San Giorgio Maggiore

San Giorgio Maggiore: Our most recommended tours and activities

Murano, Burano, and Torcello Trip by Motorboat

1. Murano, Burano, and Torcello Trip by Motorboat

Discover the artistic heart of Venice on an unforgettable cruise by motorboat. Get stunning views of the lagoon from the panoramic boat as you cruise towards the islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello. Enjoy an audio guide with a digital map to discover the history and legends of the 3 islands by your self, and take marvelous pictures of Venice and its lagoon. See the 16th-century Benedictine monastery on San Giorgio Maggiore and pass the famous Venice Lido before arriving at Murano. Visit one of the glass-blowing factories of its glass manufacturing industry, known throughout the world for its refined techniques and use of color.  Continue to the neighboring island of Burano and admire the brightly painted fishermen’s houses. See some of the lace products made on the island, and then sail to the sparsely populated island of Torcello, where the estuary was first settled in 452 AD. Admire the mosaics of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, and see the adjacent Church of Santa Fosca as the only reminders of the island glorious past.

Venice: Sunset Cruise by Typical Venetian Boat

2. Venice: Sunset Cruise by Typical Venetian Boat

Enjoy a romantic adventure in Venice and climb aboard a beautiful Venetian boat to cruise around the city as the sun sets. Depart from central Venice and head for the islands of St. Andrea and Vignole. You will then cruise along the Lido, heading towards the quiet islands of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, San Servolo, San Clemente, Le Grazie, Giudecca, and San Giorgio Maggiore. Between Giudecca and San Giorgio you will be served a glass of sparkling Prosecco to sip as you take in breathtaking views of the Salute Church and St. Mark's Square. Watch as the sun descends in the sky and paints the beautiful architecture and waters of the lagoon shades of red, orange, and amber. Return through St. Elena and the Arsenale as your captain tells the history of Venice and its islands.

Venice: San Giorgio Maggiore Island Visit with Video Guide

3. 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.

Venice: Venetian Aperitif on the Lagoon

4. Venice: Venetian Aperitif on the Lagoon

You will begin by boarding a "topa" boat (motor 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. This is not a private tour, as you will share the experience with other guests.

Venice: Off the Beaten Track Private City Tour

5. Venice: Off the Beaten Track Private City Tour

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 local points of interest such as Palazzo Zenobio degli Armeni and San Giorgio Island. Admire local street ar and spot some hidden architectural gems. See and learn about the lesser-known areas of Venice. Let your guide show you hangout spots and historical spots representative of the area.

Venice: Giorgio Cini Foundation and Borges Labyrinth Visit

6. 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.

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 583 reviews

Wonderful experience! The weather was not the best for us, but Tomazzo was communicative with us about the likelihood of the excursion. Once we were on the water, Tomazzo served us Prosecco and told us much about Venetian history and culture. Though the water was choppy from the storm, our spirits were high as he guided us masterfully through the tour. 10/10 recommend.

Excellent guide. Very knowledgeable. We saw parts of Venice and the islands we had never seen before. Very informative and enjoyable. The boat was great plus proseco and soft drinks. Don't miss this. It is well worth it.

Visited all three islands and while Murano was certainly initially a selling exercise there was plenty of time to look around. Burano was great and we had a lovely lunch there. Overall a very enjoyable day.

A well organized visit to the three islands. The only point that can be improved upon is that the tour guide's english commentary.

Amazing trip through Venice and its lagoon. Highly recommended!