Experience and enjoy Venice
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Living in Venice, know how it is like to be a Venetian - Tour 9

The Rialto Bridge, Campo San Bartolomeo, Fontego dei Tedeschi, Corte del Milion, Campo Santa Marina, Miracoli church, Calle Varisco, Gondola-ferry, Rialto Food Market.

From the panoramic terrace of the Fontego dei Tedeschi, now transformed into a shopping centre, you will admire Venice from above. You will see part of  the Grand Canal and some of its palaces as well as the famous Rialto Bridge, but you will  also have a glance over the whole city. 

After leaving the German warehouse, a  few steps from it, you will reach Corte del Milion, where one of the most famous Venetian merchants of the Middle Ages lived, Marco Polo. He was  a great explorer and a traveller, and spent a long time in China.  He told of his extraordinary journey to that country and of the wonders he saw   in his book that was  written in jail by a friend of his under his dictation.

You will get then to Campo Santa Marina and the church dei Miracoli, whose facade and interior was completely covered with slabs of marble, to reach  the narrowest street in Venice. Calle Varisco with a width of about fifty-three centimetres, does not allow two people  to pass at the same time.  It gives you an idea of  how difficult it is for local people  to move out of their apartments!

A labyrinth of intricate streets in the district of Cannaregio will guide you to the gondola-ferry, in order to reach the Rialto market. Venetians use it frequently and especially when they go there to do their daily shopping. You will visit the Rialto fish market, one of the places that still maintains its authenticity and defends itself from becoming a real tourist spot.   Here you will find a lot of shops, as well as typical restaurants and trattorias, where you can have a snack.

 

Please note: the tour is recommended for kids.

 
 
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Rialto food market tour: try the best finger food! - Tour 10

Rialto food market and the Venetian cuisine, an institution for local people!

 

Where do local people buy their fresh food? If you go to the Rialto market early in the morning you will meet a lot of Venetian people, who do their shopping. They bring their small carts with them, and they fill them in with all sorts of fresh products including fruit, vegetables, but mostly fish and seafood.

In fact, fish is part of the local diet, and it reigns supreme in the Venetian cuisine. You can find a wide range of it from cod to sardines as well as sea-bass and bream, flounder,  monk-fish and any kind of sea-food.

Local people prepare it very often at home, but for special occasions they eat it at the restaurant. When they meet their friends they prefer to go to simpler places, the so-called ‘bacari’, taverns or wine-bars, that serve for this purpose.

Around the food market there are a lot of them, where you can try Venetian specialities and snacks. In the local dialect they are called ‘cicchetti’ and are the equivalent of finger food. Among the most requested are hard-boiled eggs topped with herring fillets, vinegar marinated anchovies, grilled baby squids, small bread rolls filled with local salami. The Venetian enjoy eating fried meatballs, creamed codfish, sardines in an onion and vinegar sauce, just to name a few others.

The’cicchetti’ are eaten accompanied by a small glass of wine called ‘ombra’, as wine was sold in the shade of the bell-tower in St. Mark’s square. The ideal wine for this kind of tasting is Prosecco, the light sparkling wine.

Your guide will recommend some ‘bacari’ where you can have a tasting or a restaurant where you can eat some typical dishes of the Venetian cuisine. Do not forget that Venetian cuisine is a succession of pastas, risottos, fried and roasts. 

We wish you a good appetite!

 
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Murano not just glass but also history and art! - Tour 11

La Colonna, Rio dei Vetrai, San Pietro Martire church, Palazzo da Mula, Santa Maria and  Donato church, Murano Grand Canal and a glass demonstration.

Murano became very famous in the Middle Ages for its glass production, which is still active today. Although a large part of the island surface is occupied by   factories and shops, it   still retains  vestiges of its glorious past such as churches and palaces. 

One of its  gems is the church of San Pietro Martire. Built during the Gothic era, it preserves  works of art by famous painters such Giovanni Bellini, Paolo Veronese and Tintoretto as well as its old windows made of circular pieces of glass.

Not far away from it, along the  main canal of the island,  you will see Palazzo da Mula, an example of a 15th century Gothic building, built by  noble people. Like most of the Venetian aristocrats the Da Mula family  decided to spend their summer on Murano due to its milder weather.  

After crossing the Ponte Lungo and seeing some buildings related to industrial archaeology, you will reach the church of Santa Maria and Donato in Venetian-Byzantine style. When you go in you will admire the mosaic of the central  apse  with the representation of the Virgin Mary wrapped in her mantle and maphorion of an intense blue.  Before  going out remember to look at the marble floor which covers over five hundred square metres and goes back to the 12th century.

The tour will end at a glass factory to see a  demonstration. A glass-master will introduce you to this fascinating art of the past, that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble with the aid of a blowpipe. 

 

Other interesting option for craftsmanship are the history of the gondola and the history of Carnival.

 
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Giudecca island:  discover a world of its own!- Tour 12

The Old Granaries, the Zitelle church, Casa dei 3 Oci, the Redeemer’s church, Jungans factory, the Convent of Cosma and Damiano, Sant’Eufemia Church, the  Fortuny factory and the  Mulino Stucky.

In the early Middle Ages Giudecca was a very poor island in the outskirts of Venice, where fishermen and exiled people lived. The aspect of the island changed in the 16th century when churches and palaces with incredible gardens were built for rich Venetian aristocrats.

While walking on the island you will become acquainted with the transformation it underwent in the 1800s. Many old buildings were reutilized and turned into factories and in more recent times reconverted into residences for local people.

Some of those interesting contemporary structures were harmonized with the rest of the landscape. The architectural restyling of the area has resulted in a recovery of unused spaces as well as a revaluation of the island. The Junghans factory as wells as the Convent of Cosma and Damiano and the Convertite are typical examples of those last changes. 

In the beginning of the island you will come across the Old Granaries, followed by the Spinster’s church, used for the recovery of poor girls, and a studio -home called casa dei 3 Oci, the house of the three eyes. In the  middle part of the island  the  Redeemer’s church stands out. It was built after the black plague, that broke out in 1576 and  is well-known for the Redeemer’s festival, which is held every year on the Saturday before the third Sunday of July.  For the occasion a pontoon bridge is assembled   to join the two banks of the canal for the religious procession.

 

Other options, but ask for more info

Exclusive tour to San Francesco del Deserto, peace and religious isolation

Mazzorbo island, the winery of Venice

Sant’Erasmo: the orchard of Venice

Palladian architecture: St. George’s island and Giudecca island

Murano, Burano and Torcello, the gems of the lagoon of Venice