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.
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.
Officlal certified guide
Radio system to hear the guide
Skip the Line access to the Doge's Palace and St. Marks Basilica
Tickets to the treasury, Museum of St Marks and Pala d’Oro
Hotel pick-up and drop off
Food and drinks
Cancel up to 48 hours in advance for a full refund
Confirmation will be received at the time of booking
Children must be accompanied by an adult
Unfortunately, wheelchairs and strollers cannot be accommodated on this tour. All customers must be able to autonomously walk, climb and get off the steps
Photography is not allowed only inside the Cathedral
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
For security reasons sacks, bags or knapsacks are not allowed inside the Basilica
The storage service is free of charge but please allow sufficient time to do so
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