Your experience starts a 9:00am when you meet your local guide and small group in central Venice to board your private boat. As you’re motoring out through the Lagoon, your guide will point out places of interest and give you a brief introduction to the history of island settlement in Venice.
Your first stop is the quiet monastery on the Island of San Francesco del Deserto, where you’ll literally walk in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi as one of the friars shows you around its peaceful gardens and ancient church.
Hopping back on your boat, you’ll zip over to Burano, whose brightly colored houses have been the home of Venice’s legendary lace makers since the 16th century. After a guided tour around the island’s picture-perfect canals and squares, you’ll cross a bridge to Mazzorbo Island and discover the vineyard producing one of Venice’s best kept secrets: the Venissa wine. Learn about how the Dorona grape was saved from extinction and replanted to produce one of the world’s rarest and most unique wines. Of course, a tasting is included.
Next, your guide will recommend a few of their favorite restaurants in Burano where you’ll have free time for lunch (not included) and can continue exploring. These restaurants are less-touristic than central Venice, serving authentic, local specialties at reasonable prices.
After lunch, you’ll cruise over to the island of Torcello, the first island in the lagoon to be inhabited and home to Venice’s oldest church, dating from the 7th century. Your guide will give you a tour of the island and its ancient Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. There will be free time to climb its bell tower on your own (not included).
Finally, you’ll head to Murano, home of Europe’s most respected glassmakers since the 13th century. You’ll marvel at a glassmaking demonstration inside an abandoned medieval church once visited by Casanova and Venetian nobles, now home to a glass maker and even used for Masquerade Balls. Afterwards, enjoy free time to explore the island. Your private boat will be waiting to take you back to the main island of Venice by 5:00pm.
Venice’s smaller islands are some of its most charming and historically rich; a day visiting them is the perfect antidote for people looking to escape the crowds and take a deep dive into the history and culture of the Maritime Republic.