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One-of-a-Kind Dorsoduro Sanctuary, Newly Restored, Private Entrance and Backyard

Bedrooms 3
Space 800 sq. ft.
Property type apartment
Minimum Stay 3 nights

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About the property

Unique Landmark Apartment In The Heart Of Cool Dorsoduro

Il Buco della Suora is the latest project from The Lovely Brothers, the team responsible for Bell End – the restoration of an old stable in Brooklyn. Il Buco picks up where Bell End left off, applying principles learned on land to the unique landscape of a city built on water.

The process of rebuilding took two years by hand, boat and rubber wheel, utilizing the collective talents of Venetian artisans.

Unusually for a city steeped in disguise, Il Buco embraces nakedness. It trusts the functionality of brick, stone, ancient beams and architraves, salvaged oak, rough plaster, hand-made tiles, iron, steel. The central flow of the apartment is retained, with rooms repurposed for a contemporary way of life. Some doors and walls were removed to facilitate openness, whilst retaining the rough, natural textures which afford warmth and the sense of a home. Very little is concealed or embellished. The apartment uses what is endemically beautiful, peeling back a century of remodeling to embrace the core principles of the building.

Walls are of brick and plaster, ceilings of original wood. Floors were taken back to dirt and resurfaced with Moroccan tiles, employing a perspective-enhancing design that echoes the floors of Basilica San Marco. Closets were eschewed in favour of oak shelving, so the contents of the apartment - books, records, pots, pans, hooks, hats, coats - become part of its shifting visual landscape, unique to the people who live in it.

Systems are new. Under-floor radiant heat provides a perfect antidote to Venice's winter chill (there are few things more life-affirming than climbing out of bed and planting sleepy feet on a warm floor). Summer heat is mitigated by air-conditioning. There is an endless supply of on-demand hot water.

The heart of the house - living/dining room - adjoins the kitchen and outside yard. We put emphasis upon the urge to gather, with a farmhouse table in the middle of the space, chairs around it. The same in the yard; big table, stools. It's not a place we want to feel compelled to leave. Communion and sanctuary - talking, cooking, coffee in the morning, wine at night - were guiding principles. Proximity to the kitchen, with its commercial range, farmhouse sink and array of equipment, means guests can live as a family. Passing plates of pasta through the kitchen window to waiting hands outside is one of the seminal experiences of being here.

The living room (with full-size sofa bed) is the largest room in the apartment, with armchairs, books, turntable and vintage records, and an eclectic array of modern American antiques, including vintage megaphones, clam rakes, old menus, meathooks and a bass drum from a church marching band. Iron-shuttered windows look out onto a small garden. The leather couch from Spazio Boselli provides the perfect surface for horizontal dozing. However, a couple of easy maneuvers and it becomes a double bed; the space is instantly transformed from living room to elegant bedroom, with its own full en-suite bathroom (shower, toilet, sink, bidet). Roll the barn door shut and you’re in your own private suite. The same maneuver in reverse, you’re back to a living room.

Bedroom 2, in the front of the house, has a double bed with salvaged oak headboard, 50's Murano chandelier and US military cabinet. It has two large windows onto Calle Degolin for great light, and full-length iron shutters for privacy.

Bedroom 3 has a single-size oak bed, crystal chandelier and a large iron-shuttered window onto Calle Degolin.

Mattresses are new, cotton sheets and towels by Bassetti, blankets from a farm in upstate New York. There is a choice of down or synthetic pillows.

The main bathroom (large enough to meander about in), has a shower, double sink, toilet and bidet spray.

We avoided the intrusion of a large TV screen. Instead, there's an iMac exclusively for guests, which can be used as a computer or television with your own subscription service. It comes with an external hard-drive for DVD’s and sits inconspicuously in a small office just off the living/dining room, with its own window onto the outside yard.

Alternatively, the apartment has high-speed wireless internet, so if you've brought your own laptop, you can work or watch stuff on that. Music plays through a wireless Sonos system, as well as the turntable with our own collection of records.

The outside yard is simple and rustic, backing on to the crumbling walls of the catechism school. At certain times of the day you can hear the kids in the church playground. A single, monolithic slab of mahogany on saw-horses provides an impromptu dining table.

