Your day starts as all great days in Venice do: with a stroll through the quiet back streets and bustling markets of the city. You’ll meet one of our expert local tour guides alongside a maximum of 12 other people for an intimate walking tour of the city.
Starting early, we get to the Rialto Bridge before the crowds descend, to admire its incredible marble architecture before moving on to the bustling Rialto market. The chefs and mamas of the city are shopping for dinner around this time, so what better time for a stroll through the stalls, with your guide explaining what each strange fish or vegetable is and how (and why) Venetian cuisine differs from the rest of Italy’s. Throughout your Venice tour they’ll give you tips on what to eat and where while you’re in town.
Our walking tour continues into the atmospheric neighborhoods of the city, across countless bridges and quiet piazzas. Along the way you’ll see the childhood home of Marco Polo, the Venetian merchant who first told of China; duck inside San Giovanni Gristosomo to see paintings by Venetian masters Bellini and Sebastiano del Piombo; and discover how the “Church of Miracles” got its name.
Our walking tour consciously veers away from the beaten track, taking you to our favorite local spots so you can get a taste of the real Venice, as well as the big name attractions.
We couldn’t say we were covering the best of Venice in a day if we didn’t include a gondola ride. After your walking tour you’ll meet a local Venetian gondolier and your group will be split into different gondolas (a maximum of six people per gondola) for a ride along the Grand Canal and into the quieter back canals of the city. Duck under little bridges, admire ornate palaces and watch the world go by as you sit back and enjoy that quintessential Venetian moment. Indeed, with independent Venice gondola rides costing around 80 / Euro hour, this half-hour ride, included in the price of your tour, is a bargain.
We’ll give you a break for lunch after your gondola ride and meet back at St. Mark’s Square for the next part of our adventure. With pre-reserved tickets to St. Mark’s Basilica, we’ll save time wasted in long ticket lines. Inside, your guide will point out the features of this incredible church, explaining how its east-meets-west architecture came about, the shady means by which the relics of St. Mark came to rest here and the details in the beautiful gold mosaics on the roof.
Our day doesn’t end there though. With pre-reserved skip-the-line tickets to the Doge’s Palace, we’ll walk straight inside. It’s here that you’ll feel the most benefit for having a local tour guide. Home to some of the city’s most impressive artworks and architecture, Palazzo Ducale is so much more than something pretty to look at. Although it certainly is that, it’s also the historic heart of Venice; a repository for the best stories, from Casanova’s prison break to the Duke whose face was blacked out of every portrait and painting. With our expert guides on hand to tell you the juicy details, plus small groups so you can ask all the questions you want, your Doge’s Palace tour is guaranteed to be an unexpected highlight of your Venice visit.