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The Venetian Lagoon, created by the estuaries of the three rivieras and separated from the Adriatic by a row of sand bars , is approximately 32, ˝ miles long. Venice lies in the centre and there are some forty other islands in the lagoon. Nearly half of them are deserted, some house market gardens and sanatoriums. 

St. Mark’ s square (Piazza San Marco ) is undeniably the heart and soul of Venice and is often described as the most elegant drawing room in Europe with its palatial arcades, sumptuous buildings and charming cafes. It is the city’s widest open area and is always wonderfully animated by various kinds of entertainment.

Transfer from the pier to the Venetian’s favourite square by launch from where the guided walking tour will start. The Byzantine facade of St. Mark’s Cathedral – one of the world most magnificent churches – will immediately claim attention. It was originally constructed in the 9th century to shelter the body of St. Mark the Patron Saint of Venice. Only traces of the original structure remain and the present building, although altered through the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, dates from the end of the 11th century. The exterior with its domes, pinnacles and bronze horses contrast with its glowing interior of gold mosaics, elaborate carvings and graceful statuary.

The tour continues to the Doge’ s Palace, the former residence of the Dukes of Venice and the seat of Venetian government from the 9th century until the fall of the Republic in 1797. Although no traces of the 9th century Byzantine structure remain, the present graceful palace – richly ornamented both inside and out – date from the 14th century and is considered by many to be the most exquisite in the world. A visit up the famous Golden Staircase to marvel at the painting of Tintoretto and Veronese and wander through the echoing Great Council Chamber where one can enjoy a splendid panorama of the St. Mark’s Basin from the balcony.

Crossing the attractively decorated and famous gateway, the Bridge of Sighs, which leads to the prison across the Rio the Palazzo to view the dreaded cells. The bridge originally named for the prisoner’s fate, is now often referred to for romance. In and around the square are small workshops of the glass manufacturers and a visit will be made to one of these before the tour is concluded. Return to the ship will be by launch.

The tour lasts approximately 3 – 3 ˝ hours.

Note: Due to restrictions inside St. Mark’s Cathedral, no guided tour, no shorts or vests; the guide will provide detailed commentary outside the church. As only small groups are allowed to enter at a time, long queues can be experienced.

Walking Information: The guided walking tour involves approximately 1 miles of extensive walking on cobblestone streets. The visit inside the Doge’s Palace involves a lot of stair climbing and whilst the viewing rooms are treasure-filled, those guests who feel they cannot climb the stairs may wait in the loggia until the tour exits the palace. Comfortable shoes are suggested.

For operational reason the tour order may be reversed but all sights described will be visited.

Wheelchair Access: difficulty because of cobblestone streets and extensive walking.

Shopping information: Shops open from Monday to Saturday 09.00 to 13.00 / 16.00 to 19.30 (not all shops close during lunchtime). Sunday shops are closed.

Restrooms: available at coffee shops and at the restaurant.

Dress Code: Casual wear and comfortable shoes: entrance to the Cathedral requires specific attire guidelines: ladies must cover knees and shoulders, while gentlemen’s attire must include pants/slacks or jeans only (no shorts).

Suggested timing:
09.00  Departure from pier (20 min. transfer by boat )
09.30  Arrival in St. Marco Square and beginning of the guided tour
12:00  Meeting point, for free time
12.30  Meeting with the escort to return to the Ship
13:00  Arrival to the port of Venice and back on board
The above timings are approximate and subject to weather and traffic permitting.

San Marco's Square
is the only true square in Venice all the other open areas are called "campi" ...

The Bell Tower
Inside the bell tower there are 5 large cast iron bells. Each bell has a name and a purpose... Marangona rang mornings and evenings at the beginning and end of the work day, Maleficio rang for capital executions, Nona rang at the 9th hour, Trottiera called magistrates to meetings in the Palazzo Ducale, and the bell of Pregadi called senators to the Palace...

Romantic  Venice
Discovery of the city will a real pleasure for anyone...