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San Giorgio Maggiore

San Giorgio Maggiore: Our most recommended tours and activities

Venice: Giorgio Cini Foundation and Vatican Chapels Visit

1. Venice: Giorgio Cini Foundation and Vatican Chapels Visit

Escape the crowds of central Venice and explore the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, "the pearl of Venice."  It is a perfect, quiet area to enjoy the beauty of Venice and to immerse yourself in history. With this 1-hour tour, you will admire the most important places in the monumental complex of Giorgio Cini Foundation and discover exceptional art heritage, outside the usual tourist areas. Just a few minutes by bus-boat from Piazza San Marco you will experience the fascinating atmosphere of the complex as you listen to your video-guide (included in the admission cost and available in Italian, English, French, German and Spanish). Your small tour group (25 people maximum) will be escorted through the areas of the complex by a multi-lingual staff member. During your visit, you will be able to admire the main places in the complex, including: • Cloister of Palladio, completed after Andrea Palladio’s death in the 17th century • Cloister of the Buora family, an example of early Renaissance architecture designed by Giovanni and Andrea Buora • Palladian cenacle, an ancient Benedictine refectory where Paolo Veronese painted the Wedding in Cana, the original artwork is now on display in the Louvre • Longhena's Grand Staircase, completed in 1671 to provide access to the library and abbots’ apartments the staircase is positioned between two cloisters and furnished with magnificent wooden bookcases by Franz Pauc • Nuova Manica Lunga, the old dormitory of the Benedictine fathers, transformed into a stupendous, light-filled library After the tour of the Giorgio Cini Foundation, your audio guide experience will continue of a tour of the "wood" of the island. See the 10 Vatican Chapels, which were designed by 10 internationally-reknowned architects. Hear an introduciton from H. Em. Gianfranco Ravasi. Admire the drawings and models of the "chapel in the wood" by Asplund. Learn about the 10 chapels and the architects who designed them.

Venice: Sunset Cruise by Typical Venetian Boat

2. Venice: Sunset Cruise by Typical Venetian Boat

Enjoy a romantic adventure in Venice and climb aboard a beautiful Venetian boat to cruise around the city as the sun sets. Depart from central Venice and head for the islands of St. Andrea and Vignole. You will then cruise along the Lido, heading towards the quiet islands of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, San Servolo, San Clemente, Le Grazie, Giudecca, and San Giorgio Maggiore. Between Giudecca and San Giorgio you will be served a glass of sparkling Prosecco to sip as you take in breathtaking views of the Salute Church and St. Mark's Square. Watch as the sun descends in the sky and paints the beautiful architecture and waters of the lagoon shades of red, orange, and amber. Return through St. Elena and the Arsenale as your captain tells the history of Venice and its islands.

Venice: Giorgio Cini Foundation and Borges Labyrinth Visit

3. Venice: Giorgio Cini Foundation and Borges Labyrinth Visit

Immerse yourself in the culture and history of San Giorgio Maggiore Island with an audio-guided tour of the home of the Giorgio Cini Foundation and Borges Labyrinth. Meet your tour leader and get kitted out with your audioguide before heading to the monumental complex of the Giorgio Cini Foundation. Start your visit at Palladio's Refectory where you can admire Paolo Veronese’s Wedding at Cana facsimile, the photography room, and the Longhena staircase. Continue to the former Benedictine Monastery and see how the building has been transformed and restored to its former beauty. Finally, head to the Borges Labyrinth. Here, enter the surreal world of writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges. Make your way to the center of the 1-kilometer long path, made with 3200 boxwood plants, and learn more about the path's most emblematic symbols with the help of your audioguide.

Venice: Boat Tour with Grand Canal and San Giorgio Maggiore

4. Venice: Boat Tour with Grand Canal and San Giorgio Maggiore

Cruise past all of Venice’s most spectacular basilicas and palaces and under its historic bridges on this 2-hour tour package. Take in sights such as St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, the Cemetery of San Michele, the Rialto Bridge, the Rialto Fish Market, the Accademia Bridge, the Cà d’Oro and Cà Pesaro palaces, the Madonna dell’Orto Church, and the Salute Church. As you pass by these iconic sites your guide will provide commentary about the unique maritime history of this amazing city. Next you’ll head off the traditional route and stop at one of Venice’s rarely-visited gems, the island and Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore, where you’ll have postcard-picture views of St. Mark’s Square. After visiting the interior of the stunning Basilica you’ll have the option of climbing the Bell Tower (or taking the elevator). From the top of the Tower you can admire the dome of St. Mark’s Basilica and soak up an incredible vista of the city that stretches away from you. This tour is all about seeing Venice the from water level, and in stylish luxury. With a small group of no more than 9 people and headsets to hear your guide no matter where you are on the boat, discovering the wonders of the world’s most unique city has never been easier or more relaxing.

