“18th-century style with a contemporary twist in this perfectly located B&B, just 5 minutes’ walk from St Mark’s Square”
As tourists pound the busy thoroughfare to nearby St Mark’s Square, you’ll slip through inconspicuous bottle-green doors, ascend a marble staircase and arrive in a charming little Venetian home. Inside, 3 sumptuously dressed guest rooms and an understated Baroque lounge exhibit gilt gold mirrors, antique turquoise vases and 18th-century family portraits against powdery grey walls. The apartment, owned by the charming Gianni, has become an oasis for culture-weary travellers. And as you unwind on the sofa, delicious coffee in hand (this is Italy, after all), the only indication of your busy city location will be the spirited gondolier repartee flooding the canal beneath you. Finding authenticity in Venice is rare; finding it for a good price with an adjacent gondolier stop is truly special.
- Gianni’s insider tips will help you ‘live like a local’ - he knows the area and can recommend the best restaurants to try, places to see and things to do
- As this is Gianni’s apartment it feels like a welcoming Venetian home
- A brilliant location, moments from the Piazza San Marco and Teatro La Fenice, and just across the bridge there’s the Gallerie dell’Accadameia, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Punta della Dogana
- Romantics will love the large Junior Suite with its canal views, Juliet balcony and table for in-room breakfasts
- A group could book all 3 rooms, giving free rein of the apartment’s communal spaces (lounge and small kitchen)
- Gio & Gio is an informal B&B rather than a hotel. There’s no reception, and the owners are only on-site in the morning (a phone number is provided for the rest of the time)
- The apartment is intimate so expect to mingle with other guests
- The adjacent canal and its gondoliers are both a blessing and a curse - they can be noisy. If peace and quiet is a must, choose a Double Room
- Rooms are small and in-room facilities are limited
- Breakfast is disappointing - pre-packaged pastries and breads - but that’s common in Venice
- On our last visit the rooms looked a bit dated, but you are in the heart of Venice and the price tag is worth it
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique B&B
- Breakfast only (walk to restaurants)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
Though the apartment is Gianni’s home, he only spends a few hours on-site each morning during the daily maid service. This laid-back approach encourages guests to make use of the entire apartment. In each room, soft-grey silk drapes fall from tall windows while queensize beds are dressed in pretty velvet cushions and sumptuous chocolate and plum bedding. Antique burl-wood chests and hardwood floors mix with ornate headboards, 18th-century portraits and red Murano-glass chandeliers.
The spacious Junior Suite offers a particularly romantic stay. It is the only guest room to overlook the canal, and has a lovely Juliet balcony so you can throw open the French windows as you enjoy a summer’s breakfast. Inside, a Classical tapestry hangs above a comfy sofa, but the ensuite shower room cuts a more modern figure with sandy marble tiling and a heated towel rail. Though not as spacious as the Junior Suite, the Double Rooms have their own strengths. One has an electric fireplace, the other a bathtub and shower (rare in Venice); both encourage blissful slumbers thanks to their positions overlooking quiet walkways.
While bedrooms have minimal facilities - no TVs, radios, phones or safe boxes - the shared lounge has a TV, CD player and an enormous stack of magazines, plus there’s a coffee machine and seating in the small kitchen.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Extra beds
- Honesty bar
- Shared lounge (satellite TV)
In the morning, breakfast will be waiting for you in the kitchen. There's a coffee machine and a fridge with chilled goodies assigned to each room (milk, butter, yoghurts and juice). Opposite, a selection of packaged breads, pastries, cakes, teas and jams sits atop the dining table, as well as a toaster and kettle. Though it isn’t the most decadent spread we’ve ever seen, it suits Gio & Gio’s ethos of prioritising informality and independence over traditional B&B service. The breakfast allows guests to make their own timetable, and Junior Suite guests have space to dine in their room.
Being such a tourist honey-trap means there’s no shortage of eateries in Venice, but finding somewhere decent is another matter. Our advice would be to grab light-lunch bites at one of the city’s barcari - small bars with even smaller dishes called cicheti (mini sandwiches, salads, cured hams and cheeses). They’re fast paced and often filled with locals; we sat next to a gondolier on his lunch break.
When choosing a restaurant for dinner, it’s worth seeking the advice of your hosts. For a taste of iconic Venice, dine outdoors at Caffé Florian (Italy's oldest café) on the Piazza San Marco, or head to the famous (and outrageously expensive) Harry’s Bar for world-class Bellinis and Carpaccio.
- Communal dining
- Restaurants nearby
- Take a 5-minute walk to the most famous square in Venice. The Piazza San Marco is the centre of the action with the glittering Basilica di San Marco, the historic Palazzo Ducale, and the Museo Corror
- Also within striking distance is the Teatro La Fenice, one of the most famous (and beautiful) theatres in Italy. It's worth booking tickets to the opera ahead of your trip, but daytime self-guided audio tours are available
- Take to the water! The vaporetti (waterbuses) are a cost-effective and practical way to see the city, while the gondolas offer a quintessential (if pricey) Venetian experience. For something in between, hop on one of the traghetto, which commuters use to cross the Grand Canal
- Cross the Accademia bridge to visit the famous gallery of the same name. A former convent, it now holds a world-class collection of pre-19th-century art
- A little further into Dorsoduro you find Peggy Guggenheim’s famous modern art collection displayed in her impressive home overlooking the Grand Canal. Works on display include those by Pollock, Picasso and Peggy’s ex-husband, Max Ernst
- Enjoy a Vivaldi recital by acclaimed violin troop Interpreti Veneziani. Evening performances are regularly held in the Chiesa di San Vidal, where Renaissance masterpieces adorn the church’s walls
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
Gio & Gio welcomes all ages, but it's quite an intimate set-up so families will need to be considerate of their fellow guests. Better to book all 3 rooms and have the entire apartment to yourselves. There are 2 rollaway beds but no baby cots.
Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Junior Suite has space for up to 2 extra beds. Families with older children could book 2 rooms; one of the Double Rooms can be made up as a twin. Babies are welcome but guests will have to provide their own baby cots.
Gio & Gio is bang in the heart of Venice, moments from St Mark's Square and the southern end of the Grand Canal.
Venice Marco Polo (14km) is the closest airport, while Treviso Airport (35km) is popular with budget airlines. Both have regular flights and offer easy access to central Venice.
From the Airport
Visitors arriving in Marco Polo Airport can either take a private water taxi or the Alilaguna shared taxi-boat straight from the airport. It's also possible to take a bus/taxi to Piazzale Roma and walk or take a vaporetto (waterbus). There are regular bus services from Treviso Airport (approx 40-minute drive). From here, catch a vaporetto (waterbus) down the Grand Canal (towards San Marco) and get off at the Santa Maria del Giglio stop. Once on dry land, it's a short walk to the B&B.
If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK, you can reach Venice quite easily with the Eurostar from London, changing in Paris. See the excellent Seat 61 for details.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
- Venice Marco Polo 14.0 km VCE
- Treviso 35.0 km TSF
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km