When in Venice, staying in a 17th-century palace only seems right. The Ruzzini Palace helps you live the dream with Renaissance- and Baroque-style rooms complete with terrazzo floors, beamed ceilings, Murano chandeliers, and original oil paintings. Best of all, it’s usually more affordable than other Venetian hotels.
Bedrooms are on the large side, and have a rich red and white color scheme with either wood or Italian marble floors. Some offer views of either the square of Campo Santa Maria Formosa or the Rio del Paradiso waterway. For a true splurge, the amazing Royal Suite has beautiful frescoed 18th-century ceilings.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There’s one ground floor room that, while cheaper, can be cramped and noisy, so opt for a room on a higher floor if at all possible.
Bathrooms are on the plain side; many have tubs with built-in showers.
Though it has beamed ceilings and chandeliers, the Ruzzini Palace lobby feels a bit cramped, with few places to sit. It’s more comfortable to head up to the first floor sitting room, with its inviting couches and gorgeous wall frescos.
The Ruzzini Palace doesn’t have its own restaurant, though there are many good places to dine a short walk away.
The included buffet breakfast is one of the best around.
The breakfast room becomes a bar in the evenings, with a daily happy hour until 8pm.
It’s about a 10-minute walk to the nearest vaporetto stop of Rialto, so prepare to hoof it a bit to reach the sights.
Book far in advance to try popular Alle Testiere (1-minute walk), which specializes in the freshest seafood dishes and has a daily changing menu. Osteria Al Mascaron (1-minute walk) offers up delicious pasta and other straightforward Italian plates, served alongside a frequently rotating collection of Venetian and international art. The tasting menu of Venetian specialties at L’Osteria di Santa Marina (2-minute walk) comes highly recommended.
Zanzibar (1-minute walk) is a pleasant place to enjoy aperitivi with views of Santa Maria Formosa church. The wine bar Aciugheta (5-minute walk) specializes in cicchetti (bar snacks)—don’t miss the anchovy (aciugheta) minipizzas—paired with a large selection of local vinos.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Though staying at the Ruzzini Palace means you do give up a few amenities (no gym, spa, or restaurant)—come on, you’re overnighting in a palace, with all the charm and character that entails. Plus you’re based in the quieter, more local sestiere (neighborhood) of Castello, so you can escape the tourist throngs, but—very important—you’re still within strolling district of some of Venice’s finest places to eat.