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On May 16, 2014
Last modified:May 16, 2014


It’s arguable that vacation rentals are an upgrade from hotel living, but if you find the right one there’s not much that will get you closer to feeling like a local. That was our goal when booking a long weekend home in Venice Italy. A bit of research told us that this part of the Dorsoduro neighborhood near Ca’ Foscari University was less overrun by (but not without) tourism so this Homeaway rental listed as “Cozy San Basilio” seemed like the perfect spot.

The Room: Not just a room, a whole apartment! Yeah, we love a good hotel but figured Venice might be the place to try out our first vacation rental and this Dorsoduro Neighborhood gem was a good start. Furnishings are decidedly Ikea (or Ikea-like) but a few traditional pieces are worked in and are surrouned by a nicely refreshed interior. Wooden beams and a the few classic furnishings give warm character to the space.

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is definately for mom and dad. This is the most reasonable sleep area for adults as the other areas are a lofted pair of twin mattresses and fold-out Ikea furniture.

For sleep time, the bed in the main bedroom is reasonably comfortable but perhaps a little “broken-in”. Less reasonable is the fold-out love chair intened for that 5th-wheel pal that insisted on coming along on your couples trip. The other couple, however, will sleep only slightly better in the loft where there are two twin mattresses shoved together just behind a small nightstand at the foot of the bed. The loft requires novice climing skill to get up the ladder leading to it.

Washroom: This is where it all falls apart if you’ve got more than 3 people in your group. More spots to sleep means more lining up for the one small washroom. It’s a very basic space with no real features to speak of. Getting prepped to head out for an afternoon sprizz might be a pain with no counterspace to set all your gear.


Don’t all try to brush your teeth at the same time. The cramped washroom at Cozy San Basilio can be a big minus but isn’t bad for couples and perhaps tolerable for small families with good bathroom time-management skills.

Amenities: Whatever fits in the little plastic baggie full of things you brought from home. Apartment rentals rarely come with L’Occitane goodie bags.

Service: The apartment’s owner Brittany met us on arrival outside the multi-unit building and got us all set up before our stay. She pointed out a small booklet that gave us basics of the neighborhood that was very helpful and gave us a few reccomendations. The service ends there though unless something goes wrong, in which case you can always contact her but you’re pretty much on your own…and we think that’s a good thing.

Wi-fi/Connectivity: Wi-fi is spotty at best. We’re not sure if this is a shared signal or where it’s coming from but the best signal seemed to be in the kitchen. Being in this great neighborhood in beautiful Venice really made us not give a crap about wi-fi though.

Overall: In the video, I promised 2 reasons to stay here and there are really a lot more than that but  1) that it’s located in Dorsoduro just next to the local university makes this a far less touristy option without all the crowds of something closer to San Marco or other dense areas of Venice Italy and 2) the owner Brittany is super friendly and is sure to make sure that’s your needs are met leading up to and at the beginning of your stay. The mismatch between the number of people the apartment sleeps and the size of the washroom is probably the biggest flaw we can find but it’s a really great place to be if you’re a couple or can handle the juggling of shower times.

Management Response:

Good morning Jake. I was surprised this morning when doing a random google search of our property to find your video and review. I would like to comment on a couple things…

We have many guest that travel with their 2 or 3 kids and often times they are looking for something clean, affordable and in a great neighborhood and this apartment works out great for them. In terms of the loft, the last thing I want to do is put anyone at risk and so I always warn the parents about the ladder prior to booking. When we have guest staying in the loft I also show them how the ladder works (it actually pulls out and locks in place so it’s not as steep as it appears in your video). When I receive a request for 4 or 5 adults I always let them know that it can be tight but I guess it depends on the group. Since your stay a few upgrades have been made to the property in terms of sleep quality, the main bedroom now has a pillow top mattress and the loft bed has a queen mattress (this space is actually a lot nicer when made up for guest staying in the loft).

Thanks again for the review.


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