Away from the inevitable tourist traps, Venice has a rich and authentic gastronomic scene, which can be discovered by joining a number of organised tours.
Italy’s culinary traditions have been exported across the globe. But in Venice, the city’s geographical composition, which somewhat disconnects it from the rest of the country, has led to it establishing its own distinct food and drink customs. If you’d like to explore them yourself, there are a huge choice of guided tours that invite you to learn all about this long heritage – and get a taste of it too. Here are five of the best currently on offer.
Semi-Private Secret Venice with Rialto market & Food and Wine Tour
Explore Venice’s lesser-known foodie spots on this two-hour walking tour. In the company of an expert guide, you’ll stroll through the old artisan quarters of the Rialto district and past the stalls of fresh produce at Rialto Market, stopping at an osteria for a glass of wine and traditional local snacks. Next, you’ll head to the historic San Polo and Cannareggio districts, crossing over the Grand Canal on a gondola ride. Here you’ll pass through the Castelletto area, known as the red light district of the medieval era, before continuing to the San Polo neighbourhood to admire the 16th-century Palazzo dei Camerlenghi. The tour ends with time spent on the rooftop terrace at the historic Fondaco Dei Tedeschi, featuring stunning views over Venice. From €70 per person.
Jewish Ghetto and Cannaregio Tour
This half-day tour invites you to eat and drink your way through one of Venice’s most distinctive neighbourhoods, the Cannaregio district – also known as the former Jewish ghetto – while learning about its fascinating history and culture. In the company of a local guide you’ll traverse its narrow winding streets on foot, stopping to sample authentic delicacies, from traditional kosher dishes and wine to creamy risotto and fresh-baked goods. In total, you’ll visit six food spots, including restaurants, delis and bakeries, as your guide regales you with tales and facts about the area’s heritage and its long culinary traditions. From €112 per person.
Venice Street Food Tour
Walk through gorgeous squares, see impressive churches, and visit the bustling Rialto Market on this 2.5-hour street food tour. After meeting your guide in central Venice, you’ll first head to the busy Rialto Market to see colourful stalls selling seafood, vegetables, and fruit. Next, you’ll make your way through the canal city, stopping off at various food outlets to taste local specialities, such as the bite-sized cicchetti, regional cheeses, traditional cakes, and buranelli biscuits. During the tour, you’ll also get to see major landmarks including the Campo San Bartolomeo, Campo San Polo, and Basilica dei Frari. All food is included in the tour price, with drinks at your own expense. From €43 per person.
Venice Prosecco Wine Tasting Tour
Visit two renowned Venetian wineries and enjoy lunch with local products on this extended half-day wine tasting tour. Over six hours, you’ll learn the secrets of prosecco-production as you explore the region’s UNESCO-protected wine-making landscapes. Starting in Venice’s historic centre, you’ll be driven by comfortable van, passing the original region of prosecco, Conegliano Valdobbiadene, before stopping off at two traditional wineries where your expert wine guide will tell you all about the origins and heritage of prosecco. At both wineries, you’ll get to have a wine-tasting session, and at the first winery this will be paired with a light lunch featuring local cheese, salami, and bread. The tour price includes all transport, winery and vineyard visits, wine-tastings and lunch. From €119 per person.
Venice Wines, Spirits & Sightseeing Tour
Combine sightseeing with intimate wine tasting on this 2.5-hour small-group walking tour. Departing late afternoon, during the trip you’ll visit some of Venice’s best wine bars to sample local wines and spirits with assorted appetisers. As you drink, you’ll learn from your guide how to tell the difference between local variations of regional wines and what makes Venetian wines so special. Between wine bars, you’ll pass by prestigious local attractions like the San Francesco della Vigna cloisters, Arsenale, and the gorgeous painting of the Church of San Zaccaria. Tour groups are limited to no more than 12 people. From €88 per person.