Venice is a city full of history, art, culture, and rich traditions. I was fortunate enough this trip to be a guest of Context Italy on their “Venice by Boat” tour. Context Italy has been doing walking tours all over Italy for many years and what makes these tours unique is that they utilize scholars with PhDs and Masters degrees as well as experienced local guides. The groups are small, six maximum, and the focus is on education in an interesting way.
I learned so much about the history of Venice on this tour and would recommend it to anyone. My group of three was led by docent Monica Vidoni, who was born in Venice to American parents. She has a PhD in European History and teaches Venetian History at American universities in Italy. Her love of the city as well as her personal experience living in Venice adds depth and insight to her sharing of Venetian history with our group.
Starting at the Rialto Bridge in a covered water taxi, we traversed the Grand Canal as well as riding through Canareggio and Castello on the smaller canals. Seeing Venice by boat is a completely different experience than walking its streets.
The tour included some walking in the Jewish Ghetto while Monica explained its history and pointed out some of the architecture and locations of several synagogues in the area. This was particularly interesting to me since I had not spent much time here previously.
Touring the lagoon we were able to see Venice’s fire department with its red boats as well as the hospital and the ambulance boats. I had never seen the Arsenale before now, and since it is so huge, the only way to really see it is by boat.
In two hours I learned more about Venice than I knew from my two previous trips to this spectacular city on Italy’s Adriatic coast. Grazie Context Italy and Monica for an unforgettable experience in La Serenissima.