Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

Unique Dorsoduro Sanctuary, Newly Restored, Private Entrance and Backyard

Bedrooms 3
Space 800 sq ft
Property type apartment
Minimum Stay 2 - 3 nights


About the property

Unique Landmark Apartment In The Heart Of Cool Dorsoduro

Il Buco della Suora is The Lovely Brothers' home in Venice. Their two other projects, the conversion of an old stable in Brooklyn (Bell End) and the telephone operator's cottage in Bovina (Cottager's Bottom) are also for rent. Il Buco picks up where Bell End left off, applying lessons 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 an amazing team of Venetian artisans.

We reclaimed an old Venetian home, dragging it up from the mire by its fundamentals. Unusually for a city steeped in disguise, Il Buco embraces nakedness. It trusts the functionality of raw materials; brick, stone, 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. 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 itself.

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 staying in it.

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 air-conditioning. There is an endless supply of on-demand hot water.

The heart of the house - living/dining room - adjoins the kitchen and outdoor 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 yard; breakfast table and chairs. 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 Bertozzoni range, farmhouse sink and array of tools and equipment, means guests can live as a family. Passing plates of fresh pasta through the kitchen window to waiting hands outside is one of the seminal experiences of being here.

The second living room (with full-size sofa bed) is the largest room in the apartment, with armchairs, books, record player and vintage records, 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 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 bedroom, with its own en-suite bathroom (shower, toilet, sink, bidet). Roll the massive 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 antique 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 custom built oak bunk beds, crystal chandelier and 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 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 hidden inside a wardrobe in the living room. Open the two doors, pull up the armchairs and use it as a television to watch movies with your own subscription service. It also comes with an external hard-drive for DVD’s.

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 either through a wireless Sonos system, using the free Sonos app on any smartphone, or through a Marshall bluetooth speaker connected to the turntable.

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 a planting table, along with an antique cafe breakfast table and chairs.

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

A note. We welcome children of all ages (we have two of our own) but we ask that people remember this is our home, on a quiet calle populated by Venetians, most of whom are elderly. We are 'stranieri' and as such our reputation rests upon the kindness of our guests. We don't pretend to be a hotel. If you're secretly wanting a hotel but are attracted to the home thing because of price or the number of people that can be crammed into a Volkswagen cheaply, you won't be happy here. It's a home, a sanctuary from the frenzy of Piazza San Marco and Rialto, rather than an adjunct to it. It's quiet, peaceful and private. There's always coffee, tea, sugar, salt, pepper, spices, Campari and other things; it's a nice, trusting, mutually respectful vibe, rather than the two IKEA teaspoons and a plastic plate thing.

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 Campo San Barnaba to Chiesa 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 200 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. And - when you're ready for the masses - it's 15 minutes walk to Piazza San Marco, taking in 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. Upon agreement via AirBnB, we will send this document by email, which will need to be signed and held at the apartment during your stay.

More Details

Julian Richards
Member since: 2014
Premier Partner

This partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks English, Italian
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
12 August, 2018

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 in Dorsoduro in Venice-Murano-Burano

Property Type:
  • apartment
  • floor 1
Building Type:
  • building
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 800 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • city centre
  • Monument View
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • 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 ...
  • Terrace
  • 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


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(41 traveller reviews)

82% Complete
12% Complete
2% Complete
0% Complete
2% Complete
Unique Dorsoduro Sanctuary, Newly Restored, Private Entrance and Backyard
average rating of 4.731707 based on 43 reviews


  • 5 of 5

This was the Venice of my dreams--nothing to do with the masses of tourists in the San Marco side of the Grand Canal. This apartment is beyond the beyond and the location is sublime. I wouldn't stay any where else!

  • Review Submitted: 03-Sep-2017
  • Date of Stay: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: So kind. Yes, please keep coming back. We're forming an extended family ...
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

We fell in love!

  • 5 of 5

Amazing apartment in a wonderful part of town! Away from the most touristy areas but still within walking distance to everything! Loved the beds, the music and the wine shop around the corner! :) Thank you for so many special memories!! We hope to be back someday!!!

  • Review Submitted: 05-Jul-2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Nice, quiet location; still close to all Venice has to offer.

  • 4 of 5

We enjoyed our visit and would recommend the apartment to others.

  • Review Submitted: 03-Jul-2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Absolute perfection!

  • 5 of 5

I first visited Venice with my family when I was 13. Now I'm midway through a century and have discovered a new side of Venice. This apartment is in a perfect location. It is well maintained and beautiful. It has easy access to anything you could possibly want but far enough from the mess of St. Marks square that you are not troubled by the summer rush of tourists. I could spend a month here. Actually, I just may do so! Love, love love the apartment, the location and Venizia. Thank you, grazie for a beautiful visit! We love it!

  • Review Submitted: 02-Jul-2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Come spend a month! Even if we’re here, come anyway, we’d love to have you.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Perfect Spot for Our Venetian Vacation!

  • 5 of 5

Perfect location in residential area near Campo San Barnaba, with excellent local places for eating, drinking, and watching the day pass by. Away from the congestion and craziness of the main tourist spots but you can get to all those areas easy enough when you are ready to become a tourist again. Easy to get to/from property via water taxi as it is just short walk from the Ca Rezzonico vaporetto stop. About 20 min. walk to just about anywhere else in Venice from this apartment. The apartment was perfect for our family - we especially enjoyed listing to many of the vintage record albums while relaxing at night. Hope to visit again and continue our explorations! Thanks!

  • Review Submitted: 27-Jun-2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for coming. We love having people stay who get the vibe of making the place their home while they’re in Venice. Please come back.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Great area, interesting property.

  • 3 of 5

Location of the apartment is great, lovely residential area near Campo San Barnaba, with excellent local places for eating & drinking. Fantastic to be able to get to property from water taxi or ali laguna stop with suitcases without having to haul them up over bridges!

Surprised to find bunk beds in the 2nd bedroom, was not shown on website, and as such a small room made it very claustrophobic so sofa bed was used instead of that room.

Also unfortunately had to spend a couple of hours one morning baling out as drain was blocked in the courtyard and heavy rain left inches of water in the courtyard which came in under the doors.

  • Review Submitted: 31-May-2018
  • Date of Stay: May 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hello Julie. I’m sorry the bunk beds didn’t work for you ... it’s always a struggle ... some people want their children to be able to stay together, and overall we came to the conclusion that it would be a popular move. Always tricky trying to cover all bases. The drain in the backyard is not blocked, but it does have a cap to prevent debris getting in. During heavy rain, it twists to open up bigger vents. I am sorry you weren’t told that in advance. It’s a standard Italian thing, and I will add it to the welcome letter and also have Enrica explain when guests arrive. Thank you for coming.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0


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


Prices & Availability

Ask Owner a Question

Additional pricing information

Cleaning Fee £104.29

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.

You might like these similar holiday rentals