Private Walking Tours in Venice, Grand Canal, St. Mark's, Doge's Palace, Murano, Burano, Torcello, glass-blowing, Rialto


Private Walking Tours in Venice
Grand Canal, St. Mark's, Doge's Palace, Murano, Burano, Torcello, Rialto
 



The Venetians' Venice
Venice Walking Tour, Frari & Gondola Ride
St. Mark's Basilica & The Doge's Palace
St. Mark's, Rialto & A Glass Factory
2-Hour Venice by Water
3-Hour Venice by Water
Private Boat Excursion to the Lagoon Islands
Venice & The Lagoon Islands by Boat
Torcello & San Francesco Islands by Boat
The Art Lover's Masterpieces of Venice
Venetian Waterways
Jewish History & The World's First Ghetto
Elena Like a true rare gem, Venice is enticingly gorgeous and maddeningly elusive. Once you've taken the Vaporetto all the way down the Grand Canal, walked through St. Mark's Square, visited the cathedral and the Doge's Palace, even dared to venture on to the Rialto and the Accademia, you have the feeling that you're standing on the edge of something wonderful, mysterious, almost forbidden, something you may never see because if you get lost.... How in the world will you ever get home if you get lost in Venice?

Venice06
O
nce you've seen the part of Venice that belongs to the tourists, let Venetian native Elena show you the city that belongs to the natives. Stroll with her down deserted side streets, alongside narrow canals, over the enchanting hump-backed bridges you've seen in movies, through the spacious campi where the only sound is the ripple of children's laughter, the velvety echo of Venetian dialect, and the occasional squeak of an overhead laundry line. This is the Venice we all long to see. This is the Venice that lies just out of reach of most visitors. Those who step across the invisible border into the Venetians' Venice may leave at the end of the day, but they will never escape her bewitching spell.



The Venetian's Venice

This walk is great for those who wish to see lots of Venice. It starts in a picture postcard corner of Dorsoduro, with a visit to the last of the original gondola workshops. Then you're off across the city, with stops to see the Titian and Bellini masterpieces in the church of the Frari.

The final destination is the Rialto bridge and market, where you reward yourself with a cicchetto: a glass of wine accompanied by fresh fish appetizers, served in one of the city's oldest wine bars (called bacari in Venice).

2016 Prices
Two people:
Three people:
Four people:
Five people:
Six people:
325 Euro/group
338 Euro/group
352 Euro/group
365 Euro/group
379 Euro/group
Price includes entrance fee for the Frari, as well as the cicchetto.


2-Hour Venice by Water

Venice is a fascinating warren of tiny streets, elaborate buildings and flowering balconies called altane. Unless you are planning an extended stay in this most unique city, the very best way to see its many secret corners and magical vistas is from the canals, in your own private water taxi.

During this unforgettable two-hour trip, Elena will take you to a tiny magical island, home to a masterpiece by one of the world's most memorable architects, Andrea Palladio. S. Giorgio Maggiore is the oft-photographed cluster of graceful buildings across the Grand Canal from St. Mark's Square. Palladio worked on this gem for over sixteen years, experimenting with techniques that would move liturgical architecture forward by decades. You'll visit the church, then soar to the top of the belltower for a sweeping view of the entire city and many of the islands in the lagoon.*

Afterward, you'll step back onto your private water taxi and sail along the Grand Canal. From here you can explore the lesser-known side canals, where the traffic consists of fruit-and-vegetable boats, fire boats, delivery boats, private boats -- all of the usual vehicles needed to make a modern city function, only these vehicles glide along on centuries-old canals! Overhead are the ornate gothic windows, flower-bedecked balconies and leaded-glass windows of the very lucky residents who live in the palazzo lining these canals.

Or you might continue your Palladian treasure hunt on the Giudecca, Venice's second-largest canal. Here you'll pass the church of a former institution for orphan girls (hence its name, "The Old Maids"). Designed by Palladio, it was built after his death. Across the canal is Il Redentore, considered by many experts to be one of Palladio's greatest masterpieces. From here you'll have a different view of St. Mark's, visible in the distance beyond the customs house at the tip of the Giudecca.

