See all of Venice's top sights in just a few hours with this exclusive Semi-Private Tour of only 10 people maximum. With such a small group your guide will have more time to answer questions and tailor the pace of the tour to suit you. Our Tour is perfect for visitors with only a short time in Venice or for anyone wishing to use their time here to explore off-the-beaten track sights, such as the Bovolo Staircase. Our tour starts on the Grand Canal, the city's main waterway which snakes its way past no less than 50 palaces, six churches, four bridges and two open-air markets. We'll take to the water for a tour of all these wonderful sights. With only 10 people in the boat you won't have to crane your neck. We'll even float by a gondola-making workshop! Back on dry land next – well, kind of. The on-land section of our tour is a head-spinning journey past some of the best-known sights of Venice along with some of our unlikely favorites. We'll visit the Bovolo staircase whose spiral clings desperately to the walls of a building. We'll stop by Marco Polo's house and hear about the Venetian son who went to sea one day and came back with stories of China and a world in the East that few had ever seen. We'll see lively Campo San Luca and Campo SS Giovanni Paolo where locals carry out their daily lives in the shadow of spectacular architecture.
We'll see the Goldoni Theatre (outside visit), Venice's lesser known but hardly lesser loved opera house. Of course, we won't miss the Rialto Bridge, a favorite among many visitors for its sleek marble lines and the beautiful way it reflects in the water. Be sure to lean over the edge to capture a photo of the reflection, this is a picture you'll see on many Venetian postcards and one you'll be dying to frame when you get home. Then we'll make for Venice's main square – Piazza San Marco. Here orchestras abound (in Venice even the street artists are classy) and cafes spill out onto the square. The Doge's Palace lines one side of the piazza so we'll pause here first. This is perhaps the building that is most representative of Venice's past – a place where masterpieces were commissioned and hung while Casanova sat in the attic prison upstairs plotting his escape. It's home to a torture chamber, a slot through which accusations of treason were passed to the Secret Police and more Tintoretto and Veronese paintings and frescos than you could imagine possible. Our last stop is sure to impress. Basilica San Marco dominates the piazza with its spectacular East-meets-West architecture. This is what many people come to Venice to see and for day-trippers it's often the start, middle and end of the agenda. This wonderful structure took 800 years to build with relics and monuments inside brought (or stolen) from all over Europe and Asia. Even St. Mark's remains came here through dubious means when Crusaders stole them from Egypt. The queues here can be long but no worries, we have skip the line access! Your guide will take you inside this cavernous space for an extended tour, pointing out mosaics and beautiful artworks. Then it's up to the second floor for a closer look at the sparkling golden mosaics and for the most spectacular view over bustling Piazza San Marco below. In only a few hours you have seen the very best of Venice from three entirely different perspectives – water, land and from the terraces of St. Mark's Basilica. And all without having to wait in line or jostling to see within a big tour group!
** Remember that there is a dress code for this tour: shoulders and knees must be covered . Gartour cannot be held responsible for entry denied due to improper dress. For security reasons sacks, bags or knapsacks are not allowed inside Doge's Palace and Churches. Comfortable shoes are recommended. On very few occasion the Basilica may be closed due to public holidays, private events or high water **