In October 2020 I finally achieved my long-held ambition of visiting Venice. After more than thirty visits to Italy, it was a great feeling to finally tick this unique city off my bucket list.
I went for eight days during the temporary spell of relative normality between the two Covid lockdowns, in part to escape the more severe rules in the UK, but also to take advantage of Venice being virtually tourist-free.
I decided to stay in Cannaregio, the northernmost of Venice’s six sestiere (city quarters) which, unlike the others, is still a vibrant residential area with plenty of real life going on.
You’ll find everywhere I mention on my Google map.
I bunked up at the Hotel Ca’ d’Oro www.venicehotelcadoro.com, a pleasant three-star nicely positioned backing on to a small canal, just two minutes away from Strada Nova, the main pedestrian street running through Cannaregio.
There are a number of good reasons for choosing this location:
– the hotel is walkable in about twenty five minutes along Strada Nova, from Venezia Santa Lucia train station, or thirty from the Piazzale Roma bus station.
– St. Mark’s Square (see coming posts) is also easily reached on foot in about fifteen minutes, crowds permitting.
– the Rialto Bridge (see coming posts) is just ten minutes walk along the continuation of Strada Nova.
– there are lots of good bars and restaurants nearby, especially along Fondamenta Misericordia (see coming post).
– the Jewish Ghetto and some other places of interest are in Cannaregio (see next post).
– just five minutes south of the hotel there’s a vaporetto (water bus) stop on the Grand Canal (see coming post) which will let you get to most places in Venice.
– the stop to go to Murano and many of the other islands (see coming posts) is on the north side of Cannaregio, less than ten minutes from the hotel.
The hotel had lots of good recommendations which were well-justified in my opinion. My single room (£50 p/n) was small but comfortable, the breakfast was decent and the staff were very helpful and friendly. They even upgraded me to a much bigger room in one of their more upmarket locations cadelafonte.com, just around the corner, when their main hotel became empty due to Covid.
There are lots of other hotel suggestions and reviews on my map.
To save money, I washed my clothes at this self service lavanderia in Campo Santa Maria Nova.
One piece of general advice I’d give is to make sure you take some mosquito repellent, especially if you’re staying right next to a canal and you like to have your windows open. Either that or make sure you have good air-conditioning as the atmosphere felt quite stuffy, even in October. Apparently the canals get a bit smelly in the summer when it gets really hot and humid so it might be worth paying the extra for air-con then.
The hotel is named after the famous Ca’ d’Oro palazzo, a beauftiful example of Venetian Gothic (see coming post) located nearby on the Grand Canal.
The palace gives its name to the vaporetto stop next to it as well.
The next stop going east is the Rialto Market, immediately across the river, if you’re feeling too lazy to walk down to the Rialto Bridge and back up.
Although the main tourist sites are elsewhere, there’s still lots to see in Cannaregio, more of which in the next post…