Seeing Venice beyond the iconic sights can be a challenge. That’s where Elaine Haffey comes in. We’ve been so impressed by the creative and custom itineraries she’s crafted for Venice, we had to share them with you. She has gone “deep” to come up with unique experiences that offer you the chance to create Venetian memories of a lifetime.
Experience the treasures of Venice in a new way: through the eyes, minds, and hearts of the creative and inspiring people who live, love, and work in Venice. This includes opportunities for one-of-a-kind experiences designed around your interests and curated by energetic and creative Venetians.
Meet vibrant and talented locals who are passionate about food, wine, art, design, and photography. Venetians who are knowledgeable about the natural environment, the culture, and the history of the region: each of them eager to share their favorite local spots with you. You can select a full itinerary for your stay, or choose any number of the experiences that pique your interest.
Choose among these “Insider Venice” experiences:
- Welcome to the Neighborhood – Get acquainted with a guided neighborhood walk with one of your Venetian neighbors. Learn about the local food markets and the best places to buy fresh flowers, cheeses, pasta, and wine for your apartment. Discover the best local cafes and restaurants, and parks where you can spend afternoons relaxing and people watching.
- Meet a rising star in Venice’s culinary scene and enjoy a Private Chef’s dinner and cooking session incorporating local ingredients and traditional preparation methods. The dinner can be held in your apartment, in the chef’s home, or in a unique local spot selected by the chef.
- Join an accomplished local photographer on a walking photography tour with your camera or iPhone. Experience the fabled light of Venice that has inspired artists, writers, and poets over the centuries. Learn from your teacher how to “see” in new ways, while he reveals his favorite piazzas, bridges, and hidden gardens to photograph and enjoy.
- Take a guided musical tour of the stunning Palazzo Grimani of Santa Maria Formosa, a Renaissance palace that has great historical importance and is also important to the history of music The Grimani were the owners of the most renowned music theaters of Venice, working with composers including Claudio Monteverdi and Antonio Vivaldi. During this visit, you will move among the rooms and hear period music played on period instruments as you learn the story of the palace and the Grimani family.
- Visit the lesser-known lagoon island of Sant’ Erasmo, the “market basket” of Venice, known for its fields of purple artichokes. Take a biking tour around the island, visit a local honey farm and end the afternoon with a wine tasting at the charming seaside vineyard of Orto, where the fresh water estuaries meet the ocean.
- Experience “Beads and Bubbles” with a celebrated local artisan who will teach you the art and history of Venetian glass beading over a Bellini and a platter of cicchetti, Venetian style tapas.
- Learn to row a traditional Venetian wooden boat then practice your skills in a tucked away canal. Tour an ancient boatyard to see how these lovely vessels were made.
- Enjoy private Yoga, stretch or meditation sessions with a local instructor in your apartment.