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
September 11, 2020

Hello René, We really enjoyed the historic tour with you. It is impressing how much you know about the history and how much passion you have for the themes . We liked mostly that you not only told but rather really showed us how much the change of time is visible in all the different buildings of the city. Thank you and best regards Nina and Timm

Timm
Rated 5.0 out of 5
September 7, 2020

René’s tour is great! I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a history buff, or just wants to know more about the city and get a better sense of it. He has a great storytelling style and the walk is peppered with personal anecdotes that show his attachment and belonging to Venice. I left feeling that i was more connected to the city and am recommending this walk to everyone i know for when they go to Venice. If René does any other experiences I will definitely sign up for them when in Venice!

A
Rated 5.0 out of 5
August 29, 2020

We absolutely recommend this tour. We learned so much about the history of Venedig by looking at wonderful small details we would have never seen on our own! Wonderful guide with loads of stories and love for this city.

Alice

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.