Venice
Walking Tours

5 historical facts to take on your Venice walking tour

Venice might be better known for its canals, but don't forget to explore its winding streets for what many might consider a local's perspective. Here are five fun facts to bear in mind.

  • Many of the streets are accidental

    1. Many of the streets are accidental

    Venetian houses tend to face the canal, so many of its haphazard streets arose simply as gaps between buildings. The narrowest is Ramo Varisco, at only 53cm wide!

  • The church towers have many talents

    2. The church towers have many talents

    Venice's church towers, or "campanili," do more than just sound the hour - they've historically also been used as lighthouses and fire guard stations.

  • Venice has over 400 bridges

    3. Venice has over 400 bridges

    Think you won't see enough of Venice's canals on a walking tour? Think again! The city has 431 bridges to traverse. The Rialto Bridge dates back to the 16th century.

  • It only recently got its first female gondolier...

    4. It only recently got its first female gondolier...

    Despite having over 400 gondoliers in a tradition that dates back centuries, Venice didn't get a female gondolier until 2010!

  • ...But the first woman to graduate was a Venetian

    5. ...But the first woman to graduate was a Venetian

    Visit the Palazzo Loredan to see the birthplace of Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, who, in 1678, received a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Padua.

Planning Your Visit

  • Can I combine a walking tour and gondola ride?

    Walking tours are a great way to see the city, but it wouldn't be Venice without a ride along the city's canals. Fortunately there are several walking and gondola tour combination packages to choose from, with prices starting from €43.

  • How do the free tours work?

    If you're visiting Venice on the cheap then you might choose to opt for a free walking tour. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a catch! Remember your guide does this for a living so bring some cash in order to pay what you think it was worth at the end. If you don't, be prepared to shuffle away sheepishly!

Other Sightseeing Options in Venice

Want to discover all there is to do in Venice? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Venice

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 13,802 reviews

This is an excellent tour to have an overall introduction to Murano, Burano, and Torcello, without diving too deep into the details of each island. Perfect if you have never visited them and want to get an idea, less suitable if you want to gain in-depth knowledge about them. We were a small group, so the company booked a taxi, which was an absolute treat. Great first time to the Lagoon Islands, our favourite was Burano (we got covid masks with handmade lace! So stylish). Live demonstrations of glass blowing and lace making are included. The guide was approachable and knowledgeable, keeping us on time without making us feel rushed.

Me and my wife had an amazing time with Francesco! He’s a Milanese native with a lot knowledge of the city and its culture and food. He took us to true local spots and introduced us to some wonderful locals. He was entertaning, intelligent, and great storyteller with loads of personal stories. We did this tour on our first day, at the end, it turned out to be the best activity we did! I highly recommend tour provider Withlocals and Francesco to anyone looking to learn about Milanese food, drink and culture.

Valerio war sehr freundlich und informativ und sprach perfekt deutsch. Die Tour war Covid-19 bedingt, etwas abgeändert aber trotzdem sehr schmackhaft und informativ. In winzigen Hintergässchen, die man sonst nie gefunden hätte, haben wir die mit den traditionellen venezianischen Köstlichkeiten kennengelernt. Insgesamt ein unterhaltsamer, lukulischer Ausflug zu den gut versteckten, ursprünglichen Lokalen der Venezianer. Außerdem danken wir für die Rezepte zu so mancher Köstlichkeit, die wir genossen haben!

The tour with Loris was just WOW! He was authentic and he knew everything about Venice and it's history The food stops were great (not touristic at all) and we tried a lot of real Italian treats! I recommend to go with hunger as you will get a LOTS of yummy food. Between all the eating, we were walking through this amazing scenery of Venice, which is now even more beautiful and authentic, now there are way less tourists. I will recommend this tour to all my friends who will go to Venice!!

Giada gave us an amazing food tasting experience around different neighborhoods in Venice. She took us to places we never would have found on our own and introduced us to Italian culinary treats we didn’t even know existed! She also took the guess work out of what restaurants we should eat at by recommending places that locals eat at and are off the tourist trail. She is also very friendly and knowledgeable about the history of Venice. Great experience!