If you prefer, you may choose instead to sail across the lagoon to the island of Murano. Here you'll take a short stroll through the fairy-tale streets, past the world-famed glassblowing workshops where you can pause for a demonstration if you'd like. Afterwards, return to Venice with Helena in your private water taxi, or linger on Murano for some serious shopping. In this case you will return to Venice on your own at your leisure, taking the public water bus.

2016 Prices
All-inclusive price for two-hour tour:
2 people: 455 Euro/group
3 people: 461 Euro/group
4 People: 467 Euro/group
5 People: 473 Euro/group
6 People: 479 Euro/group

Two-hour itinerary
S. Giorgio Maggiore
Side canals and Giudecca
OR
Murano Island
If you wish to visit the belltower, the cost is an additional 6 Euro/person.


3-Hour Venice by Water


A
lso available is Elena's three-hour trip, which heads out across the lagoon to Burano, a picture-perfect island where you'll get out to visit the miniature bridges and brightly-colored homes, and pause for a demonstration of lacemaking. Many people consider Burano to be the most typical island in the Venetian lagoon.

Next comes the ancient island of Torcello, where you'll see the most beautiful Byzantine mosaics in Venice. From May to October and time permitting, we can also climb the recently-opened 11th-century belltower for an aerial view of all you've just visited. True Venetians know that because you can see the islands, the city of Venice and the mainland, it is only from the belltower on Torcello that you can get a complete idea of how Venice was built so many centuries ago.




Filled with inspiration, you'll go home via a small canal that passes near the Arsenale, Venice's exquisite ancient shipworks.

2016 Prices
 
All-inclusive price for three-hour tour:
4 People: 658 Euro/group
5 People: 664 Euro/group
6 People: 669 Euro/group
Three-hour itinerary:
Burano Island
Torcello
Arsenale canal

Price includes transportation and entrance to the cathedral on Torcello. Entrance to the belltower costs 5 Euro/person extra.


St. Mark's Basilica & The Doge's Palace

One of the great religious buildings of the entire world, the Basilica was begun in 830 to house St. Mark's bones, which had been smuggled out of Alexandria. It started out as a small, modest chapel and, over the intervening 1200 years, it has become one of the most extravagant and fascinating structures anywhere. If you go to Venice you owe it to yourself to visit the basilica with a qualified licensed guide, who can organize all the bewildering details into an interesting tale that you will actually remember. Also included in this itinerary is a visit to the renowned Golden Altarpiece.

Next to the basilica is the city's other monument, the Doge's Palace. The graceful pink-and-white building, with its rare double loggia, has been painted by almost every artist who lived in the last 200 years. Works by most of those who lived in this part of the world before that are on display in the palazzo's grandiose salons, as well as in the apartments of Venice's rulers the doges. The Bridge of Sighs connects the palace to the very atmospheric dungeons where generations of political and criminal prisoners spent their miserable last days before being executed.

Outside once again, you'll see the Piazza San Marco, which Napoleon called "the finest drawing room in Europe." Elena will tell you all about the belltower, the clock with its two giant bronze Moors, and the symbol of the city, the winged lion, who gazes eternally out across the Grand Canal onto the Lagoon.

2016 Prices
Two people:
Three people:
Four people:
Five people:
Six people:
Seven people:
Eight people:
  333 Euro/group
351 Euro/group
368 Euro/group
386 Euro/group
403 Euro/group
421 Euro/group
438 Euro/group
Price includes entrance fees for St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace. Skip the line entrance to the Golden Altarpiece is optional and an additional 3 Euro/person, paid in cash on the spot.



Walking Tour, Frari Church & Gondola Ride

During this unusual walking tour, your official English speaking guide will take you to St. Mark's Square, but you'll also leave the crowds behind, wending your way through the typical narrow Venetian streets (calli) and squares (campielli). Stroll along picturesque lanes; gaze in the elegant windows of haute couture boutiques; watch as local artisans craft elaborate masks, precious jewels and whimsical toys; view tiny hidden churches, palaces and courtyards. Inside Frari Church, you'll see paintings and sculptures by Bellini, Tiziano and Canova. Next you'll step into a gondola and begin your romantic 30-minute ride along the Grand Canal and through the tiny side canals, enjoying the most evocative views of the city. As if in a dream, glide through the city's most secluded waterways, slipping under small bridges as you appreciate how totally unique this floating city is.

