Engaging a private guide was one of the wisest decisions we made during our time in Venice. Because our stay was brief—about forty-eight hours—we wanted to maximize every opportunity, and see and learn as much as possible. We booked a three-hour morning tour with Elisabetta Morelli, a proud Venetian who is extremely knowledgeable about the history of her beloved city. She was highly recommended to me by a personal friend who had engaged her services a year or so earlier. Elisabetta is also recommended by Rick Steves in his Italy guidebook. She met us at our hotel and gave us a thorough overview of the history of Venice before we set out to our first destination—the Doge’s Palace. The tour was highly informative and encompassed the outer courtyard, the Golden Staircase, and the inner chambers, as well as the Bridge of Sighs and the New Prison. From there, we went to St. Mark’s Basilica. Though a private tour can be fairly pricey when compared to standard group tours, the setting is more intimate and your guide is better able to answer questions readily and thoroughly. It is, therefore, well worth the added expense.
I communicated with Elisabetta via email prior to our arrival in Venice. Her responses were prompt and informative. We found her to be personable, spunky, and enlightening. If you are interested in booking a tour with Elisabetta, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you prefer to telephone her, call 041-526-7816 or 328-753-5220 (cell). She speaks Italian and English. There is a two-hour minimum for tours; she accompanies families (including children) and other small groups. The cost is 70 euros per hour. I highly recommend a private tour of Venice, and enthusiastically endorse Elisabetta Morelli as a fabulous guide!