This must be the best deal possible for lodgings in Venice. I've stayed here twice and if I had my way I would always stay here in Venice.
It's part hostel, part budget hotel. There are some hostel/dorm style rooms which I think you can't book ahead unless you are part of a group? Those are the cheapest rooms but of course you have to take your chances on getting a bed. But there are also a number of private rooms that you can book in advance--but book WELL in advance because these go quickly. I think one or two of these have kitchens and perhaps bathrooms in the room.
I've had two different private rooms, both small (twin beds, a television and a wardrobe pretty much filled the space) and with shared bathrooms. But both had windows that open up and look over a canal. And in one, the walls were frescoed and we enjoyed not just windows but a balcony overlooking the canal.
Very close (10 minute walk?) to San Marco but enough off the beaten path that you avoid some of the throngs of tourists. It's very close to Campo Santa Maria Formosa which is simply a fantastic area.
Breakfast is basic but more ample than what passes for breakfast at other places in town. There is cereal and milk, rolls with butter and jam, tea and coffee. The coffee is strong and it's probably enough to start you on your way, at least till you get to one of the nearby bakeries for some more food. The first year I stayed I wrote on the comment card that I really wished there was juice at breakfast. The next year I came back and there was juice! It was a welcome improvement.
One drawback--noise. During my first stay our private room was next to a dorm full of a high-school group and they were pretty loud, well past official quiet hours.
Unique Quality: Some rooms have frescoes on the walls or ceiling and several rooms have windows opening up over a small canal.
Directions: It is a little hard to find at first but if you find your way to Campo Santa Maria Formosa just walk down the calle that starts between the espresso shop and the Hotel Scandanavia.
The Foresteria Valdese, five minutes from Piazza San Marco, is in a 18th century palace decorated with Bevilaqua frescoes. The palace is open to public visits during the reception hours from reservations and arrivals: Monday through Sunday 9am-1pm, 6-8pm.
Unique Quality: Clean, quiet and very warm atmosphere
Unique Quality: Was once the guest house of a large church...very clean, nice and cozy dining room, frescos the ceilings of some dorm room (the one pictured was in my room!), cold breakfast included, I had comfortable and satisfying stay here...
Directions: Castello, 5170
It's about a 5 minute walk from the Ponte Rialto...a bit of a chore finding it the first time, but the location is central to many attractions.
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Address: Castello 5170 - Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, Venice, Veneto, 30123, Italy