Centrally located, 3 minutes by foot from Piazza San Marco and 5 minutes from the Ponte di Rialto, the Hotel Antica Locanda al Gambero is well-positioned among the 3 star hotels of Venice. On Calle dei Fabbri, one of the most characteristic and well-known streets in the city, set at the foot of the picturesque Ponte de le Pignate, the hotel lies within the labyrinth of winding paths and canals that make Venice unique.
The rows of little stores and artisanal shops, showrooms and boutiques, bacari (traditional inns) and historic cafés color the area around the hotel. Here you can stroll along, discovering fascinating sights and marveling at the beauty of the celebrated museums and monuments before you.
At the end of the long and narrow Calle dei Fabbri, past the Sottoportego del Dai, the path opens up to the magic of Piazza San Marco, the magnificent “living room” of the city. The Basilica di San Marco, sparkling with mosaics, is framed by the porticoes of the Procuratie, which contain boutiques and the famous and historic Florian and Quadri cafés; the pale pink mass of the Palazzo Ducale, one of the highest examples of gothic Venetian architecture, stretches toward the Bacino San Marco, a reflective mirror of water. The proud Campanile, with its beautiful Sansovinian veranda, guards the piazza like a standard bearer.
A visit to the Palazzo Ducale is one of the most exciting Venetian experiences: various itineraries carry you on a journey through the magnificence of La Serenissima, the history and vicissitudes of the Doges, and the illustrious personalities of Venice, such as Giacomo Casanova, whose daring escape from the Piombi (the prisons) can be relived on the Secret Itineraries (Itinerari Segreti) tour, which takes visitors through the secret rooms of power and the administration of Venice of the 1700’s.
Coloristic virtuosity and masterful perspectives are the hallmark of the Veronese painters, who painted on enormous swathes of fabrics (in Venice, the humidity and salinity in the air make it impossible to paint frescoes)in the Palazzo over the course of nearly a half a century, the second half of the 1500’s. These splendid masterpieces decorate the most sumptuous and significant rooms of the Palazzo Ducale, celebrating the glory and splendor of Venice: the Sale del Consiglio dei X (Halls of the Council of 10), the Sala del Collegio (College Hall) and the Sala del Maggior Consiglio (Higher Council Hall).
To experience the living Venice of today, you must visit the Rialto (5 minutes from the Hotel Locanda al Gambero): the famous Ponte di Botteghe, the fruit and vegetable market and the fishery are everyday destinations for Venetians, who find among the many stalls of the market castruare and botoli (the small artichokes of Sant’Erasmo), moeche and schie) (crabs and shrimp from the lagoon), the delicious first offerings of the season in Venezia, which you can enjoy at the Restaurant of the Hotel Locanda al Gambero.