Everyone has heard of venice and about how crowded it can get on the main tourist routes like the Rialto bridge, or at the bell tower in San Marco, especially in summer. But with a bit of planning there is a lot more to discover which is perhaps not immediately obvious and can help you get the most out of your venice trip. One fun thing you can do is to take part in a treasure hunt to learn more about the secrets of the serenissima or explore the city’s culture through traditional arts and crafts. You want to visit the most famous places and monuments, but these can get incredibly crowded but there is still a secret Venice, far from the crowd to discover and even some spots surrounded by greenery. Sometimes you will just need to follow your guide and you will suddenly find yourself in a peaceful spot away from the crowds. This unique city is a complex and unusual place with many layers to it and many stories to tell! Book your Venice tours in advance.
Secret venice: Unusual Itineraries
Our guided tours are designed to surprise and inform newcomers to Venice but even those who have been here before will see a new dimension to the place through our unsual things to do in Venice! The welcome tours give a flavour of the essential Venice, a city in which to live and work. The island of venice with its peculiar fish shape and its canals make it extraordinary and unusual but at the same time it is a living and inhabited city, rich in traditions of the past and the business of daily life and work. Why not start your day with a morning tour, when the city has yet to wake up completely. Like a Venetian local you will be accompanied to places of daily life among the most popular and residential areas, such as the Cannaregio or Castello districts. For a glimpse into the history of the Serenissima, you must not miss a trip to the first Jewish Ghetto, created more than five hundred years ago in the midst of the commercial expansion of Venice towards the East. Take a stop in Campo San Margherita and visit a patisserie or a tavern and then continue onward until you reach the San Polo district at the Rialto Fish Market, overlooking the Grand Canal.
Piazza San Marco also hides secret details, such as the crypt of the Basilica di San Marco or the Piombi prisons where Casanova was locked up! Inside the Doge’s Palace a narrow path will show the routes made by prisoners and inquisitors to the prison cells and much more! This alternative Venice will give you a new perspective on the lagoon city. From these main places you can start with a tour to discover the nearby popular Castello district, with its shops and local crafts. Expert guides will be able to answer your questions and tell you the history of arts, crafts and customs, which on many occasions have left their mark in the names of the streets and bridges of the city. For children, don’t miss a thematic and fun tour to discover the mysteries of the city, bringing to life an exciting journey through the years until the time of the Serenissima in venice.
If you want a new perspective on the city, go to the island of Giudecca, a less known location to visit but just as interesting than other parts of venice.
Despite the modest size of the historic center, you will understand that a few hours of a short break are not really enough time to see all that venice has to offer. It saves you so much time and you will get a much better experience if you rely on knowledegable people, to take you off the beaten track.
Venice treasure Hunts to discover a Secret Venice
If you like interacting and getting involved in things then the Venice treasure hunt is for you. You don’t need to be an expert or know the history of the Serenissima, you just need to sharpen your wits and solve riddles and puzzles, whose answers will be provided by Venice itself: on her palaces, wells and many bridges! Of course those who have a good sense of direction will be at an advantage because Venice is a maze to be discovered!
Enter into the magic of the interactive Venice theatre
Appreciate an unusual Venice accompanied by theater actors or take part in a treasure hunt through the fascinating streets!
There are wonderful theaters in Venice, starting with the Fenice, and the Venetians’ passion for the commedia del arte and for the works of Carlo Goldoni is still alive today. Come and discover the interactive Venice Theatre through an accompanied by actors, who will lead you through unusual routes, telling you about legends and stories of the city. Join in and ask all your questions, you are welcome, and can guide the course in different directions, based on your tastes or suggestions!
Discover the Hidden Venice of Arts and Crafts
The city’s arts and crafts were created to express the professional and social interests of the people and the bourgeoisie of venice. Today you can discover them by visiting the workshops of the artisans.
On the nizioleti, or the white squares you will see on the walls are written the names of the underground canals, paths and walkways. There, you will often find words that can be traced back to the craft shops that were located there. These were the most common activities like those of the bakers, and the greengrocers but also those related to the businesses in that area.: the squerarioli – the gondola boat workshops – the masons, the blacksmiths, the glass makers. Come and visit an ancient local craft shop to discover these traditional activities and the original techniques that were used, handed down from father to son, up to the present day. In the blacksmith’s forge, you can watch the forging of work tools, decorations or pieces for boats. The result is exceptional: artistic wrought iron.
If you decide to go to Murano you can visit an ancient furnace and watch how glass masterpieces are born, shaped by the heat of the fire. In the squeri workshops you will see the squerarioli at work while they build traditional venetian boats, among all the most famous of all, the gondola!
For those who are more creative, why not take your children to participate in a course to create a real carnival mask then decorate and paint it following precise techniques and using suitable materials to reproduce the masks of the famous and historic Venetian carnival. Otherwise, follow us with the little ones to take part in the workshop of a skilled papermaker to create your own real sheet of paper according to traditional methods!
Ancient traditions, and trades of the past intertwine with the history of a Maritime Republic. Thanks to the craftsmen of venice and their work the venetian republic built great fleets of ships and became so powerful that it managed to trade with the whole Mediterranean and beyond to the far east, right up to China along the Silk Road.
Are you impressed by the magic and complexity of this secret Venice?
Other experiences you can do in Venice: