Hotels in San Polo

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What you should know about San Polo

The tightly packed alleys, bright buzzing squares, and venerable churches of San Polo make up the heart of Venice. San Polo is both the smallest and the oldest sestiere (district) in the “City of Canals,” the place where the city began over 1,200 years ago. Here you'll discover open markets selling fish, hidden squares fronted by tiny bacari restaurants, and alleys lined with small stores selling every imaginable thing. And you'll also get a chance to cross the Grand Canal over its most famous bridge.

Hotels in San Polo

Although few in number, the hotels in San Polo make up for that in quality. The Palazzo Barbarigo Sul Canal Grande is a 4-star San Polo hotel on the Grand Canal with its own jetty. Housed in an Art Deco palazzo, it's much praised for excellent service and the canal views from its beautiful balconied rooms. If you'd prefer a view onto the Rialto Bridge, try the Antica Locanda Sturion, a small but luxuriously furnished hotel yards from the landmark sight. Another fabulous vista can be had from the 4-star Hotel L'Orologio Venezia, a San Polo boutique hotel opposite the iconic Ca' d'Oro.

Things to see in San Polo

The first place many will head to is the Rialto Bridge, Venice's first (and oldest) stone bridge on the Grand Canal. Completed in 1591, its dramatic ramps and graceful arches and portico are probably best seen from the canal below—although it can be fun to explore its shops. The bridge is named after the Rialto area itself, the site of Venice's market since 1097. Today those markets are still a draw, for tourists and locals alike, especially the open-air fish market of the Campo della Pescheria. As in much of Venice, San Polo has several churches that also display fabulous artworks. The best known here is the Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, an Italian Gothic brick church that has works by Titian, as well as housing his tomb. Art-lovers will also enjoy the Scuola di San Rocco, a palatial 16th-century guild house that is famed for its paintings by Tintoretto.

Good for lovers of history and art

As the founding spot for Venice, San Polo's jumble of ancient alleys, churches, guild houses, and small squares make this a neighborhood where history is very much alive. Its market still flourishes a millennium since it began, while San Polo's maze of streets just begs to be explored. Some of Italian art's finest old masters lived and died here, and their works can be admired at churches and palaces alike. It makes for a heady mix and a great reason to choose a hotel in San Polo as your base for exploring Venice's heritage.

How to get to San Polo

Marco Polo International Airport is where most travelers land when flying into Venice. There is some choice for your travel to San Polo from here. Fast and fun, but expensive, are the water taxis that leave from the airport, but they will at least get as close as possible your hotel. You could take the public ferry to Marina dell'Orto, but you'll still need to take a vaporetto or water taxi to reach your hotel. Lastly the airport offers a bus service to the Piazzale Roma in only 20 minutes. Once there you either take the vaporetto or water taxi for the final part of your journey.

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