Duration: 2.5 hours
Type of Service: Venice Highlights Walking Tour with Gondola Ride - small group tour
Is your time in Venice limited? Would you prefer to spend much of your visit to Venice eating cicchetti (venetian appetizers), drinking, shopping and relaxing? Most people visit Venice for just a day or two, which makes it difficult to squeeze in all the best things to do and see. Experience the best of Venice in just a few hours, leaving you ample time to enjoy yourself and wander down romantic canal side streets. This 2.5-hour tour includes:
- St. Mark's Square and St. Mark's Basilica
- Rialto Bridge
- An English-speaking professional guide
- A gondola ride
St. Mark's Square in Venice - Begin your tour of Venice in St. Mark's Square. Home to the magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica, Bell Tower and Doge’s Palace, this is the biggest piazza (public square) in Venice. This is the first stop on your Venice walking tour and it’s also the meeting point of the tour. After meeting up with your fellow Venetian visitors and guide, it's time to head to St. Mark’s Basilica. As this is one of the most visited landmarks in Venice, long lines are expected in summer months. However, this Venice walking tour includes skip the line tickets.
Once inside, it's clear why the basilica is nicknamed “the Church of Gold”. With 4,240 square meters (45,638 square feet) of gilded mosaics constructed over eight centuries, the interior of St. Mark's Basilica is unlike anything you've ever seen. In part, the basilica is so richly outfitted because of the conquest of Constantinople. In 1204, after the Middle-East city fell, treasure was shipped back and installed in St. Mark's Basilica. Included in the haul were the four bronze horses and The Pala d’Oro (high altar retable of St. Mark's).
St. Mark's is a sacred place, so both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Venice is hot. A great alternative is to bring a shawl, scarf, or sweater with you, that way you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.
Rialto Bridge and Neighborhood - Just a few minutes away from St. Mark’s Square is the Rialto Bridge, as much a symbol of Venice as St. Mark's Basilica. Initially built from old boats, the unstable bridge was rebuilt in 1500. On one side of the bridge is the Rialto Market in the Rialto neighborhood, a place that’s been satisfying appetites for seven centuries. The oldest of the four bridges that span the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge features a 24-foot tall arch. Providing access to the district, the Rialto Bridge enables Venetians to carry on their business in the area.
A Gondola Ride in Venice - After your Venice walking tour ends, it’s time to partake in an essential Venice activity. Step right up to your gondola boat and say hello to your gondolier! Now, it's time to enjoy the beauty of Venice from the water on a thirty-minute gondola ride. The privilege of working as a gondolier is not taken lightly. In fact, Venice only awards a limited number of licenses per year. In addition to being expert rowers, gondoliers are storytellers and Venice historians.
Your gondola ride ends a few minutes’ walk from St. Mark’s Square, where your tour began. From here, catch a water taxi back to your hotel or the train station. Or, if you aren't ready to call it a day, ask your guide where the best places to eat and drink in Venice are. We will happily point you in the direction of some delicious Venetian cuisine.
Things to Know:
- Small group tour of 18 people or less
- Tour operates 7 days a week based on availability
- Tour is offered at 9:30am and 4:00pm
- Meeting Point Location:Between the two big columns in St. Mark’s Square located on the side that faces the canal. A representative will be there holding a sign –more details are provided upon booking.
- A moderate amount of walking is involved – recommend tennis shoes
- Tour Cost: $85.00 per person/adults to include registration fees, skip the line admission, and guided tour
- Tour Cost: $68.00 for children ages 7 – 17 years old
- Tour Cost: $49.00 for children 6 and under