Highlights of Venice Tour 2020-2021

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Total Trip:

10 Days
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Countries Visited:

Italy
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Places Visited:

Venice, Arqua Petrarca, Asolo, Friuli, Chioggia, Bassano del Grappa, Verona, Burano, Murano
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Uncover the opulence of the Venetian Republic through an exploration of the architecture, history, legend, and natural beauty of a region shaped its history as a maritime powerhouse. Your custom tailored tour will immerse you in the highlights of Veneto, a region of Italy intertwined with the rise and fall of Venice. Indulge in the flavors of the cuisine and the exquisite regional wine. Pass beneath arched bridges erected nearly five centuries ago and then bask in the panoramic views of lagoon

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Customizable Itinerary

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Day 1

Venice – Arrive in Venice to Enjoy an Introductory Tour of the Waterways

Venice is a city of mystery and majesty, enchanting narrow passageways and opulent landmarks. Steps ascend out of the waters and lead to quiet cafes. Gondolas and vaporettos cruise along the network of canals. Your private transfer will meet you at Marco Polo Airport and escort you to the edge of the famous Grand Canal where you will board a private boat to your hotel. The boat will deliver you to a private dock that leads into the lobby of your accommodation. The lobby embodies the grandeur of your experience in Venice and around Veneto through the lavish décor and marvelous history on display.

Enjoy a moment to settle into your room before you meet your guide once again on the hotel’s dock for an introductory exploration of Venice through the Grand Canal. The charming details of the city open up to you as an old woman leans out her window in a former palace to watch the boats pass below. Workmen replaced the rotted wood moorings with new trunks as churches have entrances that loom over the water as private docks contain marble stairways that descend beneath the splashing canal. The Palazzo Corner della Ca’Grande was erected in the 16th-century by an Italian mater-builder and the structure was built with the intention of impressing other noble families of Venice through Ionic and Corinthian columns adorning the first and second stories. As you float through, you will find that his job was well-done.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

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Day 2

Venice – Discover the Unique Churches and Artwork of Venice

The sunlight washes over the marble colonnade of the Rialto Bridge and brings the picturesque image of Venice to life. Gondoliers maneuver their vessels beneath the arching structure that was built in the late 16th-century after the wooden structure burnt down. Shops line the bridge and fill their window displays with elegant jewelry, perfumes, and clothing. After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel eager to show you the iconic monuments of the city, beginning with St. Mark’s Square.

Every city has its lively center, and St. Mark’s Square includes the historical and religious life of Venice as framed by the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. The stone-paved expanse leads to the watery edges of the canal as the Basilica towers over the piazza with onion-shaped domes that glint in the passing sunlight. The tallest spire reaches a height of 141 feet and the structure was erected in the 9th-century after the merchants returned to Venice with relics of St. Mark.

Your guide will point out a representation of the excursion as depicted in a 13th-century mosaic above the left entrance. The arched-portals contain graceful depictions of Biblical and local history that combine to nearly legendary proportions. The Basilica interior contains the aroma of myrrh and frankincense and adds a herbaceous and sweet layer to your exploration. You will look up immediately, as your eye is drawn by the remarkable gilded mosaics that sprawl across the vaults and cupolas of an area that totals more than 86,000 square feet. The impressive gold background symbolizes the Divine, which easily captivates visitors and embodies much of Venice’s magnificent décor.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Venice – Visit the Islands around the Larger Lagoon in a Private Boat Tour

The shops open their doors in the morning as the light reflects off the water, highlighting the gentle current. Inside a celebrated bookshop, the aroma of leather-bound manuscripts drifts from the casual stacks of merchandise displayed on shelves and old gondolas. After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel dock ready to introduce you to the islands around Venice’s famous lagoon. You will begin at Burano, an island known for its bright houses and inviting ambiance. The nearby 15th-century bell tower of San Martino church leans noticeably to the right and catches your eye as the aroma of freshly baked pastries emanate from the numerous bakeries that line the narrow streets of the small island.

The houses glow pink, yellow, green, and blue against the cobalt water of the canals. The island once thrived in the 10th to the 12th-century with an economy based on fishing, and the women sold their lace goods across the lagoon. Wives, mothers, and daughters would sit and stitch elegant lace-work while awaiting the men of their household to return from the sea. A smattering of women continues to sit in front of their colorful doorways that stitch together the vibrant doilies and sophisticated cloth.

