An Apartment in Cannaregio
When you visit a city for a week or longer, a furnished vacation apartment can have advantages over a hotel: You'll get more space, you'll have a kitchen, you're likely to save money, and--perhaps most important--you can enjoy the fantasy of being a resident expat instead of a tourist. (On the downside, you'll need to get breakfast, make the bed, carry out the garbage, and sweep up dust bunnies just as you would at home.)
During a recent stay in Venice, we spent two weeks in Casa Oliveti, an attractive two-bedroom apartment between the the Campo SS. Apostoli and the Fondamente Nove. Here's what you need to know about Casa Oliveti if you'd like to live like a local during your next trip to Venice:
Casa Oliveti is in the sestiere of Cannaregio, within a 20- to 30-minute walk of most tourist sights on the San Marco side of the Grand Canal. It's on a small, quiet square named the Campiello de la Madonna. You won't find the campiello on most maps, but don't worry--a friendly, English-speaking member of the Pavan-Oliveti family will meet you at the airport, the railroad station, or the Alilaguna airport boat stop at Fondamente Nove so you won't get lost.
Layout and decor
The apartment occupies the entire third floor (or, to Americans, the fourth floor) of a building that faces the campiello on one side and the gardens of neighboring buildings on the other. The huge living room (see photo above) has a seating area at one end and a dining/kitchen area at the other.
Just beyond the entrance stairs, a short hallway leads to a pair of bedrooms and a modern bathroom.
Casa Oliveti's floors are of polished stone except in the bedrooms, where parquet has been installed on top of the original flooring. Furnishings are of high quality, with a mixture of modern items (such as the sofa and easy chairs) and antiques.
During the day, when you've opened the shutters, the apartment is airy and well-lit, thanks to ten large windows that face in three directions. Casa Oliveti is designed for year-round comfort, with central heating and wall-mounted air conditioning in the living room and bedrooms.
The building doesn't have an elevator, and the last flight of steps is moderately steep, so Casa Oliveti isn't the best place to stay if you're mobility-impaired. But if you don't mind walking up a few flights, you'll enjoy the privacy, the beamed cathedral ceiling, and the views that you get from being on the top floor.
Rates and rental procedure
Prices vary with the season, but they're about what you might pay for a nice double room at a three-star hotel. The minimum stay is three days, with payment by cash or check. (We paid cash, obtaining our euros from nearby bank ATMs.)
For current rates, or to inquire about staying at the Pavan-Oliveti family's delightful pied-à-terre in Venice, see the Casa Oliveti Web site.
For more captioned photos of the apartment, click the "Next page" link below:
Next page: Living Room, Kitchen