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Want to comment on my Venice apartment choices?

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Mar 7th, 2012, 06:38 PM
  #1
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Want to comment on my Venice apartment choices?

Hi all,

I'm having a hard time deciding on a Venice apartment. We'll be renting for 4 nights in August. (I know it'll be hot and crowded, but with school schedules, this is when we can go.) There will be 5 of us, me, my husband, my mother and my 2 children, ages 7 & 9. I know so many people are fans of the Dorsoduro sestiere, but I focused on the San Marco area because I thought between my mother and the children I would rather closer to the sites we would like to see. But then I read so many fodorites talking about how small Venice is, I'm wondering if I should reconsider. I also have read how easy it is to get lost and it worries me that a 1/2 mile walk could turn into something much longer. So I have really gone back and forth on this.

My absolute requirements are 3 bedrooms (no pull out couches) and air conditioning. Other things I'm looking for are wifi, washer, elevator if on an upper floor, comfortable looking couch, and altana, terrace or balcony would be nice. As an aside, these are all really way more than I wanted to spend. Our average for the other apartments we have rented thus far on this trip is about 250 euros. But this is the first 3 bedroom we are renting as my mother is just joining us in Venice, so of course that would raise the price. And while these are higher than I had hoped to pay, I'm obviously willing to pay any of these prices or I wouldn't be asking you about them!

I want to say thank you in advance for looking at these! I posted asking for advice on Paris apartments and I felt guilty, but someone actually said they enjoy looking at other people's apartment options. I don't want to be a burden, but I'm really at a loss at this point!

My top choice right now, based on having an altana:

Option 1: http://viewsonvenice.com/our_propert...ca-regina.html

In San Marco sestiere. Has an elevator, a/c, washer, wifi, tv, nice view, and the aforementioned altana.

Option 2: http://www.trulyveniceapartments.com...?id=22&tiziano

i'm not positive this is available. I emailed last night and while their website says I should give them 24-48 hours to respond, everyone else I have emailed along the way has responded to my availability requests within 12 or so hours. So that makes me think this may not be available, but I will give them another day.

Has altana, a/c, wifi, washer, tv, elevator, all the same things as the previous apartment, but the single bedroom, which I would like my mother to use, has an unusually low ceiling. She is only 5 feet tall, but I want her to be comfortable! This is much less expensive than the first option, but I moved the other to first place since I'm not optimistic that this is available.

Option 3: http://www.trulyveniceapartments.com...ngelo-raffaele

Small balcony off kitchen, shares washer with 1 other apartment, on 1st floor, so no elevator but that's ok, a/c, wifi, canal view, comfortable couch. More expensive than Ca' Regina (option 1), but without altana, which I would pay a premium for, so I'm not sure this makes sense unless the location is amazing or there is something else I'm not thinking of.

Option 4: http://www.trulyveniceapartments.com...fenice-premium

2 apartments together, I believe we could close an outside door and leave the 2 inner doors open. Again, more expensive than option 1 and if I'm paying a premium, I'd like the altana, but this has all the other things we are looking for. It would be very spacious and perhaps would be nice for my mother to have her own space. But at the same time we do want to spend time together so it might almost be odd for her to have her own space.

Option 5: http://viewsonvenice.com/our_propert...mezzanine.html

The only option I have in the Dorsoduro. It seemed like it would be easy to walk to a lot of the sites we'll want to see from this apartment (the typical touristy things as this is our first trip to Venice). Again, I wish this had some outdoor seating or a canal view. It has a lovely garden view though and seems like it would be comfortable. Gets great reviews. In price it is on the lower end of what I am looking at but not so much lower that it makes it a must do.

Option 6: http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p447209

This is the cheapest option, probably because it is not through an agency. It is another situation where 2 apartments are combined with one outer door. A review mentions a balcony and you can sort of see it in one of the pictures, but it must not be large or impressive since they didn't feature it in any pictures. A review also mentions canal views which would be nice. This has everything else I have been looking for and listing for the other apartments. This is a different area from some of the others, still listed as in San Marco but closer to the Rialto.

