Join the guided group tour which starts at winged lion column at the Saint Mark’s Square and enter from the large and bright courtyard of Palazzo Ducale, rich in precious marble decorations, going through a narrow door on the ground floor, you’ll find yourself in the Pozzi (wells).
The guide will explain you the places of detention, consisting of small wet cells, barely lit by oil lamps, ventilated only through round holes in thick stone walls and closed in by locked doors with solid bolts. You’ll see the cells and some writings and some drawings on the walls as you can almost imagine and feel despair and the desire for freedom of the prisoners.
Next, through a narrow staircase, you’ll visit the two small rooms of the Ducal Notary and the Deputato alla Segreta, important officers of the institutional machinery. These interconnected rooms lead to a Square Atrium.
The guide will then lead you to a large and beautiful Chamber of the Secret Chancellery, whose walls are lined with cabinets containing public and secret documents relating to the work of most of the Venetian magistrate. Passing through the small room of the Deputy to the Chancellery one comes to the Torture Chamber, also known as the Chamber of Torment; this disturbing place is linked directly with the Prisons. The guide will explain how torture was practiced in Venice and I which century it was abolished.
You’ll continue to the Piombi From the Torture Chamber. These cells were used exclusively for the prisoners of the Council of Ten, either those accused of political crimes, those awaiting sentence or those serving short prison terms. You’ll understand why Piombi is in much better conditions than those in the Pozzi, the terrible cells on the ground floor of the Doge’s Palace.
From the Piombi you pass directly under the roof to the attic located at the corner of the building between the waterfront and canal–side facades. Inside it has cabinets that contain a number of weapons, most of the 16th century. From this attic, two long flights of stairs bring one to the Chamber of the Inquisitors, a much-feared magistrate that was set up in 1539 to protect state secrets.
Finally, after a guided tour inside the secret path of the Doge’s Palace, the guide will escort you to climb aboard on a gondola for a 30-minute punt along the canals of Venice. Be lulled by the gentle sway of the lagoon as you move deeper into the minor canals, and coast past lesser known areas to see quaint corners and majestic palaces from a new perspective.
This two-hour tour will end again at the docks of Grand Canal, it’ll be a hassle free and not overwhelming tour. Share this wonderful experience with the people closet to you and discover this enchanted city with our professional guides.
- What To Expect- Learn the history of the Doge's Palace at the heart of the Venetian Republic
- Discover the city and its picturesque as you glide down small canals and into the larger Grand Canal
- Embark on a 2-hour tour with a professional experienced guide
- What Is Included- Official certified guide
- Radio system to hear the guide
- Skip the Line access to the Doge's Palace
- We guarantee "Skip the Line" even during peak season, except in the event of delays or strikes by the Museum management
- 30 minutes Gondola Ride
- What Is Not Included- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Food and drinks
- Transportation to/from attractions
- Guided tour on gondola
- Know Before You Go- Please note that customers suffering from claustrophobia, vertigo of cardio-respiratory disorders, pregnant women and Children under 6 are not allowed on this tour
- Due to recent safety concerns, some lines to enter the Doge's Palace may occur even for skip-the-line ticket holders
- The tour does not operate in case of exceptional high tide or in case of religious functions or a gondolier strike (in these cases it can be rearranged or refunded)
- Please wear comfortable walking shoes as there is a moderate amount of walking involved
- Please not that your seat is non-negotiable: the gondolier will determine what seat you will sit in according to each guest’s weight
- Please note that this is a shared tour, it is not a private gondola ride
- Please note that the tour requires a minimum number of guests to run
- Please note that if you arrive after the tour start time you will not be able to join and will not be refunded or have your tour rescheduled