20 Great Things to do in Venice 12/20 – Tour of Venice

A Venice tour has been a sought-after experience since the golden age of travel, when people set off on Grand Tours of the European continent. Its lasting allure is a testament to just how unique and unforgettable Venice is - as you look for a Venice tour to suit you, make sure it includes these elements:In addition to providing a deeper experience of the most famous sights, allows you to relax and enjoy your surroundings without the stress of needing to arrange all the varied elements of your trip. And in a city as labyrinthine as Venice, it can help to have a little added guidance so that exploring on your own is truly a pleasant experience.VENICE, ITALY - DECEMBER 17: Gondolas covered with snow rest in Bacino Orseolo on December 17, 2010 in Venice, Italy. Snow has fallen across much of Europe today and is expected to continue over the weekend, causing traffic chaos and disrupting Christmas deliveries. (Marco Secchi) * Art. Venice is a work of art in its own right, but the visual delights ensconced within the city's many museums should not be missed. You'll find plenty of classical treasures, as in the collection at the palazzo Ca'Rezzonico, but the Venetian art scene is as welcoming to modernity as it is to classicism - as evidenced by the Venice Biennale festival. A Venice Tour allows you to see works that run the gamut of styles and periods in the famous Peggy Guggenheim collection.

* Architecture. The fading grandeur of Venice's canal houses makes for an intriguing atmosphere everywhere you go in the city, but there are also some standout structures that shouldn't be missed. Perhaps foremost among them is the Basilica di San Marco, which is beautiful outside and nothing short of breathtaking inside. San Marco's glittering Byzantine mosaics bring Venice's history to life in stunning visuals. Also on the docket should be the legendary Bridge of Sighs and the marble halls of the Scuola Grand di San Rocco, decorated by one of Venice's most famous residents, Tintoretto.

* Wine. Italy and wine production are inextricably linked - and for good reason. On your Venice tour, you have a unique opportunity to taste the lighter side (in color, not taste) of Italy's wines. Tauck's Culturious experience takes you to visit makers of pinot grigio, Prosecco and grappa in the Veneto region, giving you insight into the cultivation, production and enjoyment of these white-grape-based beverages.

* Food. The food culture of Italy is incredibly varied and often fiercely regional. A well-planned Venice tour takes you to exceptional trattorias and cafes where the splendors of Venetian cuisine - particularly its seafood - are yours for the tasting. And don't miss the opportunity to stroll through the city's fresh food markets to see the quality and diversity of ingredients used in local dishes.

One of the Tour I recommend is here

Amy & Chris Portrait Session in Venice

A lovely couple with a fantastic family during a portrait session along the Grand Canal and few hidden areas of Venice Had a great fun with them!!

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20 Great Things to do in Venice 7/20 – Music

Experience (well-played) Vivaldi in Venice

For many, experiencing Vivaldi in Venice is an absolute must. But more discerning music-lovers might feel somewhat Baroqued out by the predictable programmes performed by local groups, whose technical ability rarely goes beyond the so-so to fairly good range. Exceptions are the Venice Baroque Orchestra, a global success, and the orchestra of La Fenice, one of the best in the country. As well as its opera and ballet seasons, Teatro La Fenice (Venice) La Fenice has at least two concert seasons a year. The Teatro Malibran shares the Fenice’s programmes and also has its own chamber music season, with performances by the Società Veneziana dei Concerti.

Mestre’s Teatro Toniolo also has a symphony and chamber music season. Most other musical events take place in Venice’s churches or scuole. St Mark’s basilica holds a smattering of ceremonial concerts throughout the year, with the patriarch deciding who is to attend. But lovers of sacred music should catch one of two regular Sunday appointments: the sung Mass at St Mark’s (10.30am) and the Gregorian chant on the island of San Giorgio (11am).

20 Great Things to do in Venice 4/20 - View over Venice

Get a bird's-eye view of Venice

At almost 99m (325ft), the Campanile is the city’s tallest building, originally built between 888 and 912 (in July 1902 it collapsed, imploding in a neat pyramid of rubble. It was rebuilt exactly 'as it was, where it was', as the town council of the day promised). Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III rode a horse to the top of the original in 1451; these days visitors take the lift. The view is superb, taking in the Lido, the whole lagoon and (on a clear day) the Dolomites in the distance.

But my favourite view is from the Campanile of San Giorgio.....you can get there taking the Vaporetto n2 and is just one stop. The entrance is from the beautiful Church, and usually you should be able to admire as well Tintoretto  the Last Supper, 1592-94, one of the last works the artist painted. If is not there....write to Mr Vittorio Sgarbi one of the worst curator of the Italian Pavillion at Biennale...that decided to get it on loan to "sex up" his own very poor choice of "art" for 2011 Biennale Arte (Marco Secchi)

P&O Cruise Ship "Oriana" enters Canale della Giudecca

20 Great Things to do in Venice 2/20 - St Mark's

See three major sights in one square

VENICE, ITALY - DECEMBER 17:  A general view of St Mark Square covered with snow on December 17, 2010 in Venice, Italy. Snow has fallen across much of Europe today and is expected to continue over the weekend, causing traffic chaos and disrupting Christmas deliveries. (Marco Secchi)

Standing in the middle of the magnificent piazza San Marco is an experience in itself: Napoleon referred to it as the ‘drawing room of Europe’, apt today as, at times, it appears that much of Europe’s population is crammed into this great square. But it's St Mark’s basilica (Basilica di San Marco), often seen as the living testimony of Venice’s links with Byzantium; Doge’s Palace, once Venice's political and judicial hub; and Torre dell’Orologio, a clock tower built between 1496 and 1506, that are, not just the square's, but some of the city's main attractions.

20 Great Things to do in Venice 1/20 - Gondola

Get around in a gondola

So obvious. No trip to Venice would be complete without a punt down one of the city's picturesque canals in a traditional gondola. The Istituzione per la Conservazione della Gondola e Tutela del Gondoliere (Gondola Board; 041 528 5075, www.gondolavenezia.it) website has recommended itineraries. Prices below are for the hire of the gondola, for six passengers or less.

8am-7pm €80 for 40mins; €40 for each additional 20mins. 7pm-8am €100 for 40mins; €50 for each additional 20mins.

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