A Venetian Affaire
St. Mark’s Square – Burano Glass Demo – Murano – Winery Visit – Mask Making – Canal-side and Rooftop Dinners and Drinks – Gondola Ride
Who says you need to wait for the love of your life to visit Venice?!
Join us for a Venetian Affair and discover the most iconic parts of The Floating City as we stroll through age-old bridges, toast glasses of Aperol spritz on the rooftops and the canal-side terraces of aristocratic palazzos, and learn more about the UNESCO-listed city’s past, its classic traditions, and its food and wine.
Highlights: Classic palazzo hotel | Mask making workshop | Winery visit | Afternoon tea at the world’s oldest cafe with St. Mark’s Square views | Rooftop drinks | Canal-side sunsets | Walking tours of iconic spots | Private boat ride | Glass-making workshop in Murano | Colorful houses of Burano
Activity level: Low to moderate, expect to walk around 10,000 steps a day on the uneven surfaces, multiple stairs and cobblestoned streets of Venice.
No single supplements* | 14 spots | Palazzo accommodation
*Prices per person, we pair you with another solo traveler. Or upgrade to have your own room.
- 7 – 11 Sep, 2023 – SOLD OUT
- 2 – 6 Sep, 2024
Take a peek inside our last trip!
Day 1 : Benvenuta a Venezia!
Arrive in Venice on your own time and make your way to the hotel from the airport or train station.
We will provide a travel sheet explaining the options for arrival. Our hotel is a mere 5 minute minute walk from St. Mark’s Square and the vaporetto stop at the Rialto Bridge.
If you have time, explore some of Venice before our Welcome Cocktail reception at the hotel followed by a classic elegant dinner at a Venetian canal-front restaurant.
Inclusions: Welcome reception drinks and canal-side dinner.
Note: In 2023, guests will stay at Ai Reali Hotel.
Hotel Palazzo Vitturi 3.5*
During our 2024 trip, we will stay at the cozy family-owned Palazzo Vitturi, a classic 13th century Venetian palace that used to be owned by the Vitturi family which boasts only 16 spacious rooms that are one of a kind with their fresco ceilings, their juliette balconies and their piazza views.
The hotel is furnished with antique pieces and draped curtains in subtle colors and each room is different on account of its location, size and views. We have picked several piazza view rooms which open to the large Campo Santa Maria Formosa square. Space and views are a rarity in Venice which is why we like the friendly Palazzo Vitturi. Service here is that of visiting family and the staff are always ready to lend a hand.
Day 2 : Classic Venice
Today we will visit the most iconic and popular parts of the City of Canals and understand why it is such a beloved and popular place to visit by the hands of a local female guide.
We will cross several of the bridges (there are well over 400 in the city!) and marvel at the many picturesque and photogenic spots as we learn more about the city’s past.
We will walk past the famous Rialto Market, take a Tragghetto (ferry) to cross the Grand Canal, and visit the city’s most photographed location, St Mark’s Square and Basilica.
Piazza San Marco is the meeting place in Venice and it is dominated by the Basilica of the same name and the Campanile, or Clock Tower, which has become such a symbol of the city.
The entire complex of St. Mark was built between the 14th and 16th centuries and it includes grand buildings, offices, shops, cafes, churches, a clock tower, smaller squares, sculptures and more.
At that time, Venice’s merchant power ruled over much of the Adriatic Sea and it was this prosperity which brought wealth to the city. Along with it came famous artists, sculptors and their patrons.
Lunch will be en route at a local, family-owned, traditional restaurant serving Venetian recipes with a twist. You’ll be able to order freely, but don’t eat too much because we will sit down for a hot chocolate, tea or coffee at the oldest cafe in the world, Caffe Florian.
Caffe Florian opened its doors in 1720 and is housed in the arches of Procuratie Nuove, right on St. Mark’s Square. We will enjoy the views and the vibe of the ancient square, always buzzing with people, as we indulge in a hot chocolate from their wide range of options.
There will be a bit of free time in the afternoon if you want to try your luck at not getting lost in Venice’s labyrinth of canals (highly recommend it!) without using Google maps. If all else fails, just get directions to the Rialto Bridge and find your way from there.
For dinner, we will head to a tucked away cozy restaurant that feels like a real gem for a traditional Venetian dinner.
Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, walking tour of Venice, afternoon tea at Caffe Florian and dinner at a tucked away classic restaurant.
