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Santa Maria Formosa

Santa Maria Formosa: Our most recommended tours and activities

Venice Walking Tour and Gondola Ride Combo

1. Venice Walking Tour and Gondola Ride Combo

Combine an engaging 1.5-hour walking tour of Venice, strolling the streets between St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge and market, with a Venice experience that everyone must try: a 30-minute gondola ride! During the 1st part of your itinerary, an expert guide will reveal the magic and history of Venice outside some its most famous buildings. Walk from St. Mark’s Square at the heart of the former Venetian Republic. Admire the Byzantine façade of St. Mark’s Basilica and the imposing edifice of the Doge’s Palace before you depart. Head towards Campo Santa Maria Formosa to learn the story of one of the most beautiful churches in Venice. See the former home of the explorer Marco Polo, and pass the Malibran Theatre, known for having the most extravagant stage in the city. Finally, walk to the Mercerie to discover a fascinating array of narrow streets where the valuable goods brought to the city from distant markets were sold. Then, climb aboard a gondola for a 30-minute punt along the canals of Venice. Be lulled by the gentle sway of the lagoon as you move deeper into the minor canals. Coast past lesser known areas to see quaint corners and majestic palaces from a new perspective. Admire the Basilica della Salute as you drift gently back to St Mark’s Basin and the start of the Grand Canal.

Venice: St Mark's Square Walking Tour & Gondola Ride

2. Venice: St Mark's Square Walking Tour & Gondola Ride

Start the tour in the historical heart of Venice with a morning promenade from Saint Mark’s Square to some of the most important monuments in Venice. See Santa Maria Formosa, the Teatro Malibran, the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, known as the Venetian Pantheon, and much more. Learn about the amazing history of these monuments from your professional guide. Pass through the main shopping street, until you reach Rialto Bridge. Stroll through the typical markets which were once the commercial center of Europe. Continue your experience with a gondola ride on the Grand Canal, towards the Salute Church, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. See some of the stunning Venetian palaces that run along the canal like Mozart’s house, Gritti Hotel, and many others. Pass by Punta de la Dogana before making your way back to the start point in front of Campo San Moisè. Enjoy commentary on your gondola tour by downloading the mobile App onto your phone. The App will provide audio commentary to explain all about the magnificent palaces and attractions around you. Later, enjoy the audio guide with digital map to discover the five districts of Venice and their best attractions and squares, day or night, on a self-guided tour. Listen to the automatic audio narration of the city’s highlights, with more than 200 points of interest including the glorious La Fenice theater, Rialto Bridge, Jewish Ghetto, the Arsenale, the majestic Accademia Bridge, and much more. Thanks to this app, you will also enjoy the most secret and picturesque places of Venice known only by true Venetians.

Venice: City Pass including Doge’s Palace & Public Transport

3. Venice: City Pass including Doge’s Palace & Public Transport

Make your trip to Venice easy with the Venice City Pass. Gain access to all of the city's greatest churches, museums, monuments, and more. Choose from multiple day passes and take the option of an extra public transport ticket as well. Hop on and off around the city, and enter wherever you like. Visit the Byzantine monuments of St. Mark's Square and venture inside the former palace of the dukes, Doge's Palace. Make your way into the Museo Correr, Ca'Rezzonico, Ca'Pesaro, Glass Museum, Natural History Museum, Mocenigo Palace, and many others. Take the challenge to see all 16 churches of the Chorus Curicuit such as Chiesa di Sata Maria del Giglio, Chiesa di Santo Stefano, and Santa Maria dei Miracoli. Save some time at the end of your day and try your luck at the Venice Casino.

