Join the guided group tour which starts at winged lion column at the Saint Mark’s Square and enters 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 in 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.
Later after being fascinated with the story behind this palace, you’ll walk your way to the entrance of the Cathedral, where you’ll Skip-the-line at the entrance. Inside this Golden Basilica, the guide with explains to you the famous fact about the incredible golden mosaics and the masterpieces of Byzantine arts which you’ll be awed! Byzantine arts are a unique artwork in Italy and mosaics are found in the church’s atrium, you’ll have the pleasure to savor beautiful gold mosaics and marble inlays of the floors, while the guide will show you the represented biblical scenes from the Old Testaments, the history and the particularities of this ancient basilica.
The guide will also point out a treasury view which is a splendor of religious art collection among the centuries, where you’ll admire the altarpiece of Pala d’Oro an exquisite example of the Byzantine art with its thousands of gems and precious stones. As you feast your eyes with treasures, the guide will narrate the history of this Byzantine artwork and the story behind each of it.
Later the guide will escort you to the most interesting visit inside the cathedral, to the Museum of St Marks. You’ll have the opportunity to observe the Bacoòoaas’c ceiling and the mosaics up close but also the chance to see the most impressive and magnificent original sculpture of the Horses of St Mark. These gold-plated bronze horses were originally in the Hippodrome of Constantinople and listen to the stories and history of the other artwork and of how the Horses of St. Marks was pillaged during the Fourth Crusade.
This three-and-a-half-hour tour will end at the museum of St. Marks Museum it’ll be a hassle free and not overwhelming tour. Our professional guides will guide you through, a perfect balance between art, architecture, and history.
- What To Expect- Embark on a 3.5-hour tour with a professional experienced and Skip the lines to enter the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica without delay
- Pass through impressive halls where the doges ruled the Most Serene Republic of Venice
- Admire the golden mosaics and other treasures of St. Mark’s Basilica
- What Is Included- Official certified guide
- Radio system to hear the guide
- Tickets and Reservations to Doge's Palace and St. Marks Basilica
- Skip the Line access to the Doge's Palace and St. Marks Basilica
- We guarantee "Skip the Line" even during peak season, except in the event of delays or strikes by the Museum & Cathedral management
- What Is Not Included- Food and drinks
- Transportation to/from attractions
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Know Before You Go- 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 (in these cases it can be rearranged or refunded)
- Please wear comfortable walking shoes as there is a moderate amount of walking involved
- Please wear clothes that cover your shoulders and are knee-length to access St Mark’s Basilica, otherwise you might not be allowed in
- 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
- Subject to favourable weather conditions. If cancelled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund
- There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements, in the event of this occurring you will be offered an alternative or full refund
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers