Private tour of Venice to visit the must-see sites with a qualified art historian
- Basilica of Saint Mark (inside)
- Saint Mark's Square
- Doge Palace (inside)
- Sighs' Bridge
- Scuola Grande of San Rocco
- Rialto Bridge
- Rialto Fish Market
- Private guide
- Skip the line tickets
- All major sites
- Private gondola ride (optional)
- Itinerary may be customized
This private walking tour of Venice is the perfect introduction to discover the must-see sites of this incredible city.
Together with your art historian guide you will start entering the magnificent Basilica of Saint Mark, the most important church in the city and splendid example of Byzantine architecture in the Western world. The cathedral was originally built in 828 and then rebuilt in 978 after it was burnt during a rebellion. The mosaics covering the ceiling and the upper order of the interior are entirely made of gold, bronze and precious stones, hence the nickname of Chiesa D'oro (Golden Church). Learning about the history of this ancient building will provide a great wealth of information about the overall history of Venice.
The tour will continue with the Doge Palace, splendid example of Venetian Gothic Style. Inside you will visit the apartments of the Dukes of Venice, rulers of one of the richest and longest standing governments in the world, see paintings by Tintoretto and Veronese and arrive to the Bridge of Sighs, so called because it led the prisoners going to the Piombi prison and allowing them to see the outside world for the last time before being secluded.
Outside the Doge Palace you will go through Saint Mark's Square the most important of Venice and the only one actually called piazza while all others in Venice are called campi. There you will also see the Torre dell'orologio (the Clock Tower) completed in 1499, the Procuratie Vecchie (formerly the homes and offices of high officers of the Republic of Venice), the San Marco bell tower, the many cafes of which the Cafe' Florian started doing business in 1720.
After this first part of the tour there will be time for a short lunch break and your guide will indicate some options to enjoy local food in a typical restaurant. After lunch a walk through narrow and busy streets will take you to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco (Confraternity of Saint Roch) established in 1478. Here you will see the paintings of Tintoretto narrating episodes from the Old and New Testament. For its beauty and importance the Scuola di San Rocco is nicknamed the Venetian Sistine chapel.
The tour will continue to Rialto bridge, probably the most famous of the hudnreds of bridges of Venice. The design made by Antnio da Ponte was chosen among different projects proposed by artists like Palladio, Michelangelo, Sansovino. From the bridge you will have the chance of taking great photos the Canal Grande, the main waterway of the city. Crossing the bridge you will reach the lively Rialto Fish Market where the tour will end.
If you wish you can add a private gondola ride at the end of the tour. Your guide will take you to the place where you wil board your gondola for a 30-minute private ride (just you and your party, it will not be shared with others). You will start from Canal Grande and you will then go through the smaller canals, pass below the narrow bridges and appreciate the beauty of Venice in a relaxing and intimate way. You can add the gondola experience from the options menu (in the reservation box, located in the upper right part of this page).
Private guide officially licensed, skip the line tickets at Doge Palace and Saint Mark Basilica
Entrance to the Scuola of San Rocco (7 Euro per adult to be paid on the spot, free for children) transportation, food, drinks, gondola ride (unless chosen as additional option)
Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Russian, Polish
At your hotel (if conveniently located) or near Saint Mark. Detailed intructions and map will be emailed.
Comfortable walking shoes recommended
Private gondola ride
If you prefer a shorter tour see our Venice Essential: