Where to stay in Venice, Italy? A quick guide for the responsible visitor

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    ‘Where to stay in Venice?’ is one of the most common questions you have been asking us. You heard about all the issues the city and the locals are facing due to mass tourism and illegal rentals and would like to be sure not to hurt Venice by doing the wrong choice? This quick guide on how to choose an accommodation for your stay in Venice is what you’ve been looking for.

    Where to stay to have a great time without hurting Venice? The common dilemna of the Venice lover

    At Venezia Autentica we’re committed to be close to our community and to help everyone maximize their positive impact in Venice. We receive a lot of emails and messages of Venice lovers about to return to Venice or planning their next travel, aware of the local housing crisis and wondering how not to contribute to Venice’s problem by encouraging illegal rental.  The question below, from a dear follower of ours, is the latest of the sort and a good example of the state-of-mind and confusion in which most of you, wonderful people who care about the future of Venice and the Venetians, can find yourself when you have to book a place where to stay in Venice. This post will attempt to give you pointers and tips aiming to help you find the right place where to stay in Venice with more ease while resting ensured that you’ve done your part to not contribute to the local housing crisis.

    ” I have a question for you. My husband and daughter and I will be in Venice in___. I’ve rented an apartment for us through ____, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s a legal or illegal rental… The owner apparently lives in ____, which seems like a bad sign. But in our communications, she did mention the Venice city tax that is payable upon check-in, which seems like a good sign…? I guess my question is, without asking the owner, how would I know if the rental is legal or not? I certainly don’t want to be part of the problem in Venice.  So far, I’ve only paid a deposit, and I have until ____ to cancel and get a full refund. We would prefer to stay in an apartment rather than a hotel…but how does one make sure they’re looking at legal apartment rentals in Venice? Any advice you can give me would be much appreciated. “

    ``We would prefer to stay in an apartment rather than a hotel``. Our stand on renting an appartment in Venice

    A lot has been said locally and internationally about the damages caused by the giants of the sharing economy such as Airbnb on local housing markets. People are going as far as condemning such services at all, tagging them to be THE reason for which cities are suffering. Allow us to have a more pragmatic approach.

    AirBnb, HomeAway, you name them, are not, according to us, the issue. They actually can be an essential extra revenue stream for people trying to keep living in their city in a hard economy, people who couldn’t do without the extra money and would have to leave their own city.

    We believe that rather than the platforms it is the use that we make of them which is the problem. In Venice, for example, the services offering tourist rentals keep on popping up everywhere and they would whether Airbnb would exist or not.

    The issues that we see are rather that tourist rentals are not regulated enough, allowing, therefore, residents and non-residents having invested in Venice for the sole purpose of renting to tourists, as well as ‘agencies’ commissioned by investment funds, for example, to rent many apartments at a time, for long durations, and this, obviously, at at much more lucrative fees than a regular rental to a local citizen, a couple or a family.

    This takes an entire pan of the housing and rental inventory out of the residential market,  and drives the cost of housing and renting at sky height, which definitely constitutes a big problem for the local community as “regular” people no longer can find affordable places where to live.

    You understood it, we are not against tourist rentals but we are seriously pro-regulations protecting the residents and the use of common sense.

    To be 100% honest, when we travel we do rent apartments, we believe it’s a great way to feel like a local and to help the people we’re renting from… We love to do our groceries and to cook at our temporary flat. It doesn’t prevent us from spending locally and we feel more at home. And we understand you might feel the same. There are few red flags though that you should look out for. Knowing them should prevent you from renting from the wrong person.

    The 3 rules to follow to pick a tourist rental responsibly

    In a world where many are trying to maximize their personal profit at the cost of everything, we, consumers, have a huge responsibility, we need to learn to make the right choice, with limited information available, we need to learn to buy responsibly. When it comes to finding a place where to stay in Venice, there is no foolproof solution but these 3 rules are a good start.

    1/ Do they make you pay a city tax and ask for your ID? If so, this is good as it means the B&B is officially registered and that the tax contributes to the city’s economy
    2/ Does the person renting the flat have several flats to rent? This is a bad sign, if you see that someone rents several flats in Venice or even in different locations, it’s likely to be an agency or someone who is taking advantage of the city, using it strictly as a way to make money 
    3/ Does the person live in Venice? If you can get this information, then we’d recommend to go for people who are residents and tick the above boxes, as this people are likely to be trying to stay living in Venice, using the extra income to be able to do so
    Extra tip: In case you know the address of the flat that you are thinking of booking, which we know is often given to you after completion of the transaction, you can look it up on the City’s map of authorized accommodations. This interactive map shows the registered hotels, B&Bs, and apartments and is updated every day with the latest information. 

    This is it, as ‘simple’ as that. Obviously, these 3 tips couldn’t be perfectly full proof but by making the effort to try and check that the apartment you are looking to stay at does meet these criteria you’re doing an awesome job at helping tourism and residency cohabit in a more balanced way. The rest is in the hand of the institutions and regulators…

    I'm visiting Venice. Why should I follow your recommendations?

    The way you visit Venice has an impact both on the quality of your experience and on Venice itself.  Chilling, exploring, shopping, eating and drinking where the locals do, can make a huge impact both on the memories you bring home and on the local economy and community.

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