A four day trip to Venice last week was one of the best travel experiences we have enjoyed for (what feels like) a very long time. With beautiful blue skies and sunshine, and without the crowds, and the large cruise ships, the water in the canals was noticeably clearer, and the city generally is looking more beautiful than ever.
Venice does need tourism to survive, and there is a real feeling here that visitors generally are acknowledging that sustainable tourism is a responsibility for everyone to retain the beauty of this unique city.
Even in the main tourist spots in Piazza San Marco and on the Rialto Bridge, there is room to move around easily – and space to just sit and relax in one of the city’s beautiful squares with a morning cappuccino, or a glass of local Prosecco in the evening.
We were there primarily to visit some of our new apartments, in locations ranging from the more central areas of San Marco and Castello, to our own personal favourite area of Venice, the Dorsoduro.
We’ve listed our new additions in order of size, from smaller hideaways to apartments featuring multiple bedrooms, perfect for extensive groups of friends and families.
4 Guests | 2 Bedrooms
Situated on the Zattere, in the desirable Dorsoduro area, the living areas of the apartment benefit from panoramic views over the Giudecca Canal to the Redentore Church and the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Guests here will be just a few minutes’ walk from both the Guggenheim Museum and the Punta della Dogana, the restored old custom’s building with a sensational art collection. The Accademia Gallery is also just a seven-minute walk away.
With a working space, the apartment is also very suitable for extended stays.
4 - 6 Guests | 2 - 3 Bedrooms
On the main floor of a 17th Century palazzo, this beautiful apartment is a mere seven-minute walk from the Piazza San Marco in one direction, and the Galleria Accademia in the other.
With a stunning central salon, with original stucco mouldings, frescoed ceilings, and huge gilt mirrors, six French windows at the front of the room open onto a long balcony facing the lovely square and the Gritti Palace Hotel, while also enjoying Grand Canal views.
6 Guests | 3 Bedrooms
Located in the picturesque and authentic Venetian area of Castello, this apartment features a mix of classic antiques and contemporary furniture, as well as a large furnished canal-side terrace.
Friedrich Nietzche once resided in this beautiful Venetian palazzo, and wrote several books here. It is just a 7 minute walk from the Rialto Fish and Vegetable market, a ten-minute walk from the Biennale, and 25 minutes from Piazza San Marco.
6 Guests | 3 Bedrooms
Situated on the Grand Canal, with views to the Santa Maria della Salute church and the Guggenheim museum, guests here will be just minutes from Piazza San Marco in one direction, and the Accademia in the other.
The interiors are a blend of traditional Venetian features, including marmorino plaster walls, terrazzo floors and ceiling mouldings, with the addition of iconic Italian 50’s and 60’s furniture collection.
5 - 6 Guests | 3 Bedrooms
Another exceptional location, close to both Piazza San Marco, and Campo San Zaccaria, with its famous San Zaccaria Church with Bellini’s masterpiece Madonna con Bambino. On the top floor is access to a wonderful terrace, with comfortable sofas from which to admire the beautiful Venetian panorama.
8 Guests | 4 Bedrooms
In a palazzo just a short walk from San Marco, this apartment offers wonderful views, from St Mark's Basilica, to Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, to the Accademia Bridge. The stunning interiors are furnished with magnificent antiques, Venetian tapestries and Fortuny fabrics.
The large double-height windows in the huge living room open to a balcony with exquisite views of Santa Maria della Salute church across the canal.
5 - 9 Guests | 3 - 5 Bedrooms
Situated on the top floor of an 18th century Palazzo, the apartment offers stunning views from its spectacular terraces across the canal to the bell tower of San Marco, and beyond. The expansive outdoor space is furnished with sun loungers, tables and chairs, and is ideal for al fresco dining.
Located in San Polo, just a seven-minute walk from both the Piazza San Polo and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
8 - 12 Guests | 4 - 6 Bedrooms
This magnificent apartment is regarded as one of the most beautiful rental properties in Venice, and is also a perfect venue for special events/weddings. A careful restoration of the apartment has enhanced the original features of the 18th Century interiors, and the grand salon on the main floor is furnished with original period pieces, including a grand piano, which belonged to Igor Stravinsky.
Both the Accademia Art Gallery and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum are just a three-minute walk away, and Pinault’s Punta della Dogana, a ten-minute walk.
On our recent trip, we managed to fit two museums into our itinerary. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is located on the Grand Canal between the Accademia Bridge and the Church of Santa Maria della Salute, so very close to our Dorsoduro apartments. There are no specific exhibitions at the moment, but this small and very manageable museum offers a wonderful collection of works by famous artists, including Magritte, Dali, Kandinsky, Klee, Picasso, Pollock and de Chirico, and includes a sculpture garden.
We very much recommend you to book your tickets in advance, as queues can still be long, with only a limited number of visitors allowed inside at a time. Generally, museums in Venice are open daily, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., excluding Tuesdays.
The Palazzo Grassi is currently showing two exhibitions and we particularly loved the ‘Henri Cartier-Bresson. Le Grand Jeu’, photograph exhibition with its selection of 385 images that the artist himself chose in the early 1970s. The exhibition will be presented again at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, in Paris, in spring 2021.
As well as the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition, Palazzo Grassi is also showing an exhibition dedicated to artist Youssef Nabil, titled ‘Once Upon a Dream’. The hand painted photographs are made after an ancient technique widely used for family portraits or film posters that once featured on the streets of Cairo.
If you have time, the Pinault Collection is also worth a visit, with its contemporary art collection, in an impressive space, in a former customs house at the far end of Dorsoduro, near the Santa Maria della Salute church.
Annual events currently confirmed for 2021 include The Venice Carnival, which will take place from the 6th to the 16th February 2021.
The Biennale of Architecture of Venice 2021will take place from the 22 May to 21 November 2021.
The Venice Biennale of Art 2021 is postponed to 2022 (23 April – 27th November.
The 78th Venice Film Festival will take place in September 2021.
We absolutely loved A Beccafico in our favourite square, Campo Santo Stefano. The dishes are a mix of Venetian tradition and Sicilian cuisine. It is also open for both lunch and dinner.
Another highlight was Rosa Rossa, which we tried on a rainy evening and were feeling ready for a warm and cosy ambience and some delicious pasta – and were not disappointed!
La Palanca is an unassuming looking little restaurant right by the water on Giudecca Island, with views across to San Marco and the Doge’s Palace, and highly recommended for its excellent seafood – the sea bass ravioli was particularly good.
Situated on the pretty island of Burano, Trattoria Al Gatto Nero is a restaurant you do need to book, as it was featured in the BBC series, Remarkable Places to Eat. A family run restaurant, it offers authentic and exceptional local cuisine in a very friendly, welcoming atmosphere, and a reputation of having one of the best risottos in the world.
Near the Rialto Bridge and regarded as one of the best fish restaurants in Venice, the menu at Osteria Alle Testiere is based on the recommendation of the day from the Rialto Fish Market. The restaurant itself is small, so booking in advance is also recommended.
At the time of writing this, bars and restaurants remain open in Venice, with social distancing at tables. Visitors must wear a mask on vaporetti, and in museums, shops and churches.
If you don’t want to use the public transport (bus or boat) from the airport, we can arrange a water taxi – particularly recommended at some of our properties which have their own water taxi landing.
In consideration of the latest quarantine measures, we recommend extended stays, perfect for those working remotely, to be well suited for our travellers.