Venice is an expensive city so we were willing to pay more for the right AirBnB apartment than we might elsewhere. Still, $429 for 3 nights (inclusive of all fees) seemed like a good deal for the lovely 1-bedroom apartment we rented from Maurizio and Francesca. The location was perfect: very near the famous Gritti Palace Hotel and an easy walk to San Marco square, but far enough to be away from the crowds and the noise.
Maurizio was very responsive prior to our arrival and provided detailed information for guests arriving in Venice by any means imaginable. After taking the People Mover from the cruise ship we took a vaporetto (public transportation boat that is essentially a water-bound bus) to the Santa Maria del Giglio stop where we were met, as promised, by Francesca and escorted the short distance to the apartment, down a smoothly paved (easy on the rolling luggage) path.
Behind heavy wooden double doors with brass name plates, we found a pretty little courtyard that gives onto the stairs leading to the apartment (one flight up).
Although the building itself is old, the apartment is beautifully renovated and full of thoughtful conveniences, including one of my personal favorites: a portable hotspot I could drop in my purse so that both David and I had internet access anywhere we roamed in Venice, Burano and Murano. A bottled of sparking strawberry wine and biscotti awaited us in the apartment, along with coffee and tea for our breakfast.
Francesca was an energetic and enthusiastic guide to both the apartment and the neighborhood. She spent a full hour with us, making sure we knew how everything in the apartment worked and then taking us around the neighborhood, pointing out landmarks to help us find our way around (always a challenge in Venice). We laughed as she strode down the narrow streets pointing left and right and restaurants and bars saying “No. No. Absolutely not. Yes. No. Yes, Maurizio and I eat there all the time.” and so on. We took her advice to heart and were never disappointed.
Our one moment of minor crisis came when the washing machine door jammed shut with my clothes inside–(a new one for me!). Maurizio apologized, acknowledged they’d had a problem and promised he’d get it fixed. Right away, he made the trip in from the island where they lived while we were out exploring, and we came back to find my rescued clothes nicely hung to dry.
Francesca came through again when we got ready to leave: I panicked a little when we arrived with our suitcases to catch the vaporetto to leave and saw signs saying you couldn’t buy vaporetto tickets on board. We had no idea where to buy them as our stop didn’t have the usual machines. Fortunately, I ran into Francesca who hurried to a nearby vendor (She seemed to know everyone in the area.) and confirmed that the signs were wrong and we could buy the tickets on board. [In fact, although the ticket taker said he would get back to us when we boarded, the boat soon got crowded and he never did charge us.]
All in all, we loved this apartment and would stay there again in a heartbeat. You can check it out yourself at: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1054462
If you’re new to AirBnB and want to give it a try on this or any other apartment, you can use my referral link which should get both of us $30 in AirBnB travel credit: http://www.airbnb.com/c/tcuthrell Let me know if you have any questions.