Music of Venice Tour
A Melodious Tour of The Musical Aspects of Venice
DURATION: UP TO 3-HOURS
"When I seek another word for music, I always find only the word Venice." (Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo)
Music in Venice is everywhere, and is demonstrated by hundreds of paintings that depict men, women, and angels holding musical instruments, regardless of their social class.
This walking tour with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide begins in St. Mark's Basilica, once the private chapel of the Doges' Palace. Aware of the sound delay caused by the distance between opposing choir lofts, 16th century composers (like the Flemish Adrian Willaert) started to write antiphonal music, where opposing choirs would sing contrasting phrases of music, united by the sound of organs. Artists like Cipriano de Rore, Gioseffo Zarlino, and Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli created great works suited to Venice's unique cultural and religious traditions, and received international acclaim.
The second stop will be the Ospedale della Pieta, the most famous institution for abandoned and unwanted children in Venice. It was for this orphanage that Antonio Vivaldi, employed for many years as the violin teacher for the 'figlie del coro,' wrote a good deal of his music while also writing music for the many opera theaters in town. Here you will see original instruments played by members of the coro and handwritten musical scores by Vivaldi. You will also visit the Church of La Pieta, where the girls (hidden behind tall metal screens) performed their celebrated concerts.
The tour will conclude with a visit to the great opera house, Gran Teatro La Fenice. From the beginning of the 19th century, with composers like Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, La Fenice acquired a European reputation. The premieres of Attila, Rigoletto, La Traviata, and Simon Boccanegra by Guiseppe Verdi all took place here. Maria Callas made her debut here in 1949, and Igor Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress was first performed in 1951.
On January 29th, 1996, for the second time in its history, La Fenice was completely destroyed by arson. It reopened on December 14th, 2003 with an inaugural concert. The first opera performance was La Traviata in November 2004.
This 3-hour tour includes:
- St. Mark's Basilica
- Ospedale della Pieta
- Church of La Pieta
- Gran Teatro La Fenice
Pick-Up/Drop-Off: Your guide will pick you up from your Venice city-centre hotel. The tour will conclude at a point within the city-centre.
Includes: Private expert English-speaking guide for up to 3-hours.
Excludes: Guide Gratuity, Extra Hours, Entrance Fees.
- Modest attire is required – knees and shoulders must be covered.
- Recommended visiting time for St. Mark's is in the morning; however, the Basilica is closed Sunday mornings for services. La Pieta is closed on Mondays.