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$8678 per person

Never was a thoroughfare so aptly named as the Grand Canal, reflecting the glories of Venetian architecture lining its banks. Venice. There is no place like it.

Over the years, I’ve celebrated in Puglia, fallen in love in Tuscany and spent summers discovering hidden wonders in the Aeolian Islands. You happen to pick up a thing or two when you’ve lived a place long enough. Now, my fascination with all things Italian has given me unrivalled expertise to craft tailor-made holidays to Italy that, like the fine wines of Chianti, just keep on getting better and better. So, fall in love with la dolce vita and discover why I just can’t stay away.

Away from the water and up into the air: I definitely recommend a helicopter tour of the city. For a bird’s eye view of the UNESCO world heritage site, we’ll soar over the 18 small islands in the marshy lagoon which make up the city, and see the sandbars, bridges and traditional buildings from a totally new perspective. Simply amazing.

Pity the day trippers dropped off at San Marco with a mere three hours to take in Venice. That’s about enough time for one long gasp at the show-stopper that is Piazza San Marco, but not nearly enough time to see what else Venice is hiding. Stay longer in this fairy-tale city and we’ll discover the pleasures of la bea vita (the beautiful life) that only locals know: the wake-up call of gondoliers calling ‘Ooooeeeee!’, a morning spritz in a sunny campi (square), lunch in a crowded bacaro (bar) with friends and fuschia-pink sunsets that have sent centuries of artists mad.

The best bit? We’ll still have time to see the incredible sights on land which give Venice its name as the Queen of the Adriatic. I can arrange comprehensive city tours with expert historians, but if you’re after something really special, how about behind the scenes and into places no-one else can reach. Ask me about private houses and collections not open to the public, as well as after-hours trips to the Basilica di San Marco and the Ducal Palace. All this from the private gardens of Belmond Hotel Cipiriani. The real cream of the crop…

  • Departure
    Your Town
  • Departure Time
    Please arrive by 9:15 AM for a prompt departure at 9:30 AM.
  • Return Time
    Approximately 8:30 PM.
  • Dress Code
    Casual. Comfortable clothing. Dinner wear. Business Sexy.
  • Included
    5 Star Accommodation
    Airport Transfers
    Personal Guide
  • Not Included
    Departure Taxes
    Entry Fees
    Private Jet
    Private Yacht

Day One

San Marco
Begin your day in prison on the Secret Itineraries tour of the Palazzo Ducale, then break for espresso at the baroque counter of Grancaffè Quadri before the Byzantine blitz of golden mosaics inside Basilica di San Marco. Browse boutique-lined backstreets to Museo Fortuny, the palace fashion house whose goddess-style gowns freed women from corsets.
* Lunch - Opt for quality surf-and-turf bistro fare at Ai Mercanti.
* Dorsoduro
Pause atop wooden Ponte dell’Accademia for Grand Canal photo ops, then surrender to timeless drama that no camera can convey inside Gallerie dell’Accademia. Wander past Squero di San Trovaso to glimpse gondolas under construction, then bask in the reflected glory of Palladio’s Il Redentore along waterfront Zattere. Stop at tiny Chiesa di San Sebastiano, packed with Veroneses, then hop between artisan boutiques along Calle Lunga San Barnaba before ‘spritz o’clock’ (cocktail hour) in Campo Santa Margherita.
* Dinner - Swoon over lagoon seafood at Enoteca Ai Artisti.
* Dorsoduro
Leap back into the 1700s at nearby Scuola Grande dei Carmini, the evocative setting for costumed classical concerts by Musica in Maschera. Alternatively, end the night on a saxy note at modern veteran Venice Jazz Club.

Day 2

San Polo & Santa Croce
Kick off day two with a crash course in lagoon delicacies at the produce-packed Rialto Market, side-stepping it to Drogheria Mascari for gourmet pantry fillers and regional wines, and to All'Arco for a cheeky morning prosecco. Boutiques and artisan studios punctuate your way to Campo San Rocco, home to Gothic show-off I Frari and its sunny Titian altarpiece. Once admired, slip into Scuola Grande di San Rocco for prime-time-drama Tintorettos.
*Lunch - Market-fresh bites and impeccable wines at vibrant Estro.
* Dorsoduro
Explore the modern art that caused uproars and defined the 20th century at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and contrast it with works that push contemporary buttons at Punta della Dogana. Duck into Baldassare Longhena’s domed Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute for blushing Titians and legendary curative powers, then cross the Grand Canal on Venice's only wooden bridge, Ponte dell'Accademia.
*Dinner - Superlative Venetian cuisine at Riviera.
* San Marco
The hottest ticket in town during opera season is at La Fenice, but classical-music fans shouldn’t miss Vivaldi played with contemporary verve by Interpreti Veneziani.

