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Venice - La Serenissima

from £1175
Magical unique no words can fully do justice to Venice, the most serene of cities. It is a city built on water, a city which owes its fame and fortune to the sea.

Guided Walking Holidays Venice - La Serenissima

The great double bend of the Grand Canal is lined with the impressive Palazzi of Venice’s merchants spanning 800 years and now repurposed. The lesser canals and quiet walkways often evade the day-tripper but we’ll have time to explore the nooks and crannies seeing something of how real Venetians live. The boat journey to the outer islands is an experience in itself. See master craftsmen making the famous Murano glass into flowers, indented leaves, and multi-coloured ornaments, the coloured houses of Burano- home to lace making, the cathedral on tranquil Torcello Everything moves by boat - how many different things will you see – Amazon parcels, a grand piano?

This is the city of Titian, Tintoretto and other Venetian greats whose art can be found in the buildings and churches for which they were painted. Works by Palladio – the great influence on Western Architecture include San Giorgio and the Redentore churches with their unusual double interlocking triangular pediments.

We also take the train inland for a day, across the plains of the Veneto to Padua once part of the Venetian Republic. It is the home to one of the first Universities, the exotic Basilica of San Antonio with its minaret like spires and Byzantine domes, the renowned Scrovegni Chapel with its stunning frescoes by Giotto and much more. The time will pass all too quickly!

Holiday Highlights

  • Experience Piazza San Marco, the Basilica, Doges Palace, the Rialto, and much more.
  • Visit Venice at a quieter time of year when it is less crowded.
  • Wander the quiet backstreets and canals to see how real Venetians live. 
  • Cruise across the lagoon to Murano, Burano and Torcello – each with its own character. 
  • Enjoy world class art and architectural masterpieces right across the entire city.
  • More quality museums and galleries than you can possibly visit in a week.
  • Enjoy the Frescos of the Scrovegni Chapel. 
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Heathrow or Gatwick to Venice Marco Polo (British Airways) 
      Airport transfers
      En suite accommodation with breakfast
      Dinners taken in local restaurants
      Seven day vaporetto pass on Venice’s waterbus network offering free travel
      For 2020 entrance to the Scrovegni Chapel - new this year
      English speaking local guide on one morning
      All local transport costs.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 2

  1. Day 1

    We fly to Venice Marco Polo Airport, take the Shuttle bus over the causeway to Venice and make our first crossing of the Grand Canal by vaporetto, landing just a short walk from our hotel.

  2. Day 2

    We cruise the full length of the Grand Canal - under the Rialto bridge and on to San Zaccaria. Passing the Bridge of Sighs we meet our guide who will explain about the Venetian Republic and St Mark’s Cathedral. Continuing past other important buildings our guide will explain everyday life for Venetians and the different architectural styles. Our guide leaves us and we go to the Castello area and see the Arsenale –the ship building powerhouse which underpinned Venice’s maritime success. Also San Pietro the former Cathedral of Venice, John Cabot’s House, memorials to World War II martyrs and the biannual art festival gardens. We return by vaporetto to our hotel.

  3. Day 3

    We take a vaporetto to the island Church of San Giorgio with two works by Tintoretto and intricately carved choir stalls. A lift to the top of the campanile gives an amazing view over the whole of Venice. Next another Palladian Church – the Redentore built to commemorate deliverance from the 1576 Plague. We cross by vaporetto to the Dorsoduro to one of the last remaining gondola boatyards. Passing the salt warehouses we reach the Customs house and the Salute church also built at the end of a plague epidemic, then the Guggenheim and Academia art galleries. There may be time to see another Church before we return by vaporetto to our Hotel.

  4. Day 4

    Cannaregio- Walking from our hotel we soon reach the Jewish Ghetto and on to Tintoretto’s House and his Church. Nearby is a square with unusual statues. Returning to the Grand Canal we see close up the exterior of rich Merchants Houses. Northwards is the baroque Gesuit Church. Passing ambulance boats we come to the massive church of SS Giovanni e Paolo with the tombs of 25 Doges, then the House of Marco Polo. After lunch we cross the Rialto Bridge to the fish and fruit markets. Beyond are the churches of San Polo with art by Tiepolo and Tintoretto and the Frari with more art. We return to our hotel on foot or by vaporetto.

