San Giorgio Maggiore

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San Giorgio Maggiore: Our most recommended tours and activities

Venice: Venetian Aperitif on the Lagoon

1. Venice: Venetian Aperitif on the Lagoon

You will begin by boarding a "topa" boat on which you will experience an authentic Venetian aperitivo. This drink will be enjoyed as you take in the stunning views of Venice from the outer lagoon and its magical islands. As soon as you begin cruising your host will begin serving you drinks and snacks. The experience will last about 1.5 hours, during which you will get to see the city's most iconic views. These city highlights include San Marco, Giudecca, Lido di Venezia, and much more. At the conclusion of your experience, your guide will drop you off back to your tour starting point.

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Venice: San Giorgio Maggiore Island Visit with Video Guide

2. Venice: San Giorgio Maggiore Island Visit with Video Guide

Escape the crowds of central Venice and explore the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, "the pearl of Venice."  It is a perfect, quiet area to enjoy the beauty of Venice and to immerse yourself in history. With this 1-hour tour, you will admire the most important places in the monumental complex of Giorgio Cini Foundation and discover exceptional art heritage, outside the usual tourist areas. Just a few minutes by bus-boat from Piazza San Marco you will experience the fascinating atmosphere of the complex as you listen to your video-guide (included in the admission cost and available in Italian, English, French, German and Spanish). Your small tour group (25 people maximum) will be escorted through the areas of the complex by a multi-lingual staff member. During your visit, you will be able to admire the main places in the complex, including: • Cloister of Palladio, completed after Andrea Palladio’s death in the 17th century • Cloister of the Buora family, an example of early Renaissance architecture designed by Giovanni and Andrea Buora • Palladian cenacle, an ancient Benedictine refectory where Paolo Veronese painted the Wedding in Cana, the original artwork is now on display in the Louvre • Longhena's Grand Staircase, completed in 1671 to provide access to the library and abbots’ apartments the staircase is positioned between two cloisters and furnished with magnificent wooden bookcases by Franz Pauc • Nuova Manica Lunga, the old dormitory of the Benedictine fathers, transformed into a stupendous, light-filled library • Labyrinth of Borges, a reconstruction of the garden labyrinth designed by the English architect Randoll Coate in honor of Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges for the 25th anniversary of the famous Argentinian writer and poet's death After the tour of the Giorgio Cini Foundation, your audio guide experience will continue of a tour of the "wood" of the island. See the 10 Vatican Chapels, which were designed by 10 internationally-reknowned architects. Hear an introduciton from H. Em. Gianfranco Ravasi. Admire the drawings and models of the "chapel in the wood" by Asplund. Learn about the 10 chapels and the architects who designed them.

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Venice: San Giorgio Maggiore Island Tour With Lunch

3. Venice: San Giorgio Maggiore Island Tour With Lunch

Escape the crowds of central Venice and explore the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the pearl of Venice. It is the perfect, quiet area to enjoy the beauty of Venice and immerse yourself in its history. Admire the most important places in the island and discover exceptional art heritage outside the usual tourist areas. Savor authentic Venetian cuisine rich in different flavors, scents, and feelings at the San Giorgio Café. Learn about Venice's gastronomical traditions as you indulge in your lunch. The San Giorgio Café also boasts both a charming outdoor area facing the quay and a chic indoor dining room. Just a few minutes away from Piazza San Marco, you will experience the fascinating atmosphere of the island as you listen to your video guide. Then, be escorted through the areas of the Giorgio Cini Foundation complex, the Vatican Chapels, and the Borges Labyrinth.

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Venice: 2-Hour Private City Tour Off the Beaten Track

4. Venice: 2-Hour Private City Tour Off the Beaten Track

Dive into Dorsoduro, Venice's alternative side. Step away from the tourist trails and follow your local guide on a private tour full of surprises. Check out Palazzo Zenobio degli Armeni, San Giorgio Island, local street art, spot architectural gems, and more. See and learn about the unexpected side of Venice. Let your guide show you hangout spots and historical spots representative of the area.

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Venice: Cini Foundation-Borges Labyrinth-Vatican Chapels

5. Venice: Cini Foundation-Borges Labyrinth-Vatican Chapels

Immerse yourself in the history and beauty of San Giorgio Maggiore Island with an audio-guided tour of 3 of the island's most breathtaking landmarks, the Giorgio Cini Foundation, the Vatican Chapels, and Borges Labyrinth. Meet your tour leader and get your audio guide and headphones. Head to the Giorgio Cini Foundation to see a facsimile of Paolo Veronese’s Wedding at Cana in Palladio's Refectory, the photography room, the elegant Longhena staircase and the restored former Benedictine Monastery. Next, stroll through the woods of the Vatican Chapels and admire the architecture of 10 chapels designed by internationally-renowned architects. Listen to original music composed by Antonio Fresa, as you soak up the atmosphere of the location. Finally, head to Borges Labyrinth to enter the surreal world of the writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges. Make your way to the center of the 1-kilometer long path made from 3200 boxwood plants and learn more about the path's most emblematic symbols.

