Discover Venice with a professional historian

A carabiniere in gala uniform at St Mark's on Liberation Day

Many guides and guidebooks can answer a lot of the ‘what’ questions about Venice, but very few can answer the harder ‘why’ questions. With my history walks in Venice, and boat tours in the lagoon, I try to explain why Venice is the way it is.

The over two hundred blog posts, long form articles, newsletters, lists and translations on this site should give an idea of the breadth and depth of the possible subjects for discussion during our walks.

My name is René Seindal, and I’m a Danish historian, living in Venice for almost two decades with my Venetian family. I am an authorised tour leader (accompagnatore turistico) in English, Italian and Danish. Besides my walks and boat tours, I’m also a guide on the Lazzaretto Nuovo island.

All my activities are bespoke, centred on what interests you about the history of Venice. I only do walks in small groups, to leave time and space for dialogue, questions and interactions. There are no microphones or ear buds, I do not want to be a walking audio guide.

The tours are not as such targeted for children, but kids are very welcome, and I will do my best.

Tours on offer

Hidden History

Depiction of 16th century gondolas on an alter at Santa Giustina in Venice

A walk around Venice, exploring the many messages from Venice of yore, often hidden in plain view.

Plague Island

Drawings on the walls on Lazzaretto Nuovo island, from the 1500s

A guided visit to the island Lazzaretto Nuovo, where quarantine was invented to fight the Black Death.

Lagoon tours

Abandoned remains on Batteria Ex-Poveglia

A boat tour in the Venetian lagoon reveals that there’s much more to Venice than just the city.

What others said

Read all the reviews

I took every available tour of Venice during my three days here. Rene beats all other guides here 10 to 1, he is simply the BEST storyteller, accurate research, curious facts and attention to detail, very passionate about the city and loads to learn even for a bookworm like me. If I could give him ten stars, I would. He will definitely be my guide next time in Venice. You can miss out on all the other tours here, but you will not have seen Venice if you don’t go on his tour. Thank you so much Rene for making this visit so special!

Anna (Nov 2021)

Book this experience, you’ll thank me later!

Rene is a phenomenal storyteller and possesses such a wealth of knowledge on the history of Venice. If you want something more beyond the basic facts you learn on the mainstream history tours, this is the experience for you. He opened our eyes to a Venice we would have never seen otherwise and kept us engaged the entire time and even long after we finished the tour. From climate-change and political/socio-economic forces that shaped the city, to ancient graffiti and chips on a blank stone that mean way more than you would think they do. This was, hands-down, one of the most valuable experiences we had as first-timers and lovers of history in Venice.

Michael (Nov 2021)

Rene is incredibly knowledgeable

Rene is incredibly knowledgeable about history in common and Venice in particular! He knows a lot about The history, but also how it is to live in a city that is so special! Ask questions, and you will get tons of answers, and he is someone who won’t stop after the time is over, when he has time he will go on telling you stories about things you probably would not notice. We have done another typical tourist tour which wasn’t good at all, so we can only recommend this kind of tour, if you are interested in hearing something off the beaten path and where you don’t have the feeling of being ripped off.

Jörg (Dec 2021)

Venetian Stories – newsletter

Our email newsletter comes out two or three times each month, with stories about Venice, past and present, and updates from the website.

Writings on the
History of Venice

On this site, you’ll find blog posts, long form articles, newsletters, various lists, and translations from the Curiosità Veneziane and others reference works.

Alternatively, consult the single-unified list of all the articles, or browse the writings by location.

Recent writings

  • An authorless book

    An authorless book

    A book without an author, paid for by a Count of Oxford, who didn’t exist — still it’s useful.

  • Venetians

    Venetians

    Biographies are not my greatest passion, by somehow individuals keep popping up in history, so of course there are some articles about individuals here too.

  • Domenico Pizzamano

    Domenico Pizzamano

    Domenico Pizzamano never expected to end up in prison. He was not a traitor. He had done his duty.

In-depth article series

  • The Venetian Lazzaretti

    The Venetian Lazzaretti

    The lazzaretti in Venice were the Venetian republic’s response to the emergency of the plague, and an efficient response too.

  • State institutions of the Republic of Venice

    State institutions of the Republic of Venice

    The Republic of Venice changed continuously as conditions inside and outside of it changed, until it gradually found its final form in the 1300s and 1400s.

  • Strada Nova – from the Station to Rialto

    Strada Nova – from the Station to Rialto

    Venice changed from a city which primarily existed for its inhabitants to a city dominated by tourism, and the Strada Nova was the first step.

Most popular articles

  • Prostitution in Venice

    Prostitution in Venice

    In ancient Venice prostitution was considered a necessary evil, where more harm would come from a ban than from a de facto acceptance

  • Population 49,999

    Population 49,999

    The population of the city of Venice has been in a steep decline for the last seventy years, and is now under 50,000 inhabitants.

  • Old maps of Venice

    Old maps of Venice

    Old maps are an important source for our understanding of how Venice looked and functioned in the past

A list of some of the sources and publications used to prepare this site.

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