We booked a private walking tour a little bit away from the main sights and the masses of tourists behind and beyond San Marco - and it was a very good decision!
Alessandro was a knowledgeable, friendly guide who introduced us to some of the hidden sights amongs the alleyways and canals, while also telling us about life in Venice today (which increasingly means life in Mestre for the locals)
He spoke very good English, made a real effort to involve our kids as well and provided lots of historical background.
Tour was rounded off with a gondola ride around the Canale Grande and the biggest ice cream south of the Alps - the former being included in the price of the tour, the latter sadly not :-)
Not cheap, but heavily recommended for anyone interested learning more about this magical city
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