Venice is primarily known for its narrow streets, canals, churches and palazzi, for its art treasures and naval history, but not for its gardens. Indeed gardening in Venice is a bit of a paradox as the city is built on marshes and the water is brackish. Moreover the soil is not naturally rich and is subject to flooding. It is perhaps a credit to man’s longing for the impossible that, despite these unfavorable conditions, the city boasts more than 500 gardens.
This tour proposes to explore hidden gems, mostly in private hands, both in the city center and on the islands of the lagoon.
September is the best time though May and June are advisable too.
Is a Garden Tour of Venice worth doing? Yes, if you already have been to Venice and are already familiar with the main sights and museums, and doubly YES if you do it with ToursbyMarie. I enjoyed it immensely and loved all the glimpses of Venice we got as we walked from garden to garden along narrow streets -- lovely dusty pink, terracotta and saffron yellow facades of houses pierced with Byzantine or Gothic windows, little bridges, and canals reflecting everything in their twinkling water plus all the churches, campos and palazzi. It was a wonderful trip.
Very well planned trip giving enough emphasis on the art of Venice as well as the gardens. . I think the balance between art and garden related venues was good. So much was included in only 5 days. The pace was just right, not too hurried or too leisurely. We explored much of the essential Venice in a well structured way and avoided the frustration and time wasting which is often a visitor’s lot.
Like travelling on a magic carpet!
We meet at our hotel mid day and enjoy lunch in the garden before setting off on a walking tour. We explore three private gardens open exclusively for us and end the afternoon with drinks in a garden overlooking the canal grande.
In the morning we exiplore the Sestiere of Canareggio and its many secret gardens. After a delicious lunch in the former home of a botanist we set off for the Arsenale where we explore two gardens.
Today we set out in our private taxi for the islands of the lagoon. Our first stop is Torcello where we also visit the basilica. In the afternoon we explore Sant Erasmo, also know as the vegetable garden of Venice and visit a local organic farm.
We spend the morning in a private garden within walking distance of our hotel. Our water taxi takes us to the center where we visit the garden of Carlo Scarpa at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia where we also have lunch- In the afternoon we take in the art of the Venetian School at the Academia after a private tour of the Scuola Dalmatica degli Schiavoni and its wonderful cycle by Carpaccio.
We explore the island of San Giorgio and the gardens of the Fondazione Cini, including the cloister designed by Palladio and the Vatican Chapels installed for the Biennale of 2018. We ascend the bell tower of the church for possibly the best aerial view of the city and the lagoon. For our farewell dinner we are treated to drinks and dinner in a private palazzo.