Right near the Zattere vaporetto stop in the quiet sestiere (neighborhood) of Dorsoduro, waterfront La Calcina, on the Giudecca canal, has a homey charm. It’s far from luxe, but it’s a relaxing place to sit in the large lobby and drink or eat at the outdoor bar or restaurant—and if you can snag a room with water views, this could become your favorite place in Venice.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There’s no lift here, and while hotel staff will help with luggage, climbing stairs after wandering Venice all day is not for everyone.
Guest rooms, ranging from tiny singles to good-sized doubles, have wood floors and standard furniture. The most desirable rooms are definitely the doubles with unbeatable canal views.
YOU SHOULD KNOW While rooms are comfortable, they’re also a bit old-fashioned and in need of a refresh, so don’t go expecting Italian glitz and glamor.
The white-tiled bathrooms are small and basic, and could do with some freshening up.
The elegant, renovated lobby is all dark woods and comfortable places to sit, with a small bar that makes tasty drinks.
For a special experience, ask to rent the rooftop terrace for an hour—for free. You can even order up drinks and food from the restaurant.
The Zattere vaporetto stop is only a 2-minute walk from the hotel; from there, you can sail to the San Marco Giardinetti stop, as well as elsewhere around Venice. Alternately, the Accademia vaporetto stop is only a 5-minute walk or, if you prefer to walk rather than boat, you can cross the Pont dell’Accademia (Accademia Bridge) over to San Marco; it's about an 18-minute walk to Piazza San Marco.
Charming La Bitta (9-minute walk) serves market-inspired cuisine including pasta and meat (no fish)—and don’t miss the panna cotta for dessert. Osteria alla Bifora (12-minute walk) serves large platters of meats, cheeses, salads, and more in an atmospheric setting in bustling Campo Santa Margherita.
Osteria al Squero (3-minute walk) is a casual bacaro (wine bar) with tasty cicchetti (bar snacks)—especially the panini and cheeses—with a fine selection of wine by the glass. Lively wine shop/bar Cantine del Vino già Schiavi (5-minute walk) has no seating, but serves up inexpensive wines with interesting small bites
WHY WE LIKE IT
La Calcina feels more like a home away from home rather than a hotel. It’s comfy and casual, and so well-located in a peaceful area that you can forgive its faults (such as scuff marks in the rooms and small bathrooms). Though getting to Venice’s main sights can take a little longer than if you stayed in, say, San Marco, you’ll feel very happy to return here after a long day away.