primarily one calle (street) and up and over a few small bridges, but the hotel is very close to the Accademia which I'm sure is on your list.

When you say you have to sit, do you mean you need a chair or do you just need to take the weight off your knees or feet? I ask because if you need a chair, there may be aspects of the routes from the hotels that might make one better, such as concentration of restaurants, small campos with benches, etc. Perhaps someone will be able to enlighten on that point.

Personally, I thought the photos of the Dragomanni were more inviting. If I could afford to stay there, the decor is more my style.

10 days! I envy you!
Jean is online now  
Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 07:39 PM
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I suggest you put the hotel names or better the addresses into the Venice Explorer search function - if you put the sestiere/number in or sestiere and name of your street in, it will tell you how many meters it is to the nearest vaporetto stop.

Also, it precisely maps the hotels for you.

Frankly both of these hotels look to require a certain amount of backtracking up and down calles to get to a vaporetto stop and the nearest stops are locals on the slowest line. You might want to do a bit more shopping since physical convenience is more important to you - the charm of being in a picturesque neighborhood may be lost if you dread going out. Finally, re the Barbarigo, the restaurant scene right around there is not wonderful - you have to walk quite a ways to get to good places (I cant comment on eating near the San Marco one since we've not stayed around there, but it is a pricy neighborhood)

For a 10 day stay have you considered an apartment? It could be much more restful for you and most likely cheaper.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 07:49 PM
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You can click on "Civic Number" and enter the addresses on this Web site:

The hotels seem to be about the same distance to the closest water bus stop: Dragomanni to Santa Maria del Giglio and Barbarigo to San Toma. There is also a traghetto (public gondola) at San Toma that is very handy for crossing the Grand Canal. You do *not* have to cross the Rialto Bridge to get from Barbarigo to Piazza San Marco!

Consider getting an abbonamento. You have to bring a passport-size photo and a photocopy of the ID pages of your passport to the ACTV office at Piazzale Roma, fill out an application and pay 10 Euro for processing and 26 Euro for the abbonamento, which is good for one calendar month. It's considerably cheaper for a longer stay than several day passes. And I understand that it gets you onto the new Line 3 for residents only, which may be less crowded than the Line 1 or 2 (formerly 82).
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 06:21 AM
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This is a tough one. Venice is one of the least friendly cities to people with limited mobility or endurance. Still, it is the most magical place in the world, and it is worth whatever sacrifices you have to make.

Having ten days will allow you to take it more slowly than some prefer, but I would still think really hard about spending more money and getting somewhere closer to San Marco to stay, even if it meant fewer days.

Oddly enough, the public waterbuses (Vaporetti) are easier to get on and off of than water taxis, which require climbing down in and then back up again, so being close to a Vaporetto stop increases your ability to get around quite a bit. Several of them make circuits around the canals and to the outer islands (Lido, Burano) so that you can see quite a lot without walking.
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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You might consider toting one of those collapsible seats because I don't recall there being a lot of benches or places to seat, even in the campos, unless there was a cafe with seating.

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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 09:27 AM
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I don;t think there is any hotel in Venice that is going to really be good for you problem. It;s all walking - usually way more than 3 blocks, often up and over bridges - and there may not be any places to sit down (unless you keep wanting to buy drinks in cafes).

I think what you need to do is get one of the sturdy canvas chairs that folds up similar to an umbrella and can be carried on your shoulder via a sling. That way you can sit down as you need. Other wise you may need to go 6 or 8 blocks before finding a free place to sit.
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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I've been in Venice just once on a day trip and I've always wanted to go back despite my walking disability.
When I was there (and later, looking at maps) I've thought the best solution for me would be a hotel in Piazzale Roma or Lista di Spagna (the street alongside the canal which begins at Santa Lucia station). Sure they are not the most attractive locations in Venice (very touristy, in fact) but in terms of suitability when you arrive with luggage and later with vapporetto stops I think it would be my first choice.
It's unavoidable to walk a lot (I sat on cafes...yes, expensive, but when I have to sit down ..I have to sit down ! LOL) but if you don't have to do it(I mean a long walk) to come back to your hotel every day when you are tired, it's something important to think about.
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 12:47 PM
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If I can suggest another possibility, the Hotel Abadessa might be a good consideration for you. Besides being an absolutely lovely place that I'd gladly return to, it's not more than three blocks (short ones) from the Ca d'Oro vaporetto stop, all flat, no bridges. And, if the canal is finished being repaired (we were there in August '07 and it was almost completed), they have direct access to water taxes from the lobby. They have a magnificent garden if you don't want to stay in your hotel room while you regroup. And the breakfast is probably the most lavish of any we've experienced during our trips to Italy. Complimentary aperitivo aren't bad either. And I found the neighborhood lovely - close enough to the attractions, but the feel of where the locals live. But do check if they have an elevator; our room was just a few steps up off the lobby so we didn't need one.

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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 12:52 PM
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Hi SB,

>From the Barbarigo to the Piazza involves walking over the Rialto Bridge.

From what you have told us, you don't want to have to walk up and down the Rialto at least 2x per day, everyday.

It is a steep and crowded bridge.

You will have to cross it to get to the vaporetto.

ira is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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We were just in Venice, and I think I might have a possible soultion for you. Right by the San Zaccarias vaporetto stop is the Hotel Danieli. There are probably some other hotels there too, but I remember this one because we used it as a marker to find streets. If you plan to use the vaporetto a lot, this hotel would be very handy and you wouldn't have to walk much. But, the other two big pluses for this location are that the bridges along Riva degli Schiavoni (main street along the water) there have all had ramps installed by an organization called Accessible Venice. So, you could use the ramp and not have to climb stairs. And, if you walk along the waterfront, this location is maybe 3 or 4 blocks to Piazza San Marco. You may also want to contact the tourist office and find more information about exactly where Accessible Venice has installed these ramps. They are definitely easier than climbing the stairs up and down the bridges.
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 04:21 PM
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"Right by the San Zaccarias vaporetto stop is the Hotel Danieli. "........we were also just in Venice. This hotel is beautiful but quite expensive. Its location is wonderful though.
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 05:22 PM
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I liked also the Danieli area..but suitable hotels for me (with a lift) are way too expensive there !!!
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