Choose from various departure times when you book. Then, when the time comes, start your skip-the-line walking tour near St Marks Square where your knowledgeable guide will introduce you to the history of Venice and its famous square - the city's social, religious and political hub for centuries.
As you walk around, learn why the first Venetians settled on what were unpropitious marshy islands, and how, through its mercantile wealth, La Serenissima, as it was known, grew to become one of the worlds mightiest maritime powers. Witness the ornate architecture as your guide explains the buildings before you, and then admire the marbled exterior of St Marks Basilica.
Skip the lines at the entrance, and marvel at the opulent interior. Behold the gleaming mosaics and statues and learn why the Basilica is considered a masterpiece of Italian-Byzantine architecture.
Next, set off into the quieter, lesser-known Venice of small canal walkways and campi (squares), unseen by many visitors. See the Querini and Stampalia art museum (exterior only) and discover hidden squares, bridges and loggia-fronted Gothic and Renaissance palaces.
Visit the squares of Santa maria formosa and Santa Marina, and look round the Il Milione courtyards named after Marco Polos Il Milione, the Venetian explorers' personal accounts of his far eastern travels. Wander onto the Marco polo Bridge and see the stone plaque that marks what was once his family house.
Please note: On rare occasions, St Marks Basilica is closed without notice due to religious festivities or high water in Venice.