This was my second trip to Venice with Riviera. The weather was lovely and warm and, despite the unexpected flooding, I really enjoyed the trip. The Tour Manager, Michele, was excellent - nothing was too much trouble for her and she was always calm, efficient and very caring. The city guide, Piero, was brilliant and the two walking tours with him were excellent for his knowledge of the city's history and its buildings. The hotel, The Principle, is ideally located in an area near to the station, with bars, restaurants and shops and with a terrace overlooking the Grand Canal. The flooding created massive problems for the hotel, with the ground floor being flooded but the staff were fantastic, working all night to ensure that the hotel was fully operational by the time guests were ready for breakfast that morning. The Venetian Cicchetti and wine walking tour by night experience was also excellent. Francesco, our guide for the evening, provided an interesting talk of the local history as she guided us along the alleys around the market area. The variety of the food and wine at each of the osterias we visited was very good and most enjoyable.
This was a most enjoyable trip despite having to buy plastic knee high boots to wade through the high water levels on the day of the flood.
Review by: Margaret Butcher on 28/10/2018
Venice was an excellent holiday,though only five days it seemed longer as we packed so much in. We had visited St Marks square before but this trip allowed us to miss the queues at both the Basilica and the Palace, which was excellent. What we both liked was the time you had to walk around the many quieter really interesting areas of Venice. Can recommend the Academy and the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa del Frari. Piero the italian guide led two really interesting walks, no time to be bored with him. The trip to Murano was also a highlight, in a holiday of highlights. The Hotel is in a great location for exploration and the yellow signs for the railway allow you to get intentionally lost but soon find your way back Finally Tom the Tour Guide was excellent.
Review by: Paul Chapman on 21/09/2018
What a wonderful city to visit so much to see and the weather was very hot. I would like to thank our tour rep Wendy who was very helpful and pleasant and also the guide that took us on our walking tour and was very knowledgeable and answered all questions. It was lovely to be able to have the afternoons free to do and go where we wanted, we used the afternoons to explore the canals and buildings (and to get lost a couple of times) would recommend this tour to anyone who has never visited Venice.
Review by: Maureen freeman on 10/09/2018
Lovely city break. Hotel well located and comfortable with good choice at breakfast. The guided walks with Pietro were interesting. A good introduction to the city. The tour was efficiently run by Julia. Chose not to go on the included trip to Murano to have more time to explore, so next time maybe!
Review by: Diane on 02/09/2018
What a fantastic tour. Norman our guide was superb. Nothing was too much for him. Personal touches by him added enormous value to this already outstanding trip. We would most definitely use Riveria again. Thanks again Norman.
Review by: P Cowans on 27/05/2018
We both loved this tour - Stella our Tour Guide was quietly knowledgeable and helpful and
Piero our Italian guide also .The hotel's location was excellent and after long busy sightseeing days it was great relaxing with a drink on the terrace providing the best views of all the life and bustle on the Grand Canal and I feel I really know Venice now.
Review by: Anne and Roger Taylor on 15/04/2018
My husband and I voted this the best of our trips with Riviera. The weather was beautiful, the Tour Manager, Stella was the best - so organised and knowledgable and her calm and efficient way of managing such a large group made us feel confident and relaxed and it was hard really to realise there were 49 of us. The walking tours were excellent - but not for the faint hearted. Thankfully we had Vox audio systems, but I really do think these walking tours are not suitable for anyone with mobility problems. There are are a lot of bridges to cross - therefore a lot of up and down steps. The free time gave so much opportunity for exploring and we had taken a book of Venice Walks - we have left a number of them for next time! We chose to buy a vaporetto 3 day pass and we certainly used it to full advantage - we walked a lot but ‘rested’ on the vaporetto to begin another walk. The hotel Principe is in a fabulous location - Cannaregio is such an interesting location and we wandered off and saw much more of the daily life of the locals. All went really well with flights and transfers and I cannot think of a single fault with this holiday.
Review by: Judith on 15/04/2018
We have just returned from VENICE, another really enjoyable and interesting trip to a fabulous European destination. Again Riviera have delivered everything we wanted and more. Michelle, our tour manager was quite excellent and calmly and professionally dealt with all the problems that arose. The city guide was quite brilliant and brought the city and its history to life on two very comphrensive walking tours. Our return flight was cancelled due to a air traffic controllers strike and alternative arrangements were quickly put in place and we were relieved of any unnecessary anxiety. We are now busy choosing our next trip and delighted to see that the range of options has now been extended. Well done Riviera.