Your guide will meet you in St. Mark's Square for this tour, which lasts about two and a half hours. Guided tours start at 9am, 11:10am, 1:10pm, and 3:10pm and end at the San Toma water launch along the Grand Canal. Pick-up at your hotel or at your cruise ship can be arranged for an additional supplement. Please ask us for the cost. Children under 2 years old pay nothing. Children 2 to 10 years old pay 80%.

2016 Prices
1 person:   350 Euro/person
2 people:   356 Euro/group
3 people:   356 Euro/group
4 people:   357 Euro/group
5 people:   396 Euro/group
6 people:   447 Euro/group
7 people:   498 Euro/group
8 people:   512 Euro/group
9 people:   551 Euro/group
10 people:   586 Euro/group

Price includes private English-speaking guide, Frari entrance fee and gondola oarsman.


The Art Lover's Masterpieces of Venice

Meet your English-speaking guide and walk to Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, a gigantic Gothic church considered Venice's most important after St. Mark's. Some of its outstanding treasures are works by Titian and Bellini. Proceeding around the corner you'll come to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, which houses an impressive and rich collection of art from the Italian Masters. A winding route of narrow streets and courtyards will lead you to the Ca' Rezzonico Palace, where you'll relax over a cup of coffee before stepping inside a resplendent Venetian palace that now houses the Museum of 18th-century Venice. Climb the grand ceremonial staircase leading to the first-floor ballroom, marvel at its remarkable ceiling fresco, then continue to the long gallery and other extravagant rooms. At the end of the visit, a motor-launch will be available at the Palace pontoon to take you through a short portion of the Grand Canal. Cruising through this section of the Grand Canal you will see Palazzo Grassi, the Accademia Bridge, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (now home to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection), La Salute church and St. Mark's basin, before returning to the cruise dock.

Your guide will meet you you at the San Toma motor launch along the Grand Canal for this tour, which lasts three hours. The motor-launch holds 10 people at most. If your group is smaller than 7 people, public transportation will be used. Children under 2 years old pay nothing. Children 2 to 10 years old pay 80%.

2016 Prices
1 person :
2 people:
3 people:
4 people:
5 people:
6 people:
7 people:
8 people:
9 people:
10 people:
  502 Euro
535 Euro/group
570 Euro/group
603 Euro/group
638 Euro/group
669 Euro/group
736 Euro/group
776 Euro/group
829 Euro/group
895 Euro/group
Price includes private English-speaking guide, transportation and entrance fees to Frari, San Rocco and Ca' Rezzonico.

Venetian Waterways

Step into your private motor-launch and travel with your English-speaking guide on a narrated tour through the Venetian canals and lagoon. You'll glide down the 2.3-mile inverted "S" of the Grand Canal, delighting as police and fire brigades zip by in their boats, grey customs boats make their rounds, tradesmen, deliverymen ply their services, wedding and funeral processions take place; seemingly the whole population of Venice is on the water. Cruise past Baroque and Renaissance palaces, some housing museums and exquisite private art collections. During the course of your exclusive ride through Venice, you'll stop to disembark and enjoy the atmosphere of a typical Venetian café. Coffee and traditional Venetian sweets will be served before you boat back to the cruise dock.


Your guide will meet you at the San Toma motor launch along the Grand Canal for this tour, which lasts two hours. Due to navigation rules on the Grand Canal, this tour is only available in the afternoons, after 3pm. Children under 2 years old pay nothing. Children 2 to 10 years old pay 80%.

2016 Prices
1 person:   461 Euro
2 people:   473 Euro/group
3 people:   484 Euro/group
4 people:   492 Euro/group
5 people:   504 Euro/group
6 people:   514 Euro/group
7 people:   527 Euro/group
8 people:   537 Euro/group
9 people:   579 Euro/group
10 people:   617 Euro/group
Price includes private English-speaking guide, boat transportation and a snack.