On the island of Murano, you have a first-hand look at the famous glassblowing region of Venice, with a demonstration on the artwork. Your instructor will become your guide inside an active workshop. The heat from the kiln will fill the wide room as you watch your instructor heat different colored sands to mold the delicate substance into the uniquely shaped vase.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Venice – Explore the Jewish Ghetto and Hidden Neighborhoods of Venice

The longer you stay in Venice, the more you notice the amount of buildings that were constructed to impress the citizens and nobility of the city, which includes the gorgeous religious architecture. The Scuola Grande di San Rocco was erected in the 16th-century in white marble and the great Venetian artist Tintoretto decorated the interior with paintings that carpet the ceiling of the Sala dell’Albergo with the Glorification of St. Roch. Today you will venture out into Venice at your leisure to wander along the diverse neighborhoods of the city beginning with the Eastern Castelo, the city’s largest district.

Cross the Ponte Cadene to reach Via Garibaldi, a street created in the early 19th-century by filling in a wide canal. Laundry dries on lines that hang on the facades of two picturesque buildings with large arches. The tree-lined esplanade of Viale Garibaldi fills with young families that enjoy the rare greenery of the city.

You will continue with your district tour of Venice in the Jewish Ghetto, founded in 1516. Synagogues that date back five centuries continue to look out onto the streets. The largest synagogue in the city was erected by Spanish Jews in the 500 AD and was rebuilt in the 16th-century, and three large chandeliers dangle from the sculpted wooden ceiling in the temple. Near the end of your exploration, your guide will lead you to a private workshop to see a gondola through its process of creation, and highlight the graceful artisan craftsmanship involved.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Chioggia – Spend the Day in the Charming Town on the Sea

The scent of espresso emanates from the cafés that line the cobbled streets around Venice. The vibrant and indulgent aroma sweeps across the canals in the morning light and livens the sleeping city. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you on the hotel dock and lead you to the stunning town of Chioggia, which is often referred to as Little Venice. The fishing port on the Venetian Lagoon contains a wide pedestrian street known as Corso del Popolo, situated in the historical center lined with artisan shops and lively cafes. A mile away from the heart of Chioggia lies the sandy shores of Sottomarina. The fish market bursts with local life on weekday mornings as fishermen display the unique offerings of seafood caught around the lagoon.

Vendors call out to passersby with jovial acclamations of the fish, cockles, and prawns. Restaurateurs visit the market in the morning to purchase the freshest catches of the day and highlight the mussels or clams. The Neo-Gothic style of the Palace of the Granaio Pubblico contains pointed arched windows that look out to the canals and border the fish market. In the Loggia dei Bardi, you can stroll along the quiet square where a local poet once read the laws of the city out to the public in the 16th-century. The history and beauty of Chioggia form a gorgeous combination and provide ambiance and culture with ease.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Asolo – Venture to the Dolomite Foothills to Traverse the Medieval Streets

Today you will take the time to leave the canal-side grandeur of Venice in exchange for the mountainside enchantment of the town of Asolo, located in the foothills of the Italian Dolomites. The town remains a favorite of Veneto locals looking to enjoy the pleasant architecture and fairytale ambiance of the past. Many locals refer to Asolo as “The City of One Hundred Horizons.” The town was settled in the Middle Ages and has since attracted poets, musicians, and actors from around the world.

Cypress trees and oak frame the architecture that rises out of the verdant canopy. The ancient fortress and walls of the town’s medieval past separate the forest from the streets. Arcades open to mansions in the heart of the fortified streets, all leading your eye to the dominating figure of Mount Ricco, upon which the nobility of the town erected the fortress. The medieval Cathedral was renovated in the 18th-century and stands alongside the remains of the Roman aqueduct. Works of Jacopo da Ponte and Sebastiano Bastini decorate the interior.

