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“Glad we took the Backstreets and Photo tours”
Review of The Venice Experience - CLOSED

The Venice Experience
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 16, 2010

We really enjoyed our time with Mike. We took the Backstreets of Venice tour on our second day in the city, and he took us to parts of Venice that were far from the tourist crowds. It was really nice to walk through quiet streets and “campos”, watching ordinary Venetians go about their daily chores. He pointed out interesting sights like “high-water” plaques set into the walls of buildings (the result of past floods) and a tiny square still surfaced in red bricks set in a herring-bone pattern (as was most of Venice at one point). And he was great with our six-year-old son. After Mike showed him how to use a Venetian drinking fountain (there’s a trick to it) our boy ran to the other drinking fountains we saw during the rest of our time in the city. Mike took us into the Palazzo Zenobio. It houses an art college these days, and we looked at some artwork in a second-floor gallery and enjoyed some quite time in the lovely courtyard garden. We never would have visited a place like this had we been walking Venice on our own. The next day, one of us took Mike’s photo tour. He offered some clear tips on how to take better photos and, once again, highlighted some parts of the city that were well off the beaten track. We’re definitely glad we took these tours.

1  Thank PaulAndDianaToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (247)
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222 - 226 of 247 reviews

Reviewed July 15, 2010

This should be your first tour in Venice - if only to convince you of our two most important strategies for enjoying Venice. Go down that little alley and get lost, and stop for a "spritz."

Mike spent a few hours taking us around Venice, showing us areas where tourists normally would never venture. it was a great time. As I said above, key to the experience of the city is exploring, Going down that little alley, checking out that little courtyard. There's no crime, to speak of in the city. so your only risk is getting lost ...and if you expect THAT will happen, there's no problem whatsoever.

Seriously, Mike was a great guide, and we recommend his tour to anyone wanting to really experience this magnificent city!

Thank MarkBearSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2010

My wife and I went to Venice for four days and booked the 6 hour Venice Experience. We actually received 6.5 hours for the 6 hour booking,including a relaxing lunch at a wonderful restaurant, and an early stop at a cafe for coffee (some of the best in the world) at our request. We had the opportunity to experience "real-world Venice," from backstage with someone who lives here and is in love with the city.

Karen took us through back streets we would never have found, showed us sights no guide book has written about. We know the details of why a Gondola is built the way it is, and a got first-hand look at the last remaining Gondola builder in the world. We met a professional Venetian mask-maker who had a commission from the pope. All experiences we would never have had without Karen's unique perspective. She never pretended to know everything, but answered every question well, and when she did not know the answer (which was not much we asked), she told us she would research it.

If you want an incredible experience, and are headed to Venice, don't hesitate to book this tour. Yes it is a bit pricey, but it is more than worth every penny we paid, and then some. You get personalized one on one service and if you don't book it - you will never know what you missed, but that would be a shame - and your loss.

2  Thank cr8it
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2010

The Venice Backstreets Tour with Karen was the highlight of our 9 day trip to Italy!

I am compelled to share our WONDERFUL experience.

Karen was interesting, friendly and knowledgeable. We LOVED the insider access! Karen guided us to picturesque spots, hidden courtyards and canals, the tiniest of streets, funky bridges and cool historical spots. We learned about the current local culture and the history and mystery of Venice. This is a visual tour, she speaks to what you are seeing instead of a lot of dates/history and it’s great.

Thanks to Karen we found out we were staying about 100 yards from the gondola making shop! Thanks to Karen we tried the best cicchetti and prosecco! Thanks to Karen we saw the most magnificent canvas ceiling painting! And thanks to Karen we “looked up” at the right times to see fascinating stuff above street level.

Karen is a true local expert – from the history of the clock tower to how to become a gondolier, she knows it all!

Yes, it is an expensive tour; we splurged and were not disappointed. If you can afford this tour I say do it! I 100% recommend it!

(We took 3 additional tours in Rome and did not care for any of them as much as this tour.)

Thanks for a FAB tour! Liz, Ryan and JE

Thank LizEats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2010

My 15 year old daughter and I took a photography tour with Mike on June 22. We had spent 2 & 1/2 weeks touring italy - Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Sardegna, and Pompeii. This tour was my daughter's favorite experience (beaches in Sardegna may be a very close second). Why? I think Mike read what we wanted. We didn't ask for it, but my daughter and I were looking for a good morning stroll through Venice to take a few pictures, learn a bit about Venice and the people, and enjoy the day. I could sense that if we wanted to dive into more detail, we would have.

Mike started out with a few photo tips, and then we started on the tour. Mike perceived fairly quickly that we were not hard-core photographers, so we just started talking about Venice - the people, the city, and some history. I especially liked seeing Venice away from the throngs of people - in the backstreets. as wes trolled along, Mike allowed us to pick what we wanted to look at. I never felt pressure to move on or that we were on a schedule or well-defined path, although I am sure he was aware of the pace. I also like that we stopped in a small bar to take a break and have a couple of coffees. At the end, we had a very pleasant lunch. In fact, that was my favorite part of the day.

Sure, we learned about photography and got some great pictures too. But better than that, my daughter and I have some great memories that will last much longer than the photos.

Thank lastminuteoverpacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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