Review by: Ken on 04/03/2018
My wife and I are usually independent travellers but have always fancied a trip to Venice. Your advert in the Telegraph, Venice – Classic and Undiscovered described exactly what we wanted. Your service, through the internet from our initial enquiry and culminating in the receipt of the Travel Documents, was excellent.
The two morning walking tours led by Carlos, an erudite Venetian, were exceptional particularly that through the Jewish quarter with his description of its growth and development. Both these tours gave us an ideal introduction for our own exploration later each day. On the first of these we used the museum pass included in the tour package for entry to the Doges Palace. After visiting St. Mark’s Basilica which is magnificent on that quiet January afternoon wandering through the Doges Palace was an unforgettable experience from the Grand Hall to the Bridge of Sighs and the prison cells.
On the third morning it was a boat trip with Norman, the tour manager as guide, across the lagoon to the island of Murano, famous as the home of Venetian glass. The glass works and the huge display of glass jewellery and ornamental glass ware was impressive and the pretty quiet atmosphere of the island and its church made it a memorable trip.
Every element of the tour was excellent- the Hotel Principe, our first floor room overlooking the main street and the ample breakfasts each morning, the tours each day, the extra gondola trip and the museum pass. Norman as tour manager and guide was an ever present element, from him taking the trouble to introduce himself to us before we left the plane in Venice and in the gentle way he organised the start of every tour and then was an integral member of the group. He guided us expertly whether on foot, coach or boat. A real Irish gem!
Review by: Derek Robinson on 21/01/2018
Venice - Another very enjoyable holiday (3rd) under the stewardship of Riviera Travel. The flight from Manchester was early morning so little time for sleep the night before, considering travel to the airport, parking and booking/security procedures. This was tiring later in the day, but enabled us to have extra time in Venice on the first day. Pickup and transfers were efficient throughout, and the location of the hotel on the edge of the Grand Canal was ideal and there were numerous restaurants, bars and shops nearby. All the tours started early morning (8.45am), and finished about lunchtime giving free time to wander and explore in the afternoons. The tours were well organised and pre booked and this enable us to bypass the inevitable entry queues in this very popular tourist destination. There is a lot of walking and steps, due to the areas historic nature: this can present a bit of a challenge for people who find mobility a problem. The tour as a whole was balanced and well organised. It managed to give a real flavour of the city, both from the tourist side and the quieter areas. The photography opportunities were endless. We are looking forward to travelling with the company again next year or possibly sooner.
Review by: John Watts on 10/07/2017
We were so fortunate to have the help of the Tour Manager during our stay. Julia was such a charming and energetic lady full of helpful tips as to how to get the most from our time in Venice . I am late in sending this as we were extremely busy on our return from the holiday and I wasn’t too sure how to get back to you. Julia was always calm, good humoured and extremely helpful to anyone who needed her. If all your managers are of the same excellence I doubt we shall ever travel with any other company.
With kind regards
Review by: Sheila Harvey on 08/05/2017
Our first visit to Venice and we were with my dad who is 90 and not very quick nowadays as he needs a rest if walking too far.
The boarding and security processes at Manchester were chaotic, it took 2 hours to go through both, we managed to have some breakfast before we flew. On arrival in Venice the staff saw my dad's walking stick and immediately took us through the quick line. The luggage took a while but finally we met Norman our tour rep. A coach trip then a boat to the hotel.
The hotel was lovely with light rooms and plenty of space. Breakfast was a good choice but unfortunately the toaster did not work.
On the Monday morning we met our guide Pirerro. He had a time schedule and did not take into account the pace of all the party and my dad was soon left a long way behind. Norman was very good and stepped in to show my dad and husband a short cut to St Mark's Square.
After the visit to the Jewish Quarters on Tuesday we left the the party and went our own way to see the Rialto Bridge and the Doges' Palace and the Prison. We used the water buses, that had been recommended by Norman on the way to the hotel, to get around.
Our final trip on Wednesday was to Murano, a small island, to see the glass being made. It was very interesting and we bought quite a few gifts there for family and also Christmas.
