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Julian Richards

Member since: 2014
Call Owner
Speaks english

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

15 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Property type apartment
Minimum Stay 3 nights


Photos and Description of this Dorsoduro holiday apartment

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 and was undertaken 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 raw materials; brick, stone, ancient wooden 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 space and openness, whilst retaining the rough, natural textures which afford warmth and the sense of being a home. Very little is concealed or embellished. The apartment uses what is endemically beautiful in the structure, peeling back a century of remodeling to embrace the core principles of the building.

Walls are of brick and rough plaster, ceilings of original wood. Floors were taken back to dirt and resurfaced with hand-made Moroccan tiles, employing a perspective-enhancing design that echoes the floors of Basilica San Marco. Closets and cupboards were eschewed in favour of rough-hewn 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 and state-of-the-art. Under-floor radiant heat provides a perfect antidote to Venice's damp winter chill (there are few things more life-affirming than climbing out of bed and planting sleepy feet upon a warm floor). The city's summer heat is mitigated by built-in 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 collective urge to gather, placing a farmhouse table in the middle of the space, chairs around it. The same in the outside yard; big table, benches, stools. It's not a home we want people 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 tools and equipment, means guests can live as a family, in our home. Passing plates of fresh pasta through the kitchen window to waiting hands outside is one of the seminal experiences of being here.

The living/dining room adjoins the largest room in the apartment. It’s big, with armchairs, books, and an eclectic array of modern American antiques, including vintage megaphones, clam rakes, old bar 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 beautiful double bed; the space is instantly transformed from living room to luxury 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 military cabinet imported from the US. 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 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 stroll around in), has a shower, double sink, toilet and bidet spray.

We avoided the intrusion of a large TV screen. Instead, there's in a new 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 (with boosters) so if you've brought your own laptop, you can work or watch stuff on that. Music plays through a wireless Sonos system, using the free Sonos app on any smartphone.

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

There's a new front-loading 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.

PLEASE READ: A note of caution. Whilst we do allow children, we ask that people remember that this is our home, on an extremely quiet alley, populated by Venetians, most of whom are elderly. We are outsiders, and as such our reputation rests upon the behaviour of our guests. We must respect the balance. We have children, so we understand - but realistically, if you have any doubt about boisterousness, we are probably not the right home for you. Complaints are a big problem. The apartment is not designed to be bombproof and we value our possessions, so employing them as toys would be a problem.

The name of the apartment refers to a 16th century passageway - Il Buco - that connected Chiesa di 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, its fish stalls, butcher, vegetable stands and myriad of restaurants, bars and cafes. It is also close to several supermarkets, including one on Zattere, which offers 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.

There are countless famous attractions extremely close by: Scuola San Rocco, Frari, Chiesa dei Carmini, San Sebastiano, San Nicolo dei Mendecoli, Ca' Rezzonico itself, Accademia Museum, the famous spritz bar Schiave, endless restaurants and gelaterie, the famous pasticcerie Tonolo and Colussi, the gondola workshop at San Trovaso, the vegetable barge in Campo San Barnaba. It's a short walk to Rialto with its fish market and cicchetti bars, Campo San Polo, Campo San Giacomo, the Guggenheim and Salute.

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
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair accessible
Julian Richards (Owner)
Member since: 2014
Call Owner
Speaks english

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
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based on 15 traveller reviews

One-of-a-Kind Dorsoduro Sanctuary, Newly Restored, Private Entrance and Backyard
average rating of 4.866667 based on 17 reviews

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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Loved it!

  • 5 of 5

Great, quiet neighborhood, super well designed home and a garden in walking distance to so many beautiful places. Fruit & veggie boat and supermarket are just a short walk away, as well as 2 lovely squares with cafes, restaurants etc. Loved that the kitchen is equipped with real tools & a set of good knives! Thank you for making your home available to us. We already passed your card on to a local friend.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 2, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Hidden oasis in busy Venice

  • 5 of 5

We recently visited Venice with our family of four, and thoroughly enjoyed this spacious apartment in a quiet neighborhood location. This place is really one of a kind with the unique architecture and charming personality of the old world. We were a family of four, including our two teenagers, and the apartment is big enough were you can have some space to yourself and not feel cramped. The outdoor patio is a plus, and we enjoyed an evening or two sitting outside enjoying some wine listening to the church bells. Venice can get quite crowded, and it was always nice to come back to this quiet neighborhood and apartment. Being it was July, and it was quite warm, the AC was a blessing. We will always have fond memories of this special place, thank you Julian!

  • Review Submitted: Jul 25, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Lovely to have you - come back in the damp, chilly winter!
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Simply incredible

  • 5 of 5

We chose this home because of the pictures and wonderful description Julian provided. Upon seeing it in person, neither words nor pictures captured its true beauty and feel. It was home from the first moment, welcoming us with such incredible furnishings and attention to detail. It was the perfect Venice base for our family of five (kids 15, 12, 10). The kids loved coming back to it each day after touring and getting lost. Absolutely loved the neighborhood and the Campo. Really can't say enough great things about this home. I'll leave it at my wife wants to live here.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 8, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: It's always such a thrill to have a family come and stay and settle in, like friends. Never easy to convey that in a listing, but we love it when people arrive and immediately get the spirit of it. Thanks for coming and for being so great. Come back soon!
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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, Italy

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Autumn 2016
20 Oct 2016 - 21 Dec 2016
3 night minimum stay
Christmas 2016
22 Dec 2016 - 1 Jan 2017
3 night minimum stay
Spring 2017
2 Jan 2017 - 11 Apr 2017
3 night minimum stay
Summer 2017
12 Apr 2017 - 19 Oct 2017
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning/Meet & Greet A$165

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday apartment rental in Dorsoduro, Italy

Property Type:
  • apartment
  • floor 1
Building Type:
  • building
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 800 sq. ft.
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
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • 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