Beyond the Grand Canal: 36 Hours in Venice

Venice, better known as the Floating City as it sits on a group of small islands (118 to be exact) is a favorite stop when traveling to Italy.  Most visitors to Venice arrive by train and immediately cross over the Grand Canal, making their way through the Rialto Market on a beeline for St. Mark's Square.

Experience the Authentic Venice

The real Venice - the Venice every visitor to this North Eastern Italian city and former capital of the seafaring world should see - starts back at the train station, which is just a few hundred steps from the culinary and artistic center of old Venice.

While the city of Venice is full of historical and artistic importance, the "ghetto", the original Jewish community settlement, is the most authentic neighborhood remaining in Venice. Established in 1516, the Venice Jewish Ghetto is recognized as the first of its kind. The streets are full of colorful buildings, rich in history and craftsmanship - exactly what one would expect to see in the Floating City.

Hear the true sounds of the city as live music spills out into the streets from the many local cicchetti bars. As the singing starts to ease the tensions of your journey, step into one of the many bars for your own glass of local wine and cicchetti, the Venetian version of Spanish Tapas. Only then will you start to feel truly relaxed as you get immersed in this wonderful island city vibe.

Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal

Rialto Bridge is the oldest bridge crossing the Grand Canal.

Enjoy a little Island Hopping

After coffee in St. Mark’s Square and must-see stop at Doges Palace for the Secret Itineraries Tour, visit some of the outlying islands, which are the heart and soul of the vibrant Venice culture. You can take a quick Day Trip to Murano From Venice where the pristine islands of Murano and Burano are like floating into a time machine. 

First, explore the island of Murano, where for centuries Venetian artists have been perfecting their signature glassblowing talents. Murano became the center for glassmaking of the Venetian empire in 1291 when the fear of fire forced the glassmakers to take their kilns to the nearby islands and away from the center of the city.

From there you will journey to the island of Burano, with its bright and colorful homes built on narrow cobblestone streets that have made this a popular destination for artists the world over since the 1600s. During this time in history, the local women of Burano started to produce intricately designed lace cloth.

To this day, it is not uncommon to see older women stitching this rare handmade lace on local patios while watching their grandchildren play in the streets, giving this island a unique sense of timelessness and charm that has remained hidden from most of the world for centuries.

For a full list of exciting ways to spend your time take a look at our Venice Tours

Find Your Tour

Top-rated on TripAdvisor

Over 9,000 reviews WorldWide

View all

Get to Know City Wonders

A City Wonders tour is the product of meticulous research, detailed planning, and a passion for providing customers with travel experiences they will cherish forever.

With City Wonders it's not just facts, our passionate guides tell you the stories that bring the sights to life.

  • All of our guides are experts in their field
  • We only hire fluent English-speakers so nothing is ever lost in translation
  • We focus on the little details and anecdotes that make City Wonders so special

Related Tours

Select From Date

Select To Date

Choose a Date