The tour guide - Marina - for the Doge's Palace and the Basilica was excellent. Very knowledgeable and entertaining. Well worth going on a tour and would highly recommend. There is a too long a gap between the walking tour and the boat tour the walking tour finished at 1pm and we were scheduled on the 5.30pm boat tour - luckily we were reallocated to the 4.30pm boat trip after we asked to swap. The guide for the boat tour was not as informative and his English was not as good as the morning guide but luckily we were seated near him on the outside of the boat at the front and could ask questions if we needed to. It was nice to meander around the canals anyway. All in all well worth the money.
This tour is not one tour, but three tours with three different guides. There is no attempt to provide continuity with the guides. The three together in one day make for a very long day, with a four hour gap in the middle.
Tour guides make the difference. Our first guide for Doges Palace was incredible. She interacted with the children and made it fun for everyone. St Marks and walking tour was OK. Grand Canal cruise was fun, but difficult to take pictures as the motorboat is enclosed with the exception of two seats.
The Doges Palace tour was amazing! Unfotunately the St.Marks tour was not. It is just a quick walk thru with no real time to see and appreciate this unique church. The walking tour was a bust, too, as it rained hard all day. We didnt even go on the boat tour because it was too cold and rainy.
Excellent tour. Particularly enjoyed the Doges Palace portion. Learned a lot about the history and culture of Venice. The St. Mark's Cathedral tour was chaotic. Way too crowded even though we had skip the line tickets. The whole experience was bad due to pushing crowds who had no respect for the fact that they were in a church. Couldn't hear the tour guide who was plainly irritated by the number of people who slipped in amongst our group. Absolutely no crowd control which was further complicated by the rising tide in the piazza which meant we were teetering on little ramps with people pushing and shoving. Quite dangerous in my opinion.
We loved this tour! Frederica did part 1 and 2 and Christina did the Grand Canal Boat Tour portion! Frederica was excellent!!! She is a real gem and she definitely knows her stuff! She provided us with so many facts, stats and information on the history of Venice that it was fascinating. The walking tour was done at a nice pace and we enjoyed wearing the headsets as they allowed us freedom once we were in St.Mark's Basilica to stray a bit from the group and then quickly reconnect. The Doge Palace was absolutely beautiful and the info provided was extremely interesting. I was surprised there were only 5 of us on this portion of the tour.There was even someone trying to listen in, on everything Frederica was telling us. He should have paid for the tour because I could tell he only got bits and pieces. Christina was very friendly and did a great job of the Grand Canal Tour too at the end as well. We did this tour our first full day in Venice and we picked up so many tips that it made our next 4 days even better! So glad we did it at the beginning of your trip! We would highly recommend this 3 in one tour!
Morning walking tour was excellent, taking us to parts of Venice we had never visited and with a typically cheeky Italian guide who added immensely to the overall atmosphere of the walk. Not much time for lunch between the end of this tour and the Doge's Palace, which was more functional and which we could have done ourselves. Loved the Grand Canal Tour at the end of the day but would have liked a head set as when we were standing up in the rear of the boat, we could not hear the commentary!
My father and I booked the whole day tour, including the boat tour of the Grand Canal. Our morning tour began with meeting a fantastic Italian guide named Christina. Christina had perfect English and she and her team were very prompt with meeting us at the designated, well-described and easy to find location on the waterfront. We began our walking tour while the super-friendly Christina gave our small group a great lesson in Venetian history, followed by a very descriptive guided walk through St. Mark's square and finally though St. Mark's cathedral. Every superlative applies to the quality of the tour - the pacing was perfect, the stories and history were woven in such a way that made the time fly by and kept the group's complete attention.
We had a couple of hours break after the morning tour which allowed us to grab a bite to eat and wander around Venice a bit on our own. We were delighted to see that Christina would also be conducting our afternoon tour. The afternoon tour was focused on the Doge's palace, Prison, and Bridge of Sighs. The palace was incredible in its artwork, but the guide's historical background of the themes and meanings turned the place from a nice place to look at amazing art to an amazing history and art lesson.
The afternoon tour ended with a great walk through some smaller passages and sections of Venice that are interesting but rather out of the way. We had some great photo opportunities and a plenty of time for Christina to answer our questions. My Dad and I were both so glad we booked a tour - sure, we could have seen the same places on our own, or with a tour book or audio guide, but we would have only gotten about 10 of the information that we learned from our guide. She highlights all the important historical significance and added so much value to the locations. I would recommend this 100 - Do it! It's the only way to really learn and enjoy the amazing history of Venice!
Afternoon boat tour different guide was great
An amazing introduction to the beautiful city of Venice. The check in process was very easy and the departure point easy to find. It was handy that all three tours leave from the same place. The guide for both the walking tour and Doge's Palace was Stefania. She was absolutely wonderful, very knowledgable and humorous. I believe she would have spent more time with us at Doge's Palace had we not have to leave to get the canal tour. Our guide for the canal tour, Cristina was also very knowledgable. It was a wonderful day and would recommend for anyone.
Doges palace was an excellent tour, the St marks part was really boring with a senseless walk around boring parts of Venice.
Our Guide was a woman named Marie and she was fabulous! We started in the courtyard, then moved through the Doge's Palace, taking back rooms, getting behind-the-scenes that certainly other tours don't do. Marie was fascinating and was so knowledgeable, she talked to us about one of the Doge Prison's most famous inmates: Casanova. His story while imprisoned was really a treat to learn. Highly recommend this tour!!
JB and TB
A great tour. Excellent tour guide and easily understood with headsets. Doge's Palace is well worth the visit.
Our guide was outstanding. We had been to Venice once before but did not venture into the interior of either of these sites. The narration and the explanation added to the amazement of what the citizens constructed hundreds of years ago and how they have stood the test of time. Truly a testament of what humans have accomplished without the use of modern day tools. The ceiling tiles of St Marc's and the enormity of the Doge's palace should not be missed on your first visit. We chose well.
Our guide was knowledgeable -her English was excellent and from our perspective concerned our ability to hear hear when the wireless hardware would "drop-out" in certain passages of the "Secret Tour" If you care about the Doge's Palace history -- this is the way to go!
This tour was AMAZING! We had no idea what to expect as we didn't know much about the history, we came away full of new information and wonderment. The buildings and places we toured were so BEAUTIFUL! Our tour guide was very friendly and knowledgeable of all the area. The tour was a good pace and the group was a good size for a personal experience. We would never known any of the things we learned about Venice without this tour, it truly made our time memorable! Visiting St Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace were top favorites from our trip to Italy.
It was really a tour designed for you to see the most of Venice in a single day. It was very interesting to know about the stories behind the people of venice and how the city came to be as it is today. All the guides were excellent and very engaging in their stories (Fiona, Gina, and the last lady for the canal tour I forgot her name sorry) It was very organized with the meeting place and giving us the headsets. The headset for the Doge's Palace tour was not working properly though, it was good we were just a small group so we just turned them off and listened to the guide without the set. There wasn't much time in between tours, I'm not sure if it was because it was winter--- we started late and ended early maybe to take advantage of the daylight. It was a bit tiring but I enjoyed it and learned a lot :-)
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