Small Group Essence of Venice Walk

Small group tour featuring St Mark's Square , St Mark's Basilica including the visit of the Pala D'Oro inside the church , Bridge of Sigh , Doge's Palace ( exterior ) , Bell Tower and Clock tower , Castello District of Venice and secret Venice

Highlights and what's included

  • Licensed Expert English speaking guide
  • Skip the line tickets to St Mark's basilica
  • In-depth tour of St.Marks Basilica is only possible on this small group tour
  • Tickets to visit the Pala d'Oro
  • Headphones when the group has more than 6 participants
  • St. Marks Basilica, Doges Palace, Bridge of Sighs & time spent exploring the Hidden Venice
  • Min 4 - Max 14 participants


Featuring an In-depth tour of St. Marks Basilica which is only possible on our small group Essence of Venice walking tours. Limited to a maximum of 14-partcipants, you'll see and do more touring Venice on these small Group city sightseeing tours.

Equipped with complimentary head-phones so that you can follow every word of your expert English-speaking Venice Tour Guide as you stroll around St. Marks Square discussing all the major monuments that will include the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs, Bell Tower & Clock Tower prior to entering St. Marks Basilica with Skip the line tickets to enjoy an in-depth tour of St. Marks Basilica discussing the fabulous mosaics and visiting the Pala D'Oro.

In the second part of the tour we'll leave the hordes of tourists behind in St. Marks Square to explore a very different Venice. A Venice that's more fascinating and intimate, what we call the Hidden Venice.

As our expert Venice tour guides continue to narrate the story of Venice, you'll enjoy exploring another world of narrow alleyways and meandering canals, punctuated by delicate bridges, hidden architectural gems and fascinating stories about the Venetians who created this incredible city from absolutely nothing!


Other info

  • At times St Mark’s basilica is closed due to high water or religious ceremonies. During high water the tour will take place, but it might happen we have to partly adapt the tour to the weather conditions. On those occasions when St Mark’s Basilica is open with high water, skip the line tickets will not be accepted as all visitors have only 1 door open to get in the church.
  • Guaranteed skip-the-line entrance to St Mark's Basilica are available only from April to October (St Mark’s Basilica does not offer a fast entry service to anyone in other periods, considered off peak season).
  • Shoulders and knees must be covered to enter St Marks basilica. Large bags are not allowed inside the basilica.
  • This tour is of a historical area and is not fully accessible for wheelchair users or people with walking disabilities. However, please contact us directly and we will be able to take you on alternative routes suitable for you.
  • Please wear comfortable footwear as this tour involves a lot of walking.
  • The cost of the tour does not include gratuities or hotel pick up and drop off.

Meeting Point

At the Entrance to the Royal Gardens on the water front of St. Marks Square. From St. Marks facing the Basilica turn right and walk towards the open water. At the two giant columns facing the water turn right, and following the line of trees after a 100 metres you will come to the entrance of the Royal Gardens where we will be waiting holding a sign with Essence of Venice Walk written on it. IMPORTANT: Shoulders and knees must be covered to enter San Marks basilica. Large bags are not allowed into the basilica

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(12) Average Rating:


Reviewed by Lisa on
Our two hour walking tour with Silvia was wonderful. She provided interesting historical context, a Venetian's insider perspective and answered all of my daughter's questions with patience and good nature. I would highly recommend her and the tour - I only wish we had her longer.
Reviewed by Rob and LInda Haynes on
Guide arrived late and looking rather flustered.Soon calmed down and proved to be excellent .Found the Basilica very dark and couldn't fully appreciate the gold decor in the higher reaches due to the lack of lighting was clearly there but not switched on .When we emerged back in St. Marks square I asked why we hadn't been shown the Pala d'oro tickets for which were supposed to be included in the tour(as per your tour literature ).The guide made a phone call and eventually admitted that there had been an error .She offered to back track but by this time some members of the group had been to retrieve back packs put into storage for the initial Basilica tour and were not keen to go through all that again .We took a vote and the group decided to skip that part of the itinerary and get on with the back streets walking tour since time was getting on .
The rest of the tour was really interesting if a little hard on the feet .
Reviewed by Liz on
Wonderful tour, very informative and she spoke clearly...we highly recommend.
Reviewed by Ari R on
Great tour with fantastic storytelling my our guide that convinced us to use guided tours for other cities in Italy for rest our trip. You don't know what you are missing without a good guide. The little gems they share with you about the place and monuments are what make it truly a great experience compared to, say an audioguide.

We used them for Rome tour as well and were equally happy!
Reviewed by yuri on
The majority of this tour is spent in St. Marks rather than the streets of venice. Our tour guide provided a lot of information about the cathedral which is breathtaking. I think the quality of tour and whether or not Venice is brought to life depends on the tour guide and the stories/examples they use as well as their speaking points they choose. Though a very kind lady, I did not feel that her tour was dynamic or all that informative once we left the cathedral. I expressed my opinions to Avventure and they delt with my concerns immediately and to my satisfaction. It is obvious to me that they are committed to delivering a quality product. Side Note: I also took a boat tour with Avventure which was amazing!
Reviewed by PJ on
Fabulous tour. Can't believe how much she accomplished in two short hours. Gave us new eyes for looking at Venice. Thank you.
Reviewed by Mary S. on
Just wanted to say – our tour guide was very good – she made it interesting for both my son and girlfriend as well as my husband and I. She did an excellent job of answering questions and not simply seeming to be reading from a script. Fun afternoon – even with the Venice crowds and heat.
Reviewed by Joseph P. on
This was one of the best tours over the course of out trip. We skipped the line at St. Marks (a truly fabulous church!), and had a very informative
lecture as we went through the basilica. Following this we toured some
back streets and our guide was very informative about what we were seeing and the history, culture, and infrastructure of the city. Finally she pointed us out to a fabulous little restaurant directly over a canal. The tourists on the gondolas were taking pictures of US in the restaurant. I
recommend this tour without any hesitation whatsoever. A highlight of our
Reviewed by Frank - 17 September 2013 on
We liked the tour. Informative and interesting. A good mix of the church and neighboring area.
Reviewed by Michele - 19 September 2013 on
The tour was fabulous. we loved Arianna and learned a lot about Venice. I highly recommend it
Reviewed by Joan - 7 October 2013 on
Despite the wet weather and big crowds, our guide managed to make our tour informative and enjoyable. She was very knowledgeable and easy to understand. Also, we appreciated the ability to book in less than 24 hours.
Reviewed by Claudia - 15 October 2013 on
Tour guide was very nice and knowledgable about area. Would recommend her.
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