Venice: Off the Beaten Track Private City Tour

5. Venice: Off the Beaten Track Private City Tour

Dive into Dorsoduro, Venice's alternative side. Step away from the tourist trails and follow your local guide on a private tour full of surprises. Check out local points of interest such as Palazzo Zenobio degli Armeni and San Giorgio Island. Admire local street ar and spot some hidden architectural gems. See and learn about the lesser-known areas of Venice. Let your guide show you hangout spots and historical spots representative of the area.

Basilica San Giorgio Maggiore Tour with Water Transport

6. Basilica San Giorgio Maggiore Tour with Water Transport

Most people see the famous San Giorgio Maggiore only from far away when strolling through St. Mark’s Square, but on this exclusive tour you can visit the island and see its landmark basilica up close! Immerse yourself in the history and legends of the Floating City as you discover its highlights on land, in water and in the sky. Enjoy the ultimate Venetian adventure! Choose the 3-hour tour to see the most important monuments of St. Mark’s Square and San Giorgio Maggiore, and visit the Bell Tower and Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore. Your private walking tour will begin with a stroll in Piazza San Marco, the beating heart of Venice. This historic square boasts the most beautiful Venetian Gothic architecture and amazing views of the Venetian Lagoon. Your Private Guide will share interesting facts about this world heritage site and you admire the stunning facades of Basilica of St. Mark and the Doge's Palace, which for many centuries was a government seat and prison. The main highlight of this tour will be a cruise from San Marco to San Giorgio Maggiore by vaporetto, i.e. the public water bus (two-way tickets are included). Vaporetto is the most romantic and convenient way to reach the island, and you can enjoy live commentary along the way. The island, or more specifically its 16th century Palladian church, is one of the most photographed landmarks of Venice, gleaming above the blue water of the lagoon. Inside the classical Renaissance style interiors you will find works by Jacopo Tintoretto, Jacopo Bassano, Sebastiano Ricci and other amazing Venetian artists. As part of the tour you will also climb up to the viewing terrace of the basilica’s Bell Tower, which offers amazing views of the lagoon and the Riva degli Schiavoni. Choose the extended 5-hour to enrich your guided tour with a visit to the Doge’s Palace. It is one of the most visited attractions in Venice but with skip-the-line tickets you can save time and go right inside. The palace delights with spectacular sculptural decoration and paintings by famous artists such as Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, A.Vittoria and Tiepolo. Your Expert Guide will explain how for centuries the palace served as the political center of the Republic, and how Casanova escaped the palace prison. You will see the vast council chambers, luxurious residential apartments, and austere prison cells, and hear the story behind the name of the Bridge of Sighs.

Other Sightseeing Options in San Giorgio Maggiore

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

What people are saying about San Giorgio Maggiore

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 325 reviews

Wonderful experience! The weather was not the best for us, but Tomazzo was communicative with us about the likelihood of the excursion. Once we were on the water, Tomazzo served us Prosecco and told us much about Venetian history and culture. Though the water was choppy from the storm, our spirits were high as he guided us masterfully through the tour. 10/10 recommend.

This was the best experience we had in Venice. Jennifer was so caring and knowledgeable. My mom is 90 and Jennifer gave her extra help and with getting in and out of the boat with a walker. Also, the tour was wonderful, getting to ser places we never would have if we were on our own. If you have a chance please take this tour.

Excellent guide. Very knowledgeable. We saw parts of Venice and the islands we had never seen before. Very informative and enjoyable. The boat was great plus proseco and soft drinks. Don't miss this. It is well worth it.

Wonderful experience. All you could drink prosecco is never a bad thing!

Tommaso was very nice and prepared. I highly recommend the experience.