Bovolo staircase & Ospedaletto Complex: guided tour of Venetian hidden treasures with tastings

Duration: approx. 2 hours 

Location: Venice


Why choose this experience?

1 Because you will have exclusive access to Scala del Bovolo and Complesso dell'Ospedaletto: the two places will be open only on this fascinating tour!
2 To admire the incomparable views of Venice from the top of Scala del Bovolo and discover the hidden treasures of one of the most important hospitals in the Serenissima accompanied by an expert local tour guide
3 Because it includes two food and wine tastings in a traditional Venetian bar

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Choose your time

This tour has been already booked by 10 people

Important information


from 1 April to 31 October
From 9 August to 1 September the tour will not be available due Venice Art Biennale).

Departure point:

Campo Manin, in front of the statue.

Departure time

Wednesday, Friday
4.30 pm

Languages available



Full: €69.00

Children up to 5 years: free

approx. 2 hours
  • Guided visit
  • Exclusive access to the Bovolo staircase
  • Exclusive access to the Ospedaletto complex
  • 2 glasses of wine and 2 cicchetti
  • What is not specified under "Inclusions"
Additional information:

Before booking, please be advised that it is compulsory to print a paper copy of the voucher issued at the end of the online reservation and bring it with you the day of the tour.

No credit or refunds will be given in the case of a NO SHOW (if you don't show up at the meeting point at the time indicated on your voucher).

Please arrive at the meeting point at least 15 minutes before the tour departure time. At the tour departure point you will meet a representative who will check your vouchers and give you information to do the tour.

This is a collective tour, which means there might be other participants going on the tour with you.

Please note that, due to the particular morphological structure of Venice and the logistic problems resulting from it, we cannot guarantee that the whole tour is accessible to people with walking difficulties. Unfortunately, this tour is not suitable for people in a wheelchair.

It is recommended you wear comfortable shoes.

The tour will take place even in the event of rain.

In exceptional cases and/or reasons of force majeure (i.e. acts of nature, strikes, exceptional closures,serious unexpected events or health problems experienced by the person in charge with the service after which it is really impossible to find a substitute) the service you booked might be cancelled. If this should happen, you will be informed as soon as possible and, according to the type of service you booked, you will have the possibility to choose between postponing the service on the first date available or receiving a total refund of the price paid, if the cancellation policy of the service itself allows a refund.

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Full description

If you are looking for unusual tours in Venice, this original guided tour of Scala del Bovolo and Complesso dell'Ospedaletto is perfect for you!

This exclusive walking tour in the evening will give you access to some of the most intriguing places in Venice, beyond the normal opening hours to the public, to fully enjoy the age-old atmosphere.

In addition to a pleasant guided walk, this tour includes two extraordinary visits: Bovolo staircase in Venice (Italy), famous for its peculiar spiral shape, and Complesso dell'Ospedaletto, where you can admire the Church of Santa Maria dei Derelitti, Sala della Musica, Cortile delle Quadttro Stagioni and Scala Sardi. To conclude this fascinating experience in the best way possible, at the end of the guided tour you will enjoy a tasting of local cicchetti and wines in a typical bar of the historical centre.

Our assistant will wait for you in Campo Manin, right in the heart of Venice... From here, you will head for the narrow calletta where the splendid Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo is located. The tour includes exclusive access to the building for participants of the tour: enjoy an intimate and exclusive visit, without the presence of normal visitors.

The visit of Contarini del Bovolo Staircase with a guide will be the first stop in this exciting evening tour. It is famous for being a whirling spiral staircase – hence bovolo, which means snail in Venetian dialect, and eventually went on to distinguish the branch of the Contarini family that resided in the building. The staircase climbs up the façade of this historic Venetian palace.

La Scala del Bovolo features spiral arches that combine elements of Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance style. During the climb the guide will entertain you with stories and anecdotes about the stairs and the palace... After having climbed up the 80 steps a unique panorama will open up before you, sweeping over the rooftops, bell towers and domes of Venice! In addition to the Bovolo Staircase guided tour in the evening, the tour includes the Sala del Tintoretto of Palazzo Contarini, which houses a precious collection of sculptures and paintings.

After the Scala del Bovolo of Venice, Italy, the tour will continue through unusual and fascinating alleys of the historic center of Venice in the direction of Complesso dell'Ospedaletto. Even here you can benefit from an exclusive entrance: the complex is in fact usually closed to the public and will open its doors just for you, on this exciting visit of the Ospedaltto in Venice. You can visit the Music Hall of the Ospedaletto, the Church of Santa Maria dei Derelitti, the Scala dei Sardi and the Cortile delle Quattro Stagioni accompanied by our passionate tour guide.

The 'Ospedaletti' or 'Ospizi' were the oldest institution that provided shelter for the elderly, widows, orphans and destitute of the Serenissima. The Hospital of Santa Maria dei Derelitti (commonly called Ospedaletto) was one of the most important in the city, built around 1517 near Campo SS. John and Paul. Starting from 1575, with the construction of the church dedicated to Santa Maria dei Derelitti, that saw the great Andrea Palladio also collaborate on the project, began the period of greatest splendor of the structure that, thanks to numerous legacies and various jobs, slowly began to take on the aspect that still distinguishes it today.

During the Derelitti Church in Venice guided tour, whose Baroque façade bears the name of Baldassare Longhena, you can admire works by great artists, including Giovan Battista Tiepolo, Giovan Battista Piazzetta and Giuseppe Cherubini.

The Complesso dell'Ospedaletto has also become famous thanks to the choir of the putte –the term for girls in Venetian dialect - who, in terms of skill, managed to rival even with the Coro della Pietà directed by Antonio Vivaldi. Given the great fame of the choir in 1777 the Sala della Musica was built, intended to carry out functions of representation and entertainment. Our visit to the Ospedaletto, Venice, will also include this hall, designed by the architect Francesco Patron and equipped with perfect acoustics thanks to its peculiar elliptical shape; it was decorated by two of the greatest Venetian artists of the eighteenth century, Jacopo Guaranà and Agostino Mengozzi Colonna.

After the tour of Chiesa dell’Ospedaletto and Sala della Musica, you will move into the charming Cortile delle Quattro Stagioni designed by Baldassare Longhena to give some green space to the girls who were part of the famous choir. In the new wing of the complex you can admire the original Scala Sardi, the work of the homonymous architect who for many years dedicated himself to the restructuring of the hospital's factories. The scale, with an elliptical shape, incorporates the classic Palladian motif of the oval shape reworked in Baroque style.

At the end of the visit to the Church of Santa Maria dei Derelitti, Venice, Sala della Musica and Cortile delle Quattro Stagioni, the guide will take you to a typical bar for a tasting of wine and Venetian cicchetti.

Scala del Bovolo & Ospedaletto Complex: a guided tour of unique charm, which will allow you to get in touch with the hidden treasures of Venice and to enjoy the magical atmosphere of the past thanks to the limited number of participants who can take part in the tour.

© Insidecom Tour Operator
(authorization no. 62027 dated 09/07/12 with determination no. 2052/2012)
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