Venice

We are on Tauck's Small Group Classic Italy trip that begins on April 30. We will be extending our trip for an extra day in Venice, thus giving ourselves two free days to explore. I would love recommendations for possible things to do on our free days in Venice. Would those who have been to Venice recommend a trip to Murano and the other small islands? Other things? Group or private tours? Thank you. Sally

Comments

  • edited February 2019
    Visit the islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello. One is famous for its blown glass factories, one for colorful, quaint houses and lace making, and one for its old Basillica with mosaics. Take a tour (one, two or all three) or hop on a Vaporetto and do them on your own. Take a speed boat ride (from the hotel- see the concierge)- varying routes, lengths, cost- make sure you ask for an English speaking driver. See the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of modern art and other museums, etc. See an opera at Teatro La Fenice, Venice's opera house made famous in John Berendt's book "City of Fallen Angels" (He is the award-winning author of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" about Savannah, Georgia). You might also want to read the book before you go to get a feel for the city, buildings/architecture, history, its inhabitants, especially the glass blowing dynasties and high society, of the 19th & 20th century. We dined one night at Antico Martini, an excellent restaurant on the piazza a few steps from the entrance to the Fenice. It was a short walk from the Bauer Hotel where we stayed. Go to Harry's Bar, the birthplace of the Bellini and pay $35 dollars for one rather small drink (over $10 for a non-alcoholic Bellini!!) How do I know this?
  • Alan,

    Thank you for the great suggestions.

    Did you go to the islands your own or take a tour? If the latter, what tour guide/group did you use?

    Sally
  • edited February 2019
    SallyH1968 wrote:
    Alan,

    Thank you for the great suggestions.

    Did you go to the islands your own or take a tour? If the latter, what tour guide/group did you use?

    Sally

    Alas, we did some walking about by ourselves, ate dinner one night with a few people from our group at the Antica Martini, and took a speed boat tour, but since we didn't stay any extra days, we didn't have time to go to the islands- plus by then we were tired. Though, I had done some research about the islands and other activities.

    We put our 'extras' effort into pre-tour activities (Capri, Herculaneum, National Archeological Museum, Flavian Amphitheater and Solfara caldera in Pozzuoli) and on tour during free afternoons in Florence- we bought tickets a month or more before leaving the US to see the 'Opera Del Duomo' (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) - a single ticket includes entry into 4 buildings not on the tour- Duomo Crypt, Giottos Tower, Baptistry, Duomo Museum, and head of line to climb Brunelleschi's famous dome (starting a month or two before departure we trained for the climb : ) ). The single ticket is good for onetime entry into each, but allows the holder to visit all the monuments within 72 hours of visiting the first one- we split the visits over two day. I'm not sure it makes a difference but when purchasing tickets online carefully examine the website- there are a lot of look-a-like websites but only one official site (at my link). We also took a Segway tour and a side trip to Pisa where we climbed the Leaning Tower.

    All guides and drivers (Capri -guide only, Naples/Pozzuoli/Herculaneum -car, driver and guide, and Pisa -car and driver only) were arranged through DriverinItaly. We customized our tours and they were great to work with via email and US toll free number. They are not cheap but highly rated on TripAdvisor (check them out.) A number of Tauck travelers have used them. They are headquartered in Rome but provide tours all over Italy. It was fantastic to have private, knowledgebble guides (guide in Naples/Pozzuoli/Herculaneum was trained in archeology) for just the two of us- we could totally monopolize his time with questions and could control the pace of touring.

    You can read more about it in my forum posts. We did this tour in May/June 2016. Two other books worth reading before you go: "Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling" and "Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture," both by Ross King. Both are very interesting and easy reads.

    p.s. I made a matrix/time line to ensure we could fit all the extras into our schedule- it worked perfectly!!! (I've been accused of being a bit OCD : ) )


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