Full Venice Walking Tour: Doge's Palace and St. Mark's

4. Full Venice Walking Tour: Doge's Palace and St. Mark's

Meet your guide on Piazza San Marco for the start of an immersive walking tour. Learn the story of Venice and the Venetian Empire at monuments such as the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark's Clock Tower and the Procuratie, built over the arcades of Piazza San Marco (external views only). Stroll over to Campo Santa Maria Formosa to admire the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo and its famous Pantheon. Next, go to the Scuola Grande di San Marco, also knowns as the “Great School of Charity” whose members ((Captains of Fortune) included some of the great Italian explorers of the 15th century. Head back to Piazza San Marco to admire the Teatro Malibran, once the "biggest, most beautiful and richest theatre in the city." Walk down the shopping street of Le Mercerie to see the boutiques of top designers in what was once the pulsing heart of the city's commercial life. Along the way, wander the small alleys known as “calli” and discover picturesque squares where Venetians still gather to conduct their everyday social lives. Find hidden gems and learn interesting facts about the "Serenissima" and its everlasting story. Then, skip the long lines to the Doge’s Palace and explore one of the most important symbols of Venice. As the seat of Venetian political power for centuries, the majestic rooms contain hundreds of masterpieces of art that will take your breath away. Next, enter the beautiful Byzantine monument of St. Mark's Basilica and learn about Saint Mark and how his ruins came to rest here. See stunning mosaics of gold and marble inlays, and learn the history of the architectural masterpiece and its priceless treasures. Go to the Treasury to look at a splendid example of religious art, and marvel at the thousands of gems and precious stones of the Pala d’Oro.

Venice: Morning Walking Tour

5. Venice: Morning Walking Tour

Explore Venice through its narrow calli (alleys) and encounter countless bridges and picturesque squares at the heart of the city's social scene. Follow a professional guide on an unforgettable journey through the history of the "Serenissima" and discover famous sites and hidden gems. Get an animated description of majestic St. Mark’s Basilica in Piazza San Marco, and learn the function of the Doge's Palace. Hear about the ornate St. Mark's Clocktower and the 3 connected buildings of the Procuratie. Then, make your way to the Campo Santa Maria Formosa to see the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, where all of the city's doges were buried after the 15th century. Go to the Scuola Grande di San Marco (“Great School of Charity”) to hear about the "Captains of Fortune," and then head back through the San Marco sestiere (district) to see the Teatro Malibran. Stroll down the famous Mercerie, the historic heart of commercial life in the city and now one of the main shopping streets of Venice between the Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco.

Venice: St. Mark's, Walking Tour and Gondola Combo

6. Venice: St. Mark's, Walking Tour and Gondola Combo

Discover Venice from land and water on a combined half-day tour of 3 distinct itineraries; a walking tour from St. Mark’s Square to the Rialto Bridge and market, a 30-minute gondola ride on some of the smaller canals and a guided visit to St. Mark’s Basilica. First, meet your guide near St. Mark’s Square for a walking tour from St. Mark’s to the Rialto Bridge. Your guide will reveal the magic and history of Venice outside some its most famous buildings. Admire the Byzantine façade of St. Mark’s Basilica and the imposing Doge’s Palace before you depart. Head towards Campo Santa Maria Formosa to learn the story of one of the most beautiful churches in Venice. See the former home of the explorer Marco Polo, and pass the Malibran Theatre, known for having the most extravagant stage in the city. Finally, walk to the Mercerie to discover a fascinating array of narrow streets where the valuable goods brought to the city from distant markets were sold. The second part of the tour includes a gondola ride to discover some new and not very well-known areas of one of the most beautiful cities in the world! The gondola tour will let you discover the Basilica della Salute, one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture, which offers a different perspective view according to the point from which it is observed. Re-group outside St. Mark's Basilica to skip-the-line to see its gilded interior around 30 minutes after the conclusion of the gondola ride. Learn the history of one of the world’s most iconic cathedrals. Get advantage of this combined tour, which covers three fascinating itineraries at a lower price than purchasing the individual ones!

Venice: Private Ghost Tour and Gondola Ride

7. Venice: Private Ghost Tour and Gondola Ride

Venture into the darker side of Venice on a private ghost tour after dark, and hear stories from its bloody past as you creep down dank alleys that still fire the imagination. Meet your guide in the shadows of the church of San Giacomo di Rialto, before walking to the Rialto Bridge. They will take you through a mass of spooky alleys, telling of the spirits that lurk in hidden doorways along the way. Learn about the ghosts of the Campo della Fava. Go to Marco Polo’s house and hear about his Chinese wife. Visit San Gallo, site of one of the most terrible murders in the history of the city, and where the famous sculptor Antonio Canova died. If that’s not enough to get your heart racing, take a 30-minute gondola ride through the network of silent canals. Keep your nerve as the only noise you hope to hear will be the sound of paddles touching water… Your guide will continue to spook you as you sail under the Bridge of Sighs, where captured criminals took their final walk. Cruise into the Campiello Querini, and see the Bell Tower in Santa Maria Formosa, designed to scare off the Devil. End at Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo, where the ghost of the Doge continues to haunt the city to this day!

