Venice Deluxe Tour by Antonio Barbini
I love my city. Venice is not only the city were I was born and raised, it is a life-long love affair. I have spent years studying the art and history of these islands, literally leaving no stone unturned, and I want to share my passion with those who come to visit, trying to pass on to them some of what I have learned, hoping to make them love Venice as much as I do. As a professional guide, I have created an itinerary designed to appeal to visitors looking for an authentic Venetian experience and ready to explore the best the city has to offer.
Semi-private walking tour of the main attractions in the St. Mark’s area, including skip-the-line entrance to the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. Other highlights of this informative and entertaining 3-hour tour comprises hidden gems of Venetian architecture as well as insights into the history of Venice, its palaces and churches, and traditional crafts.
- Small-group walking tour
- See top sights including the Church of Santa Maria Formosa, Marco Polo’s birthplace and Scala Contarini Dal Bovolo
- Explore the shopping district with a visit to T Fondaco dei Tedeschi and the Rialto Bridge
- Take in the atmosphere of Piazza San Marco
- Enjoy skip-the-line entrance to the Basilica di San Marco
- Visit the magnificent interiors of the Doge’s Palace
- Watch a glass-blowing demonstration
Travel back in time and learn how this island city became a crossroads of civilizations and Queen of the Seas.
This exclusive walking tour will take you through a maze of narrow streets and gently flowing canals to the Renaissance Church of Santa Maria Formosa, built on the site where the Holy Virgin allegedly appeared to St. Magnus, the church’s founder, as a magnificent matron. Just across the square from the church, you will also get a glimpse of the majestic foyer of an 18th century palace, resplendent with magnificent Murano glass chandeliers. Just a few steps from this lively Campo will take you to the medieval buildings of Marco Polo’s House, one of the city’s most famous sons.
The next stop will be at the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi, the newest architectural renovation in Venice and latest addition to stylish shopping in the city. Once a palace-cum-warehouse that was the headquarters for German merchants starting from the 13th century, it has been metamorphosed into a luxury lifestyle department store and center of culture overlooking the Grand Canal.
The hustle and bustle of the commercial district is epitomised by the Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge over the Grand Canal, still lined with shops as it was in the Middle Ages and affording a breathtaking view of the magnificent palaces lining the canal banks.
On the way back to St. Mark’s Square, pause for a minute to admire the spiral staircase of Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo and then reach the pulsating heart of the city – Piazza San Marco.
The only square in Venice called piazza and the hub of political power for centuries, it showcases the most iconic Venetian buildings – St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace.
With this skip-the-line tour, walk through the spectacular rooms of the Doge’s Palace literally lined with priceless masterpieces, and see the halls of power in which the government of the Most Serene Republic convened.
After your guided exploration of the Doge’s Palace, your guide will walk you through St. Mark’s Basilica, one of the most majestic cathedrals in the world. The glittering mosaics of the interior tell the story of St. Mark and episodes from the Bible. Its most famous treasure stands in the sanctuary -- the Pala d'Oro, a golden altar screen encrusted with pearls and jewels (admittance ticket not included).
End your visit at an artistic glass furnace just off St. Mark’s Square where you will enjoy a spectacular glass blowing demonstration with a detailed explanation of this ancient handicraft. Stunning examples of blown glass pieces are on display in the adjoining showrooms.
- Guided walking tour
- English-speaking professional local guide
- Guided tour inside the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica
- Entrance tickets to the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica
What’s NOT included
- Gratuities (optional)
- Food and drinks
- Entrance ticket to Pala d’Oro
At his sole discretion or when due to unforeseen circumstances, your guide may make some changes to the itinerary of the tour to maximise the experience for the participants.
A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements. Large bags and rucksacks are also not allowed inside St Mark's Basilica.
In case of high tides or religious ceremonies preventing access to the interior of the Basilica, an extended tour of the outside of the basilica will be given instead.
The Doge’s Palace may also occasionally be closed to the public due to strikes, exceptional closures, state visits, or other special occasions. In that event, a possible alternative may be the Correr Museum in St. Mark’s Square with the Imperial Rooms and Venetian Collection. Entrance included in the Doge’s Palace ticket.
Due to uneven surfaces and stepped bridges, this tour is not recommended for those with walking disabilities or using a wheelchair.
In front of the Danieli Hotel on Riva degli Schiavoni
3 hours (approx.)
Concludes in St Mark's Square
Available from April 1 to October 31
Monday to Friday