Day 3 : Colorful Murano, Burano and winery lunch
After breakfast at the hotel we will take a ferry or private boat to Murano, the group of 7 colorful islands linked by pedestrian bridges located in the Venice lagoon and best known for their glass blowing tradition.
Murano’s tradition goes back to the end of the 13th century when glassmakers were forced to move out of Venice because of the fear that fire would burn down the wooden city.
Local artisans prospered and exports increased, bringing more wealth to the islands and benefits to the local producers who started marrying off aristocratic Venetian families.
At one point, the island was the main producer of glass in Europe and became famous for its chandeliers. Murano held the monopoly in glass manufacturing in Europe until the 16th century when local producers started to share their glass-making secrets.
Workshops and artisans still exist today and you can buy small items such as beads, wine bottle stoppers, key chains and more, as souvenirs. Make sure they are properly marked as made locally and have the trademark that guarantees their quality.
Female empowerment moment: We will visit the only workshop in town with a female glass blower and learn more about how glass items are made and about her story. Agnese has been blowing glass for over 7 years but remains the only woman in this male-dominated industry.
She will show us a fascinating glass blowing demonstration before we try our hand at blowing our own, under the supervising eye of 4-year glass blowing veteran Giancarlo, her mentor. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to something no other visitor to Murano gets to do. Expect magic to happen.
After the workshop, we will take our private boat to the rainbow island of Burano nearby.
We will have some free time here to take photos and wander before taking the boat over to Venice’s only winery for an introduction and wine-pairing degustation lunch.
Did you know that St. Mark’s Square used to be covered in vines before today’s square and buildings were constructed?
Venice’s wine making history goes back many centuries yet remains a lesser known secret. In truth, most of the vines were killed in the great flood of 1966 and very few survived, but those which did were the basis for a winery that is bringing back this tradition.
Vines grow against all odds on the island and lagoon and manage to survive impossible terrains, salty water and unusual weather conditions making them unique and not comparable to anything you may have tasted before.
We will learn more about this before sitting down for a degustation lunch at Osteria coupled with a wine pairing, bliss!
After lunch, we will walk over the footbridge to Burano, well known for its colorful canal facing houses which are painted in bright colors as per an old color system set by the Government.
You will have free time to wander the streets of Burano before we take our private boat back to Venice enjoying the breeze and the happenings on the lagoon and canals. You will have some free time to shop or wander before we meet again.
In the evening we will join in on a traditional Venetian experience: cicchetti. Similar to the Spanish tapas or pinchos specifically popular in the north of Spain, ciccetti is part of Italy’s aperitivo culture.
We will start with a drink, a small bite (cicchetto) and a brief explanation of the concept of cicchetti at a hub of such bars followed by free time to explore on your own.
We will provide a map and info sheet you will use to pick your next stop and go bar hopping.
Bars are tiny so you may be standing around as you enjoy a drink and small bite then head to the next stop on your own or with a couple of your new found friends.
Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, private boat transfer from Venice to Murano, Murano to Burano and back to Venice. Glass blowing workshop with Agnese. Private degustation and wine pairing lunch, a drink and first cicchetto in the evening.
Day 4 and 5 : Mask making and gondola ride
After breakfast, we will head out to take part in a cool and unique activity that is such an important art of Venice: mask making.
With our expert female mask-maker, we will learn the techniques and skill required to make and decorate one then make our very own to take home, what better souvenir than the one you made!
The workshop we will be visiting in this cultural experience is the one who made the masks for Kubrick’s movie Eyes Wide Shut featuring the then-couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.
Fun fact: Eyes Wide Shut holds the Guinness World Record for the longest continual movie shooting at 15 months.
Masks make an appearance in Venice every winter time during the Carnevale but are on sale year round everywhere in the city.
The tradition dates back several hundreds of years but was outlawed in the 18th century. It returned in 1979 thanks to a Government initiative and today, they are possibly one of the most popular souvenirs to take home along with Murano glass pieces.
Instead of buying one, we will get to make and decorate our own with the guidance of an expert. Your next costume party will have a whole new meaning with your very own mask.
We will enjoy some free time at lunch and then gather for a leisurely and ever so Instagrammable gondola ride along the canals of the city.
Gondolas are narrow flat-bottom boats that fill the canals of Venice and are steered by gondoliers who are often heard singing or playing an instrument for an additional fee.
Historically, they were the main mode of transportation in the city, before boats and vaporettos replaced them, and today they remain a picturesque way to get around key parts of the city, like crossing the Grand Canal, and a favorite activity by visitors.
