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
Michelle was wonderful... great tour even in the rain and flooded square (actually pretty neat to be there when it is flooeded).
Very good tour. The tour guide was just excellent keeping in mind craziness of St Mark's square
Doing what: Skip the Line: St Mark's Square Highlights Tour
Ella Jean W
We enjoyed our tour. Only negative would be that on the walking tour it ended in the middle of a neighborhood and we had to find our way back to St. Mark's Square where we started on our own through narrow walkways that were like a maze.
Very informative tour. Our guide Stephano was excellent. The best part of the tour was when we got out of the crowded area of St.Mark's Square in to the quieter streets of Venice.
Tour of Doge's Palace was excellent. However, we were late getting started due to many tour members asking questions about subsequent tours they were signed up for that day (answers to which were clearly available in the itinerary if they had bothered to read it!). We were rushed to finish as we had the St. Marks tour immediately following Doge's Palace.
St. Marks was a disappointment as the square was slightly flooded, and the "Skip the line" entrance wasn't open, so we ended up having to wait. This put us behind, so we were rushed through St. Marks, and really didn't get an opportunity to study and enjoy it.
Walking tour was informative, but the guide walked quite fast, and, with the crowds, it was very hard to keep up with her. In fact, a couple times we fell so far behind, we were out of range of the radio she was communicating to us over.
There were too many people on the boat for the Grand Canal tour; we didn't want to sit in the cabin, but were very crammed in standing outside.
Wow ... great combo set of tours ... will keep you occupied for the entire day! Really enjoyed all of them. Tour guides very informative and the "set-up" crews for each tour were on-time, helpful and efficient with getting us squared away with the headsets (which are an absolute must to hear everything from the tour guide). This tour combo a great value for the money if you want to see all the major venues and have the day to spend doing it. Highly recommended.
Fairly easy to locate the meeting point.. lots of tourists turned up and we were sorted into groups of 25 and allocated a guide. Frederica was our local guide. She was very informative and at times even entertaining! We were all given receivers linked to her microphone so we could hear her at all times. She enlightened us about the Venetian floods, the history of trade and construction, the pitfalls of daily life as well as guiding us briefly through St Mark's Basillica and giving us the run down on the Doge palace and the amazing clock in the square. She considerately timed our tour to coincide with the midday chiming of the bronze statues on the top of the clock and allowed us plenty of opportunities to take photos along the way. (She even told us the best gelati was from the Grom company and we agree they're delicious!)
Well worth taking the tour!
This tour was fantastic as the guide was from the city itself and relayed much insight that many casual tourists would have missed out on. We happenned to be there during a Full Moon and experienced the high tide flooding in St Mark's square that memories are made of. Since Venice is a very popular draw for tourists, it was a joy to be able to move about without that sense of being lost in a large crowd.
It was a good, informative tour of St. Mark's Square, Basilica and surrounding neighborhood. The tour guide was excellent and the headphone devices worked very well. The guide was very informative and I learned a lot about St. Mark's and the daily life of a Venetian. It was wonderful to skip the line and walk right into St. Mark's Basilica. My only complaint was that the tour of the Basilica was very short. I know they don't like you to linger but I would've had appreciated more time to really see it. Other than that, it was a great tour and well worth they money.
Very relaxing tour around St. Marco. Perfect timing to quickly explore Venice's main square and surrounding streets
Meeting point was easy to find and to get to. Numerous staff there to greet and organize you.
Loved the Doge's Palace Tour. Not having to line up in the hot sun to wait to get in is wonderful. Tour guide was wonderful - you see the highlights of the place with the great works of art including the largest mural in the world by Tintoretto(?). The Prison and Bridge of Sighs were also highlights.
We did St. Mark's back to back with The Doge's Palace. My wife found it a little tiring - 4 consecutive hours of walking or standing. Spreading them out might work for some people.
Gaining entry ahead of the general public was well worth it. The line into St. Mark's stretched to the waterfront on the day of our tour. The tour of St Mark's was too brief and we did not see or learn enough about the place - maybe 20 25 minutes was all. The walking tour was done in the hot sun in the mid afternoon and we crossed several squares on our way to the Rialto bridge. The story of the wells in each square and Marco Polo's Home were highlights. Easy to get back to St. Mark's Square after the tour.
Loved the boat tour. We toured the southern edge of Venice (ie. St. George's Cathedral) and the Grand Canal itself - famous buildings and churches. It was at night so it was cool on the water after a hot day.
The information provided could be a little overwhelming. Again, the meeting point was at the Royal Gardens where staff from the tour company met us and organized us.
Strongly recommend that people get a hotel near the SanMarco as it takes the pressure off of being on time or getting lost when meeting for the tours.
We did the Palace and walking tour in the morning (9 30 am - 1 30 pm) It may be a bit much for people. The boat tour was not until 5 30 pm so it gave us time to rest and have dinner.
We were 5 mins late arriving but the company and guide were very helpful. We were just able to get on the tour which had already started but not entered the cathedral.
The guide gave an interesting and informative tour about the cathedral and square although didn't answer all questions. For a first visit recommended, but maybe not for anyone wanting a more detailed history than that.
Doing what: Skip the Line: St Mark's Square Highlights Tour
Doges palace was amazing, 2 hours isn't enough, if I were booking again I would do this desperately to give time to wander around more. Unfortunately Venice flooded a little in st Mark's square meaning we had to queue for the basilica. The boat trip was amazing!
Please note that we missed this tour, so the rating is not exactly accurate. However, I wanted to leave a comment because future travelers can learn from our mistakes. We missed the tour because our train arrived a half hour before the tour was supposed to start, and we weren't sure how to find the meeting spot- very far from the train station. It was impossible to make it in a half hour if you don't know your way around, so make sure you have an ample amount of time to find it after your train arrives! I'd suggest at least an hour/hour and a half to be safe! Also, try taking a vaporetto! We walked and had trouble navigating the streets of Venice.
We did walk by St. Mark's square after we finally made it there, and it would be worthwhile to have the Skip the Line tour if you want to see St. Mark's Basilica in July. There was a huge line!
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