  5. Day 5

    Free day- Possibilities include an early morning visit to the Rialto markets, the Doges Palace, the Clock Tower, the Piazza San Marco campanile, the Correr Museum with historical collections, art gallery and the ornate formal rooms of the Library and special exhibitions, Jewish Museum and Synagogue visit, The Scuola San Rocco almost entirely painted by Tintoretto, The Guggenheim Museum, The Accademia Art Gallery, Ca’ Rezzonico, a rich merchants house with 18th C interiors and art, visiting other churches, chilling out at the Hotel or in the quieter parts of Venice.

  6. Day 6

    Padua- We take the train to Padua - once ruled by the Venetian Republic . Why not take some free time to visit the famous Scrovegni Chapel filled with frescoes by Giotto (entrance fee not included). The adjacent Museums and Art Gallery are included. Examples of other possibilities are frescoes in the Eremitani Church, art both inside and outside the impressive Palazzo della Ragione with its adjacent markets. Medieval frescoes in the Cathedral Baptistery, a tour of one of the oldest Universities-, the pilgrimage church of Saint Anthony with its domes and spires and impressive interiors, and one of the oldest botanical gardens. We return by train to our hotel.

  7. Day 7

    The Islands- Passing the cemetery island of S Michele and arriving at Murano – a miniature Venice- we visit a glass factory. In the shops you can marvel at traditional designs and modern too, and find the history in the glass museum. The Basilica of SS Maria and Donato has a fine exterior and a very special mosaic floor. Moving on by boat to Torcello, we can visit the empty Cathedral with its Byzantine mosaics. Another boat ride takes us to Burano with its multi-coloured houses and famed for lace making. The museum has displays of lacework and explains the tradition. Finally we take the vaporetto back to Venice.

  8. Day 8

    We take our last trip on a vaporetto across the Grand Canal to catch the shuttle bus to the airport for our flight back to the UK.

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Gatwick or Heathrow to Venice Marco Polo (British Airways) 
  • Arrival transfer by road c.45mins
  • We can offer regional flight options but due to the location and travelling time to our resort we operate just one transfer coach between the airport and our hotel to coincide with our main group. This may mean that there is a wait at the overseas airport in one or both directions
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Hotel Continental (Nov/ Dec)

The hotel is within walking distance of St Mark's Square, and everywhere else on Venice Island. It is also close to the train station so we can head inland and see something of the Veneto. The hotel has two large terraces, one canal side and one adjacent to the square where food and drinks are served. It is close to shops, restaurants and cafes.

Room facilities include
  • Safe
  • Hairdryer
  • Television
  • Tea making facilities
Wifi is complimentary for all guests, please contact Reception and they will print the logon and password detail to gain access. 


Each morning will start with breakfast in the hotel before heading out for our days activity. Lunches are not included and can easily be picked up nice and fresh at local bakeries or shops. Your Ramblers leader may know a little Venetian gem of a cafe in which to buy your lunch for the day!

To finish each day your leader will take you to sample local culture further in local restaurants experiencing the different local cuisine and of course sampling the classic Italian dishes including fresh pastas, pizza, or rich local seafood.

Hotel Riviera (Mar/Apr)

The hotel is located on Venice Lido, the island that forms part of the barrier between Venice Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea. It a short boat ride from Venice Island and St Mark's Square. Frequent ferries ply the route. The hotel is a former palazzo across the road from the main ferry landing stage and has lovely views across the lagoon to St Mark's from the front. It is also a 10 minute walk from Lido beaches. It offers terrace, breakfast and dinning room, free wifi through out and a fitness centre available at extra cost. It is close to shops, restaurants and cafes. 

Room facilities include

  • Safe
  • Hairdryer
  • Television
Each morning will start with breakfast in the hotel before heading out for our days activity. Lunches are not included and can easily be picked up nice and fresh at local bakeries or shops. Your Ramblers leader may know a little Venetian gem of a cafe in which to buy your lunch for the day!

To finish each day your leader will take you to sample local culture further in local restaurants experiencing the different local cuisine and of course sampling the classic Italian dishes including fresh pastas, pizza, or rich local seafood.