Jewish History & The World's First Ghetto

The word "ghetto," and the concept associated with it, actually originated in 16th-century Venice, when the Great Council ordered that all Jews be confined to a small island. They were not allowed out of the ghetto after sunset, they were forced to wear distinctive clothing, and they were barred from most professions save medicine. In time the word came to designate any kind of poor neighborhood, but in Venice the Jews were mostly affluent; they were certainly highly educated and indeed, the study of Torah and Talmud flourished between the closed walls of their synagogues so that ironically, rather than destroy Jewish culture, the ghetto actually helped it to blossom and grow.


For this fascinating cultural experience, you will meet your specialized guide near Santa Lucia Train Station and walk past the Baroque Church of Santa Maria degli Scalzi (1660-1680), the Church of San Geremia (built by Carlo Corbellini in the mid 18th century), and one of Venice’s most imposing palaces, Palazzo Labia. After you cross the Cannaregio Canal and tour this most authentic Venetian district, you'll come to the heart of the ghetto, where limited space forced the inhabitants to add 5th, 6th and even 7th floors to their buildings. It is inside these 16th-century "skyscrapers" that each ethnic group of Jews had its scola or synagogue, usually on the top floor. You'll visit three of these hideaways, which were not only repositories of theology but also veritable treasure troves, filled with priceless objects, some of which you'll see when your guide bids you farewell at the Museo Ebraico. The museum comprises two areas, one devoted to the cycle of Jewish festivities and objects used for liturgy, the other focusing on the history of Venetian Jews. There is even a 200-year-old Sukkah. You can visit the museum on your own, or by joining the museum's guided tour.

This walking tour lasts three hours. We do not recommend it late on Friday afternoon or on Saturdays when almost all shops and sites in the ghetto are closed. Children under 2 years old pay nothing; children 2 to 10 years old pay 80%. The synagogues are normally on the top floor, reached by several flights of stairs. The museum is open June 1-September 30th 10:00 am - 7:00 pm; October 1-May 31 10:00 am - 5:30 pm. Guided tours in English start at 10:30 and continue every hour on the half hour until 5:30 in summer, 4:30 in winter. Synagogue and museum tickets are included in the price of this tour; the guided tour costs 6 Euro/person paid at the museum.

2016 Prices
1 person:   424 Euro
2 people:   436 Euro/group
3 people:   447 Euro/group
4 people:   459 Euro/group
5 people:   473 Euro/group
6 people:   484 Euro/group
7 people:   498 Euro/group
8 people:   521 Euro/group
9 people:   542 Euro/group
10 people:   556 Euro/group
Price includes private English-speaking walking tour guide specialized in Jewish history, as well as entrance fees.


Boat Excursion to the Lagoon Islands

To experience something completely different from Venice, travel by boat to the island of Murano, where you will see a glass-blowing demonstration at one of the ancient factories. Then proceed to our favourite island, Burano, whose fairy-tale canals are lined with brilliantly painted houses that seem to vie with each other for your attention. Walk the quiet streets, admire the intricate lacework for which Burano's ladies are renowned, step into the massive cathedral whose belltower leans almost as precipitously as Pisa's. Your last stop is Torcello, the island which actually predates Venice itself. Stroll past the few dwellings to explore the mystical cathedral, covered with exquisite 12th- and 13th-century mosaics.

Your guide will meet you at the St. Mark's waterfront for this tour, which lasts five hours. Children under 2 years old pay nothing. Children 2 to 10 years old pay 80%.

2016 Prices
1 person:   809 Euro
2 people:   821 Euro/group
3 people:   832 Euro/group
4 people:   846 Euro/group
5 people:   859 Euro/group
6 people:   866 Euro/group
7 people:   901 Euro/group
8 people:   932 Euro/group
9 people:   968 Euro/group
10 people:   998 Euro/group

Price includes private English-speaking guide, boat transportation and entrance fee at Torcello church.

