4-Star Digs in Venice…


Ruzzini Palace Hotel and Campo Santa Maria Formosa

The most desirable way to experience and appreciate Venice is to simply hit the streets!  Though criss-crossed by canals and bridges, much of Venice can best be explored on foot.  (More about gondola rides in a future post.)  To quote Rick Steves, “Don’t worry about getting lost.  In fact, get as lost as possible.  Keep reminding yourself, ‘I’m on an island, and I can’t get off.'”  (Rick Steves’ Italy 2011, p. 45)  We took Rick at his word and trekked all over this fascinating city.  While most of the streets are unmarked—which can be a bit confusing—there are signs posted in various places that point you to the nearest landmark…i.e., San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, etc..  We picked up a map from our hotel and used it to (successfully) navigate around the city.  In a brief period of time, we came to recognize our surroundings and found ourselves depending less upon the map.  On occasion, we ditched the map entirely and wandered wherever our feet took us.

We selected a hotel that was conveniently located within easy walking distance of St. Mark’s Square and other points of interest.  Abutting Campo Santa Maria Formosa–a peaceful and picturesque square in historic Venice–the Ruzzini Palace Hotel occupies Palazzo Loredan Ruzzini Priuli, the former home of a prominent Venetian family.  Dating to the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, the hotel is beautifully decorated and offers modern conveniences with an old-world feel.  Our room boasted Venetian marble floors, an exposed-beam ceiling, and luxurious furnishings.  A number of exquisite paintings bedecked the walls.  The hotel staff were extremely accommodating and the deluxe breakfast buffet offered the perfect way to begin each day.

We arrived at the hotel by water taxi via the rio del Paradiso.  We and our luggage were deposited right outside the hotel lobby–talk about convenient!  We departed from Venice by the same method.  I learned about the Ruzzini Palace Hotel from TripAdvisor, making our reservation based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews.  I was completely satisfied with our stay at the hotel and will plan to stay there again the next time Venice is on our travel agenda.  For more information or to make a reservation, visit the hotel web site at http://www.ruzzinipalace.com/.

Interesting fact…  According to our Italian guide, Elisabetta, “Formosa”—the name of the square and the neighboring church—relates to an alleged appearance of the Virgin Mary disguised as a voluptuous woman.

Break out your walking shoes and prepare to take on the most alluring city in Italy…


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