Bare Bones | Essential Venice
Venice’s maritime republic, which spanned almost 1,000 years, has given us a staggering collection of art, architecture and history, in a truly evocative setting. On this 5-day tour, we travel on foot and by boat to the city’s best destinations, many of them world-renowned, others lesser known – from the evocative streets of Europe’s oldest Jewish ghetto, to a private evening tour of the Basilica of San Marco, and so much more besides, in the company of your expert guide, including the Arsenale Shipyard and Murano’s unique glass tradition. This trip also offers daily opportunities to wander the city unguided, with plenty of time free to follow your interest wherever it may lead.
- Exclusive private visits to the magnificent Doge’s Palace and the Basilica of San Marco
- Travel to Murano Island to visit the historic Glass Museum
- Explore the darker side of Venetian history with a visit to the first Ghetto
- Take a private water taxi ride down the Grand Canal
- Great Cities
- Just One Hotel
After settling into our hotel, we have an afternoon exploration of the Piazza San Marco, which Napoleon famously dubbed the Drawing Room of Europe. We admire the façade of the famous Basilica of San Marco, as well as the procuratie lining the sides of the piazza.
This is a very special day, with several private visits and boat rides. We start at the Doge’s Palace, a Venetian Gothic marvel, which has a stunning collection of paintings celebrating Venetian victories and rulers. We have a private tour of the main political chambers, as well as a tour of the darker side of the palace, namely the prison and torture chamber. Following this, we walk to the Arsenale, for centuries the largest industrial complex in the world. We visit the nearby Naval Historical Museum to learn more about Venice’s place in maritime history. Next, we take a ride down the Grand Canal in private taxis, before finishing our day with an extraordinary private evening visit of the Basilica of San Marco, adorned head to toe in shimmering mosaics.
Today we travel like locals and take a vaporetto to one of Venice’s finest churches, the Franciscan Basilica of Santa Maria Gloria dei Frari, about which it is easy to run out of superlatives. We admire two famous Titians, as well as the great master’s tomb. After lunch, we walk around the corner to Venice’s most famous confraternity, namely the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, often seen as Tintoretto’s masterpiece. Journeying across the Rialto Bridge, we find the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the final resting place for no less than 25 doges. We end the guided section of our day at the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, whose extraordinary marble exterior was recently rescued by ‘Save Venice’.
Today we travel to the island of Murano, which has been the centre of Venetian glass production since 1291, when the city forbade glass-making in Venice for fear of conflagrations. We have a private visit to one of the many glass foundries to admire the work of a modern glass maestro. We also visit the Glass Museum which underscores the incredible quality of Murano glass over the centuries. The afternoon is free for you to explore Venice, whether walking down the quieter streets of Castello or Cannaregio or going to one of the city’s wonderful museums, such as the Accademia or the Peggy Guggenheim Museum.
In the morning, we visit the most famous gothic palazzo on the Grand Canal, namely the Ca’ d’Oro, once named because it gleamed with gold. In addition to admiring the Franchetti collection of art, which includes important works by Mantegna and Carpaccio, we explore the courtyard and loggia over the Grand Canal to get an incomparable glimpse into Venetian palazzi. Our tour comes to an end this afternoon.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - Breakfast only
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
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