Unusual Sites

Unusual Sites’ Tours

For returning visitors interested in discovering hidden gems and treasures of Venice

Unexpected, hidden oasis of green

Gardens and green spaces in Venice are often hidden behind high brick walls and come very unexpectedly in such a difficult environment. Gardens are nowadays parts of former monasteries, nunneries  or belong to privately owned palaces. Spring and Summer are the best months to enjoy the magic of nature in Venice, a city built on swampy ground with few little green areas. Fall under the spell of hidden gardens! In approx. 3 hours we can plan the visit of 2 to 3 gardens depending upon availability of the owners.

Defence of faith and assistance to the poor

The history of this order brings us back to the Middle Ages, Holy Land, Jerusalem, Crusaders and the ideals of Chivalry, Christianity and Assistance. Discover the story of the foundation of the Order of the Knights of Malta, their motto, their flag, their different headquarters in Jerusalem, Cyprus, Rhodes, Malta, their exile, in present days in Rome and their specific connection to Venice. We will start from the hidden cloister of the complex of the Knights of Malta, then we visit the enormous garden and reach the recently restored church dedicated to John the Baptist, containing Bellini’s masterpiece the Baptism of John the Baptist. From there we walk through a maze of quiet streets through the picturesque district of Castello including the campo San Francesco della Vigna and the campo Giovanni e Paolo.

Noises from the past

Velvet weaving was first introduced to Venice by craftsmen and weavers coming originally from Lucca, Tuscany. Venice then became famous for it. The Bevilacqua family is very proud to produce on old hand powered looms ‘soprarizzo ‘velvet, a type of ‘pattern’ not even modern machines can duplicate or equal in any way. Noises from the past, silk and cotton threads, bobbins and punch cards welcome you into a new world and bring you back to past centuries. Discover the incredible repertoire of past and present commissions of this company and dream afterwards of red tapestry, silk cushions, damasks and brocades. Then we walk through the quiet areas in the district of Santa Croce.


Sawdust everywhere

This tour will reveal a lesser known aspect of boat building. What is the difference between an oarlock and a rowlock? What does an oar look like? we will visit one of the few places left in Venice where rowlocks and oars are still proudly carved by hand; you will savour in the air the charm of past professions. The master himself will explain how the Venetian Republic handled wood and boat building; he will show you the different stages of carving a rowlock and he will enchant you with stories and anecdotes from his profession. I will translate into English. Then we will enjoy a relaxing walk in the quiet areas in the district of Dorsoduro.

A less known Venetian handicraft

Learn about marbled paper, a technique that started in the Far East, expanding then to Turkey, reaching France and finally Italy. Learn how colours and water create a unique pattern on a sheet of paper; books, frames, boxes can be bound with it. The artisan will bring to life the secrets of this ancient technique, fascinate you with his stories, share his technical knowledge and talk about the present problems caused for example by industrial colours. I will translate into English. Once we have finished in his atelier we will stroll through quiet areas in the district of Castello.

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