Discover Venice and its two small islands including the most interesting sights and experiences. Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Basilica, a bird’s-eye view of St. Mark’s Square, and the Doge’s Palace are just some of the most famous things on this tour. We’ll also visit quieter, lesser known locations including hidden streets and picturesque piazzas. From these off the beaten path spots, you’ll get a feel for what it is like living life on the Floating City.
We begin your adventure at the Rialto Bridge then embark on a journey through the winding Venetian streets and over its tiny bridges. Perhaps you’ll see a gondolier or two floating beneath you as we work our way into the heart of the city.
Your expert, local English-speaking guide will enthrall you with Venice's history and culture, from its surprising beginning as an unlivable marshland. Now one of the world’s greatest cities and most popular tourist destinations, you’ll have to truly stretch your imagination to think of it as once completely uninhabitable.
You'll pass Marco Polo’s house where you’ll hear of the son who traveled far beyond the horizon and the tales he told upon his return, of a land we know as China. Amble through quaint piazzas including the lively Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo and Campo Santa Maria Formosa. Marvel before Renaissance architecture with unmistakably Byzantine influences amidst modern edifices, a stark juxtaposition of styles that showcase the eclectic approach to the city’s design and development.
Now on to the Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark’s Square (once named the “finest drawing room in all of Europe” by none other than Napoleon himself). With our Skip-the-Line Access, you’ll be whisked past the lines waiting to enter St. Mark’s Basilica and go straight inside. Stand in awe below the famed onion dome, the perfect blending of eastern and western architecture then admire the beautiful mosaics housed within.
You'll have extra time inside to climb up to the first-floor terraces, rarely included on other tours. Here you’ll appreciate a stunning bird’s-eye view of the piazza below. Soak in the view as you imagine life in antiquity here as a masked royal, a courtesan or simple villager.
Our mainland tour continues at the Doge’s Palace, former home to the Duke of Venice and the city’s courts. You’ll see the best sights including masterpieces by Tintoretto and Veronese. It is a wonderful way to wrap up the initial portion of your guided tour before setting off for 1 hour and 30 minutes of free time to explore the area on your own. Visit local stores, browse shops, enjoy an authentic Venetian lunch – the choice is yours.
For the second leg of the tour, you’ll board a private boat to the timeless islands of Murano and Burano. Your local expert guide will continue to entertain you with stories of the sights you’ll be passing and before you know it you’ll be disembarking on the shores of Murano, our first stop. Known for its rich history and unmatched glassblowing, you’ll learn that it was here Europe’s first mirrors were crafted. So valued, the original artists were threatened with execution if they were to leave the city of Venice – on the chance they may share their secrets with the rest of the world.
Today these incredible artisans can come and go as they please but they still craft their work with the original authenticity of their ancestors. Watch them in action as they go about their business, then spend time on your own perusing their beautiful wares knowing we don’t make a commission on anything you buy, though you'll benefit from a 10% discount.
Jump back aboard the boat and we're off to Burano. See the area’s famous multicolored houses huddled tightly together along its canals, then be treated to Burano’s centuries-old tradition of lacemaking. You’ll see women working feverishly stitching lace like their mothers and grandmothers before them. Watch as they work painstakingly designing every detail.