Your evocative Venice Night Walking Tour & Gondola Ride begins when you arrive at the front of the white marble Accademia di Belle Arti (Venetian Academy of Fine Arts) near the Accademia Bridge and the Accademia vaporetto (waterbus) stop.
For more than 2 hours, you’ll escape the crowds and take the path less traveled, walking in the more romantic areas of Venice on the other side of the Grand Canal. You’ll see The Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, a museum of pre-19th century art founded in 1750.
You’ll also see the spectacular marble Rialto Bridge, connecting the districts of San Marco and San Polo across the Grand Canal.The bridge opened in 1591 and was once crowded with merchants.
The route takes you through three of the beautiful squares in the area – the Campo San Polo, originally used for agriculture and grazing; the Campo San Margherita, where vendors sell fish Tuesday through Saturday; and the Campo San Barnaba, a smaller square in the student district.
Your guide will show you the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, dating from the late 14th century and built from brick in the Italian Gothic style. Another glorious sight awaits when you stop in front of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. It was built between 1489 and 1508 and houses the relics of St. Roch, a patron saint of Venice.
You’ll cross two of Venice’s many bridges. At the Ponte delle Tette, in the 15th century, prostitutes would flaunt their charms and attempt to entice and convert homosexuals. The Ponte dei Pugni (Bridge of Fists or Fighting Bridge) was the site of bridge wars. Different factions in the city would stage mock battles to defend their honor and settle a vendetta.
Art lovers will be thrilled to see the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, the modern art museum housed in an 18th century palace.
At the Casino dei Nobili (historic casino), you’ll see where there was a wooden slot in the floor on the first story. This slot allowed patrons to see who was at the door, giving them enough time to escape if their irate wives were outside.
After the walking tour ends, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the ultimate Venice experience – a gondola ride. Relax as your gondolier, in his iconic striped shirt, smoothly ferries you along the canal.
Upon completion of the gondola ride, you will be dropped off at Santa Maria del Giglio Gondola point in Campiello Traghetto near the Gritti Palace hotel, San Marco side. From here, you can make your way back to your accommodation.