Travel back in time and learn how this island city became a crossroads of civilizations and Queen of the Seas.
This exclusive 3-hour walking tour will take you through a maze of narrow streets and gently flowing canals from Riva degli Schiavoni in Venice to the Renaissance Church of Santa Maria Formosa, built on the site where the Holy Virgin allegedly appeared to St. Magnus, the church’s founder, as a magnificent matron. Just across the square from the church, you will also get a glimpse of the majestic foyer of an 18th century palace, resplendent with magnificent Murano glass chandeliers. Just a few steps from this lively Campo will take you to the medieval buildings of Marco Polo’s House, one of the city’s most famous sons.
The next stop will be at the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi, the newest architectural renovation in Venice and latest addition to stylish shopping in the city. Once a palace-cum-warehouse that was the headquarters for German merchants starting from the 13th century, it has been metamorphosed into a luxury lifestyle department store and center of culture overlooking the Grand Canal.
The hustle and bustle of the commercial district is epitomised by the Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge over the Grand Canal, still lined with shops as it was in the Middle Ages and affording a breathtaking view of the magnificent palaces lining the canal banks.
On the way back to St. Mark’s Square, pause for a minute to admire the spiral staircase of Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo and then reach the pulsating heart of the city – Piazza San Marco.
The only square in Venice called piazza and the hub of political power for centuries, it showcases the most iconic Venetian buildings – St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace.
With this skip-the-line tour, walk through the spectacular rooms of the Doge’s Palace literally lined with priceless masterpieces, and see the halls of power in which the government of the Most Serene Republic convened.
After your guided exploration of the Doge’s Palace, your guide will walk you through St. Mark’s Basilica, one of the most majestic cathedrals in the world. The glittering mosaics of the interior tell the story of St. Mark and episodes from the Bible. Its most famous treasure stands in the sanctuary -- the Pala d'Oro, a golden altar screen encrusted with pearls and jewels (admittance ticket not included).
End your visit at an artistic glass furnace just off St. Mark’s Square where you will enjoy a spectacular glass blowing demonstration with a detailed explanation of this ancient handicraft. Stunning examples of blown glass pieces are on display in the adjoining showrooms.