Best of Venice Walking Tour: Doge's Palace, Saint Mark's Basilica and Terrace
- Expert commentary from your local guide offering you captivating stories about the history and culture of Venice
- Admire the Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge and Marco Polo's house
- Visit the Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs
- Skip the long lines to the St. Mark's Basilica and its terraces
This walking tour gives insight on Venice’s history and culture with a thorough overview of all the city’s landmarks, from picturesque piazzas to its most famous sights. You’ll have the chance to go beyond the typical Venetian itinerary and discover the heart of the famous Floating City. This is the perfect tour for travellers who only have a short time to spend in Venice but who want to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s fascinating history, culture and architecture.
This tour starts at one of Venice’s must-see sights, the Rialto Bridge. Find your way through the winding streets with your guide; go over the tiny bridges of Venice as your group delves into the heart of the city. You’ll visit Marco Polo’s house and hear about the Venetian son who went to sea and came back with stories of China and a world in the East that few had ever seen. You’ll see the lively piazzas of Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo and Campo Santa Maria Formosa, where Byzantine influences, Renaissance buildings and modern structures tell the eclectic story of how the city developed.
You’ll see the Bridge of Sighs on your way to the final and most impressive stop - named after the prisoners that walked its length on their way to cells across the canal. As they took their last look at beautiful Venice they couldn’t help but sigh. After marveling over St. Mark’s Square (pronounced the “finest drawing room in all of Europe” by Napoleon), you’ll skip the long lines into St. Mark’s Basilica. Marvel at the diversity of Venetian culture as your guide points out the spots where eastern architecture and western design have blended to create a structure with an onion dome that could only have been made in Venice. With less time waiting outside we’ll have more time to admire the beautiful frescoes inside the basilica, before stealing some extra time with a climb up to St. Mark’s famous terraces. Rarely included on guided tours, the terraces offer beautiful views over the piazza, photo opportunities and some downtime to soak up everything you have learned on your guided tour.
The tour of this palace visits all the best sights open to the public. Marvel over ceilings frescoed by Tintoretto to show Justice presenting herself to the Doge while you think of all the feet that have shuffled on the tiles you stand on – ambassadors waited nervously in this very spot for an audience with the Doge in the Hall of Four Doors. Then are the plenty flattering pieces produced on request of the masters of the time – ‘Virtues of the Republic’ in the Council Room was Veronese’s rosy outlook on the state of his nation while ‘The Triumph of Venice’ in the Senate Hall was where Tintoretto paid his dues on a high ceiling.
In the Chamber of the Council of Ten, you’ll admire Veronese’s ‘Juno Bestowing her Gifts on Venice’ and your guide will point you in the direction of a dark corner, overpowered by the vibrant masterpiece. This unassuming slot was where friends and foes brutally accused each other of evil doings – warranted or not – accusations that were investigated and acted on with frightening brutality.
- Expert, English-speaking tour guide
- Small groups of 20 people or less
- Headsets when appropriate, so you can always hear your guide
- Skip-the-line access to St. Mark's Basilica
- Entrance ticket to the terraces of St. Mark's Basilica
- Skip-the-line access and entrance ticket to the Doge's Palace (1 hour tour)
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off
- Children 0-3 years old: free of charge
- Children 4-14 years old: reduced
S. Marco, 5536, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
In front of the bronze statue of a man (Carlo Goldoni) in Campo S. Bortolomio (a.k.a. Campo san Bórtolo and Campo San Bartolomeo), near the San Marco side of the Rialto Bridge.
- Maximum 20 people per group
- St. Mark's Basilica is subject to closure without notice. When this occurs, we are happy to offer customers an extended tour of the basilica and St. Mark’s Square from outside. While we undertake to tell tour groups ahead of time if there are any planned disruptions to basilica opening hours, this is not always possible and in these cases, we are unable to provide refunds or discounts
- This tour is, unfortunately, unable to accommodate guests with wheelchairs or any impairments requiring special assistance
- Strollers or baby carriages are not allowed on this tour
- Photography is permitted throughout most of the tour; however, photography is prohibited in St. Mark’s Basilica
- Some sites visited lack shade and can be hot under direct sunlight. We recommend bringing a hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water in warm weather. Please note that many sections of the Doge’s Palace are not air-conditioned
- Strollers or baby carriages are not allowed on this tour
- This tour involves a fair amount of walking, and there are a number of steep steps on the terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica. Comfortable shoes are recommended
Departure time for all running days except Sunday:
- Meeting time: 08:45 am
- Departure time: 09:00 am
Departure time for Sundays only:
- Meeting time: 01:15 pm
- Departure time: 01:30 pm
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