Hidden History in plain sight – unseen Venice

Byzantine art on the walls in Venice

Anywhere you look, hidden history stares back at you.

An inconspicuous sign on a wall tells a story about long forgotten crafts and social welfare in the 15th century. A graffiti under a portico reminds us how public transport worked in the 18th and 19th centuries. An oddly placed altar shows how faith was used to fight crime. History is all over.

The humblest of little signs on a wall hides a story worth being retold.

Even a short walk down the calli with a knowledgeable guide can teach you as much as a shelf full of guide books.

The Hidden History tour

I will meet you at your hotel, or at the restaurant where you’ve had lunch, or wherever it suits you in Venice, and we’ll walk around the city together, searching for messages from the past.

This is not a tour of great monuments and famous places. That’s all in the guide books, and you won’t need to for that. Rather, it is a search for all those little messages past Venetians have left around the city, that we don’t see even if they’re just in front of us.

We’ll talk about how social welfare worked in the renaissance, about the ancient links between Venice and the Byzantine empire, about the Venetian trade on the Levant, and much much more.

The hidden history is in front of our eyes, but we don’t always see it.

These articles cover some of subjects we might cover on a hidden history walk:

What others said

Rated 5.0 out of 5
February 12, 2024

This is my second time taking the tour with Renee, he has a vast knowledge of Venice history. My friend been his fist time, thought the tour was wonderful as well. You will discover the real history of Venice and how people lived at the start of the island. A must take tour while in Venice, you won’t be disappointed.

Guillermo
Rated 5.0 out of 5
February 11, 2024

Rene was a gem! A vast knowledge of history of Venice. A desire to share his knowledge with us. Very pleasant manner is story telling. Great interest to details. Thank you Rene! We learnt so much with you!

Julia
Rated 5.0 out of 5
January 22, 2024

Had a great time touring a small part of Venice with Rene. His deep knowledge and passion for history are evident and would recommend to anyone looking for a detailed dive into the history of Venice.

Natalie

Prices and booking

The hidden history walking tour can be two or more hours. The more time we spend together, the more we’ll see and explore.

Groups can be from two to eight persons, so everybody can see and hear everything.

The price is €30/person for the first two hours, and €10/person for each additional hour.

Children under five can come for free, and children fourteen or younger for €10.

Private tours are minimum €160 for the group. Otherwise separate bookings might be grouped together.

I regularly do Hidden History walks starting at 10am in Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo, and if this will work for you, drop me a message.

If you’re looking for some other time or place, use this link to book an appointment directly into my calendar and I’ll come back to you as soon as possible.