The fresh mountain air is a change from the seaside aroma of Venice. The quiet cobblestones streets lead to impressive views of nearby hamlets, rolling mountaintops, and gorgeous forest. Your stroll through Asolo will allow you to stumble upon the hidden alleys where you will find a small restaurant inside a historical cellar. Your server will greet you with gregarious warmth and will provide you with a delectable taste of Veneto through the selection of finger foods paired with a glass of Prosecco wine.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Arqua Petrarca – Enjoy the Restful Ambiance and the Thermal Spas

The collection of artwork in the Gallerie dell’Accademia of Venice exhibits a comprehensive collection of Venetian painting between the 15th and 18th-centuries. The placement of the gallery in the former Monastery of Santa Maria della Carita symbolizes the closure of the city’s past religious and noble structures while celebrating the public use of once private artifacts. Today you will immerse yourself in the art of Veneto during a visit to the town of Arqua Petrarca, a small commune near the city of Padua.

The town hosted the famous Italian poet Petrarca who died in the 14th-century. The house in which the poet lived was converted into a museum to commemorate the life and times of the celebrated writer. The town encompasses an area over four square miles, filled with narrow streets, shady lanes, and charming shops nestled against the Euganean Hills. Vineyards spread across the vale lead to the summit of the surrounding knolls, and the olive groves thrive in the volcanic soil atop which the town was erected.

The Terme Euganee Spas include natural baths fed by thermal springs. The sulfuric properties of the water help ease and even heal skin diseases, along with regenerate skin cells for a smoother, more youthful character. The spa looks out over the panorama of the town and allows for a tranquil moment amongst the landscape. The cobblestone streets meander along the old homes, and the drifting sunlight turns the stone a shade of faded gold. At the lowest edge of the village stands Petrarca’s Fountain where local legend states that visitors who drink the water are blessed with the ability to write beautiful verse.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Friuli – Enjoy a Full Day Excursion to Udine and the Town of Friuli

The ring road that encircles Udine exhibits the grandeur of the Medieval Center, along with the drama of Venetian arches that contrast with the grace of the Grecian statues and Roman columns. The canals of Venice fade into the distance today as you begin your morning along the pedestrian streets of the gorgeous city of Udine. The 16th-century castle provides stunning views of the snowy peaks beyond the lush trees that edge the town. The archeological museum housed on the castle grounds exhibit artifacts from the region’s lavish heyday in the late 19th-century that give way to the exuberant works of Caravaggio that decorate the Galleria d’Arte Antica on the upper floor.

Wandering along the lanes of Udine takes you to the Renaissance grandeur of Piazza della Liberta. The arched Palazzo del Comune contains Venetian architectural elements. The clock tower mirrors the lavish tower of Piazza San Marco in Venice as it adorns the square and connects Udine to the former brilliance of the Republic. Continue to the magnificent Cividale del Friuli, a town nestled in the edge of a limestone ravine linked by a marvelous arched bridge. An 8th-century AD temple includes a long passageway that leads to a 3rd-century BC Celtic burial chamber, which shows you a history far from the usual Roman and Venetian antiquity of the region.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Day 9

Verona – Indulge in the Ambiance of Verona and Bassano del Grappa

In the morning, you will once again leave Venice to venture inland, this time to follow the Po River to the city of Verona. The charming rosy facades lead to a preserved Roman amphitheater that is still used for summer concerts and festivals. The most popular image of the city remains as the home of star-crossed lovers from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. After you marvel at the charms of Verona, your private transfer will lead you to the town of Bassano del Grappa, known for its landscape where the flat plains of Veneto reach the base of the Alps. Covered bridges lead over the rushing waters of the Brenta River to lead you into the heart of the old city.

The wood of the Ponte Vecchio allows the structure to cope with rising water levels caused by onslaughts of melted snow. Luxurious arcades line the Piazzotto Montevecchio featuring artisan shops and elegant cafes as the peak of Mount Grappa shapes a skyline along the horizon. For insight into the town’s thriving ceramic’s industry, you will enter the 17th-century Strum Palace where the opulence of the interior illuminates the history of the majolica tradition in the region, exhibited in the form of priceless centerpieces.

