Venice Vacation Apartments
When to consider a self-catering holiday rental
ABOVE: Cheryl Imboden enjoys the living room
of Casa Oliveti, a short-term rental flat in Cannaregio.
you're staying in Venice for more than a few days, renting a furnished apartment can
be a pleasant alternative to staying in a hotel. Still, a self-catering flat
isn't right for everyone, so weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
You'll get more space for your money. A comfortable
one-bedroom apartment typically costs no more than a double room in a three-
or four-star hotel, but you get a bedroom plus a living room or seating
area, a kitchen, a dining table, and (often) a washer for your clothes. If
you're traveling with a family, an apartment becomes an even better value,
because you can rent a two- or three-bedroom apartment for much less than
the cost of two or three hotel rooms.
You can save money by eating in. Even if you enjoy
dining out, it can be fun--and economical--to have breakfast and the
occasional lunch in your apartment. Just as important, you can pick up
prepared food at a supermarket and skip going to a restaurant when you're
tired or want to get away from other tourists.
You can enjoy the fantasy of living in Venice. For a
week or two, you'll be an ersatz expat or a virtual Venetian as you come
home to your apartment when other tourists are going back to their hotels.
You'll have to make your own beds. Your apartment will be cleaned before
you arrive, but you'll normally be responsible for do-it-yourself
housekeeping and dishwashing during your stay. (You might even need to put
sheets on the bed.) Many landlords require you to do
at least a perfunctory cleaning before departure or pay a cleaning fee.
Check-in can be a hassle. Typically, you'll need to
meet the landlord or a rental agent at the apartment building or the nearest
vaporetto stop, and you'll need to do it at an appointed time.
(Departures are usually easier: Often, you can simply leave the key in the
apartment or drop it in the owner's mailbox when you leave.)
Booking and payment can be complicated. Some owners and rental agencies
accept payment by credit card or PayPal, but you'll often be required to
send a deposit by international bank draft with final payment in cash.
The latter can be a nuisance if you're arriving from abroad and your ATM
card won't let you withdraw 700 or 1,000 euros in cash at the airport. Also,
deposits are often non-refundable--unlike hotel reservations, which usually
can be cancelled on short notice without penalty.
In general, we'd recommend staying in an apartment if you're in
Venice for a week or longer, like being on your own, and don't mind a bit of
inconvenience when booking and checking in. For more information
on holiday flats, see:
Venice apartments our partner
HomeAway lists hundreds of vacation rentals in Venice,
with no agency markups or commissions. (Your inquiry goes directly to the
landlord.) Note: We've used HomeAway for a
number of apartment stays in Venice, Rome, and Paris, and we've never had a bad
Venice Links: Apartments
This page from our Venice links directory has listings for apartments in the
historic center and on the island of Giudecca.