Sant’ Elena revisited

If you are spending a reasonable time in Venice, one of the places you might like to wander to is Sant’ Elena, at the far eastern tip of Castello. And, if you’ve got the time and energy, do walk there along the waterfront, it’s an easy way to stretch those muscles. You will find open spaces and parks, quite a change if you’ve just squeezed through the crowds around San Marco.

Whether you just want to sit in the sun for awhile, or have a vigorous jog, this is the place to do it.

Me? I’ll just take the photos.

As I wandered around this part of Castello, I wondered what this building could be.

It warranted a closer look.

Best Western 4 Star Hotel

I discovered this is a Best Western Four Star hotel! It is in a “former Venetian convent with well-kept cloister gardens“, to quote the website. I think it would be an excellent choice, if a person wanted to stay in a hotel.

I can also recommend an excellent B&B in Sant’ Elena, for anyone who is interested.

But, wait, There’s more. But, I’ll leave that for another day.

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “Sant’ Elena revisited

  1. Sig. Nonloso

    I don’t know why my disinformational comments posted under two different names: it was not done on purpose to heighten the effect of the disinformation and make people believe a whole troupe of people were attesting to the hazards of Sant’ Elena (or I would have used distinctive voices). So, yes, “Steven” & “Sig. Nonloso” are the same commentator, each only occasionally a reliable source of information when it comes to Sant’ Elena. In contrast to Yvonne, who reliably provides the straight dope (and NOT the kind being sold in that little alley off the piscina near the giardini).

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  2. Um, we’ll let Sig. Nonloso speak for himself. Did I say Steven? I must have been thinking of someone else!

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  3. are Steven of the rampant crime and Sig. Nonloso of the nuclear waste dump one and the same?
    I just want to get my sources straight. I need reliable references when I quote them on my website.

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  4. Steven, now I know what I did with that son I carelessly misplaced many years back. It’s you!

    That’s very good information on the forming of your neighbourhood, go the Fascist, or something like that! Now, I’ll be walking down every calle in your ‘hood, looking up for that darned face. Thanks, Steven. I think. πŸ˜‰

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  5. Sig. Nonloso

    Is there rampant crime on Trip Adviser, too? Actually I guess I don’t really know the site & perhaps I don’t need to worry about that. I look forward to your next post on S’E–and if makes the place seem too appealing I guess I’ll just have to mention the underground nuclear waste dump… (Oops, that’s supposed to be top secret!)

    Actually, as I’m sure you already know, only the area around the church was here until less than a 100 yrs ago; the rest was a barrena, sometimes submerged by the tides. Only when they dug the deep channel for the industrial port did they use the mud to build up this area for housing–which was built in the ’20s by the Facists. I wonder if your next post will feature a certain very Fascist looking head that appears on one of the buildings in S’E? I wonder if I even remember where that head is?

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  6. What we can do is mention, on Trip Advisor, what a nasty place it is to visit!

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  7. Bert

    Another cat out of another bag, Yvonne! You’re not going to mention the church, now, are you?
    I don’t think Steve has very much to worry about, though. People forget. Well, I know I do.

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  8. It’s quite lovely. Once you get over the last bridge, there’s a lot of flat territory to explore. But, watch out for all that rampant crime. πŸ™‚

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  9. Certainly a get away from it all ,area,

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  10. It certainly would be, Michelle. (Sort of like Heath Ledger in “Casanova”.)

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  11. Michelle

    Wouldn’t it be lovely in a hot air balloon??? If you could just get it to go where you wanted. But then again that’s what makes it so delightful. Up,up and away!

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  12. My guess is that Steven is very protective of Sant’ Elena and doesn’t want to see tourists around. I don’t blame him.
    To me it’s one of the most relaxing corners of Venice. I’ve never seen anything weird going on. But, I do not live there. Nice post.

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    • I’d say that Steven had his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. But, I also think he’d like to preserve their little oasis out east!

      Now, I want to fly over his part of town one day.

      (Thanks for your nice words, Daniel!)

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  13. That’s so true, Al. If you landed there on a first visit, you’d be quite puzzled as to where all those ancient buildings had gone.

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  14. Al

    Amazing how suddenly that green park area stops looking like Venice!

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  15. christy

    One of the times we were there, we saw young men doing their workouts. I think they were military. Definitely nothing illegal. πŸ˜‰

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  16. Other Yvonne

    Wow, we have been to Sant’Elena and had a nice walk about, never saw anything illegal going on. I guess Yvonne and Yvonne both got lucky
    getting out unscathed.

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  17. Steven

    Wait a minute, Yvonne, are you going to make Sant’ Elena what they call a destination?! I’m going to have to start writing about all the kidnappings and rampant crime that goes on out here, just to keep it as it is. We do actually have a well-known pair of blindly-stumbling squabbling junkies who–contrary to whatever notions of “junkie chic” may be popular among some advertisers–are w/out a doubt 2 of the least prepossessing people you’d ever wanna see. There are also drug sales I hear going on on the piscina (exact name I can’t recall at the moment) just off the Giardini Pubblici (but that’s in Castello). In any case, to quote an American art historian we met here who has a vacation aptmt in San Polo: “NO ONE goes to Sant’ Elena.”
    And let’s keep it that way, I say…

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    • Oh, oh. I’d better delete this post then?? And, I’ve got a whole bunch of other stuff to show. Hah! I’ll say those photos are from Dorsoduro, or Santa Marta, maybe.

      Shall I tack a rider on my post, along the lines: Visit here at your own risk.

      … sorry …

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  18. I really enjoyed both of your posts on Sant’ Elena Yvonne. We know a fellow who lives out there with his 2 children and his children would rather live no other place. Nice thought isn’t it?

    I will have to spend more time out there on our next visit.

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  19. Sig. Nonloso

    Oh, one note about those beautiful pini maritimi you photographed. The same friend (who grew up on Sant’ Elena) told me that if you look at the park from overhead you would see that the trees intentionally were planted to form the “nodo di Savoia”–or the looping knot (kind of like the sign for infinity) of the royal family. Hm.

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  20. Sig. Nonloso

    It’s funny that you should have such nice pics of that hotel as just yesterday an older friend told me about how that old convent also used to have a school which he attended for his first 4 years of grade school. Before his 5th yr someone told his mother that it would be a good idea if he was allowed (or forced, as the case may be) to swim in the “big sea”–meaning the public school in Castello. He said the “big sea” then–as now–was pretty rough. Nothing like the nuns he had at the old convent you picture, regardless of what one might hear about tough nuns.

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    • Oh man, what an experience, going from a little fish-pond to the “big sea”. You are so lucky to be in the middle of all that history, and to have someone like your friend to bring it alive.

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