With its magnificent Grand Canal sweeping through the heart of a city whose fabric has remained much the same for centuries, Venice’s accompaniment of churches, palaces and artworks is an embarrassment of riches. Starting at the Venetian republic’s beating religious and administrative heart, St Mark’s Square, the tour will introduce the essential parts of the city. Making our way to the north over the Grand Canal at the Rialto Bridge, we finish at the artistically brilliant Frari and Scuolo, and the masterpieces of Titian and Tintoretto.
Avoid the Crowds
Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group
Written by a Cambridge-based archaeologist, whose postgraduate (MRes) research has been devoted to Early Iron Age architecture
Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour
St. Mark's Square, Bridge of Sighs, and the Rialto Bridge
Remote Tour Included
As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home
- St Mark’s Square - Standing at the heart of Venice since the city’s inception, St Mark’s Square is without doubt one of the world’s most celebrated public spaces and a perfect place for us to start our tour of essential Venice.
- St Mark’s Basilica - Often known as the Church of Gold, owing to the bewildering extent of golden mosaics in and outside the basilica, few buildings showcase the wealth and power of the Venetian state at its height than St Mark’s.
- The Ducal Palace - Often known simply as The Doge’s, the entire Palazzo Ducale complex was far more than the palace for just one man. In fact, it served as the administrative home for one of Medieval Europe’s most complex but effective political systems.
- The Venice Lagoon - We couldn’t conduct a tour of Venice without talking about the Venetian Lagoon and some of the difficulties it poses local residents. We will also discuss the magnificent views across the bay to the church of St George.
- The Bridge of Sighs - One of Europe’s most renowned romantic spots, it was only Christened the Bridge of Sighs long after its completion in the 17th century. Regardless, we will tell the intriguing story of this world-renowned bridge.
- Torre dell'Orologio - The magnificent clock tower in St Mark’s square was always meant to be a significant statement of Venice’s ideals, and still tells a story of Venice’s prosperity as well as telling the time.
- Campo San Bartolomeo - This charming square marks the culmination of the Merceria shopping street and the beginning of the Rialto area, bustling with markets and once the financial heart of the city.
- The Rialto Bridge - Sharing its name with the area of “high shore” that it sits in, the neighbourhood of the Rialto was once the financial capital of the western world.
- Campo San Polo - This large square is the second largest in Venice and often provides both tourists and locals with some much-needed respite from the crowds around the Grand Canal but once a year is transformed as one of the Venice carnival’s most popular venues.
- Basilica dei Frari - One of Venice’s largest gothic churches reveals few of its secrets on the outside but inside are exhibited some of the city’s finest works of art, in particular by the Venetian-born master, Titian.
- Scuola Grande di San Rocco - We end our tour at the Scuola, two huge renaissance halls covered in gloriously energetic paintings by the artist Tintoretto, a commission that took much of his adult life to complete.