A complete visit to Venice in one long morning. A shared tour including St Mark's Square & Basilica, Grand Canal navigation, Murano, a walk to Rialto
FIRST TIME VENICE – A SMALL GROUP TOUR
PORTA DELLA CARTA SMALL 2
PALAZZO DUCALE SMALL 2
Venice, St Mark
venezia gen 2012 piazza san marco 003
Bacino San Marco 02
SS GIOVANNI E PAOLO SMALL
FIRST TIME VENICE – A SMALL GROUP TOUR
Highlights of this tour:
Small group tour with maximum 8 people
St Mark’s Square
St Mark’s Church (with priority entrance) –
Walk into the old town (Castello area)
the Rialto Bridge & around
with a complete introduction to Venice
FIRST TIME VENICE – a small group tour
In our ‘First Time Venice’ tour we’ve included St Mark’s Square, St Mark’s Basilica (with priority entrance), a walk into the Castello district to familiarize with the city, and the Rialto Bridge area. You’ll share the experience with a small group of maximum 8 participants. The tour will be conducted in English.
Meeting time will be on Mondays and Thursdays (May through end of October) at 2.30 pm. Meeting point at the exit of the Doge’s Palace (see picture below) in St Mark’s Square. Our guide will hold a WALKS INSIDE ITALY sign. We recommend you to be there ten minutes earlier and not to bring backpacks or big bags.
St Mark’s Square, or Piazza San Marco, was conceived to be the political and religious center for the Venetian Republic. All the buildings were rebuilt two or three times during more than 12 centuries. The Square itself was enlarged and the street level raised to protect it from recurrent flooding.
The oldest building is St Mark’s Basilica, conceived to be the private chapel of the Ducal Palace, enshrining, according to tradition, the body of St Mark the Evangelist, adventurously brought from Egypt in 828. The tale of Buono and Rustico’ s successful ‘mission’ in Alexandria is narrated on the façade of the Church.
Our first time Venice walk begins with a historical introduction, focusing on the origins and early centuries, proceeding with a visit to the interior of the Church. The vast inner space will surprise you with its five large domes encrusted with golden and glass mosaics and with the sublime variety of ancient marbles.
Heaven is represented by the holy figures solemnly floating on the shining golden background. The earth is symbolized by the magnificent marble floor, by the wall decorations and by the infinite columns. Venice adopted the Byzantine artistic language during centuries of political and commercial relationships.
Your guide will narrate the dramatic vicissitudes of the 4th Crusade and the other fundamental historical events, and briefly resume major restorations and changes intervening during its almost millenary life. A word will be spent about its political and religious functions and about its glorious musical history.
Back to the Piazza, our First Time in Venice tour will go on with a survey of all the important buildings in the Square: the Old and New Procuratie, former administrative offices, that form the two long wings of the square. The Clock Tower, topped by the two ‘Moors’ beating the hours, a striking example of technology.
In the Piazzetta, the smaller part of the Piazza overlooking the waterfront, we’ll talk about the Doge and his Palace, sketching the glorious story of 900 years of good government and political independence. A word will be spent about the huge Bell Tower, rebuilt in 1912, and about the Library, Sansovino’s masterpiece.
Walking towards the waterfront we’ll admire the giant columns bearing St Mark’s Lion and the Statue of St Theodore with the Dragon. The vast waterscape, starring St George’s Island with its Palladian Church, the Island of Giudecca, the solemn entrance to the Grand Canal with La Salute Church, will enchant you.
From here we also stand in awe of the majestic façade of the Doges’ Palace, built in the 1340s, a masterpiece of Venetian Gothic, and we’ll stop a minute to view the Bridge of Sighs, connecting old law courts to jail, immortalized by Lord Byron in a famous poem. A must for first time visitors of Venice!
Our ‘First Time Venice’ experience continues with a pleasant and educational walk in the district of Castello, touching the area of the Greek Orthodox Community, the monumental Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, the delightful MIracoli Church, to end in Campo San Bartolomeo, the piazza at the foot of Rialto Bridge.
Your guide will tell you about the commercial vocation of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, and of how business changed through the centuries. More will be said about the construction of the ‘modern’ Rialto Bridge some 430 years ago and about present life in Venice in the age of planetary tourism.
At this point there will be time for questions: your local expert will be glad to advise about what else to see in Venice, will share with you some gelato, shopping, or restaurants’ tips and will help you to find your way around (you are 5 minutes away from St Mark’s Square). By 5.00 pm your first walk in Venice will be over!
If you’re interested in Murano glass and in visiting Venice by boat at as well you might like our ‘All About Venice’ tour.
Porta della Carta, exit of Doge's Palace
Our meeting point, exit of Doge's Palace, St Mark's Square
Cost of this shared tour & meeting details
this a shared tour with a maximum of 8 people. From May first to the end of October. Mondays & Thursdays afternoon.
Meeting point: at the exit of the Doge’s Palace, in St Mark’s Square.
The admission to St Mark’s through priority line is included.
this tour lasts 2 & 1/2 hours and costs 60 euro per person
Admission to St Mark’s Basilica is included
no shorts no sleeveless garments
shirt sleeves and knee high pants or skirts are ok
Please don’t bring backpacks or large bags!
The tour will run sun or rain.
Confortable shoes and a hat in summer are recommended!