Venice really is both genuinely unique and one of the most beautiful cities on earth. It has an amazing history, steeped in violence, intrigue and politics.
You should arrive at the airport to take your flight to Venice. On arrival you will transfer to the central four-star Hotel Principe staying four nights with breakfast. The hotel is a tasteful conversion of three 16th century merchants’ houses situated on the Grand Canal. You enter into the classically designed lobby, featuring wood panelling and comfortable leather armchairs and continue through to the very good and typically Venetian restaurant. The bar is superb, with a wonderful terrace directly onto the canal, lined with flower-filled terracotta pots and is the ideal spot to rest your undoubtedly sore feet after the day’s sightseeing! The rooms themselves feature many antiques plus the amenities you would expect from a four-star hotel and of course everything is air-conditioned.
Venice, La Serenissima, really is unique in the truest sense of the word and this morning’s guided walking tour reveals many of the city’s most famous sights including the glorious Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s with its magnificently decorated Basilica and grandiose square, the legendary Bridge of Sighs, plus a host of fascinating features. Next we have a ‘timed’ entrance to the incredible St Mark’s Basilica, final resting place of St Mark the Apostle with its interior for which there are not enough superlatives! Firstly the floor is made of beautifully coloured 12th century marble whilst the walls and vaulted ceiling are completely covered with an amazingly intricate 4,000 square metres of 13th century coloured mosaics. There is also superbly crafted treasure and artefacts you can visit too at a small extra charge. This is probably the world’s most opulent cathedral! Finally we have a visit to the Doge’s Palace, traditional home of Venice’s most important citizen the Doge, also effectively the city’s seat of government and crammed with yet more art treasures.
Away from the bustle though, is another equally fascinating Venice – endless quiet corners waiting to be discovered, washing stretched high across narrow canals between picturesque yet crumbling buildings, locals chatting in tiny bars and local shops dotted here and there. It is remarkable how close these wonderful quarters of the city are to the classic ‘sights’. This morning we take a tour of the city’s undiscovered face. We see the old Jewish quarter – the original ‘ghetto’ now wonderfully restored, the house of Tintoretto and where Marco Polo used to live, plus much more. Your guide will enhance the tour with anecdotes and stories bringing the city of the more humble Venetians to life before ending at the traditional Rialto market. You could round the morning off with a leisurely lunch in one of the charming cafés and restaurants of all styles – perhaps al fresco in one of the delightful piazzas to be found everywhere in this fascinating city – the choice is yours.
This morning commences with a boat ride across the lagoon to the smaller island of Murano, famed across the world for its exquisite coloured glass, produced here for centuries. The glassblower’s skill is just mesmerising and we see a demonstration of this ancient art. Each artisan has their own individual style with some making jewellery, others vases, bowls and some even complete chandeliers. The beautiful colours, intricate and imaginative design is quite outstanding. After this captivating display you are free to explore the rest of the island as you please. Murano is far quieter than Venice itself and is representative of how the city was decades ago, or should you wish you can return to Venice.
Today at the appropriate time, you will transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Every afternoon of this holiday is at leisure to explore as you wish, perhaps starting with a peaceful jaunt in a Venetian gondola on Venice’s backwaters or take the iconic Vaporetto water bus along the Grand Canal which teems with vessels of all sorts just as it has for centuries. For art lovers, visit Accademia, with its world-class masterpieces, or the Guggenheim for modern art. The view from the top of the Campanile bell tower is unrivalled probably anywhere in the world or enjoy the resonating melodies at one of the numerous classical music concerts taking place throughout the city.
Selected departures March to November 2014
(Prices based on London Gatwick Departures. Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Stansted, Luton, Heathrow & Edinburgh also available. Please call for other dates, availabilities and prices.)
|Date||Price (pp)||Accommodation||Depart UK||Arrive UK|
|26 Jan 2015||£499||Hotel Principe||08:40||13:20|
|02 Mar 2015||£599||Hotel Principe||08:40||13:20|
|29 Mar 2015||£769||Hotel Principe||13:00||13:25|
|11 May 2015||£829||Hotel Principe||08:40||13:20|
|01 Jun 2015||£829||Hotel Principe||08:40||13:20|
|29 Jun 2015||£829||Hotel Principe||08:40||13:20|
|12 Jul 2015||£749||Hotel Principe||08:40||13:20|
|09 Aug 2015||£749||Hotel Principe||08:40||13:20|
|14 Sep 2015||£839||Hotel Principe||08:40||13:20|
|27 Sep 2015||£839||Hotel Principe||08:40||13:20|
|19 Oct 2015||£829||Hotel Principe||08:40||13:20|
|02 Nov 2015||£699||Hotel Principe||08:40||13:20|
The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. The price includes return flights, four nights bed and breakfast, single rooms available at the relevant supplement, return transfers, sightseeing tour of Venice, timed entrance to St Mark’s Cathedral, entrance to the Doge’s Palace , sightseeing tour of undiscovered Venice, boat tour to Murano and glass-making demonstration, services of a Professional Tour Manager.
Hotel Principe Venice (www.hotelprincipevenice.it) – four-star rated, centrally located. The hotel is a tasteful conversion of three 16th century merchants’ houses situated on the Grand Canal. You enter into the classically designed lobby, featuring wood panelling and comfortable leather armchairs and continue through to the very good and typically Venetian restaurant. The bar is superb with a wonderful terrace directly onto the canal, lined with flower-filled terracotta pots and is the ideal spot to relax your undoubtedly sore feet after the day’s sightseeing! The rooms themselves feature many antiques and are fully air-conditioned and have a TV, telephone, safe, mini bar and hairdryer.
Venice really is both genuinely unique and one of the most beautiful cities on earth. It has an amazing history, steeped in violence, intrigue and politics. The first settlers were 5th century refugees fleeing Attila the Hun followed by domination by the Byzantine Empire. Later the Venetian Empire, made immensely rich by its monopoly of trading networks with the Orient, dominated the eastern Mediterranean and Venice became the world’s wealthiest city for the next five hundred years with its rich merchants finding expression in the huge array of palaces, aristocratic mansions, churches and galleries. Venice today has a quieter side too; wander where your feet take you and lose yourself in the tangle of alleys discovering another Venice, that of the Venetians. Here are the traditional shops heaving with colourful fresh vegetables, children playing in the streets and the locals stopping to pass a few words with their neighbours.