If you came to Venice with visions in mind of winding streets and tumbling houses where laundry swings out over canals, then Secret Venice is the tour for you. Step away from the crowds and get off the beaten track with this original tour that explores Venice’s less seen, more romantic face on the other side of the Grand Canal.
Follow your expert, English-speaking guide through the quiet streets and piazzas of Venice – almost unrecognizable now most of the tourists are back on the mainland. As you walk your guide will captivate you with histories of Ca’Dario, the cursed (and possibly haunted) house whose owners have continuously met untimely and often suspicious deaths. You’ll learn why music schools around the world are called ‘conservatories’ at Fondamenta degli Incurabili, the hospital where monks took orphans from the streets and trained them as nurses and world-famous musicians. And at Redentore Church, your guide will help you to imagine the huge festivals that once flowed from here to Piazza San Marco, gondolas filling every inch of the canals for huge firework shows.
Along with local legends, you’ll hear some tales of familiar characters. You’ll see Harry’s Bar across the canal where Ernest Hemmingway once kicked back after a long day of writing. You’ll see the home of Peggy Guggenheim, the heiress who lost her father to the Titanic but gained the means to build one of the world’s most interesting art collections. (Back in her day Peggy used to scandalize the locals by sunbathing naked on her roof and parading around town with a pack of tiny dogs on leashes.) Ever heard of Othello? You’ll see the house where Desdemona supposedly lived before her tale was transcribed by an Italian author and stolen by a man called William Shakespeare.
Our tour ends on the sweetest note with a gondola ride along the quieter back canals of Venice. Relax as a gondolier, in his ubiquitous striped shirt, punts along waterways built for these very vessels. With only six people per gondola your ride will be peaceful and intimate.
Tour available Sundays, Tuesdays,Thursdays and Saturdays fromApril to October only.
Meeting Time: Please be at meeting point at least 20min before departure time. We strongly recommends you consult a map before leaving for the meeting point.
Departure Time:6.30pm. Client will need to contact resort office at least 24hrs prior to departure to reconfirm.
Duration: 2hrs 10min (including 40min gondola ride)
Meeting Point: The tour begins in front of the white marble Accademia di Belle Arti (Venetian Academy of Fine Arts) near the Accademia Bridge and the Accademia vaporetto (waterbus) stop. “ACCADEMIA DI BELLE ARTI” is written across the top and “GALLERIE” is written over the door. Your City Wonders coordinator will be waiting here wearing a blue City Wonders /Guideman polo shirt or jacket for easy recognition.
Additional Information: Tour not suitable for passengers with mobility problems.
Inclusions: Expert English-speaking guide for the walking portion of the tour,35 minute shared gondola ride, Small groups of 25 people or less, Headsets when appropriate, so you can always hear your guide.
Exclusions: Hotel pick-up and drop-off, Gratuities.
When you’ve Booked: You’ll receive an initial confirmation from us immediately. We will then send your booking details to the supplier within 48 hours to request confirmation. Once they confirm that your requested date and ticket is available, we will email your confirmation which will include the local operator’s contact details and any relevant information.