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Monday, April 19, 2010

I Love Touring Venice, Italy - Hotels In The San Polo And Santa Croce District

San Giacomo di Rialto (S. Giacometto)Image by Daisuke Ido via Flickr

The San Polo district is the smallest of Venice's six districts. It covers only 86 acres (that's about 35 hectares) in the center of the city. It's home to Venice's main market and has been for over 900 years. The main attractions are the Rialto Bridge and several churches including San Giacomo di Rialto, said to be consecrated in the year 421 and perhaps the oldest church in Venice. Santa Croce is north and west of San Polo. You may well stop by here because of the parking lots (cars aren't allowed in the five other districts of Venice) and bus station. But the eastern part of the district has a medieval air and is home to some tourist attractions such as historic churches and the Galleria Internazionale d'Arte Moderna whose collection includes many masters of modern art. For your convenience we have listed district 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 Acca Hotel has only one star but may be an option for economy-minded tourists. You'll be close to many attractions such as the San Pantalon church whose ceiling was painted by Gian Antonio Fiumani, and is said to be the world's largest painting on canvas. Breakfast is served in the courtyard. Maybe because the hotel has only 8 rooms and 1 suite there is no night porter. The hotel address is Calle Pezzana, San Polo 2160.

The Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo is our only suggestion for the Santa Croce district. It's on two floors of a palazzo that once belonged to the local Mocenigo bigwigs. There's a courtyard for breakfast and a Turkish sauna. Access is via a private bridge with a history that you can read on the hotel website. All 10 rooms and the junior suite are non-smoking, but none of them offer a canal view. The hotel address is Fondamento de Rimpeto a Ca' Moncenigo, Santa Croce 2063.

The Ca' Angeli Hotel occupies two floors of a palace on the Grand Canal that belonged to a famous Venetian architect who oversaw its renovation. The fine breakfast is served in a room overlooking the Grand Canal as do some of the guest rooms. There are only 5 rooms, 2 suites and 1 apartment. The hotel address is Calle del Traghetto della Madoneta, San Polo 1434.

The Oltre il Giardino'Casaifrari can be a fine choice if you are looking for peace and quiet. You may even have trouble finding this little hotel hidden behind a brick wall. Alma Mahler lived there in the 1920s after her husband Gustav's death. Its centerpiece is the garden where breakfast is served, weather permitting. All 4 rooms and 2 suites overlook the garden. By the way, you can't believe everything that you read. Quoting their website, "The house... has now been turned into an exclusive but homely retreat." This place is anything but homely. The hotel address is Fondamenta Contarini - San Polo 2542.

The three star Locanda Sturion hotel was used by the Doge of Venice to house foreign merchants selling their wares at the Rialto Market more than 700 years ago. The decorations have been updated to the Eighteenth Century. Its breakfast room and reading room overlook the Grand Canal. The onsite restaurant offers a historic menu, with dishes and delicacies dating back to the Fourteenth Century, reinterpreted for today's tastes. Be warned, the stairs are steep to this fourth and fifth floor hotel and there is no elevator. There are 11 rooms. The hotel address is Calle del Sturion, San Polo 679.


Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet but he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches various computer classes in an Ontario French-language community college. Check out his wine website with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.



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