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Unusual City Tours in Venice
These are tours for visitors who are already familiar with the main monuments of
Venice, and for those who want to explore some of the lesser-known places.
“Lesser-known” does not imply less beautiful or interesting:
the riches of Venice are so profuse that few, even among regular visitors,
have ever seen all that is worth seeing.
Of course unconventional travellers
who seek for a totally different approach to Venice might find these
tours even more attractive than the classical ones.
It is a "Venice Revisited" with the aim of taking you to discover some
of the lesser known treasuries of the city, selected and combined together
according to unusual and specific themes.
Places that sometimes are indeed
alluringly arcane, while some are accessible only by special arrangement. Far from the crowd of tourists packing the main tracks of the City, you will almost feel that Venice discloses its secrets just for you.
See our 11 unusual tours to explore the Hidden Venice!
Tour 1: Byzantine Venice 1. Middle Age Mosaics in Venice,
Murano and Torcello – full day tour
Venice was a Byzantine dependency for a while. Though soon emerging as an independent state,
the cultural and artistic influences of Byzantium
on Venice were to remain evidently strong for long time. The mosaics
left by Byzantine artists in the most important IX C churches are a
considerable evidence this fascinating heritage.
Tour 2: Byzantine Venice 2. Mosaics and Icons
Centuries of commercial and cultural interchange with the East had lent
earlier Medieval art and architecture in Venice a strongly
Byzantine character. When in 1453 the Turks conquered Constatinople, many
Greeks moved to Venice. Among them was a group of painters from Crete and
Venice became tacitly the heir of the Byzantine civilization.
Tour 3: Gothic in Venice. Ca’ d’Oro and Madonna
One of the most sumptuous and well preserved example of a Venetian Gothic merchant's
home faces the Rialto Market, on the opposite bank of the Grand Canal. The palace
contains a rich collection of paintings, frescoes and ceramic of the glorious centuries
of the Venetian Republic.
Tour 4: The Dawn of Renaissance. The Church of San Zaccaria,
Carpaccio at the Scuola degli Schiavoni and the Miracoli’s Church
The church of San Zaccaria is the ideal place in which to observe the emergence of
the Venetian Renaissance style in architecture and painting. Carpaccio, the most popular
story-telling painter of the 15thC, used to depict an imaginative early Renaissance Venice,
where scenes combine fantasy and reality. The Miracoli's Church is one of the most
exquisite example of the architecture of early Renaissance
Tour 5: From St Mark’s square to Rialto. what you don’t
usually see when you walk through the most popular alley of Venice
An unusual walk through the most popular shopping street of Venice. The discovery of
the disregarded treasuries in the very "heart of the City" and how they can
tell you so much about art and history. The Rialto Market, once
the centre of commercial and financial activity, still preserves testimonies of ancient
activities and old edicts
aimed at controlling commercial trade
Tour 6: Castello. The old Shipyard, S. Francesco
della Vigna and Santi Giovanni e Paolo
Leaving behind the madding crowd of the Square, to venture in the quiet and charming
little alleys of the district of Castello. Passing several bridges and small “campi”
we’ll get to the ancient Arsenale, the vast dockyard where galleys were built.
Then a slice of the Renaissance lost in a remote corner of Venice, a church with a façade
by Palladio and several important paintings, including one by Veronese.
Tour 7: Dorsoduro 1. The Salute Church, a Squero and ... the best
ice-cream in town
From the supreme masterpiece of the Venetian Baroque, a church built to commemorate
a devastating plague in 1630, walking down silent alleys, we’ll see some of the
most picturesque corners of Venice and one of the few surviving gondola boatyards.
Then relaxing along the Zattere, lingering over the Giudecca island, enjoying the
best ice cream in town.
Tour 8: Dorsoduro II. Masters of color: Veronese and Tiepolo
Paolo Veronese and Giambattista Tiepolo are the kings of Venetian color.
The church of San Sebastiano contains the most well preserved fresco cycle in Venice,
executed by Veronese, who is buried in the church.
Not far from San Sebastiano, the Scuola dei Carmini, contains an impressive ceiling
painted by Giambattista Tiepolo
Tour 9: Venice seen through the eyes of poets and writers
Venice has captured the hearts of many poets and writers. The city has held an unrivalled
place in the Western imagination and has been endlessly described in prose and verse. Reading
the words of Byron, Ruskin, Henry James or Browning we'll follow their paces in Venice, and
recognize the sites they romantically described.
Tour 10: Along the traces of Music in Venice: from
Vivaldi to the Fenice Opera House
A journey through the history of Music in Venice, from the places where
Vivaldi lived and directed his concerts, to the sanctuary of the “bel canto”,
the Fenice Opera House, recently arisen from the ashes it was reduced to after a catastrophal in 1996
Tour 11: Villas and Wine on the Veneto Mainland.
Between the 15th and the 18th Cs more than 2000 country residences were built throughout
the Veneto by the richest Venetian families. This phenomenon became known as the Civilization
of the Villas. A day to discover some of the most outstanding country houses, following the
celebrated wine routes of the Veneto Region, to please both your minds and palates.
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