Venice: Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line Basilica Ticket

8. Venice: Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line Basilica Ticket

Take part in this small-group tour of Venice to see the best tourist spots and hidden gems. See the Bell Tower and Clock Tower, St. Mark's Square, and get an in-depth tour of St. Mark’s Basilica. Start your tour by strolling through St. Mark’s Square, equipped with complimentary headphones so that you can follow every word of your local guide. Listen as your guide discusses the major monuments including Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs, the Bell Tower, and the Clock Tower. Head into St. Marks Basilica for a special tour. Walk through the famous church as your guide describes the history of the church and shows you the intricate mosaics and Byzantine architecture. Afterward, leave St. Mark's Square behind to admire a very different Venice. Visit Santa Maria Formosa, Calle Paradiso, Castello district, and areas known only to the locals.  Explore a world of narrow alleyways and meandering canals, punctuated by delicate bridges, and hidden architectural gems.  Hear stories about the Venetians who created this city from nothing.

Venice: 1.5-Hour Walking Tour

9. Venice: 1.5-Hour Walking Tour

Starting in St. Mark’s Square, this atmospheric walking tour will whisk you away from the crowded streets into the treasure filled pockets of the Castello area. A qualified guide will walk you through the hidden squares, winding canals and historical buildings providing you with a perfect introduction to the origins, symbols, traditions, architecture and life in present day Venice. The tour will start with a historical introduction of St. Marks’s Square and its architectural delights, allowing you to discover the history of the majestic St. Mark’s Basilica, the illustrious Doge’s Palace, once the seat of the power of the Republic of Venice, and the extraordinary, Renaissance clock tower. Leaving the square, you will be guided into the residential Castello area, allowing you to discover this part of Venice in all of its elegance, through its labyrinth of narrow alleys known as calli, its many bridges, winding canals and wide picturesque squares called campi. Discover campo Santa Maria Formosa and campo San Giovanni & Paolo, with its stunning Basilica, where the doges of Venice were buried. At the end of your walking tour, come back with your local guide in San Marco's square passing through the Mercerie, the shopping connection street between Rialto and San Marco.

Venice: Historical Walking Tour & Doge’s Palace Guided Visit

10. Venice: Historical Walking Tour & Doge’s Palace Guided Visit

This amazing visit to the historical heart of Venice starts with a morning walking tour from Saint Mark’s Square to some of the most important monuments in Venice. You will see Santa Maria Formosa, the Teatro Malibran, the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, known as the Venetian Pantheon, and much more. Your professional guide will narrate the amazing history of these monuments to you. Passing through the main shopping street, you will reach Rialto Bridge and its typical markets, once the commercial center of Europe. Later your guide will escort you inside the breathtaking Doge’s Palace. For centuries this was where the Doge and the highest politicians lived and decided the fate of the ancient republic. Admire the incredible artistic masterpieces by the most famous painters and sculptors of that time. Entrance to the old palaces around St. Mark’ Square is included in this tour, which you can visit by yourself at a time of your choosing. This magnificent experience will allow you to discover the glorious past of this city, making your visit to Venice unforgettable. Download the app and discover the 5 districts of Venice with their best attractions and squares, day or night, on a self-guided tour. The mobile app includes a map which escorts you through the city, letting you decide what to see and information about the city's highlights. 

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Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Maria Formosa

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What people are saying about Santa Maria Formosa

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,236 reviews

The meeting point was easy to find, local guides were well organized, Elisabeth convinced us with her very good German and enormous knowledge, she gave us all the information for the entire 1.5 hours while she led us through the alleys at a rapid pace. Perhaps she could have answered personal questions a little more, but that's a matter of taste.

Excellent guide, very clear explanations, about the streets and how to guide yourself by looking at the indications, it was very useful for the rest of the trip. The communication with the headphones allowed those of us who wanted photos to stay a little behind without losing detail of the information.

Fabulous tour guide. Excellent knowledgable narrative. To do this tour and get an evening gondola ride for such an amazing price was more than worth it. Highly recommended

Very informative tour and the gondola ride is good. Just the minimum necessary to get to know Venice in a short time

Great morning walk. Recommended for all travellers to Venice.