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Venice tours and excursions

Venice tours

Vaporetto tour

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.

Gondola tours

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.

Venice excursions


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.
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Featured Hotels


JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa

With the largest spa in Venice, this resort on a private island boasts a complimentary shuttle service to St Mark’s Square, 250 contemporary rooms and suites designed by architect Matteo Thun. This is an exclusive getaway set in acres of private garden with a rooftop pool overlooking the lagoon.

Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal

Modern design has been brought to this palatial old building with stunning results. On the banks of the Grand Canal, and within a stone's throw of St Mark's Square, its setting is convenient. There are only 100 rooms and most of them tend to be booked up well in advance.

Charming House DD724

This characterful hideaway by the Guggenheim Museum only has six rooms in the main buildings as well as three more nearby. The decor is design-led with muted browns and creams complementing the work of local artists that hangs in all rooms. The chic modern rooms and suites boast plasma TVs and free Wi-Fi.

Ca Maria Adele

Just minutes from the Salute Vaporetto stop, this lush boutique hotel has Old World Venetian charm. Its beamed ceilings meet lavish furnishings as part of its eastern theme. In the evening, it's possible to have drinks on the terrace while listening to opera music.

Hotel Santa Lucia

This cheap hotel might not win any awards, but it's trim and well run and enjoys a handy location a few minutes walk from Santa Lucia train station. The rooms all have TVs and are cleaned daily; some also have their own bathrooms. Breakfast is served on the small garden terrace outside.

Hotel ai Mori d'Oriente

The 55 rooms in this 15th-century palace are designed in unique oriental style, but the elegance and grandeur of Venice is still clear. The hotel caters for breakfast but doesn’t have a restaurant, however staff will make suggestions and there is a small, intimate bar for a late night drink.