Escorted Rail Tours to Venice
The breathtaking historic city by the lagoon
Venice lends itself to idle wandering, and possibly the best way to enjoy its captivating charms is to let yourself get lost in the myriad of winding alleys and twisting lanes that make up the city centre.
Basilica di San Marco
This unique landmark is renowned for its magnificent exterior and interior covered in spectacular encrusted mosaic marble carvings. St Mark's Basilica dominates the Piazza and is a symbol of Venetian glory. Embellished and enriched over the centuries from the East, it is a huge, complex and mysterious edifice - as much a museum as a church. For those who prefer a bird's-eye view, take the opportunity to climb the Campanile di San Marco, which offers incredible vistas over the buildings clustered around the centre, and shimmering lagoons further out.
St Mark's Square
Wander through the bustling square and soak up the atmosphere and entertainment; Piazza San Marco has undoubtedly been the heart and soul of the city for centuries with its blend of intriguing architecture.
One of the highlights of any escorted Italy tour to Venice is a ride along the canals on board one of the city's famous gondolas. However, gondola rides can be expensive, and it is essential that you negotiate the price. The 'official' fare for a gondola ride is €80 for a 40 minute tour. However, gondoliers will always try to charge considerably more, usually for less time. For the best price, avoid gondolas waiting in the busiest areas of Venice, such as St Mark's Square. Also worth noting is that, while many consider a gondola ride to be about romance, the gondoliers will actually perform the role of a tour guide, pointing out famous houses along the way. Up to six people are permitted in a gondola for the standard fare (or whatever you have negotiated), making it a considerably cheaper option.