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We were priveleged to have Dr. Romy Rigattieri, a learned local Venetian as our guide for the day.
As Romy knew the city like the back of her hand, she took us to visit it's main highlights through meandering streets, off the beaten path, so that we could see so many hidden gems and aspects of the city, en route. Two such unique stops that were significant for us were to a historic Gondola boatyard where Romy explained the painstaking process that goes into the construction of a single gondola and to an iconic waterfront gelateria where we were made to try a unique dessert which Romy used to relish as a child of chocolate and whipped cream!
Being very experienced Romy brought the ancient and mesmerising city of Venice to life for us with her detailed and animated commentary. She took us to iconic mask shops to explain the process and significance of this unique Venetian phenomenon. She also took us to try Cicchetti, typical Venetian snacks, similar to Spanish tapas.
Her explanations of the Doges Palace, Bridge of Sighs, the adjoining Prison and of the Byzantine influenced San Marco were exceptionally notable.
Our Tour ended with a private gondola ride which my young daughters were looking forward to the most. Seeing that the gondoliers were very busy and hence nonchalant and uncaring of the thronging tourists, Romy never left our side until she was sure that we were seated in a comfortable gondola with an attentive gondolier. This for us was very touching. As the gondolier pushed away from the shore and took us down the canal, we could see Romy gradually disappear from view. She never stopped waving to us.
Felicia Variava Albert. Managing Director, Blaze Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, India
This tour was so much more than we were expecting. Our tour guide Romy was very knowledgeable and showed us the best of Venice. It was a private tour for the 4 of us and was a perfect day. The gondola ride was just the four of us and about 40 minutes long, made our Venice trip exactly what we expected. I highly suggest this tour.
Best way to see Venice in a day!
The tour guide was very knowledgeable, he was eager to show us what we wanted to see, it was so nice to have the guide to ourselves. Although it was expensive, it was worth it.
A wonderful tour! Thank you to our extremely knowledgeable tour guide Christina. We visited Doge's Palace and Saint Mark's Basillica and toured the city. Our tour guide gave us great information about the city, the buildings, the people and life today. This was a all day tour, which I would highly recommend. Be prepared to walk a lot! So wear comfortable attire, however please be aware some places you are visiting may have some requirements or restrictions. Just be ready to enjoy Venice, only wish we had more time to explore.
Rafael Tours is a great company. Used twice and would use again. Adriana was an excellent guide-knowledgeable, flexible and funny.Plenty of time in Doges Palace and San Marcos church. 30 min gondola ride was ok. Our gondolier was boring-was on his phone the whole time. Overall great tour! DO BOOK!
Truly awesome city and the tour was really good. There is so much to see in Venice that you definitely need a guide!
This was a basic one day guided tour of the city of Venice. Our guide was contracted through a local tour company that was contracted by Viator. It is a challenge to get so many hands in the pie and it makes these tours expensive. However, this guide was very professional and his English was excellent. I far prefer a private guide now for any tour that I'm taking. The experience far outweighs the cost when you consider how much you spent to get to the destination in the first place. He made a great lunch recommendation, and created an excellent custom day. However, the constraints between Viator and the local tour company caused minor timing problems. I believe there is not enough work in matching what the local tour company is offering and what Viator is selling on its site. In this case, the guide was willing to make it fit the description that Viator had said which was a completely private, customized guided tour not so much what the local company had described, but this is not always the case. Be wary that you might not get what you expect in the tour description if Viator hasn't done enough foot work with the local tour provider to mesh expectations. If they email ahead of time for tour confirmation it is imperative to set expectations up front.
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