UNFOLDING VENICE – A PRIVATE TOUR
Venice, St Mark
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Rialto Bridge, Venice
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Highlights of this tour:
St Mark’s Basilica (skipping the line)
Grand Canal and small canal navigation on a private watertaxi
Walk in lesser known parts of Venice far from the crowds
Rialto bridge and surrounding market area
Starting ideally in St Mark’s Square, the first part of this tour is about the genesis of Venice, its development as a City State and its economical rise during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Our guide will take you into St Mark’s Basilica (skipping the line, from April 1st through October 31st) for an overview of its awesome mosaics and marbles, and will describe all the Square’s main buildings: the Doges’Palace, the Marciana Library, the Procuratie, the Clock Tower, the Bell Tower, the Bridge of Sighs and the Prisons.
After having admired together the world famous waterfront , whose gems are St George’s Island, the Giudecca Island and the Salute Church, we’ll proceed for an hour on our private watertaxi along the meandering canals – Venice boasts 150 of them ! – for a relaxing ride into the history, art and architecture of this unique place.
Of course we will navigate along the impressive Grand Canal, but we’ll also experience the more intimate atmosphere of a picturesque maze of minor waterways.
Again on foot in a very different area of town, over the Grand Canal, exploring the neighborhoods of Dorsoduro and San Polo at a quiet pace, enjoying the maze of squares, alleyways, bridges, and getting in touch with the everyday life and activities behind the main touristic scene.
Ending at the foot of the Rialto Bridge – once again, back to the highlights – to revive the glories of Venice’s great commercial hub and to get acquainted with its culinary traditions.
Our tour will end here, in the bustling heart of Venice, just few minutes away from St Mark’s Square.
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There are no cars or buses in Venice, and not even motorbikes or bycicles! Apart from the main tourists sites, that tend to be crowded most part of the year, Venice is calm, silent and safe, and it is hard to decide whether it is better to visit on foot or by boat.
We could state that the real streets of Venice are its canals, and that most of the major facades can be seen better from the water.
It is also true that during the 19th century many canals were filled in, although the city still boasts 150 canals, and more than 400 bridges !
Which means that, with respect to the past centuries, nowadays it is probably easier and faster to move around on foot.
However viewing it from a boat is certainly a pleasant and relaxing experience.
It also helps you understand what the ratio between water and land is: 80% water and 20% land!
The city would not exist without the canal network , which is parallel to the pedestrian one, entirely manmade throughout the centuries.
This is the reason why visitors should take a boat ride, due to the overwhelming presence of salt water.
Everything here was meant to be accessible from the water, when there were no streets.
It sounds paradoxical, but it took centuries for Venice to become a pedestrian city, although streets became a necessity when there was no more room along the rims of the islands or the canals.
The land reclamation began, and we are still maintaining it!
Venice was a wealthy independent City State for such a long time, that the variety of its architectures, ranging from Byzantine to Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque is absolutely unique, and the almost total absence of modern buildings transforms every single corner into a journey through time and history.
We recommend that you stay in Venice at least for three days, but if you decide to visit for a week or longer you’ll certainly won’t be disappointed!
Spending longer time here means also interacting with the locals, see how they live, figuring how it feels being a Venetian, while if you just stay for few hours or for a day, with no time to explore off the beaten track, almost certainly you’ll never get in touch with the residents – we are less than 60,000 today and tend to skip the major tourists hubs as much as we can on our daily errands – and you’ll be inevitably overwhelmed by the incredible amount of tourists from every part of the world…
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