I'm sorry for listing so many options, but if you'd like to have a go at it and give me any opinions, I'd love to have them! I know Franco mentions that you can't choose based on neighborhood, that you really have to pinpoint an exact location, so if Franco or someone with that sort of knowledge has location input, that might help eliminate some options. (I have read the 300+ Venice apartment thread in its entirety!)

Finally, if someone finds this thread and they are looking for an apartment, I thought this one looked great, but it is not available for our dates. It gets amazing reviews and was only 220 euros for over 1600 square feet which I thought was a good deal.

http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p252390

Grazie!
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Mar 7th, 2012, 06:51 PM
  #2
 
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Hi

WRT your last choice which you state is not available. I assume this is as per the website. I would still email the owner to check that the info is current. You never know, there is an off chance that it is indeed available. Also check www.vrbo.com for other options.
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Mar 7th, 2012, 07:25 PM
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Option 1- do you really want to spend that much money? After all, most of what you'll be doing there is sleeping and showering, yes? But, hey, if that is your budget...

Option 2: pretty, but again..think about giving up the idea of an altana. Please note (since you readily admit you've not been before) that pretty much anywhere in Venice, you are 5 minutes from a fabulous outdoor "spot" for having coffee, wine, play spot for the kids. You may want to reconsider how much more you are willing to spend for a space you are going to pay extra for, and spend a total of 5 hours on the whole trip there. Just sayin'...

Option 3: You say is more expensive than Option 1? The nuns who taught me in 5th grade must have been wrong then. That first option reads E3070 for a week; option 3 reads E2000 for a week. Option 3 looks lovely. E285/night not terrible, but you can do better. (That is about $375/night. Ouch!)

I'm afraid I did not look at the others, but have found these much less expensive options:

No terrace, but it has everything else. And a great location. E192 and seems to have plenty of space open on the August calendar.

https://www.sleepinitaly.com/en/show...d_appartam=451

And this, exactly where you want it, for E239. But half of August is booked, so you'd have to check your dates. Looks lovely. Bathroom looks to have huge shower (a big deal):

https://www.sleepinitaly.com/en/show...d_appartam=409

I'm just throwing these out there because I have had much success renting from sleepinitaly. I don't have any experience with the agents you've been looking at.

I also recommend VRBO.com

Buon viaggio! Try not to let heat/humidity/crowds get to you... enjoy Venice for Venice. Let it seduce you... you will never forget it.
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Mar 8th, 2012, 04:46 AM
  #4
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Hi Worldinabag. Regarding the homeaway listing which I said is booked, I heard it directly from the owner. It is actually listed as available for my dates, but he hadn't had a chance to update it yet.

Sarge56, Thank you for your thoughts! Regarding option 3, I went to double check the rate for my exact dates and saw there is a 7 day minimum, so I'm not sure why it came up in my search in the first place. I have an excel spreadsheet with formulas switching things from euros to dollars and either dividing or multiplying by the 4 nights depending on how they listed the rate, so I'm sure my error came from one of my excel formulas.

Regarding the Sleep in Italy options you listed, thank you! The second one is not available for my exact dates (August 7-11), but the first one is. I think on my first pass through I may have eliminated this one, thinking I could find one closer to Piazza San Marco, but now that I'm thinking I should open up the search area, I see it's really not far from everything. I will try to find some reviews and add it to the list.

For what it's worth, this is a list of the websites I checked. There are probably some places that I should reconsider, that I originally eliminated thinking they were too far.

rentalinvenice.com
viewsonvenice.com
venicerentals.com
venice-rentals.com
trulyveniceapartments.com
sleepinitaly.com
windowsonitaly.com
doorwaysltd.com
rentalinitaly.com
italyperfect.com
vrbo.com
homeaway.com

I did also look at slowtrav but it makes my eyes hurt! There are so many listings in the review section and some list how many bedrooms in the description and some don't and I got a good way through the list without finding anything that met our needs and so I gave up on it.

