The Domus Civica (corner of Calle Sachere and Cimesin, Venice) is actually a student residence for girls that turns into a youth hostel (open to all) during the summer months. It is situated barely a 10-minute walk from the train station, in an area that is not too touristy, and is reasonably easy to find.
I had reserved a double room with 2 single beds by email (some of the staff speak English) three months beforehand for my son and myself, and confirmed my reservation 3 weeks before arrival. I was assured that payment by credit card was possible and it actually was. For me, the cost was 30 euros/night. For my son, who had an ISIC card (International Student Identity Card), 24 euros.
When we arrived, we were greeted very nicely by the girl on duty and given the key to a room on the 2nd floor. The key must be left at the desk every time you go out. A nice surprise was the small elevator in good working order. The room was clean and reasonably spacious but did not offer a great view on anything extraordinary. It had two metal beds (mattresses in decent condition), two night tables, a small desk and chair, a sink and a wardrobe. The small lamp on one night table had no light bulb. Four towels were provided for the length of our stay along with soap. Although sheets were also provided, we had to make our own beds on arrival and every morning.
Other amenities included clean showers and toilets (5 on the same floor), a living room with one t.v., and free access to a computer with internet in the “dining room” (a large room with tables and chairs but nothing else). There were no phone, clock or hair blower inside the room, and also no stoves, micro-waves or refrigerators anywhere. Breakfast was also not served. This meant buying a croissant (stuffed with jelly or custard) from the café across the street every morning or going to a bakery a little further.
The place proved to be convenient for visiting the city. The immediate area has lots to offer in churches, museums, shops, etc. A short 15-minute walk gets you to Piazza San Marco. Keep in mind that the island is barely 2 kilometers long. However, small does not mean easy to ‘navigate’ and a very precise map and good walking shoes are necessary. Venice has no cars or bikes. Everyone walks or takes the vaporetto (water bus). There are many little bridges with many little steps to keep everyone in shape. It beats any step aerobics anytime.
For food, ten minutes away, on the Fondamente Chiara (near the Piazzale Roma or the bus terminal), a grocery store has all the basics. On the Lista di Spagna (the street that leaves from the train station), a number of cheap eating places like the chain Brek (street no.124), a cafeteria-style restaurant, will feed two adults reasonably well, including house wine, for less than 30 euros (no desserts). The food is like what you would eat at home and cooked before you. Closer to the hostel, on the Salizadda San Rocco behind the church of the Frari, Millevoglie da Tarcisio, a good gelato place, also sells decent pizza and other quick fixes.
The only inconvenience we experienced came from some students who talked in the hallway until quite late the first night we were there. I mentioned it to the staff the next morning and that was the end of it. Besides that, sea gulls and pigeons did wake us up around six o’clock with the local church bells finishing the job an hour later but that was all.
In short, the place was decent, clean, practical and cheap. The staff was friendly and helpful. What more can you ask for?
Rolling Venice Card (4 euros): for anyone under 29 years old. Give rebates to museums, transportation, theaters, etc.
Museum Pass: 18 euros/adult, 12 euros with Rolling Venice Card. A must if you are planning to go around the museums. The Basilica is free but it is better to reserve on its website (no charge) for an entry time to avoid the queues.
Chorus Pass: 9 euros (6 euros for students). A lot of the art is to be found in the 16 biggest churches who charge an entry fee. The card pays itself back by the 4th church.
Pass ACTV: for the vaporetto all around the main island and smaller ones nearby. If you are planning to go to Murano for example, get your card for 12 hours (14 euros) and do the Grande Canal the same day. A ride on the Grande Canal cost half that amount just one way so this is the cheapest way to do it. You can also get a card for 24, 36, 48 and 72 hours.
Gondolas: if you wish to rent one, it costs 80 euros for 40 minutes. The vaporetto doesn’t have the same charm but it still floats and goes up (and down) the Grande Canal.
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Domus Civica Hotel Venice