5. Walking Tour to Uncover the Hidden Venice
The tour will start at the San Marco Column. You can see for yourself why people consider this square to be the most beautiful drawing room in the world once you go there. A brief historical overview of the largest maritime empire in the Mediterranean Sea will be provided in the guide. The guide will point out some of the most well-known buildings in this square as you move on with the tour. The St. Mark's Basilica, the cathedral church of Venice, will be unveiled to you in this square. This building is the city's iconic symbol with its Byzantine-style cupolas, golden mosaics, and priceless bronze and gold horses imported from Constantinople. The exterior of the church was designed in a severe Gothic style, as the tour guide will explain. The Doge's Palace, another monument located in St. Mark's square, is the next thing you'll see after passing the Cathedral. Here, the tour guide will explain to you the history of this stunning palace, the fire that occurred there, as well as the layout and architectural design of this magnificent structure. Then proceed on foot to the Campanile (Bell Tower), Venice's tallest structure, which once served as a lighthouse for ships. You will continue your tour of Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo, home to the Pantheon of Venice, the biggest church in the city. The tour guide will show you the church's stunning sculpture-designed exterior. The Scuola Grande di San Marco ("Great School of Charity"), Venice's most prominent and exquisitely decorated structure, is located just a short distance from the church. The tour guide will go over the significance of this building to the Venetians and its importance to them. The house of Marco Polo, a famous traveler and author, is one of the hidden gems you'll find as you meander through Venice's streets and pretty alleys while crossing over tiny bridges. When your tour guide describes the place's historical significance and the contributions the man who once lived there made to the world, it's difficult not to feel a sense of awe. You won't stop there; the guide will lead you to Mercerie, the busiest and most well-known shopping street in Venice. This former hub of the city's commerce is located between San Marco Square and the Rialto Bridge. After passing the Rialto bridge, proceed along the grand canal to the Teatro La Fenice, the most renowned and well-known theater in Italy. Here, you can read the legend of a mythical phoenix that the people of Venice have long told. On your way back to St. Mark's Square, stop by the external, gothic Scala Contarini del Bovolo later. Your walking tour will come to an end at this point after a pleasant two hours of walking without feeling overwhelmed or tired because you have learned about the city's perfect blend of art, architecture, and history as well as its priceless artistic heritage.