Day 3

Stroll Riva degli Schiavoni for views across the lagoon to Palladio's San Giorgio Maggiore. See how Carpaccio's sprightly saints light up a room at Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, then seek out Castello's hidden wonder: Chiesa di San Francesco della Vigna. Get stared down by statues atop Ospedaletto on your way to Gothic Zanipolo, home to 25 marble doges.
*Lunch - Graze on homemade pastas and salads in the campo (square) outside Didovich.
Dip into pretty, Renaissance Chiesa Dalmata di Santa Maria dei Miracoli, a polychrome marble miracle made from Basilica di San Marco’s leftovers, before wandering serene fondamente (canal banks) past Moorish statues ringing Campo dei Mori to reach Chiesa della Madonna dell’Orto, the Gothic church Tintoretto pimped with masterpieces. Then tour the Ghetto's synagogues until Venice's happiest hours beckon across the bridge at Timon.
*Dinner - Inventive Venetian cuisine beside the canal at Osteria da Rioba.
Take a romantic gondola ride through Cannaregio’s long canals, seemingly purpose-built to maximise moonlight.

Day 4

Murano, Burano & the Northern Islands 
Make your lagoon getaway on a vaporetto (small passenger ferry) bound for green-and-gold Torcello and technicolour Burano. Follow the sheep trail to Torcello’s Byzantine Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, where the apse's golden Madonna calmly stares down the blue devils opposite. Catch the boat back to Burano to admire extreme home-design colour schemes and handmade lace at Museo del Merletto.
*Lunch - Sunny Mazzorbo vineyards and inspired lagoon cuisine at Venissa.
*Murano, Burano & the Northern Islands; Giudecca, Lido & the Southern Islands
Take in the fiery passions of glass artisans at Murano’s legendary fornaci (furnaces), and see their finest moments showcased at the fabulously renovated Museo del Vetro (Glass Museum). After Murano showrooms close, hop the vaporetto to Giudecca for some spa-loving at the Palladio Spa and unbeatable views of San Marco glittering across glassy waters.
*Dinner - Wine and dine with artists and celebrities at Trattoria Altanella.
*San Marco
Celebrate your triumphant tour of the lagoon with a prosecco toast and tango across Piazza San Marco at time-warped Caffè Florian; repeat these last steps as necessary.


A haven of 18th century Venetian style, Belmond Hotel Cipriani sits centre stage on the edge of Venice’s iconic lagoon, basking in stunning panoramas over the water and theatrical city skyline.


Staying at the super-stylish Cipriani hotel in the heart of the city’s busy canal ways, we will be just a stone’s throw from the Accademia art gallery and bridge, and a short stroll from incredible sights, restaurants and ice-cream parlours of the city. A short vaporetto ride away lies the Venice lido, and our all-important kayak base. The perfect starting point for our Venice adventure, the Cipriani is a sleek haven in the busy city to set the scene for your cutting-edge break.


Perched on the tip of Venice’s Giudecca Island, Belmond Hotel Cipriani is just a couple of minutes by boat from Saint Marks and all of Venice’s most iconic historic sights. The hotel’s beautiful wooden boat is on hand to glide us down the city’s shadowy waterways and islets, with Burano and Murano being a must-visit for some of the world’s finest glassware. Outside the city in the surrounding region of Veneto, explore the charming towns of Vicenza, Padua and Verona to soak up some truly sensational Renaissance artwork and architecture. After just a day walking their streets, it won’t be hard to see why Shakespeare was so infatuated with this alluring part of the world.


Belmond Hotel Cipriani is actually split into two opulent quarters; –the main building and the Palazzo Vendramin, a 15th-century residence linked to the hotel through an ancient, flower-lined courtyard. Both house sumptuous rooms and suites, masterfully designed in a classical Venetian style, with sweeping views over either the lush Casanova gardens or shimmering lagoon. For me it’s all about the Palladio Suite, a true masterpiece that is the showpiece of the hotel, the suite appears to be suspended above the water, with 180 degree views of the lagoon with floor-to-ceiling windows and its own dock at the end of private gardens. Private gardens...


The sensational water-side dining is the perfect place to lose yourself in Venice’s theatrical charm and if the city really was a theatre, we know Belmond Hotel Cipriani would have to be the royal box.


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