There's a washing machine and drying rack in the closet. And - most critically - a 'carello' with sturdy wheels for your frequent trips to the supermarket and beyond. With this and a swift gait, you will be able to pass as a Venetian.

A note of caution. Whilst we welcome children (we have two of our own) we ask that guests remember this is our home, on an quiet calle, populated entirely by Venetians, most of whom are elderly. We are 'stranieri' and as such our reputation rests upon the kindness of our guests.

The name of the apartment refers to a 16th century passageway - Il Buco - that connected Santa Maria dei Carmini to the convent at San Sebastiano. According to legend, cloistered nuns - le suore - used this dark corridor to attend services at Carmini without being spotted by lay-folk. The Nun’s Hole, long-vanished, passed through our little corner of Dorsoduro. By adopting the name Il Buco della Suora, we've gone some way to fostering its restoration.

Calle Degolin is ideally situated off Calle Lunga San Barnaba, a narrow alleyway well-known to locals, that connects San Barnaba to San Sebastiano (with its iconic Veronese paintings). It's a minute's walk to lively Campo Santa Margherita, with fish stalls, butcher, vegetable stands and myriad of restaurants, wine shops, bars and cafes. It is also close to several supermarkets, including the only one in all of Venice that stays open every night until 11 (on Zattere, hence great strolling opportunities while gazing across the canal to Il Redentore on Giudecca).

We're very close to Ca' Rezzonico vaporetto stop, with no bridges between (for that first and last day with luggage), as well as San Basilio/Zattere just round the corner. 10 minutes by vaporetto to Piazza San Marco, or 15 on foot. It's a short walk to Piazzale Roma for buses or Ferrovia for trains. An even shorter walk to the bridges at Accademia or Rialto. There are traghetti very close by at San Samuele and San Tomà. You can also get a water taxi to within 30 feet of our door, but nobody does.

Venice is tiny, and there are countless famous attractions extremely close by: Scuola San Rocco, Frari, Chiesa dei Carmini, San Sebastiano, San Nicolo dei Mendecoli, Ca' Rezzonico itself, Angelo San Raffaele, Zattere, Accademia, the famous spritz bar Schiave, vegetable barge at Ponte Pugni, endless restaurants and gelaterie, the famous pasticcerie Tonolo and Colussi, gondola workshop at San Trovaso. It's a short walk to Rialto with its fish market and cicchetti bars, Campo San Polo, Campo San Giacomo, the Guggenheim and Salute. And - for when you're ready to take on the masses - 15 minutes to Piazza San Marco, with Fenice along the way.

Il Buco della Suora offers a unique way to stay as a local in the best part of Venice.

The Municipality of Venice requires that we preregister guests with a small contract, stating their details, the sum they have paid, and the payment of a nominal tourist tax.

The apartment (and our Brooklyn property) have their own website -

More Details

Julian Richards
Member since: 2014
Speaks english, italian
Response time
Within 12 hours
Response rate
Calendar last updated:
25 March, 2017

About Julian Richards

Part-time writer, talker, restauranteur, traveler. Split my time between the Catskills, Brooklyn and Venice. Two daughters, 17 and 10, two cats, 9 chickens, several ideas.

Julian Richards purchased this apartment in 2014

Guestbook comments from the owner

Nous avons été accueillies par Enrica qui nous a expliqué le fonctionnement de l'appartement le logement est agréable, confortable, peut être un peu de manque de luminosité car c'est un rez de chaussée mais ça se voit sur les photos donc ce n'est pas une surprise. le quartier est très vivent, beaucoup de restaurants, les commerces à proximité donc bien situé; je recommande cet endroit.
Oct 2015
  • 1 of 2


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday apartment rental in Dorsoduro East, Italy

Property Type:
  • apartment
  • floor 1
Building Type:
  • building
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 800 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy 5
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • City Centre
  • Monument View
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower enclosure , bidet
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower enclosure , bidet
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 double bed , Large room with two windows onto traditional Venetian calle
    Bedroom 2 - 1 single bed , Pretty room with window onto traditional Venetian calle
    Bedroom 3 - 1 sofa bed/futon , Huge room with two windows onto garden
  • Books
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • wheelchair accessible
  • bay
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • library
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • synagogues
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • photography
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • swimming


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(18 traveller reviews)

One-of-a-Kind Dorsoduro Sanctuary, Newly Restored, Private Entrance and Backyard
average rating of 4.888889 based on 20 reviews

Comfortable, interesting, well-equipped house, popping with character, on a quiet street.

