Venice tours and excursions
The Vaporetto dell'arte tours the Grand Canal. It offers a hop on, hop off water bus, stopping at over 20 museums, monuments, theatres and exhibitions. The Vaporetto leaves from the Santa Lucia railway station stop E every 30 minutes and ends at San Giorgio Maggiore Island or Giardini, depending on the time of year. Multimedia commentary is available on board and many of the museums offer discounted admission charges and priority access to Vaporetto dell'arte card holders.Tel: +39 41 24 24.
Take a trip through the lesser-known canals with a guided gondola tour. Enjoy the most romantic experience that Venice has to offer, while visiting parts of this historic city that many don't get to view. A traditional gondola ride can take around 40 minutes and the routes vary. Singing and serenading is optional, and should be discussed with your gondolier in advance. You'll find gondolas and gondoliers throughout the main tourist areas, from Tronchetto and the Piazzale Roma, to the Rialto Bridge area and St Mark's Square. For a more reasonably priced guided tour, book through the tourist office.Tel: +39 41 529 8711.
Just 35km (21m) west of Venice lies Padua, a town distinguished by Italy's second oldest university and the remarkable Cappella degli Scrovegni, home of Giotto's ground-breaking frescoes. This delightful town inspired Shakespeare who used it as the setting for The Taming of the Shrew. It is also the site of the world's first botanical garden, created in 1545. Tours run regularly from Piazza San Marco and offer a varied choice of cultural trips to one of the island’s many museums or spas. Or for the independent traveller, a train from Venice's Santa Lucia station will take 30-40 minutes.Tel: +39 49 82 01 660.
Famed as the setting of two of Shakespeare's plays (Romeo and Juliet and The Two Gentleman of Verona), the historic and charming UNESCO city of Verona was founded in the 1st century B.C. and has a remarkable number of monuments from antiquity, the medieval and Renaissance periods. In the historic centre, noteworthy landmarks are Piazza Bra and the Arena, the Teatro Romano, Ponte Pietra, Castelvecchio, the Ponte Scaligero and the ancient churches of San Fermo and Sant’Anastasia. Verona is approximately 100km (60 miles) from Venice and direct trains taking around 1.5 hours.Tel: +39 45 806 8680.