VENICE TOURS WITH OFFICIAL CITY GUIDE, Venetian itineraries
1. ORIENTATION TOUR
This is the tour for those that come to Venice for the first time: we will talk about the winged lion, the story of St Mark being brought to Venice from Egypt, his “golden church”, and then Theodore, killing a dragon, and, of course, when, how and why the Venetians have built a city on hundreds of thousands of wooden poles stuck in the mud of the lagoon.
We will visit St Mark’s square, the basilica and we will end at the Rialto bridge on the Grand Canal.
Walking across the city --you can choose between the Castello or San Marco districts-- we will also see some of the hidden corners in Venice, understanding everyday life in the city, its problems, what is like to live in such a city and about the “high water” phenomenon and what is on to protect the city and the lagoon.
Our guide will be happy to give advice what else to see in Venice, after the tour ends.
duration: 2 hours
extra costs: no extra costs
2. ST MARK’S SQUARE, THE BASILICA AND THE DOGE’S PALACE
St. Mark's square was the political and religious center of the Republic of Venice.
It is a place extraordinarily rich in historical and artistic value. Since the beginning of the 9th century, there developed here the symbols of power and propaganda of the Doge’s Republic and its religious devotion.
We visit the basilica with its precious shimmering gold-leaf mosaics, the altar screen with its gems, pearls and enamels. The visit continues in the doge’s palace , the doge’s apartments, the chambers where the laws were made, the courtrooms where judicial life was led and eventually we will cross the most-celebrated icon of Venice, the Bridge of Sighs, to get to see the Prisons.
A description of the main monuments in the square is also included: the Procuratie palaces and the Napoleonic Wing, the Clock Tower, the Campanile and the Marciana National Library.
duration: 3 hours
extra costs: entrance fee for the doge’s palace, fee for St Mark’s church museum and altar
3. THE ANCIENT JEWISH GHETTO
The ancient Jewish ghetto in Venice is in the Cannaregio district, one of the most authentic Venetian areas in the city, and yet quite unknown to tourists.
Important historical and artistic memories of the past will be seen in this tour which starts from the ancient financial heart of the city, Rialto, where other foreign communities lived.
We continue with the Jesuits' campo, its church where an important canvas by Titian is preserved as well as the small precious oratory of the Crociferi. From there we move to the scuola of the Misericordia and then we walk along the fondamenta to reach the beautiful church of the Madonna dell'Orto: here we can stop to admire the much celebrated works by Tintoretto.
In this multicultural and multiethnic context, not too far from the campo dei Mori, but away from the centre of power, the Jewish ghetto was born in 1516. We will try to understand what distinguished this area from all other Jewish quarters in Europe at that time as well as learn the history of the Venetian Jewish community till nowadays.
duration: 2 hours
extra costs: no additional costs, unless we go and visit the church of Madonna dell’Orto; for those interested in visiting the synagogues, contact us directly
4. OFF-THE-BEATEN PATH IN DORSODURO
Dorsoduro is the southern district of Venice. There are several walks in the area that will allow to see several important both historical and artistic monuments as well as more elegant and lively quarters. With its balconies and colourful flowers, hidden gardens, and the private boats lolling lazily in the canals is a wonderful place for photography lovers.
The tour can start from the Punta della Dogana, the ancient Custom House, and the spectacular church of Santa Maria della Salute. We pass by the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and we reach the embankment of the Zattere both to enjoy some ice cream and the view over the canal and island of the Giudecca.
We can stop by a place where they make the wooden oar forks for the gondolas and the other Venetian typical boats. Nearby we will see the oldest gondolayard in Venice.
We end the tour by campo Santa Margherita, one of the liveliest squares in Venice thanks to the presence of the major University, Ca’ Foscari.
duration: 2 hours
extra costs: no additional costs
5. THE GRAND CANAL AND THE HIDDEN WATERWAYS
The main street in Venice is of course a waterway.
Visiting Venice from the water level is certainly the best way to get close to the city and its most magical dimension.
The Grand Canal was defined as "the most beautiful street in the world": here palaces, churches and the ancient foreigners’ trading centres, the fondaci, show their most important and richly decorated façade to the people passing by. The tour is on a boat and includes several variations which we can choose together, passing through side canals, re-entering and leaving the Grand Canal in order to see more Venetian corners.
duration: 1 hour in combination with other tours
extra costs: watertaxi rental
In Venice you can move around by foot or by boat. Most of the several islands that compose the city are connected by more than 400 bridges.
And yet, if you use a wheelchair, it is possible to see a lot in Venice. There are specific itineraries that can be done even by those that have problems in walking. In the website of the city council of Venice, you can find detailed maps:
When visiting churches in Venice, don’t forget you need to cover your shoulders - a shawl will do - and wear bermudas or skirts reaching your knee. Please consider also, for security reasons, you will not be allowed in St Mark’s church and museums with a large backpack or bulky bags. There will be checkrooms in any cases, free of charge, where you can store your bag during the visit.
If you are asking some advice regarding hotels and restaurants or osterie in Venice, I will be glad to give some advice via email.