Also, the reason that I'm putting such a premium on the altana and/or comfortable looking couch is that I know my children are going to need some down time in the afternoons, so I think we'll be spending more time in the apartment than we would normally like. On a normal trip MY downtime would be at a cafe in a square, but I feel like they're going to feel like they have to be "home" to decompress. But again, it's only 4 nights, and I appreciate you urging me to reconsider! My husband already told me I could book option 1, but it's killing me to spend that much! I will keep looking.

It just occurred to me that I think one of my other rentals on this trip was from the uk version of homeaway and I think they may have different rentals from the US version. I'll check there too...

Thanks,
Christine
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Mar 9th, 2012, 05:22 AM
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I think you are worrying about this way too much, and also paying too much. Have you looked at La Calcina on the Zattere? They have various apartments which overlook the Giudecca Canal and front onto a large wonderful walking/playing/gelato space. I would go mad if I had to spend afternoons in Venice in my apartment! And the getting lost thing is if you want to get lost, the main routes and vaporetti are pretty clear to navigate.
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Mar 9th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Christine,

I do think you should look away from St. Mark's. There are many lovely spots on the island. And you are just minutes walking from most everywhere, and the vaporettos.

The Cannaregio is lovely. Quiet yet close to shopping, etc.

The Dorsoduro is very family-friendly (green space and parks) for the kids and probably more quiet in the afternoon when your kids might be napping. St. Mark's area will be noisier by most people's standards.

I am a veteran Italy trip-planner, and I don't think you need to spend a lot of money to find a great place.. just a little patience and time to traverse the websites.

I, too, don't care for Slowtrav. I just don't think it is very user-friendly for this purpose, and some reviews are really old. I love Tripadvisor.com.

Good luck!
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Mar 9th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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PS That unit above that worldinabag posted.. looks awesome! And at an excellent price. That is in the Dorsoduro, where I mentioned it is a little quieter (more Venetians than tourists, hahaha).
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Mar 9th, 2012, 04:25 PM
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I'm no expert but have been to Venice twice. Both times stayed at La Calcina, as mentioned already above. I LOVE the Dorsoduro area and the 'boardway' along the Guidecca canal. It's a tiny bit removed (more peaceful) but still very easy walking into the central area.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 05:28 AM
  #10
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Thank you, all, for your help! I actually love hearing that I'm overthinking this. I was blasted (gently blasted, but I'm sensitive) over 10 years ago for posting a question about France without doing my research first so I think I'm trying to prove to you all that I've done my research. Well, that and I do overthink everything I do. However, there are so many varying opinions it's hard to know what will be right for us.

I had already looked at La Calcina and it was not available for our dates. I've seen it mentioned many times on this board, it must be great!

The apartment that worldinabag posted is available, and I think has everything we are looking for, so I will look at that further. I'm not sure if it has wifi or internet but I'm not sure that's a dealbreaker. I'm also not sure what floor it's on and if there's an elevator. But the view is great and there is a/c and the bedroom configuration is perfect for us. Family room looks comfortable and there is a washer too.

Sarge, I love tripadvisor reviews, but I haven't spent much time on the message boards. I try to find reviews there before I book anything.

I think I was avoiding Dorsoduro because I was assuming we would walk to everything and I thought it might be far for the kids, in the heat, but I keep forgetting about the vaporetti. Even if they are slow, as I have read, the kids will love every minute of it.

So I'm looking into the San Pantalon apartment that worldinabag recommended. I don't know how I missed the veniceapartment.com website! They have a ton of properties. I'll look at the others too.

http://www.veniceapartment.com/sanpantalon.htm

Is the San Pantalon one a good location within Dorsoduro? Not sure this link will work. http://g.co/maps/qzuh9 I mapped the Pasticceria Tonolo because the description mentioned it was nearby. It's not exactly near the Accademia bridge or Zattere, which I thought might be a more desirable area within Dorsoduro?

