Artisan Experts, Venice*Veneto

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  • To be added to any 3 hour tour (cost for 3 hr tour is € 270)
  • Allow 1 hour, € 70, paid directly to the shop

From Carlo Collodi's beloved book Pinocchio to the famous puppet theaters of Sicily, we are fascinated by the ability of puppets to mimic real life. But where do they come from? Hidden amongst the canals of Venice there is a very special atelier where a real Maestro Geppetto has been creating marionettes for more than 20 years. Join us for a special experience to learn how, from a simple piece of wood, the maestro carves the puppet's body and all the other parts, then shapes the head by a special technique he invented using wood powder, and finally paints and dresses them with the help of his sister, a talented tailor. Next, learn the secrets of movement, as the maestro brings to life his creations, from classic puppets to movie characters to celebrities.

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Today you will explore the top highlights of Venice, the richest part of a city absolutely full of riches. Start at Piazza San Marco, where the Basilica of San Marco makes a stunning golden architectural reliquary for the body of Saint Mark the Evangelist. Next door is the Doge's Palace, the seat of power of the Venetian Republic for centuries – and also where prisoners like Casanova were kept in dark cells. Next walk the back streets of Marco Polo's neighborhood to the Rialto Bridge area, where Venice was first established in the 7th century. Donatella will include La Fenice, the opera house, so that you can experience this very special building which has risen from the ashes like its namesake, the Phoenix. The last hour will be on a beautiful private water taxi so that you can see the palaces and charming side canals form the water. Venture to the eastern edge of Venice to see the Arsenale, where ships were built during the height of Venice's power.