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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Love Touring Venice Italy - Castello District Hotels

Venice facing the lagoonImage via Wikipedia

The Castello district is the largest of Venice's six districts, locally known as sestiere. It's in the east of Venice and, unlike some of the others, people actually live there. This is the least touristy part of Venice, which may be an attraction for many. The area includes many historic churches. For your convenience we have listed these hotels in approximate order of cost, starting with the least expensive. We have personally verified all website addresses making sure that they include English-language pages. The exception is clearly identified.

Santa Maria della Pieta is a casa per ferie (vacation house) rather than a hotel. It does occupy the upper floors of two palaces but don't come here expecting luxury. You will enjoy the rooftop terrace. Some of the rooms are devoted to families, if you reserve early enough you may get one with six beds. There are 15 rooms. The address is Calle della Pieta, Castello 3701. Their website is Italian language only but the translation provides the basics.

The Hotel Scandinavia, originally built around the year 1000, was once a luxurious Eighteenth Century residence. According to tradition this was where Desdemona met Othello, the "Moor of Venice." Be that as it may, the hotel is right near the Santa Maria Formosa church and a typical Venetian square of the same name. There are 33 rooms. The hotel address is Campo Santa. Maria Formosa, Castello 5240.

The Ca' Formenta was an unimpressive Fifteenth Century building completely restored into a hotel in 2003. There is a rooftop terrace. I'm told that the restaurants and coffee houses in the neighborhood are filled with Venetians rather than tourists. If you don't speak Italian bring your phrase book. The street Via Garibaldi, named after the Italian national, was laid over a stream. The hotel address is Via Garibaldi, Castello 1650.

The Hotel Londra Palace was originally built in the mid-Nineteenth Century. Among its famous guests was Tchaikovsky who in 1877 wrote the first three movements of his 4th Symphony in room 106. The hotel has a bar and an upscale restaurant. There are 36 rooms and 17 suites. The hotel address is Riva degli Schiavoni, Castello 4171.

The Metropole, like the Hotel Londra Palace, has a music connection. Antionio Vivaldi taught music there. Try to get a rooftop room, or at least stop by the rooftop terraces. The place is just packed with antiques and beautiful curios many of which can be viewed on their website. The hotel boasts a Michelin two-star restaurant. There are 67 rooms and a total of 22 suites. The hotel address is Riva degli Schiavoni, Castello 4149.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian, French, or other wine, accompanied by the right foods and spend time with his wife and family. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Among his many web sites he is particularly proud of his Italian travel site with a special focus on regional food and wine at Check out his global wine website at with his weekly column reviewing $10 wines and his new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines, and now upscale wines.

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