My other top choice at this point is the homeaway one which is actually rented through the Red House Company. Reviews say it is in a quiet area of San Marco, though looking at google maps, there are certainly green spaces or parks.

http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p447209

This would be 1440 euros for 4 nights, I think the San Pantalon one would be 950 euros. Big difference! But I think the homeaway one would be bigger, has 3 bathrooms and gets great reviews. I haven't found any reviews on the San Pantalon one.
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Mar 10th, 2012, 09:13 AM
  #11
 
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Well, if it was me... I'd stay at the Sanpantalon apartment. I've saved that link for my next trip, since I've already booked my Venice apartment for October. Wish I'd seen this one first! You're actually closer to the Grand Canal than the Zattere here. I love this location.

Good luck. (and don't mind the haters here. They forget what it was like when they knew nothing and had not yet traveled out of the States. Ignore them. Eventually the helpful and nice people will find your post. Don't even reply to those who post nasty stuff.)
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Mar 12th, 2012, 06:06 AM
  #12
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Thank you for your kind words Sarge!

I have ruled out the homeaway apartment because it is really 2 separate apartments and I want us to all be together.

I do still like the San Pantalon apartment, but it makes me nervous that I can't find reviews of this apartment or the agency. I haven't completely ruled it out, but I did find this other one that I like. It is about $366 night, whereas the San Pantalon apartment is $268, I believe. But I think this one is much larger. I don't necessarily *need* the space, but this apartment is generally appealing to me and it gets great reviews.

What do you think of this location? http://www.flipkey.com/venice-condo-rentals/p350319/ It is near Santa Maria dei Miracoli in Cannaregio. Google map of area: http://g.co/maps/6edn8

Thanks!!
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Mar 12th, 2012, 09:00 AM
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Looks lovely. The location is fine. You will be about 10-15 minute walk to Ca'D'Oro vaporetto stop. My favorite apartment uses the same. Lovely area. Quiet yet close to shopping/dining, etc.

Buon Viaggio!
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Mar 13th, 2012, 06:33 PM
  #14
 
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I just got back from Venice yesterday and I stayed right next door to your homeaway option. It is indeed run by Red House - I stayed across the hall in Crosswater 2, the bigger apartment you noted is Crosswater 1. We actually took a tour of that apartment because their were no renters when we checked in. So if you have any questions.....

I would definitely recommend using the Red House Company, they were very professional and had great restaurant recommendations. I loved that they met us at the Vaparetto stop when we first arrived, so there was no wandering around Venice with our luggage trying to find our apartment. You may want to look at their other apartments.

I think you have their website, but if not it is:

http://www.venietiam.com/
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Mar 17th, 2013, 05:16 AM
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bookmarking
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Mar 17th, 2013, 06:20 AM
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Good luck in your search. We are staying at the last home away apt that you listed and thought it was a great deal as well. The owner has been very responsive, even helped arrange a private tour. I know what you mean about doing your "homework". People on this site have helped me so much in our trip planning!
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Mar 17th, 2013, 06:31 AM
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We stayed in this Dorsoduro apartment that seems to check all your boxes

http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/ren...,-veneto/31744

(although the August avails are tight).
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Mar 17th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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Re: getting around in Venice, research the locations of the traghetti crossings. These are gondola-ferries that cross the canal at useful locations. Even though Venice is small, there are few bridges; you can shorten a long walk by taking a traghetto.

We avoid the areas around San Marco and the Rialto because they get so crowded with day trippers.

I have fond memories of wandering around Venice with my son, age 14. We enjoyed getting lost and finding our way again.
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Sep 16th, 2013, 10:24 AM
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Christine—I am curious what apartment you ended up renting, and if you liked it. I am doing the research for an apartment rental in Venice for May, have not been there and cannot decide where to stay. I am looking for a 2-3 bedroom apartment. Thanks, Cathy
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