Venice & The Lagoon Islands by Boat

For the best of Venice and its islands, step into your private reserved motor-launch and enjoy a panoramic tour of St. Mark's Basin. Your English-speaking guide will explain the most important buildings and monuments of this picturesque and totally unique city. You'll stop at the Island of San Giorgio for a panoramic view of Venice and a visit to this landmark Palladian church. Next it's on to the island of Murano, where you will see a glass-blowing demonstration at one of the ancient factories. Then proceed to our favorite island, Burano, whose fairy-tale canals are lined with brilliantly painted houses that seem to vie with each other for your attention. Walk the quiet streets, admire the intricate lacework for which Burano's ladies are renowned, step into the massive cathedral whose belltower leans almost as precipitously as Pisa's. At one of the local bars, you'll taste a typical Venetian snack, called cicchetto in Venetian dialect. From Burano, your boat will take you through the northern part of the Lagoon to the Cannaregio district, where you'll have a walking tour of the ancient Jewish quarter, where the term "ghetto" was coined.

Your guide will meet you at the St. Mark's waterfront for this tour, which lasts six hours. Children under 2 years old pay nothing. Children 2 to 10 years old pay 80%.

2016 Prices
1 person:   944 Euro
2 people:   953 Euro/group
3 people:   959 Euro/group
4 people:   969 Euro/group
5 people:   977 Euro/group
6 people:   984 Euro/group
7 people:   1081 Euro/group
8 people:   1187 Euro/group
9 people:   1283 Euro/group
10 people:   1389 Euro/group

Price includes private English-speaking guide, boat transportation and snack on Burano. If there is time to go to the top of the San Giorgio belltower, it costs 3 Euro/person extra paid in cash.

Torcello & San Francesco by Boat

For those who have already visited Murano and Burano, here is the true connoisseur's tour. Step into your private reserved motor-launch and take off across the lagoon to the Island of Torcello, where you will visit to the oldest Basilica of Venice, the 7th-century church of Santa Maria Assunta, which boasts exquisite Byzantine wall mosaics. Afterwards, continue by boat to the island of St. Francis of the Desert, a real oasis of peace in the middle of the Venetian Lagoon. The island is very ancient, dating back to the Roman Empire. The second half of the island's name goes back to the early 1400s, when the island was abandoned for more than 20 years because of the insalubrious state of the lagoon. Two centuries earlier, in 1220, St. Francis landed there with an anonymous companion on his return from the East. As narrated by St. Bonaventura in the Legenda Maior, the future saint was greeted by the joyful singing of the swallows. An English-speaking friar will lead you on a once-in-a-lifetime guided visit to the gardens and cloisters of the church before you boat back to Venice.

Your guide will meet you at the St. Mark's waterfront for this tour, which lasts four hours and is available every day except Monday. Children under 2 years old pay nothing. Children 2 to 10 years old pay 80%.

2016 Prices
1 person:   778 Euro
2 people:   784 Euro/group
3 people:   789 Euro/group
4 people:   800 Euro/group
5 people:   808 Euro/group
6 people:   817 Euro/group
7 people:   781 Euro/group
8 people:   798 Euro/group
9 people:   829 Euro/group
10 people:   854 Euro/group

Price includes private English-speaking guide, boat transportation and entrance fee on Torcello.

St. Mark's, Rialto & A Glass Factory

Join your official English-speaking guide in St. Mark's Square for a walk through the historical center of the city. You'll see and learn about St. Mark's Square and St. Mark's Basilica, then head through the narrow streets, over tiny hump-backed bridges and through secluded courtyards to the exquisitely elaborate Rialto Bridge, the best place to take photos of the Grand Canal. Afterwards if you like, you can visit a workshop where they make the world-famous Venetian glass.

This tour begins at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm or 3 pm and lasts two hours. Entrance to St. Mark's Basilica is included but only if the line outside is short. Shoulders and knees must be covered inside the Basilica. Also, for security reasons, no sacks, bags or knapsacks are allowed in the Basilica. Children under 2 years old pay nothing. Children 2 to 10 years old pay 80%.

2016 Prices

1 person:   228.00 Euro/person
2 people:   230.00 Euro/group
3 people:   224.00 Euro/group
4 people:   224.00 Euro/group
5 people:   231.00 Euro/group
6 people:   255.00 Euro/group
7 people:   275.00 Euro/group
8 people:   290.00 Euro**/group
9 people:   301.00 Euro**/group
10 people:   309.00 Euro**/group

Price includes private English-speaking guide and entrance fee for St. Mark's Basilica.
** - If your group totals over 7 people (including children), the price also includes whisper headsets.