History tours in Venice

Arsenale - Gaggiandre - Porta NuovaVenice has a history going back over a thousand years, and the oldest buildings still standing dates back to the Middle Ages. The majority of the edifices date from the 15th and 16th centuries.

The historical context of the city is  better appreciated from a boat, as the city of Venice was built for moving around on water.  The main façades of the palaces usually  face the canal. Paddling around leisurely reveals a lot which will otherwise be invisible or out of reach.

During the history tours we talk about many aspects of Venetian history, such as: the maritime past of Venice, its navy and commerce; the various architectural styles visible in the city (Byzantine, Gothic, renaissance, baroque); the evolution of the traditional Venetian boats; how the city was built on the marshes and the changes made to the city’s structure over the centuries.

No visits to museums, galleries, churches or other monuments are included in the tour.

The history tours follow the same schedule as the normal day tours, from 10:15am, until around 4.30pm. Active paddling time is normally around 4-4½ hours at a leisurely pace.

Couple turning in the canal behind Ca' Dario (press photo)The paddling tour is a mix of paddling the small canals in the city, parts of the Canal Grande, and a bit in the open area in front of St. Mark’s, the Bacino San Marco, towards the island San Giorgio Maggiore.

We’ll paddle through most of the day, in a relaxed pace with a good lunch break and pauses as needed.

Lunch is usually in a snack bar or café on a square in the city. Our most common stops are in Campo S.S. Giovanni e Paolo near the hospital, and in Campo San Barnaba in Dorsoduro but the choice is normally made by the guide during the tour.

Full day tours are for people with a good deal of paddling experience.

Group size is normally limited to 4 persons to facilitate talking time on the water.

Planned tours

There’s a full list of all currently planned history  tours to Venice here.

Further information