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“I was very happy” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Happy Venice

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Happy Venice
San Polo 2733, 30100 Venice, Italy (San Polo)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #250 of 418 Venice B&B and Inns
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“I was very happy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2012

The term 'palazzo' doesn't quite mean a Palace - in this case we're talking about a venerable two-story block with four rooms on the upper floor, two of which can be rented. This is in a not-quite-so touristy corner of Venice, and is accessible by walking from the Rialto Bridge or (better) by getting off the ferry at San Toma, walking couple of hundred yards and dodging through an archway to find the right courtyard. Get a blow-up map off Google or Mapquest before you go!

The building belongs to the Schiavoni family, who also own a property, the Villa Angelina, in Treviso on the mainland. Mum (Gina) and son (Andrea) share out the management of both. That's Andrea Schiavoni the plumber, not the painter by the way ...)

I've been here twice, once in high Summer and recently in the Autumn. Summer temperatures that year were in the mid-forties so no amount of flapping was going to keep us cool. But by a combination of using the (supplied) fans and by drinking cool drinks we found sleep not so hard to come by. Venice has a reputation for smelly drains and dirty canals when it's hot. Not so here (and in fact not so elsewhere either - they've done a lot of work on such matters over the last 20 years).

Having been to Venice a few times, I didn't find it difficult to navigate from San Toma to the address - but anyone who hasn't been to Venice before might find it a bit of a problem. I don't know if this deal still stands, but it's best to get Andrea's mobile number and warn him when you're on the way. He even offered to meet us at the Railway Station. That way someone will be at the house when you get there. Mama speaks almost no English, and Andrea's English is better than my Italian, but even if you only see mum I'm sure you'll have little problem in communicating: she's delightful.

Mama will check you're settled in, will hand over a key, and then they'll leave you to it. There's a small kitchen and a fridge, so you can have breakfast, and hot drinks as you wish - and you can buy snacks if you wish, but that would miss the point of a trip to Venice - the chance to eat in cafes or restaurants. Mum will pop in from time to time to check all's well.

This is not 5* luxury and I give it a good rating because it's authentic, they're friendly, and the price is so reasonable.

From there the back alleys will take you to local churches with astounding paintings; you can cross the canal and head for St Mark's Square, which obviously you must do. I recommend you walk the city; and you hop on and off the ferries and see lots of Venice which is not generally packed with Tourists. For example, near the Train Station you have the Canale de Cannareggio, half way up which is the Ristorante Tre Archi, and you'll get an excellent lunch there. I know it's the deal because all the local boatmen use it for coffees and meals.

Please bear in mind that the area (San Polo) is generally quiet; so people returning home late at night might well seem noisy. Live with it: Italians don't go to bed early.

While we're at it, transport: The water taxis (Motoscafi) are expensive and the Gondolas even more so, but you may find a Gondola parked right below your room; I think the owner loves nearby. Try negotiating for a cheaper option or split the cost with others. The best way is to use the ferries (Vaporetti) which will take you all round Venice and the Lagoon; and there are a few locations where a gondola simply plies across the canal for a Euro or three: a useful shortcut.

Room Tip: Two rooms face North-East over a small canal. The left one is further from the Bridge nearby hence...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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24 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Perth
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2011

Cannot recommend this place enough.
Accomm in Venice is so expensive but this was a total deal (40-45eu a night) for the central location.
Considerate and precise instructions from owners to reach the property.
It's in a great area, close to cheaper uni sites and to a vapretto stop - San Toma.
Well stocked fridge with breakfast essentials (great coffee yoghurt!), good water pressure, comfy rooms. Towels and linen changed daily, incredibly clean. Couldn't ask for more!
Thanks Gina - we communicated through snippets of Italian and sign language but managed to understand each other well!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2011

We loved this place. Great location and value! Beautiful view of the water from our rom. Everything was spotless, our room (we had the one with the green walls) was decorated nicely. There were robes and slippers and plenty of towels in our room. It was a shared bathroom but was never an issue. The owner was SUPER sweet (she does not speak any English). I would love to stay here again.

