Venice City Tours
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Venice is one of the most unique cities in the world. The splendor of the city unfolds before you as you walk the narrow streets and bridges along the Grand and secondary canals. This is a city with great art treasures, a long history and incredible architecture. The guided tours available will acquaint you with every aspect of the city including the people who made it what it is today. Tours around Venice are either walking tours or boat tours.
If you want a good overview of Venice, taking in St. Mark's Square, a visit to the Basilica, walking past the Doge's Palace and many other monuments right through to the Rialto bridge, the Original Venice Tour is a good place to start. Couple that with the Grand Canal Tour and you have a great day out. The combined tour is called Venice in One Day.
If you yearn to see a little more and want to go through the Doge's Palace as well, go for the Private Tour of St Mark's Square, Basilica and Palazzo Ducale. But for the most in-depth tour of the Doge's Palace take the Doge's Palace Tour. This is one of the most spectacular buildings in Venice. It is filled with incredible art and architecture, all entwined with a history that made Venice , La Serenissema. The Private Walking Tour will allow you to escape the crowds and see some of the famous of the many churches in Venice, like San Zaccaria, Santa Maria Formosa Church Square and San Giovanni e Paolo Church. The Cannaregio Tour will familiarize you with the Jewish Ghetto, the homes of Titian and Tintoretto and the Carmels Paola Sucola de Misericorda.
For a different view and mode of transport, try the City Sightseeing by Gondola Tour. And could you end the day any more romantically, than with a Gondola Serenade or Gondola Serenade & Dinner? Oh how soothing!
When you are ready to escape the hustle and bustle of central Venice, take a tour to the other islands. Murano, Burano and Torcello each have a personality all their own. By this time you will have admired the beautiful Venetian glass products in the shops. Murano is where it is made and you will have an opportunity to see it. Burano is a colorful island of brightly painted fishermen houses and an industry of fine lace. This is the where you can best experience the life of a typical Venetian. As your boat pulls away the bright red, blue and pink houses stay on your mind. Torcello is the third and most quiet island of your tour. It is where life on the estuary began and a little church and cathedral are still there evident of the early civilizations. As you cruise back to St. Mark's you can reflect on the many different aspects of this marvellous city.
Countryside Day Tours from Venice
While Venice is the jewel of the Veneto, there are several places in the surrounding countryside well worth a look if you have the time. Venice is very different from the rest of the Veneto. It is a romantic tourist city frozen in time, while the rest of the Veneto is a more forward thinking part of the new Europe. Tours out of Venice will allow you to see the contrast for yourself.
The most celebrated architect of the Veneto is Palladio. He had a tremendous influence on bringing the classical architecture of Greece and Rome back to the then modern world of the then 16th century. His mark can be seen throughout Europe and the UK, but is most especially evident in the great villas of the Veneto. The Palladio Tour will give you an in depth tour of some of his famous villas like Malcontenta and Barbero as well as take you through the lovely hill town of Asolo. If you are up for a little different kind of trip there's Il Burchiello. A modern boat modelled after the one that cruised the Brenta Canal in the 17th and 18th century. This is a relaxing way to see the most prestigious villas built in the 17th and 18th centuries by the nobility of Padua and Venice. Your boat will stop at places like the Villa Pisani, Malcontenta and Valmarana.
Want a little more in the way of towns and less villas? The Hill Towns of the Veneto is the tour to choose. You will tour the charming Veneto hill towns of Asolo, Bassano Del Grappa and the medieval town of Marostica, with time left to see Palladio's Villa Barbero.
After all the history, art, and architecture, you may be ready for a change, and the tour to do it is the Dolomites Tour, the Dolomite Mountains are especially picturesque with quaint little villages against a backdrop of jagged peaks and soaring spires. Breathtaking views of azure blue lakes, green rolling valleys and a myriad of peaks make it a photographer's dream. There will be ample time for picture stops. After an idyllic picnic lunch your tour will arrive at the premier Alpine resort town of Cortina D'Ampezzo. Here you can admire the scenery while sipping cappuccino at a sidewalk cafe or explore the town with its streets lined with elegant boutiques. OH what a change from canals and bridges!
The Veneto is also a place rich in farmland for food and wine. If you would like to taste the flavors of the Veneto, there are tours that will facilitate that experience. The Wine Road of the Doges tour is a half of day. It takes you to the eastern part of the Veneto which has been home to vineyards for over 3000 years. You have an opportunity to see the Lison Pramaggiore DOC wine area and sample some of the finest wines of the region with home made appetizers from a family run cantina. For the more serious wine lovers there is a more in depth Tour of the Valpolicella Wine Area where you will visit 2 vineyards for tasting and stop at a local restaurant with a spectacular vista over the groves of olives, vineyards, cherry and almond trees. This is a day you will remember!
If you would like to combine a Veneto shopping experience in a historic market town with a bit of wine tasting in the afternoon, the Portogruaro Market and Wine Tasting Tour will accomplish that. Portogruaro is an old Renaissance market town with arcaded streets. Browsing the market stalls and taking in the charm of the city is a great way to get the feel of life so long ago. And after a morning of shopping, it's off to an afternoon of wine tasting accompanied by traditional appetizers at one of the regions picturesque vineyards.
Another combination tour is the Archaeology and Wines of Fruili Tour. The Archaeological site of Aquileia has been called the second Rome. After an in depth tour of the ruins complete with detailed mosaic floors, Byzantine frescos, and even chariot tracks, you will be treated to lunch in a typical agriturismo with local delicacies, then on to wine-making and tasting.
The romantic city of Romeo and Juliet in the morning and a drive through the Veneto for wine tasting in the afternoon is another option. Verona is a fascinating city with an ancient arena, beautiful piazzas, and a great literary history. Couple that with a drive through the scenic countryside to the Valipolicella wine region where you will arrive at the celebrated winery Amarone. Amarone is famous for their Valpolicello classico and rare Recioto. After you taste them you will know why.
As you can see food and wine are celebrated in this region. The Gastronomy Tour to Collio Friuli is the piece de la resistance tour for food and wine lovers. You will cross the Veneto Orientale to an area called Friuli, here you will visit a state of the art winery for a tour and tastings. You will taste a range of fine wines accompanied by local cheeses, salamis and sweets. You will then head to the borders of Slovenia to a lovely Trattoria for a lunch of homemade specialties, local wines and of course Grappa. After lunch there will be no doubt that the Italians excel in the food and wine department. Well fed and relaxed you will stop at an 11th century monastery on your way back, the Monastero delle Rose, so called due to the micro-climate in the area that allows roses to grow all year. The flavors of Italy that you have experienced this day will leave a lasting imprint on your memories of Venice and the Veneto.
Tasting the wonderful dishes of the Veneto is one thing, but how about reproducing these recipes when you get home? Is there any better remembrance of your fabulous holiday than being able to relive it every time you make your favorite dish? Got your interest, take the Taste of Fruili Cooking School Tour. You will be taken to one of the most charming cities in the Fruili region Cividale to the home of Rosina for a private cooking lesson of the Fruilian specialties, followed by lunch, then a private tour of Cividale with its narrow cobble stoned streets, lively atmosphere and enchanting square.
Combining any of the above tours with your stay in Venice will enrich your experience and further your understanding of the vast history and culinary specialties of the Veneto. Several of the above tours are also available as private tours by car. All of the tours have been chosen to give you the best days out available. So pick a tour, relax and enjoy the pleasures of Italy!