Our return flight saw more consideration for my elderly dad and we went through a fast channel.
Norman was very good at advising which places to eat and which to avoid based on the experiences of previous holiday makers. The two restaurants we chose were marvellous and the staff very friendly.
Manchester Airport parking was easy to use and a good price.
I would recommend this holiday but bear in mind there is a lot of walking and what slowed my dad most was all the bridges, over 400 in Venice and some of them were quite steep to accommodate the size of the boats.
Review by: Corinne Stacey on 04/06/2017
Venice was remarkable. We never really got used to no traffic noise, no cars, no lorries, no buses - just boats and water buses.
The hotel was wonderfully located for the water buses and the affordable restaurants. For 3 nights we actually ate and ate well at a restaurant 7 paces from the hotel's front door.
Our highlights were the Doge's Palace and the island of Burano. We had heard of the Palace but were amazed at the ornateness of it . Few tourists too. Burano and its vibrantly coloured houses was a great surprise and a very pleasant luncheon spot.
We would have appreciated a sitting break on the first and second morning's tours that involved a lot of walking and standing.
But overall a very enjoyable holiday
Review by: Steve and Margaret on 01/05/2017
My husband and I have today returned from The Tour of Venice - Classic & Undiscoved. We absolutely loved it. The Hotel Principe couldn't have been in a better position right on The Grand Canal. The Hotel was good. The staff were charming and the breakfasts offered multiple choices to suit all tastes. We ate on the terrace a couple nights and had good food in a great location. This holiday wasnt ideal for me as I have mobility problems, but I didn't miss out. I avoided the walking tours but didn't feel that I have missed out as I still got to see Venice, mostly via the Vaporetto's. our tour Rep, Michelle, was fantastic. A real asset to your company. She was friendly, informative and very caring. She could see I struggled with walking and went out of her way to assist me at the airport by arranging for me to have wheelchair assistance. This proved invaluable to me and saved me a lot of pain. Both my husband & I thought she was great. This is our third trip with Riviera and would definitely recommend you to others. Thank you for a great holiday.
Review by: Elizabeth Heighway on 28/05/2017
We are just back from Venice having spent time being looked after by the wonderful Valerie.
Just wanted you to know she is an absolute treasure, we were the youngest in the group and no matter what age you were, everyone loved her. she went above and beyond the call of duty making sure everyone avoided being ripped off and she even organised dinner in the evenings to ensure we all ate well at a good price. Her local knowledge is amazing and she has the answer to everything you could ask. She actually escorted us round the whole of the walking tours with Peter (he was wonderful too) making sure no stragglers got lost. All the locals love her too and believe me she knows everyone!
The hotel was great, the staff were lovely, air conditioning being switched on would have been a bonus but that was the only disappointment as the temperature reached 21c which broke records since 1985.
Everything went smoothly from leaving Edinburgh to arrival at the hotel, luggage all taken care of, have never been on a holiday that well organised.Venice did not disappoint and we didn't miss a thing all thanks to Valerie, she is quite a character and you are lucky to have her.
Review by: Kay & Frank McFadyen on 04/04/2017
Having just returned from a very good trip to Venice I thought you would like to know how much I enjoyed it. The organisation was superb and our tour guide Valerie was quite exceptional. She explained everything , was always available to help and answer questions and everything went according to plan at all times. A thoroughly good holiday and I will certainly come with Riviera Travel again.
Review by: Margaret Gerring on 03/04/2017
Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed our Venice trip. Everything went really smoothly and was organised for us so very well. The Hotel Principe is great place, beautifully clean room, tasty breakfast, and we liked it's location.
Nichola our tour manager was brilliant and the walking tours were fascinating.
What a great holiday. Thanks Riviera, we'll be booking with you again soon.
Review by: Jerry Braker on 19/03/2017
Have just returned from our trip to Venice and had a wonderful time. I had been before many years ago, but it was a first for my husband. We have travelled with Riviera before and this time was every bit as good as our previous experiences. Everything went smoothly from the time we landed at the airport. It was good to have the mornings organised and then the rest of the day and evenings free to do what we liked. The guide for our walking tours was excellent. The trip to Murano was very good despite the foggy conditions to get there. Norman made the holiday very enjoyable - he's a treasure. We shall certainly be going with Riviera again.
Review by: Pamela Woodward on 29/01/2017