The only good thing about being forced to spend hours at the Palermo Airport in Sicily, waiting for my flight to Venice, was the time it gave me to research what to do in Venice, Italy.
Even though I absolutely loved my time during the “Sensational Sicily – Yoga, Culture + Self Discovery in Italy” retreat with Kimberly Larkin and James Bene, I was ready to reflect on my experience and create new memories in Northern Italy.
For exploring Venice, I knew that I wanted to take a walking tour of the city, complete with detailed history and a sense of adventure. After comparing Airbnb Experience, Viator and Trip Advisor, I selected the “Venice: Walking Tour & Gondola Ride by Venice City Tours” on Get Your Guide. Plus, it was the most comprehensive tour that included a gondola ride for the right price.
The morning of the tour, my friend and I walked from the H10 Palazzo Canova to our meeting spot at Calle larga de l’Ascension.
Allora – Let’s begin..
Beginning the tour, we were introduced to our guide, Emanuela and given our hearing headsets. We started our walking tour at ST. MARK’S BASILICA. Standing in the square, I was rendered speechless. It was absolutely magnificent.
Emanuela taught us about the art, design and architecture of the square. She led us to and highlighted ST MARK’S CLOCKTOWER. Designed and completed in 1497, it was absolutely visually delicious to behold. The Renaissance design details, with gold leaf and ultramarine was incredible.
We continued our walk, over canals and through pathways. I pressed the shutter on my camera, capturing the vibrance of daily life.
We stopped at Papier Mache and I was absolutely in awe of the craftsmanship of the masks, decorating the window. Another highlight was capturing the district beauty of a sleeping cat at the Libreria Acqua Alta. It truly lives up to its moniker of “the most beautiful bookstore in the world.”
As we walked the cobblestone streets of Venice, our guide, Emanuela, gave us detailed history and stories related to the areas. At CAMPO DEI SANTI GIOVANNI E PAOLO, I took photos of an accordion player, playing to a little child. It was a magical moment, for sure.
Without a doubt, SCUOLA GRANDE DI SAN MARCO is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever had the pleasure of laying my eyes on.
Walking past SOGNO VENEZIANO ATELIER, I noticed the beautiful costumes and the makings of a mask workshop that – again – if I had more time I would have loved to book a mask making workshop for the pleasure of play.
We stopped in another square and Emanuela informed us about the history of the RAINWATER CISTERNS, located all around Venice.
She also led us to the estimate location of MARCO POLO’S estate, which is now in a rather run down area of the city, to be honest. But, it was still lovely to remember the ghosts of the past of the area.
We continued and walked to the RIALTO BRIDGE and finished at SAN MARCO SQUARE, stopping at the Clocktower once again to conclude the tour. The tour was truly a splendid showcase, highlighting the best of Venice in a quick morning walk.
After the walking tour, we had about 30 minutes to fill, before the gondola ride. In that time, Katharine and I visited GRAN CAFFE LAVENA for a quick mid-morning snack.
After returning to our original meeting point, we were led to the gondola group experience departure point across from CHIESA PARROCCHIALE DI SAN MOISE. I believe the service used was GONDOLE BAUER .
The gondola ride was a shared ride, based on party size. Our gondola guide was quiet, instead shouting jokes to other gondola guides. Which was completely fine.
We started our tour in the smaller canal of RIO DE L’ALBORO before entering the expansive majestic beauty of the CANAL GRANDE.
I was literally overcome with emotion and rendered speechless.
There are some experiences that simply cannot be captured in words or photographs. Only in emotion. In the moments of being on a gondola, being guided through the Grand Canal, all I could feel was deep joy, ecstatic bliss and pleasure of the moment.
Viewing the SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE BASILICA was absolutely spectacular. The ride was everything I could have dreamed of for my first trip to Venice.
Soon, our guide led our gondola back to our starting point. I felt a sense of profound completion.
In conclusion, I would say that the price paid for this tour was exceptionally reasonable, based on the value received. There’s no other way that I would have gained the inside of walking the streets of Venice, along with the gondola ride, for the price, on my own.
Venice: Walking Tour & Gondola Ride by Venice City Tours
Calle larga de l’Ascension
30124, Venice Italy