Piazza San Marco is the very heart of Venice and it has been its civic forum during centuries. The broad space, the largest in town encompasses the most important buildings including St. Mark's Church
and the Doge's Palace.
The first one was built in the 9th century as a burial chapel to host the relics of St. Mark the Evangelist and
rebuilt later in the shape of a Byzantine temple to become the national church of all Venetians.
The second was in its origin a Byzantine military garrison transformed in the seat of the Duke of Venice until
reaching the present shape to also host the seat of the Venetian government and the supreme court of Justice. A massive building to be the general prison was added and connected to the palace by the bridge of Sighs.
Visiting these two impressive building you will be introduced to the origins of Venice, its main historical events,
its institutions and its art and architecture.
From anywhere on Venice island the tour starts with a
panoramic boat ride to better discover this unique city. Venice is on the water
and this will give you the chance to better understand how life goes on here:
on the Grand Canal and on some minor canals.
After the boat tour we will explore together a lesser known
and mainly residential part of Venice where you will learn about Venice origin
and daily life.
We will pass by the Rialto area, commercial hub of Venice in
We will then reach St. Mark's square that was for centuries
the civic forum of Venice and encompasses the most important buildings in town:
St Mark's Cathedral, the Doge's palace, the Clock tower, the Bell tower and the
Bridge of Sighs.
At the end of the tour, I will drop you off at the agreed
location and will give you all the indications to go back to your place
Discover the secrets of Venetian Lagoon by private boat.
The islands of the northern lagoon were the first settlement
chosen by the people living on the mainland even before Venice was founded.
Murano is the first island visited during the tour.
Originally known as a holiday resort for Venetian noble families, Murano was
chosen by the government in 1291 to be the place where to concentrate the glass
blowing production to avoid the too many fires caused in town by the furnaces.
Burano is like a fairy tale village with its multi-colored
houses. Being a fishermen island, houses were painted in unusual colors using
the same color of the boats and fishermen could easily find the way back home
in the mist of the lagoon. This island is incredibly famous for the lace
production and delicious local cookies!
Last island is the enchanting Torcello nowadays almost
abandoned during the winter season but houses the most ancient church of the
Venetian lagoon dating back to 639 AD.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a must-see spot for art fans visiting Venice. Get in to see the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, see the masterpieces and walk through the Grand Canal
palazzo where Peggy Guggenheim once lived. Be ready to discover symbols, details, stories, curiosities and technique of the masterpieces and Peggy's life.
The museum presents Peggy Guggenheim's personal collection with artworks by the most important avantgarde European artists such as Picasso, Braque, Max Ernst, Miro' and Magritte together with American abstract
expressionist Jackson Pollock discovered by Peggy herself.
Treat yourself with an unusual tour , an original itinerary retracing the steps of one of the most famous member of the Most Serene Republic: Mr Giacomo Casanova!
Learn about his life and adventures where they actually took place and, at the same time, discover the habits and traditions of 18th century Venice on an exciting walking tour.
Among the characters that populate the history of Venice, Casanova is definitely the most famous . . . The star of countless love affairs, traveling through Europe of the Enlightenment, spy on behalf of the Republic and untiring writer: Casanova certainly marked his era, becoming a symbol of the Venetian XVIII century tied to the greatest glory of the Venetian Republic, but also to its worst vices and transgressions . . . and the century of moral decay, heralding the end of its long history.
You cannot miss this Venetian Baroque palace if you wish to understand how a noble family lived in the 18th C.
The Rezzonico Palace on the Grand Canal was a private home up to 1935 (Robert Browning died here) and still
retains several original frescoed ceilings, especially impressive in the ballroom.
Now a museum that gives the
feeling of a house of the 18th C., it displays paintings by Canaletto, Guardi, Longhi, pastels by Carriera,
extravagant wooden sculptures by Brustolon, Rococo’ pieces of furniture, German Meißen and Venetian
porcelain, and last but not least colorful Murano glass chandeliers and etched mirrors, all in an exceptional
restored setting as the museum was reopened only 2001 after decades of restoration.
People often think that Venice is a city
where architectural development has
stopped with the fall of the Republic;
a city that has not been touched by
On the contrary, throughout the 19th
and 20th century, there have been
intensive debates on new urban plans
that would help to develop the
economy; thousands of buildings
were pulled down and reconstructed
with a modern design.
In particular, the Giudecca island,
where in the past there were many
orchards, gardens, and monasteries
and was not as densely populated as
Venice, was the place where the
major industrial changes occurred.
Breweries, shipyards, chemical
factories, the Junghans watch factory,
and the huge Mulino Stucky (a former
mill) changed the physiognomy of the
A walk on the Giudecca reveals all
these layers: the traditional
architecture, the industrial
transformations of the 19th century
and how famous modern architects,
including Aldo Rossi, Alvaro Siza, Gino
Valle, and Cino Zucchi, transformed
former industrial areas into
contemporary buildings that
nevertheless remain in synergy with
the island’s traditional architecture.
In time of Pandemic, you
will be probably surprised to discover that nowadays restrictions to face the
spread of Covid -19 are similar to those invented by the government of the
Venetian Republic to fight the Black plague.
What was plague; where
did it come from?
On the basis of a
14th-century chronicle, the Black Death is widely believed to have reached
Europe from the Crimea as the result of a biological warfare attack.
Not only restrictions
like social distancing or masks were used but worship as well.
Faith was a powerful
way to fight the disease.
One of the Saints
worshipped to fight the Plague was Saint Roch from Montepellier to whom
Venetians erected a church and a Brotherhood after his relics were smuggled to
Venice in 1485.
Located in San Polo
district Saint Roch guild is a building housing one of the most imposing cycles
of paintings from one single artist in Venice: Jacopo Tintoretto.
It is a unique site, where over 60 paintings are
preserved in their original setting in a building that has hardly undergone any
alteration since its construction.
The last Mocenigo generously left in 1954 his private home to the city. The Mocenigo Palace in the district of
Santa Croce provides the visitor an idea of the interior of a palace in Venice with frescoed ceilings, Venetian
glass chandeliers and terrazzo floors.
It is the seat of the museum of textiles and costumes and offers a new itinerary dedicated to the history of
perfume and fragrances at the time of la Serenissima.
Duration 2 hrs
THE SECRET TRAILS OF THE DOGE’S PALACE, BRIDGE OF SIGHS & PRISONS
We will explore the secret part of the Doge’s palace. From the humid cells on the ground floor named ‘wells’
we walk up – many steep steps – in narrow passageways to the plain room of the Great Chancellor in charge of
the administration, to the Upper Chancellery where all papers were kept and over to the Torture Chamber.
Then we reach the small prisons under the roof named ‘leads’: the first cell where Giacomo Casanova was
imprisoned 1755 and the second one from where he escaped in an incredible way!
Decades later he wrote a book about his successful flight; it become a best seller.
We tour then the classical late Renaissance rooms of the Doge’s Palace, cross the Bridge of Sighs and reach the so called New Prisons.
Any tour can be arranged, and tailor made to better suit your needs and taste.
It is possible to put together multiple itineraries and activities
Discounts for small groups (max 8 people - kids 0-6 Free)
Contact me for more info.
All the clients will be covered by AXA TRAVEL INSURANCE NUM. 405284154