Venice City Tour with Doge’s Palace
You will meet your knowledgeable guide and begin the exploration of Venice, called La Serenissima, “the most serene,” a reference to the majesty, wisdom, and monstrous power of this city that was for centuries the unequaled mistress of trade between Europe and the Orient and the fortification of Christendom against the tides of Turkish development.
Built completely on water by men who challenged the sea, Venice is unique. No matter how many times you have seen it in films or on TV, Venice is more dreamlike than you could ever imagine. Its landmarks, the Basilica di San Marco and the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) show an exotic mix of Byzantine, Gothic, and Renaissance styles.
You’ll see Venetians going to work in vaporetti (water buses), aboard the traghetti (traditional gondola ferries) that carry them across the Grand Canal, in the campi (squares), and along the calli (narrow streets).
They are nothing if not skilled, and strangely tolerant, in dealing with the crowds of tourists from all over the world who fill the city’s streets for most of the year.
The tour will focus on St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge, and on some other less known places but even of great interest mainly located at Castello district.
You will start from St. Mark’s, a large auditorium surrounded by buildings that were the heart of the Republic: the basilica and the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace).
The Doge’s Palace rises majestically above the Piazzetta San Marco and this Gothic fantasia of pink-and-white marble is a majestic expression of Venetian prosperity and power. Although the site was the doges’ residence from the 10th century, the building began to take its present form around 1340; what you seen now is essentially a product of the first half of the 15th century. It served not only as a residence, but also as the central administrative center of the Venetian Republic.
Unlike other medieval seats of authority, the Palazzo Ducale is free of any military defenses, a sign of the Republic’s self-confidence.
You’ll find yourself in an immense courtyard that holds some of the first evidence of Renaissance architecture in Venice. The palace’s sumptuous chambers have walls and ceilings covered with works by Venice’s greatest artists.
The ceiling of the Sala del Senato (Senate Chamber), featuring The Triumph of Venice by Tintoretto, is magnificent, but it’s dwarfed by his masterpiece Paradise in the Sala del Maggiore Consiglio (Great Council Hall).
A narrow canal separates the palace’s east side from the cramped cell blocks of the Prigioni Nuove (New Prisons). High above the water arches the enclosed marble Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), which earned its name in the 19th century, from Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.
Tour of the Lagoon: Murano, Burano and Torcello
You will meet your guide at the port and board a private motor launch.
This tour will take you on a discovery of the smaller islands of the lagoon: the island of Murano which is famous for its glass-ware, Burano for its lace-making, and Torcello for its church and its beautiful mosaics.
After a short cruise, you will be in Murano, known all over the world for its artistic glass production. In the Murano furnaces glass-blowers maestri follow a century-old tradition to create beautiful artistic glass objects.
You will have a chance to visit an important glass factory while a master glassmaker is preparing his masterpieces.
After this experience, you will proceed to Burano island, a small island of fishermen and farmers, famous for its beautiful lace. The women of Burano create lace masterpieces following an ancient technique. This art appeared in Venice for the first time at the beginning of the 16th century, as a direct development of white embroidery on white fabrics and it soon spread all over Europe.
The lace island with its colourful pastel houses has a special atmosphere due to the warm connection between the inhabitants and the lagoon, the brightly coloured one-storey houses with their narrow entrances and the waters of the canals.
A short distance divides Burano from Torcello.
Torcello offers lush farmlands while still preserving the ruins of its past supremacy and glory. The island was populated from ancient times by people seeking protection from Barbarian invasions. A legend says that many residents of a mainland city left their homes to come here, following a voice from the sky: in memory of their Turris they named it Torcello.
In the middle of the island stand the Cathedral and the Church of Santa Fosca
Tour of the Grand Canal by Motor Launch
Jewish Walking Tour in Venice
Rialto Market and Off the Beaten Track Venice
The Art Tour in Venice
Treasures of Venice: Ca’ Rezzonico and Scuola Grande di San Rocco