Foresteria Valdese

Foresteria Valdes - Palazzo Cavagnis, a hostel and hotel in Venice, Italy
A frescoed, canal-view room at the incredibly cheap Foresteria Valdese religious hospice in Venice

A hostel, hotel, and religious hospice with baroque frescoes and canal views in the Palazzo Cavagnis in Venice, Italy

The only hostel-like accommodation in the heart of Venice (the official HI hostel is way out on a separate island with an early curfew and limited boat connections; don't bother) has two great things going for it, aside from low prices.

(1) it's at the confluence of two canals, so most rooms get that coveted Venetian water view, and (2) this slightly battered old palazzo still sports 18th century frescoes in some of the rooms. And not just any old frescoes, but ones painted by the same dude who did the Museo Civico Correr.

That kind of high-test room art is rare to find in any hotel—let alone one that charges as little as $100 for a double room (a bit more for canal views or a kitchenette; a bit less for staying multiple nights), or €35 per person in a dorm (€32 per night if you stay more than one night).

The Palazzo Cavagnis was built in 1711, complete with 40-foot-tall hallways and lovely courtyards, and is now run as a hospice by the Waldesian church (Italian Methodists; don't worry, they don't go all evangelical on their guests but rather limit the proselytizing to leaving a few pamphlets lying around). The guest rooms are divided into private rooms sleeping 2-8, and shared dorms sleeping 4-10 in bunk beds.

Though there's no lock-out or curfew, the reception does keep short hours: open daily only 9am-1pm and 6-8pm.

Guests staying in private rooms or apartments are required to stay two nights.

Those staying in dormitories are allowed to stay even for just one night, but cannot book ahead.

Be sure to ask for a "camera affrescata" to get one with frescoes.

» Rates & Availability

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Details, tips, & links

Details

Foresteria Valdese (Palazzo Cavagnis)
Castello 5170 - at the end of Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa
Vaporetto: Rialto
tel. +39-041-528-6797
www.foresteriavenezia.it
€–€€

» book

Nearby sights, dining, hotels

Sights nearby
★★★ Piazza San Marco (square)
★★★ St. Marks' Basilica (church)
★★★ Grand Canal (canal)
★★★ Palazzo Ducale (palace)
Campanile di San Marco (bell tower)
Museo Civico Correr (museum)
Bacino Orseolo (gondola parking lot)

Where to eat nearby
★★★ Bistrot de Venise (meal)
Da Aciugheta (meal/pizza)
★★ Osteria a la Campana (light meal)
★★ Vino Vino (light meal)
Rosticceria Teatro Goldoni (light meal/snack)

Hotels nearby
RR Hotel Danieli [splurge]
RR Hotel Metropole [premier]
RR Hotel La Residenza [cheap]
RR Hotel Caneva [super-cheap]

» More hotels in Castello from Venere.com
» More hotels in Castello from Booking.com

Lodging links
Lodging tips
  • If you're looking for a hotel near a particular sight, just go to that sight's page and, in the sidebar on the right, you'll see a list of all the nearby hotels (with "Reid Recommends" choices preceded by a little RR icon: Reid Recommends).
  • The Venice hotel tax: As of 2011, Venice began charging a Visitor Tax. This is the city's doing, and it is not a scam (just annoying). All charges are per person, per night, for all guests over the age of 10, and the tax is charged for stays of up to 10 days. (There are discounts: Dec-Jan, 30%; Kids aged 10-16, 50%; Stays on the Lido or other outer islands, 20%; Stays in Mestre or elsewhere on the mainland, 20%.)

    The cost breakdown is insanely complicated (varies with official clasification and rating cateogry), but general as of 2014:

    • Hotels: €1 pppn (per person per night) per star rating. (So a couple [2 people] staying three nights [2 x 3 = 6] in a four-star hotel [6 x €4 = €24] would pay an extra €24.
    • B&Bs: €3 pppn flat
    • Apartments, residences, rental rooms: €1.50–€2.50 pppn
    • Hostels/religious housing and agriturismi: €2 pppn
    • Camping: €0.10–€0.40 pppn

    Some hotels have folded the fee into their quoted rates; most properties tack it on as an extra when you check out. Just be prepared.

  • Book ahead in summer and during Carnevale: Venice is way more popular than the number of beds it has, so while in the dead of winter you can often show up and find a good place to crash easily, the best rooms (and the best-value hotels) are booked well in advance for the summer months and the two weeks prior to Ash Wednesday (when Venice breaks out the fancy dress and masks for its famed Carnevale celebrations).

    Same goes (though less so, and more at the chic and high end hotels) during the Venice Biennale art festival and the Venice Film Festival.
  • Pay extra for A/C in summer: No matter what kind of lodging you pick, if it's summer (a) try to get a room with air-conditioning and (b) even if you can't (or you can but have a hankering for some fresh air) resist the urge to open the windows to your room.

    Venice is, I believe, the primary breeding ground for the mosquito population of Southern Europe, and precious few Italian hoteliers have discovered that newfangled invention called window screens. Keep the windows shut, or prepare to be bitten.

    (Also, carry some bug spray for those romantic canalside dinners outside. Trust me.)
  • Avoid Mestre: Any hotels with an address in "Venezia-Mestre" is actually in the dull, modern, industrial suburb at the mainland end of the bridge over to the real, ancient Venice you came all this way to see. Do not stay in Mestre! You'll spend more time and money commuting each day in an out of Venice proper than you will save.
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Details

Foresteria Valdese (Palazzo Cavagnis)
Castello 5170 - at the end of Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa
Vaporetto: Rialto
tel. +39-041-528-6797
www.foresteriavenezia.it
€–€€

» book

Nearby
Sights nearby
★★★ Piazza San Marco (square)
★★★ St. Marks' Basilica (church)
★★★ Grand Canal (canal)
★★★ Palazzo Ducale (palace)
Campanile di San Marco (bell tower)
Museo Civico Correr (museum)
Bacino Orseolo (gondola parking lot)

Where to eat nearby
★★★ Bistrot de Venise (meal)
Da Aciugheta (meal/pizza)
★★ Osteria a la Campana (light meal)
★★ Vino Vino (light meal)
Rosticceria Teatro Goldoni (light meal/snack)

Hotels nearby
RR Hotel Danieli [splurge]
RR Hotel Metropole [premier]
RR Hotel La Residenza [cheap]
RR Hotel Caneva [super-cheap]

» More hotels in Castello from Venere.com
» More hotels in Castello from Booking.com


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