Highlights of this tour

  • St Mark’s Square and Basilica (with priority access)
  • Murano Glass Furnace & Showrooms
  • Rialto bridge and market area
  • Grand Canal and minor canals on private taxi to Murano
  • A walk behind the scenes in the Venetians’ Venice

VENICE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

VENICE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS  –  Venice isn’t a small town, and, besides the universally famous sites, St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge, there’s a whole historical center to explore.

Our guess is that you should plan to stay at least 4 or 5 days. If you wish to include some of the nearby towns, such as Padua, Vicenza, Verona, or some of the Palladian Villas, then you should stay an entire week! A good idea is to come back at different times of the year…

However, to make the best out of your little time in Venice, we’ve built up an itinerary, lasting 4 hours, covering all the ‘unmissable’ sites, allowing to savor the city both on foot and by boat, and giving you some insights of the everyday life of the city. Without forgetting to provide you with the fundamental historical facts and, if required, with tips about restaurants, shopping, more sightseeing and the like.

Venice at your fingertips  is a tour articulated in 4 steps – depending on our starting point and time we will customize it, spending our time wisely and always using all our experience to beat the crowds. Here are the 4 major stages in our tour:

1 – St Mark’s Square – political center of the Venetian Republic for 900 years (from the 9th to the end of the 18th century). Its buildings symbolize the power of Venice through the centuries and epitomize its cosmopolitan vocation. A panoramic survey of the Doges’ Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, the Marciana Library, the Bell Tower, the Procuratie, the Clock Tower will allow our guide to introduce Venetian history and civilization.

More attention will be given to St Mark’s Basilica, that we shall enter (April through October using our priority access) for a brief visit. This unique architecture, with its more than 900 years the oldest building in Venice, tells about the Byzantine heritage of Venice, and helps the visitor to understand which were the ideals of beauty in Medieval Venice. Its golden mosaics and magnificent polychrome marbles will hit your imagination!

2 – As a second step in our journey we’ll then board a private water-taxi to view parts of the Grand Canal, the most beautiful waterway, and to sneak into the maze of minor canals. The facades of the noble houses, with their variety of styles and colors, the hidden gardens, the lively traffic of gondolas and other boats will thrill you! Last part of the ride will be a 10 minutes’ ride in the Lagoon, heading north to the island of Murano.

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3 – Murano is synonymous for artistic glass making. It’s been 800 years since when, by State decree, all the furnaces in Venice were moved to the island. The techniques employed by the glass makers of the 21st century basically continue to be the same used in the Middle Ages. Murano glass was largely imitated by all European nations since the 16th century, and Venice strived to protect the secrets and keep up with the competition.

During working days we’ll see an actual production line at one of the top glass factories. You’ll learn the important historical and technical details and some good stories. On weekends they will be glad to provide a demonstration, starring a blown piece and a solid sculpture. The showrooms are visible all year round and will mesmerize you for the variety of shapes, styles, colors. The creativity of the artists seems to be endless! The perfect place to purchase a gorgeous example of a millennial craft….

4 – During the busy tourist season, the return transfer to Venice by taxi might be shared with others.  As a final stage, we’ll explore on foot one of the best-preserved areas of Castello, the largest of the six districts (or ‘sestieri’). Surrounded by magnificent buildings, sieged by an average of 25 million tourists every year, the 54,000 resident Venetians (end of 2017) enjoy lingering in beautiful squares (or ‘campi’) such as Campo san Giovanni e Paolo and go food shopping to the open-air Rialto market.

We’ll stroll from san Giovanni e Paolo to the Rialto bridge area. Once a major hub of Mediterranean trading, it is today a bustling cluster of shops, cafés, wine bars, restaurants, food stores. You may love it, or hate it, but Rialto is the heart of Venice. And you cannot miss it! To conclude our tour, some words will be spent on the serious problems of preservation and sustainability Venice is facing at this point of its millenary history.

If you have longer time in Venice you might like to explore the Lagoon with one of our boat tours.

If you’re traveling to Rome and you loved or ‘Venice at Your Fingertips’ you might also like to book our Rome Grand Tour.

Cost of this tour

  • This tour lasts four hours and costs 450 euros up to six people (not per person)
  • Only private parties
  • For larger parties, send us an email!
  • Transportation included
  • Entrance fees per person: S. Mark’s Basilica 3 euro (from April 1st through November 2nd)

Dress Code and advice

  • Short sleeves and knee high pants and skirts are ok
  • No sleeveless and no shorts