Room Tip: We loved our room with the green walls, request it
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wollongong, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2011

this place, although a little difficult to find, was the highlight of our stay in venice. she doesn't speak a lot of english, and we not a lot of italian, so it was fun communicating with her, there was a lot of laughing. very friendly, and the place was IMMACULATE. our room looked out onto a canal, which was great, lots of gondolas and boat people singing and chatting to one another, with the quiet lap of water against the walls very soothing at night. i would highly recommend this place to anyone who wants a lovely quiet place to stay that is pretty central to everywhere. next time we are in venice we will be staying here for sure.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Rafael, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2011

Great location. It's far enough away from the party area of the city that you can sleep without many distractions, but only about a 1/4 mile if you do want to party. It's right on a canal, so it's got a great atomsphere. As other reviews have suggested, it's very homey. You feel like you're staying in a friends extra room.

Room Tip: Not possible. Only 3 that all have great views
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2010

We were very "happy" with Happy Venice. It's location is near to the Rialto and all the shops. The lady who runs the place is real friendly and helpful. She doesn't speak any English but that didn't really hinder our having a great time. Our room was right on a canal and we enjoyed hearing the boats going buy at sunrise to their work locations. We even had gondolas going by in the afternoons. This was one of the only rooms in our two week stay that had heat at night. It's very cold in Venice in the middle and end of October so bring WARM clothes.

Some things to know...

If you come to Venice by train, take it all the way into the station on the island instead of the Mestre stop. The station is only about a 10 minute walk from Happy Venice.

Andrea (she goes by Gina) will send you a link to Google maps directions when she confirms your booking. It's in Italian. Copy and paste the instructions into Google translate and then print out the English translation. It worked fine for us and took us right to Gina's front door.

When we left, we took a water bus from a station near the Rialto bridge directly to the Airport. The cost was 13 euros but you get an interesting view of the grand canal and the lagoon this way. You want to find the Allilaguna orange line. The station is on the far side of the bridge from Happy Venice and it's not the first one you come to but the second one. The people in the ticket box speak english. There is a great restaraunt just across from the station that is buffet style that had excellent cheap food.

Look up when high tide is on the internet before you go and try to schedule your visit to St. Mark's for low tide. The piazza and the church are flooded at high tide.

The least expensive gifts shops are those on and around the Rialto bridge and not those around St. Marks.

If you go into St. Mark's, and you should because the mosaic ceilings and floors are really awesome, you can't take any back packs or fanny packs in with you. There is a free place to check your packs. As you face the front of the church the first little alleyway to the left and the first door on the right in the alley is the location for the drop off. They will give you a claim ticket. Don't make the mistake we did of waiting in line to get in only to be told you have to go check your back packs before entering.

A really good restaurant a short walk from Happy Venice is Do Sale near the Rialto bridge. We saw it recommended on the net. They specialize in appetizers called Chicceti that are unique to Venice. Just go into one of the shops near the Rialto on the near side before you cross and ask for directions to Do Sale. When you get there, it is a small place and looks like just a tiny bar with a crowd of people drinking. Walk through this crowd and into the back and you will find the tables for a sit down dinner. Check out the appetizers in the glass display cases as you walk by. The menu is in Italian and doesn't show the Chicceti so we asked the waitress who speaks good English and she recommended we let her choose for us. She brought us two large platters full of seafood appetizers on one and meat and vegetable appetizers on the other. We couldn't finish it. We also had the house Prosecco which was quite good all for about 45 euros. This was one of the most unique and good tasting meals we had in two weeks in Italy.

Gina doesn't give you a new map of Venice when you arrive. She does have copies of maps left by other travellers that she lets you use but they don't list many of the street names. You can buy a good map at the train station in the tourist information office for a couple of euros.

It's a shared bath at Happy Venice but don't let that stop you from staying here. It was always available when we needed it and was clean and comfortable.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2010

This is a simple, lovely home-stay (bed and breakfast) with a very helpful, friendly Venetian woman. The rooms are spotless and well-furnished, as is the bath/shower (down the corridor). It's not a luxury hotel; more like staying with your Italian grandmother (although the friendly woman who runs the place will be very discreet and you may not see her much at all. You should arrange a time to meet when you make the reservation). The B and B is tucked away in a very small little square off of an alley; it's quite hard to find (which is a good thing). The B and B is easier to manage if you speak some Italian.

San Polo is a residential district (i.e. not so touristy) district within easy walking distance of all of the main sights. I recommend this place very highly if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive place to stay in Venice.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Happy Venice

Address: San Polo 2733, 30100 Venice, Italy
Location: Italy > Veneto > Province of Venice > City of Venice > Venice > San Polo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #250 of 418 B&Bs / Inns in Venice
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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