Get an insider’s perspective on the architectural wonders and historical legends of Venice. Meet your local guide near St. Mark’s Square for an introduction to the cultural and political forces that made Venice a medieval maritime force. Walk around the square as you learn the layout and history of highlights including the Doge’s Palace and the iconic bell tower.
Stop in front of St. Mark’s Basilica to appreciate its ornate, Italo-Byzantine exterior. Skip the long line and head straight inside and marvel at the cathedral’s soaring domed ceiling and ornate altars. Nearly every surface glitters with the work of generations of Venetian goldsmiths, and even the marble floors are works of art, with intricate inlaid mosaics.
Next, wander along Venice’s narrow canals and through picturesque squares to admire hidden gems like the Querini and Stampalia art museum (exterior only). Ogle the Gothic and Renaissance architecture of some of the city’s lesser-known palaces and learn about the daily lives of Venetian nobility. Visit the former home of Marco Polo and see other landmarks with ties to the famed 13th-century explorer.
Your tour concludes at the bustling Rialto Bridge near the Grand Canal—an ideal spot to admire the wares of local artisans, grab an authentic bite at a local café, or continue exploring the city on your own.
Please note: St. Mark’s Basilica is occasionally closed to the public due to flooding or special events.