This is a sample tour you can add to or change. Please contact us for a quote on a tailor-made tour.
Cross Curriculum Excursions
© Kieran Lynam
St Mark’s Square and Basilica
Dubbed by Napoleon the 'drawing room of the world', St. Mark's Square has been the hub of religious and social life in Venice for nearly one thousand years. From the square you are ideally situated to move onto St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and the Bell Tower, which are probably some of the most famous sights in Venice. The splendid façade of the Basilica was intended as an altar for the people who could not enter the church. Commissioned in 1071 by Doge Domenico Contarini, the stunning church features a mixture of Byzantine and Venetian architecture. It began its life as the Doge's private chapel, as part of his palace and it remained so until 1807 when it became the city cathedral. Nicknamed the 'Church of Gold', this lavish cathedral is thought to be one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture throughout the world.
The Doge's Palace has been one of the main landmarks in Venice since its completion in 1450. The architectural style is described as Venetian-Gothic and is remarkable for its lack of fortifications and defence systems. This was because Venice was such a powerful city that it did not feel the need to spend vast amounts of money protecting itself from potential attackers. Thanks to the patronage of its former occupiers, the palace is filled with works by Venetian Renaissance masters, such as Veronese and Tintoretto.
© Adam Hopkinson
Bridge of Sighs
Simultaneously encompassing a myth of love and a myth of death the Bridge of Sighs is a most contradictory symbol. It was built to connect the Old Prison and interrogation rooms at the Doge Palace to the New Prison situated just across the water. Some say that it gets its name from the prisoners who would sigh as they passed their last glimpse of freedom, while others believe that it comes from the sighs of lovers who pass beneath it and are awe-struck by the romance and beauty of the moment. Completed in 1591, it was once the only means of crossing the Grand Canal by foot and is now generally thought of as one of the finest examples of bridge architecture in the world.
© Jacqueline Poggi
Santa Maria delle Salute
The people of Venice decided to build Basilica Santa Maria della Salute, often just referred to as 'Salute', in 1630 after a bout of the plague wiped out one third of the population. The senate promised to build the church in honour of Mary, whom they hoped would free the city from future waves of the plague. It is also the site of the annual Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin, which is held on November 21 each year. Whilst some see it as the supreme masterpiece of the Venetian Baroque period, others may simply recognise it as the church that was featured in the last Indiana Jones movie!
© Spencer Wright
Lake Garda and Gardaland
Some students enjoy a break from the sightseeing with a relaxing trip to Lake Garda. The more daring might like the rollercoaster rides at Gardaland, one of the biggest leisure parks in Europe.
Aqualandia, Lido di Jesolo
Another popular visit for the students is Aqualandia, which is Italy's number one water park and opens throughout the summer.
The Rialto Bridge is one of the most visited tourist attractions throughout Venice and is certainly the most famous of the bridges that crosses the Grand Canal. There has always been a bridge at this point along the canal and for hundreds of years it was the only way to cross the canal by foot.
© Son of Groucho
The most important art gallery in the city, the Accademia Gallery is located in the Dorsoduro Sestiere district of Venice. The Venetian art collection includes works by Titian, Bellini and Mantegna.
© Detlef Schobert
Peggy Guggenheim Museum
Located on Venice's Grand Canal, the Peggy Guggenheim has one of Europe's greatest collection of modern art. From Cubism to Futurism and from Duchamp, to Pollock and Moore, the Peggy Guggenheim offers a rich array of modern art.
© Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
An old 15th-century residence, the Ca D'Oro was built in the Venetian Gothic style. Students will be able to admire important work by the Venetian school like the famous 'San Sebastiano' by Andrea Mantegna. There are also some Tuscan and Flemish works and some wonderful bronze statues.
© John W. Schulze
Venice's Ghetto was the first Jewish ghetto in the world and was set up as an area to segregate the Jews from the rest of the population in 1516. The Doge, Venice's ruling council, debated whether or not Jews should be allowed to reside in the city and decided that they could, but that they would be confined to a small dirty island away from the rest of the population, known as Ghetto Nuova. The word Ghetto comes from the Italian, 'getto,' meaning 'casting' or 'foundry.' As well as living in the ghetto, Jews had to abide by a separate set of rules from the rest of the population. One rule meant they were only allowed to leave the ghetto during the day and were locked inside at night. When away from the ghetto they had to wear a yellow circle or scarf.
© Michael Gwyther-Jones
Verona makes a lovely day trip away from Venice and has plenty to offer in the way of ancient ruins, stunning architecture and literary culture. Shakespeare chose Verona as the place to set his most famous romantic tragedy, 'Romeo and Juliet'. So, for the Shakespeare fans among you a trip to Juliet's balcony is always popular. For those of you who prefer music or ancient Roman architecture and ruins, the Roman Arena is very exciting. During the summer months the Arena plays host to many highly acclaimed opera performances. Otherwise, take an amble through Verona's pretty streets and squares where you can find interesting shops as well as welcoming cafes and restaurants. In particular, don't miss out on Verona's Via Mazzini, an elegant pedestrian street paved with shiny Verona marble.
Venice school tour - 4 days
- Rialto Bridge
- St Mark’s Square and Basilica
- Doge’s Palace
- Bridge of Sighs
- The Ghetto
- Accademia Gallery
- Santa Maria delle Salute