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Free Walking Tour of Venice

UK
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1,605 posts
3 reviews
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Free Walking Tour of Venice

In light of an earlier post and comments thereafter, here is a link to a free walking tour site: http://freetourvenice.com/

[I hesitate to say a link to *the* free walking tour site as there may be more than one.]

There are favourable reviews on TA.

I hope this does not count as advertising, since the venture seems to be non-commercial.

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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3,441 posts
58 reviews
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1. Re: Free Walking Tour of Venice

"There is no free lunch." You are expected to tip.

Chorley, United...
Destination Expert
for Venice
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18,790 posts
119 reviews
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2. Re: Free Walking Tour of Venice

Is anything ever really free. There are always strings.

UK
Destination Expert
for Venice
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47,516 posts
86 reviews
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3. Re: Free Walking Tour of Venice

Does seem dubious must be strngs attached, someting for no thing I don't think so

UK
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1,605 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Free Walking Tour of Venice

I quote from the site:

Our guides are only those who are ready to share their passion for the city for nothing. Of course tips are important, but only if you think they’ve deserved them.-)))

Doing free tours is a hobby for our guides, which they still do professionally.

We firmly believe that if money is given for a Tour, it should be voluntary and in direct proportion to the quality of the tour and the budget of the traveller.

Even though our guides appreciate tips, your applause means so much more to them, and they’re happy to welcome you as their guests over and over again, as each new Guide has a different story to tell about Venice.!

I don't think they can make it any fairer than that. I can see it would be a bit embarrassing to say "Cheerio" without leaving a tip, especially if the group is really small. But they say it depends on how you feel and what your budget is.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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3,441 posts
58 reviews
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5. Re: Free Walking Tour of Venice

If the guides don't get enough tips there will be no "free" tours.

Atlanta, Georgia
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for Atlanta
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6. Re: Free Walking Tour of Venice

I'm the one who started the more recent thread on this tour, and can report back that it was a great experience. I submitted a request through the group's website, and gave several available dates. They contacted me with a date, time, and location, and gave me the guide's name and cell phone number. I met the group at the designated place with about 8 other English speakers from all over the world (Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong), and we took about a 90 minute walking tour through Dorsdudoro and San Polo. The guide was cheerful and enjoyable, and I was very glad she didn't parade us through San Marco. She pointed out a lot of places we might like to return to visit, from gelato and cichetti to museums and churches. She told us a little about daily life in Venice, and various festivals. When it was over, she offered to give us directions or restaurant recommendations.

At the end, she was very low key and never once suggested or hinted that she wanted a tip. Of course all in our group tipped her, but she thanked us genuinely and did not stick around with her hand out pressuring us. Also, she discreetly tucked the money into her pocket without looking at it. I probably would have tipped a paid guide too (though not as much) and thought this was far more cost effective.

At the end, it turned out that she and I were walking back in the same direction, with me heading back towards a square we'd passed to find some pizza. She told me she knew a better place, and went out of her way a few blocks to walk me to another pizza place (Al Profeta - thumbs up!) Along the way, we talked and I learned that she was in college studying for a masters in modern art. She also works in an art museum, and gives tours because she enjoys it and likes to practice English.

I am sure the tips don't hurt either, but this is not my first experience with guides volunteering their time because they enjoy it (I have a friend who's a physician and does this in New Orleans). While I certainly agree there's no such thing as a free lunch, I don't think this service merits undue skepticism, especially in light of the multiple glowing reviews on TA.

cambridge ontario
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359 posts
47 reviews
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7. Re: Free Walking Tour of Venice

I just booked today for our visit in May and got a speedy, cheerful response.

It's not our first trip to Venice, but I know we have missed so much!!

Really looking forward to the tour.

Manchester, United...
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272 posts
12 reviews
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8. Re: Free Walking Tour of Venice

We booked a tour last week and had a speedy reply and then an email from the young lady who will be taking the tour, we also sent an email regarding the area and how long the tour would take again we had a very speedy reply. We took a walk in Penang china area with a young lady who was very polite and knowledgeable.

JAlanta thanks for the feed back.

regards

PD

Illawong
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2 posts
7 reviews
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9. Re: Free Walking Tour of Venice

I'm having trouble getting on the free walking tour website. can anyone send me their email address?

thanks

UK
Destination Expert
for Venice
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47,516 posts
86 reviews
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10. Re: Free Walking Tour of Venice

There have been a lot of posts about this, seems the email address is not working anymore,