Female empowerment moment: Gondolas and their gondoliers are another very typical sign in Venice but did you know there is only ONE female gondoliera in the city?
Giorgia has been a gondoliera for 13 years but remains the only female one in the 430 gondola licensees that there are in the city.
She will row us through the canals and then join us for aperitivo so you can ask her any questions you may have and learn more about this ancient tradition.
Our farewell pre-drink sunset drink will be enjoyed at a rooftop bar with views over the Grand Canal. As the sun sets behind the city’s aristocratic buildings, we will reflect on the great time together and the new friendships built and learn more about what it is like being the first and only female gondoliera.
We will have time before dinner to freshen up and will meet again at a canal-side fine dining restaurant for our farewell gourmet dinner with wine pairing.
On day 5, enjoy breakfast at leisure at the hotel and check out in the morning for onward travels.
Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, mask making demo and make your own workshop, gondola ride with female gondoliera, pre-dinner sunset drinks, wine pairing fine dining gourmet dinner.
Choose Your Room
Superior – Shared
Superior rooms face side streets or inside patios and are an upgrade from the entry level room categories. Each room is different but they are all spacious and classically furnished.
Note: The room will have 2 twin beds even if the photo shows a double bed.
3,295 USD per person
Classic – Single
Classic rooms are smaller than the Superior rooms and are comfortable for one person who prefers to have the privacy of having her own room.
3,995 USD per person sharing
Deluxe Piazza View – Shared
Deluxe rooms come with piazza views and small juliette balconies opening to the Campo Santa Maria Formosa. They are larger than the Superior rooms.
Note: The room will have 2 twin beds even if the photo shows a double bed.
3,695 USD per person
Family – Single
Family rooms are larger than classic rooms so they are spacious for one person who looks for privacy.
4,195 USD per person
Suite Piazza View – Shared
Suites have beautiful classic furniture and original fresco ceilings. They are very spacious and come with separate sleeping and lounge areas. The windows open onto the piazza.
Note: The room will have 2 twin beds even if the photo shows a double bed.
3,850 USD per person
Junior Suite Piazza View – Single
The Junior Suite is a spacious room for one person and is decorated with classic furniture and original fresco ceilings. The windows open onto the piazza.
4,395 USD per person
About your Host
Erica Firpo is a travel and lifestyle journalist, and podcaster based in Rome who has also lived in Venice.
Italian and American, Erica gets to the heart of culture in Ciao Bella (ciaobella.co) and contributes her knowledge to the Washington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, BBC Travel, The Guardian, Fathom, and more.
She’s authored over a dozen travel books including Fodor’s, Insight Guides and Lonely Planet, thanks to two decades of deep dive journalism and travel consulting experience.
Erica knows the ins and outs of Italian culture, cuisine and hospitality – from off-beat adventures to luxury stays in 20 regions of Italy, as well as the Southern Mediterranean.
Angie – “Just coming home from the Venice trip. The communication from booking and planning and emails getting ready were very detailed and when I sent an email with a question, response time was generally within 24 hrs which is very good I think. Once I landed in Venice and found my way to the hotel, the itinerary was known and Mar was communicating in our What’sApp group page.
Each day was great and exactly as planned. Meeting the other ladies on the trip was fun and I enjoyed traveling and spending time with new people, I learned so much about solo travel and new areas to visit. Solo Travelers group is great and I definitely recommend them. Mar and Erin, the guides were awesome and made me feel right at home. Some afternoons I spent by myself exploring but mostly I stuck with the group. The hotel and food was amazing! And I plan to follow the ladies I met on social media and stay connected.
If anyone is on the fence on trying this group, just do it! you won’t regret it!!”
Nora – “Had a fabulous time on the Glam Venice trip. Activities were well-chosen and fun, and I appreciated the focus on women-owned and run businesses.
I’d never been on an organized tour of any kind prior to this (I usually travel alone) and I really enjoyed the chance to experience Venice with a fun group of women and great guides.”
✔️ 4 Nights in double or shared twin accommodation at Hotel Palazzo Vitturi in chosen accommodation
✔️ All activities and experiences as mentioned in the itinerary: Mask making demo and workshop, glass making demo, wine tasting, gondola ride, walking tour, afternoon coffee, boat crossing, private boat rides.