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Venice: Vatican Chapels and Borges Labyrinth Visit

6. Venice: Vatican Chapels and Borges Labyrinth Visit

Immerse yourself in the history and beauty of San Giorgio Maggiore Island with an audio-guided tour of 2 of the island's most breathtaking landmarks, the Vatican Chapels and Borges Labyrinth. Meet your tour leader and get kitted out with your audioguide before heading to your first stop, the Borges Labyrinth. Here, enter the surreal world of writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges. Make your way to the center of the 1-kilometer long path, made with 3200 boxwood plants, and learn more about the path's most emblematic symbols with the help of your audioguide. Next, stroll through the woods of the Vatican Chapels and admire the architecture of 10 chapels designed by internationally-renowned architects. Listen to original music composed by Antonio Fresa as you soak up the atmosphere of the location.

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2-Hour Boat Tour with Grand Canal & Tower Climb

7. 2-Hour Boat Tour with Grand Canal & Tower Climb

Cruise past all of Venice’s most spectacular basilicas and palaces and under its historic bridges on this 2-hour tour package. Take in sights such as St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, the Cemetery of San Michele, the Rialto Bridge, the Rialto Fish Market, the Accademia Bridge, the Cà d’Oro and Cà Pesaro palaces, the Madonna dell’Orto Church, and the Salute Church. As you pass by these iconic sites your guide will provide commentary about the unique maritime history of this amazing city. Next you’ll head off the traditional route and stop at one of Venice’s rarely-visited gems, the island and Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore, where you’ll have postcard-picture views of St. Mark’s Square. After visiting the interior of the stunning Basilica you’ll have the option of climbing the Bell Tower (or taking the elevator). From the top of the Tower you can admire the dome of St. Mark’s Basilica and soak up an incredible vista of the city that stretches away from you. This tour is all about seeing Venice the from water level, and in stylish luxury. With a small group of no more than 9 people and headsets to hear your guide no matter where you are on the boat, discovering the wonders of the world’s most unique city has never been easier or more relaxing.

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Venice: Giorgio Cini Foundation and Borges Labyrinth Visit

8. Venice: Giorgio Cini Foundation and Borges Labyrinth Visit

Immerse yourself in the culture and history of San Giorgio Maggiore Island with an audio-guided tour of the home of the Giorgio Cini Foundation and Borges Labyrinth. Meet your tour leader and get kitted out with your audioguide before heading to the monumental complex of the Giorgio Cini Foundation. Start your visit at Palladio's Refectory where you can admire Paolo Veronese’s Wedding at Cana facsimile, the photography room, and the Longhena staircase. Continue to the former Benedictine Monastery and see how the building has been transformed and restored to its former beauty. Finally, head to the Borges Labyrinth. Here, enter the surreal world of writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges. Make your way to the center of the 1-kilometer long path, made with 3200 boxwood plants, and learn more about the path's most emblematic symbols with the help of your audioguide.

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Giorgio Maggiore

Want to discover all there is to do in San Giorgio Maggiore? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about San Giorgio Maggiore

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 72 reviews

The island of San Giorgio Maggiore is beautiful. We started off with our lunch at the cafe and it was outstanding. The waitress was great and informative! It’s amazing to see how much of the buildings were destroyed and how nicely they have been restored. It is a very peaceful and quiet island! We were not able to see the Vatican Chapel, but saw the library, Borges Labyrinth (maze) and the Cloisters. We had Vincenzo and Alicia as our guide for the first and second tour. Both were very knowledgeable and friendly. We used Google phone devices to listen to the information about the site. Easy to use and hear! Great tour at a fair price. I would recommend this tour to friends and family.

We took eight days to explore Paris, Venice, and Rome. This was by far one of the best experiences we had. Our guide was very knowledgeable about local history and culture. He was able to answer all of our questions, made recommendations for dinner (which was amazing) and what kind of wine we should bring home. I will definitely be using this service again!

Very nice journey on the lagoon with Alessandro, who provides great commentaries and good mood. We had a wonderful weather, and really enjoyed the beauty of the city from another angle.

Interesting off-the-beaten-tracks-tour away from the crazy tourist crowds with a very nice and charming local guide (Marzia)

Everything was very well organized; Staff / tour guide very friendly and helpful