After you discover the streets and town, you will meet your instructor and learn the art of northern Italian cuisine. Move into the kitchen with your private chef for an introduction into the flavor of the mountains with a toast. Grappa is officially a digestif, but your instructor will explain the history of the drink and its connection to the region to connect you to the cuisine. Locals produce grappa by fermenting the grape skins, seeds, and stems into pomace. The herbaceous flavor cleans your palate, and you will be ready for the meal to come.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 10

Venice – Depart for Home

Gondolas return to the canals in the morning and pass the lavish façade of Palazzo Rezzonico. The palace was erected in the 18th-century in the popular Rococo and Baroque design of the period. The interior contains silk wall coverings and Flemish tapestries and the costume collection on display highlights the delicate silk attire once worn by the upper-crust of society, along with the importance of silk production to the Republic. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you on the hotel’s dock ready to escort you to the mainland for your journey to the Marco Polo Airport for your flight home.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Discover the marvels of Venice during a private boat tour of the Grand Canal that highlights the history, architecture, and cultural charms of the city
  • Witness the production of a gondola inside a craftsman’s workshop to learn about the fine details of shaping a luxurious vessel
  • Indulge in the flavors of Veneto with a private cooking lesson and grappa tasting in the marvelous town of Bassano del Grappa
  • Visit the legendary balcony of Juliet Capulet in the elegant city of Verona
  • Wander along the bright and cheery houses, which line the quiet canals of the small island of Burano
  • Express your creative side with a private glassblowing demonstration as you visit the famous glass-making island of Murano
  • Sip from the celebrated La Fontana del Petrarca in the serene village of Arqua Petrarca, whose waters offer the gift of verse in honor of the poet
  • Embrace the history of Venice on a tour of the neighborhoods, which includes walking along the Jewish Ghetto and the sophisticated streets of Eastern Castelo
  • Enjoy the stunning panoramas of the Dolomites and Alps as you visit the charming villages around Veneto
  • Relax in the soothing natural spring waters of the Terme Euganee Spas that overlook the town of Arqua Petrarca 
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Detailed Description

From the foothills of the Dolomites to the shores of the Venetian Lagoon, the wonder of the Veneto region emanates from the natural landscape and culture unique to the influence of the Venetian Republic. Canals meander through the cityscape, and the churches and palaces are nearly indistinguishable in grandeur. Villages exhibit as many captivating historical frescoes as the palaces of the Venetian capital. Your 10-day tour will encompass the majesty of an entire region, while you relax in the lavish surroundings of Venice.

Your Veneto excursion will begin with your arrival at Marco Polo Airport. Your private transfer will escort you to the edge of the Grand Canal where you will board a vaporetto to your hotel. Your guide will meet you in the lobby after you have had a chance to settle in and lead you on an exploration of Venice through the waterways that connect the architecture, culture, and cafes of the city. Next day, you will have an elaborate walking tour of Venice that begins with St. Mark’s Square. Your guide will take you through the Basilica and Doge’s Palace to highlight the exuberant décor and historical chambers.  Continue to make a deeper connection with Venice as you move through an island tour of the Lagoon and visit a collection of celebrated communities including Burano and Murano. Look forward to observing a glassblowing workshop on Murano for an introduction to the historical artwork.

Move next to spend the following day on a guided tour through the history of the diverse neighborhoods of Venice. Your day will conclude with a visit to an artisan gondola maker’s workshop to see the process of crafting the distinctive boats. Venture next to the enchanting town of Chioggia to relax in the serene atmosphere of “Little Venice.” Wander the cobbled streets or relax on the sandy shores of the nearby beaches before you return to your hotel in the evening. Next, venture into the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains to delight in the culture of the rural villages, including the charming meandering streets of Asolo. Bask in the flavors of a coursed lunch paired with local wine.

Move on to enjoy the legendary poetic landscape and celebrated poetry of Petrarca in the town of Arqua Petrarca. Relax in the soothing waters of the thermal spa before you wander through the bustling and captivating historical city center of Udine. Cross the stone bridge to the heart of the cliff-side town of Friuli, the latter of which contains a burial ground that predates Roman settlement before the next day takes you into the embrace of Romeo and Juliet as you explore the gorgeous city of Verona.

Wander the distinct neighborhoods, visit Juliet’s balcony, and witness the drama of the Roman amphitheater before you venture next to Bassano del Grappa. Once in town, you can relish the serene setting and delight in a private cooking class paired with a tasting of local grappa. Conclude the next day as your private transfer meets you ready to escort you to the Venice airport for your flight home, or you could extend your stay in Italy with an in-depth visit to Tuscany or Lazio.

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Starting Price

$2745 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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