4.5 star rating: Recommended 191 Reviews

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  • Location: Venice, Italy
  • Duration:  2 hours (approx.)
Discover the side of Venice that many visitors don’t see on a leisurely paced, 2-hour walking tour, packed with historical anecdotes, quirky stories and little-known facts! With a local guide, knowledgeable about Venice’s past, explore the Rialto, Carampane and San Polo neighborhoods. Learn of the Venetian ‘courtesans’ while walking through the historical red light district, see a palace where tax evaders were once imprisoned (outside only), and visit the Frari church to see Renaissance art by Giovanni Bellini, Antonio Canova and Tiziano Vecellio (aka Titian).

Highlights

  • 2-hour walking tour of hidden Venice with a knowledgeable local guide
  • Discover the history-rich parts of Venice that many visitors don’t get to see
  • Visit the old artisan quarters of the Rialto area and the historical red light district in Carampane
  • Hear quirky stories about the Venetian courtesans of bygone days and stop for photos on the Ponte delle Tette
  • See Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, a former prison for tax evaders in the San Polo neighborhood
  • Visit the Frari church and admire Renaissance artwork by Bellini, Canova and Titian

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Hidden Venice Half-Day Walking Tour

See the lesser-known sights of Venice on a walking tour!

Meet your local guide on Rialto Bridge, and set off on your walking tour of Venice. Start with a stroll through the old artisan quarters of the city, better known as the Rialto, an area that surrounds the Grand Canal. Historically and presently Venice’s main trade area, the Rialto is a bustling district, ever-popular with visitors, traders and locals alike.

After a glimpse of Venice’s hectic side, follow your guide through the labyrinth of enchanting streets and narrow passageways that so many visitors fail to discover. Pass time-worn old bars where merchants have relaxed for centuries, and pass through the so-called ‘castelleto’ area in Carampane, a historical red light district, where Venetian courtesans once worked the streets.

Hear about these well-heeled and independent women, as well as their questionable morals, and learn of famous and intellectual courtesans such as Veronica Franco, a poet who counted literates and other eminent Italians as her friends. Stop for photos on the naughtily nicknamed Ponte delle Tette (Bridge of Tits), and hear how its name was given after the courtesans who were encouraged to model topless, touting their ‘wares,’ on the canals.

Pass Palazzo dei Camerlenghi in the San Polo neighborhood, and hear how the beautiful Renaissance palace was once a feared prison for tax evaders. In between viewing quirky sites around the area, learn about Venice in days of old and what life is like today for modern-day Venetians.

Your walking tour finishes with a visit to the Frari church, one of the city’s true lesser-known gems. Tucked away on an unassuming San Polo side street, the Gothic building is home to fascinating artwork by Bellini, Canova and Titian — three of the most influential Italian artists of the High Renaissance period. Pay your entrance fee, and step inside the church to marvel at the art for the last half hour of your tour.

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Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2014

Fascinating tour. The guide was excellent and very helpful. Finishing at Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari with all it's art treasures was great way to end the tour. Thoroughly recommended.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

A little overlap from previous day- not area or what we viewed but history. It really was execllent- would have preferred a little smaller group.

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Tour code: 2635SP

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