✔️ Daily breakfast at the hotel
✔️ Wine pairing lunch at the winery
✔️ Welcome drinks and wine-pairing degustation dinner at canal-side restaurant on day 1 and farewell fine dining dinner with wine pairing on the last evening
✔️ Aperitivo and Cicchetti bite
✔️Wine with meals included
✔️ Transportation to and between all activities in private boat or ferry
✔️ English speaking host
✘ Lunch on Day 2 and 3, additional cicchetti bites
✘ Airport transfers
✘ Visa, if required
✘ Travel & Medical Insurance (Required)
✘ COVID Vaccinations Pre Arrival (Required)
✘ Tips (not expected, at your discretion)
✘ Departure COVID Testing if required, we can help organize
Only 14 Spots Available
From $3,295 USD
- Deposit: 30% to reserve your spot
- Balance payment: Balance due 90 days before departure
*The deposit is refundable if the minimum number of guests is not reached. By joining our trips you agree to our T&C.
The Solo Female Travelers difference – What makes us unique
All our tours follow the same values and philosophy that makes us who we are which you can find here. In Venice, two things set us apart from others: Time spent with pioneering women.
We will do what we do best and learn about Venice through the eyes of pioneering women: the only gondoliera in the city and the only local female glass blower. We will share intimate moments with them and learn more about their craft even getting our hands dirty and trying our luck at glass blowing.
This trip will only host 14 guests so don’t wait; Book now or reach out to us with any questions. Note: Please do not book any flights until the trip is confirmed.
Important: Please reach out to us before booking if you have any dietary requirements. Credit card payments carry a 3% surcharge. Wire transfer details are available via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pick a convenient time and date on the right to talk to us live.
Frequently asked questions
We care deeply about the wellbeing of our guests and our trip follows all local regulations. All COVID requirements and restrictions in Italy have been lifted.
We require guests who develop a cough or cold-like symptoms to use a mask and separate themselves from the rest of the guests. COVID testing is not mandatory though it will be encouraged. Being vaccinated will not be a requirement to join our tours from 1st of January 2024.
The best way to get between cities in Italy is via high speed train. You can book tickets online on www.trenitalia.com.
Payments are not refundable if the trip goes ahead. This is why we require all guests to purchase travel insurance that covers unforeseen circumstances that would prevent them from traveling.
In the event that the trip needs to be postponed for reasons beyond our control such as a global pandemic or COVID after the the 30% deposit is due, any payments made will be put towards a similar trip in the future.
We recommend checking with an aggregator such as Travel Insurance Master to compare quotes and coverage.
Most travelers do not need a visa for Italy. In cases where a Schengen visa is required it will be issued by the Italy embassy in your country of origin.
All inclusions and exclusions are detailed in the section above. This trip is all inclusive except for lunch on days 2 and 3 and additional cicchetti bites on day 3. Alcoholic beverages beyond wine are not included during meals.
This trip requires a medium level of fitness to be able to walk up and down the bridges and streets of Venice, Murano and Burano as there is no other form of transportation in Venice.
Yes, you may book one of the single rooms available under the Book section.
This is a female-only small group trip specifically designed for women traveling on their own. If you wish to travel with a female friend, partner, family member, etc. they are absolutely welcome, however we are not able to book male travelers on this trip.
How wonderful! If your daughter is above the age of 16, we will be glad to have her with us.
Yes, this trip will be hosted by Erica Firpo and all the guides involved in the activities (walking tour, mask making, glass blowing and gondola ride) are also women.
We believe that travel can be a force for good and wherever possible, we work with local and female owned or led travel companies in the country who can help us make a difference and ensure that the tourism dollars benefit local communities.
For this trip, we will be fortunate enough to meet and spend time with Italy’s only female gondoliera and glass blower who will share more about their journeys and the industries in which they work.
We expect the weather to be balmy and warm though not too hot, and also for rain to be rare. A light jacket will be useful in the evenings. You can find our recommended packing list here.
The prospect of getting sick while alone in a foreign country is daunting, and this is why we require all our guests have comprehensive travel and medical insurance that includes international evacuation. Should you fall sick, we will escort you to the nearest medical facility so you can get the help you need.
While the cost of medical healthcare in Italy may be more affordable than in other countries such as the US, travel and medical insurance is mandatory to come on our trips and we recommend you get the most comprehensive coverage that includes international evacuation. We recommend checking with an aggregator such as Travel Insurance Master to compare quotes and coverages.
You can make any payments between the booking deposit and the final amount due on our portal.
Yes, payments made via credit card carry a 3% fee. You can also pay via wire transfer. Please reach out to us for details.