Venice Off the Beaten Path
- Campo San Polo: One of Venice's oldest and largest public squares, it's been the site of farmland, bullfights, religious ceremonies, and masked balls.
- Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari: This minor basilica may look plain on the outside, but inside are priceless works of art by Bellini, Bombardo, Donatello, and Titian.
- Rialto Bridge: Built in 1591, it's the oldest bridge over the Grand Canal, and today the Ponte di Rialto remains one of the architectural icons of Venice.
About this Venice tour
While you might think Venice is the sum of its iconic landmarks, this lagoon city of 118 tiny islands is really a labyrinth of hidden squares, countless churches, and winding, charming streets.
The Church of Saint Roch is one of Venice's four "plague churches" – built as thanks to God for the city being saved from an outbreak of the plague in the 15th century. The reliefs carved into its marble facade are something to look at, and so are the Tintoretto paintings inside.
Next door, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco was built in honor of the patron saint of those stricken by the plague, but it's the Tintoretto-painted Old Testament scenes on the ceiling, and his New Testament wall murals, that are the building's true allure. After the building was completed in 1560, every artist in town wanted the commission to paint it. All, including the famed Veronese, produced sketches of their vision.
Not Tintoretto. He wanted his work inside this refuge so badly that he offered a gift: a stunning ceiling panel of their patron, St. Roch, knowing it would never be refused. He was right – and got the commission. Like the builders of Venice itself, who built marble palaces over a lagoon, Tintoretto was nothing if not audacious.
The end of the affair
Giustiniana Wynne and Andrea Memmo loved each other, but Andrea was the noble son of one of Venice's ruling families, making marriage impossible. Their seven-year affair led to Giustiniana's pregnancy, which led her to Casanova, who convinced her that sex with him would end the pregnancy. It didn't, but she went on to marry an Austrian noble and became a successful (and perhaps less gullible) author.
Please make your way to the Piazzale Roma in front the People Mover Monorail Station, where our representatives await.
If you plan to visit any of the churches in the area after your tour, remember to wear pants and a shirt that cover knees and shoulders or bring a cover-up for visit to a religious site.
To see all sights, plan to walk for 1-2 miles and climb some steps. Some paths are over cobblestones and bridges. If you have troubles walking, you may find it too challenging to keep up the pace required. It is not suitable for wheelchair users.
Cultural, Walking Tour, Scenic
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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