  • 5 of 5

We will always try to stay there when we come to Venice!

  • Review Submitted: Mar 10, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Grazie mille. Yes, please come back (hopefully when I'm nearby).
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A Wonderful Christmas in Venice

  • 5 of 5

I can't recommend this apartment enough. I stayed here with my husband and one year old, my parents and my sister. Even filled to the max, this apartment worked well for us. It is perfectly located for both getting around to major sightseeing areas, and for enjoying the neighborhood. The kitchen is far and away the best stocked kitchen I've seen in a home rental. They've got all the utensils, pans and (sharp!) knives you could ask for. The heated floors are delightful, and the beds and linens comfortable. The decor is unique, fun and not overwhelming. There's a delicious pizzeria next door and a really good fish restaurant a few blocks away. It's easy to get fresh vegetables, fruit and fish for cooking in the neighborhood. Encra, who let's you in to the apartment, is very nice and helpful and can arrange for a driver (who is also really nice) to pick you up and drop you off at the airport, which is very convenient. All around perfect.

  • Review Submitted: Jan 1, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Dec 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Delightful corner of Venice!

  • 5 of 5

This apartment would be a pleasure in any location. Well located in a sweet corner of the Dorsoduro – even more so. The photos well represent the apartment’s handsome design. The apartment is spacious, warm in details, and well-appointed in a clean and intelligent manner. We loved the combination of old and new and the achingly beautiful view out to the private patio. A real deal Italian gas range and well supplied kitchen. Good mattress, selection of pillows, linens, and woolen blankets. Blessedly consistent wi-fi. The green window shutters and the sweet church bells of Ai Carmini. Easy communication about the booking and questions. The list goes on and on … thank you Julian! We miss Venice and hope that this will be only the first of many stays at Il Buco della Suora.

  • Review Submitted: Dec 8, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Who knew that the process of gathering a likeminded community of wonderful people, simply by having them stay in your home, would be so engaging. Please come back, we're very grateful.
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A perfect place in a quiet neighborhood

  • 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Italy and we started in Venice. The apartment was everything we'd hoped for. We especially loved the cool design, two bathrooms, fully functional kitchen and the outside area. We were able to have friends over for dinner and had a wonderful time! The location in this quiet neighborhood was a perfect place to return to after a busy day in an amazing city.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 13, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Charming apartment in a great location

  • 4 of 5

This apartment is located in a quiet neighborhood in Venice--allowing you to visit and explore while being removed from the crowds. Convenient to cafes, restaurants & shops it was a perfect location for us. It is a bit smaller than it appears in the pictures but it is quite comfortable and beautifully appointed.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 28, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Dreamy Dorsoduro Apartment

  • 5 of 5

Julian is genuinely a terrific host. He provided detailed instructions for our stay and was helpful when we had questions about transportation for our departure. The apartment was a welcome respite from the cruise-ship crowded city. We enjoyed the nearby restaurants, wine shop, and grocery stores. Our kids were thrilled to have their their own rooms and outdoor space. I loved making prosciutto omelettes and espresso in the mornings on the bad ass stove! I did use the herbs from the herb garden. Thanks Julian! Our time in Venice was dreamy.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 16, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
10 Miles
Venice Marco Polo
Nearest Barpub
150 Metres
Campo Santa Margarita
Nearest Ferry
250 Metres
Ca' Rezzonico
Nearest Golf
2 Miles
Nearest Train
0.5 Miles
Venezia Santa Lucia
Nearest Motorway
5 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
75 Metres
Al Profeta
Nearest Ski
75 Miles
The Dolomites
Nearest Beach
2 Miles
Car: not necessary


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday apartment in Dorsoduro East, Italy

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Spring 2017
2 Jan 2017 - 11 Apr 2017
3 night minimum stay
Summer 2017
12 Apr 2017 - 19 Oct 2017
3 night minimum stay
Fall 2017
20 Oct 2017 - 21 Dec 2017
3 night minimum stay
Christmas 2017
22 Dec 2017 - 1 Jan 2018
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning/Meet & Greet A$163

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
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