Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour & St. Mark's Basilica

449 reviews

3 hrs

Max 20

Why take this tour?

Take a step off the normal tourist path on the Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour: an all-access adventure into the rooms the Venetian dukes tried to hide. Visit Casanova's prison cell, the torture chamber and the secret archives. You'll also explore the best general access areas, finishing your exploration inside St. Mark's Basilica, marveling at jaw-dropping gold mosaics.

Highlights

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    Explore the more impenetrable parts of the Doge's Palace, including torture chambers and interrogation rooms

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    Learn more about the people who passed through this building

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    Acquaint yourself with St. Mark's Basilica and marvel at the treasure trove housed within

Take a walk through hidden torture rooms, cells and council rooms

The Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries tour takes you inside the hidden world of Venetian politics and punishment, so you can learn the stories behind the stones. With your local guide, you'll enter the hidden corridors of this mysterious palace, visiting prison cells, torture chambers and secret council rooms.

You'll start by skipping the entrance line at the Doge's Palace and walking straight in, where a guard will open a special door for you and lead you into an area of the palace that, for hundreds of years, was off-limits to all but the most high ranking of Venice's leaders. You'll explore torture chambers and interrogation rooms, special prison cells for VIPs, secret archives, and the...

Read more

The Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries tour takes you inside the hidden world of Venetian politics and punishment, so you can learn the stories behind the stones. With your local guide, you'll enter the hidden corridors of this mysterious palace, visiting prison cells, torture chambers and secret council rooms.

You'll start by skipping the entrance line at the Doge's Palace and walking straight in, where a guard will open a special door for you and lead you into an area of the palace that, for hundreds of years, was off-limits to all but the most high ranking of Venice's leaders. You'll explore torture chambers and interrogation rooms, special prison cells for VIPs, secret archives, and the offices of some of the men who made Venice a key center of power in Medieval Europe. As you go, you'll learn the stories of the people who passed through this building, including the real-life Giacomo Casanova who, as it turned out, lived up to his reputation and then some. You'll even stop off at the very prison cell where he was imprisoned and from which he escaped.

After going behind the scenes on the Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour, you'll step back into the general access areas for a look at the places where the public business of the empire was conducted. From the opulent Hall of the Great Council, to the tiny footbridge famously known as the 'Bridge of Sighs' (though not for the reason you might think), you'll enjoy a fully-guided tour of the most interesting rooms of the Palazzo Ducale.

Your tour isn't quite over yet, though! After the Doge's Palace, you'll visit Venice's other most popular attraction; St. Mark's Basilica. This masterwork of Byzantine architecture is one of the most famous and unique churches in Italy, and for good reason! It's home to some of Europe's finest mosaics and a literal treasure trove of goods that were, ahem, acquired by Venetians as they sailed the seven seas, including the Pala D'oro altarpiece.

  • Sites Visited
  • Casanova’s prison cell
  • Torture chamber
  • Secret archives
  • Hall of the Great Council
  • Courtrooms
  • Sala della Scrutinio
  • New Prisons
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • St. Mark's Basilica
  • Pala D'oro
  • Tour Includes
  • VIP Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries tickets
  • Skip-the-line Doge's Palace tickets
  • Pre-reserved tickets for St. Mark's Basilica
  • Expert local guide
This tour meets in St. Mark's Square.
Are you ready to step inside?
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Latest Reviews

Marie-Therese was just right. Smart, funny, knowledgable.

We couldn't make our tour on 9/14 because our flight from Rome was delayed 1 1/2 hours, and one of our bags was lost which took a lot of time to report etc. I called your office to report that from the dock in Venice as we were getting into a water taxi. It was a stressful time. I called you later that day and asked if we could take the tour on the next day Sunday and was allowed to do that. I can't tell you how grateful I was for your kindness and understanding of our situation. Thank you SO much, I will use your tour company again and refer others to use you also. Grazie Mille!! Mrs. Gail Poppert


FAQ

Are the Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Wheelchair accessible?
No, unfortunatley they are not. But tours to general-access areas are.
What can I bring with me on this tour?
St. Mark's Basilica has very tight rules about what you can and cannot bring inside. Anything bigger than a purse - including backpacks or luggage - is NOT allowed inside the Basilica. There is no coat check either, so do not bring any bags larger than a purse with you.
Does this tour run when it rains?
This tour runs rain or shine. However, occasionally St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace are closed to the public, without previous notice, due to high tides or particular festivities. In these cases we endeavor to contact customers as soon as possible to arrange a suitable alternative.
Can I bring children on the Secret Itineraries Tour?
Children under the age of 6 are not allowed to visit the Secret Itineraries of the Doges palace, so unfortunately they cannot take this tour.
Does St. Mark's Basilica have a dress code?
Yes. Because it is a holy place, St. Mark's Basilica insists that both men and women wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. They can and will refuse entry to anyone who does not meet this standard and we can't do anything about it, so come prepared.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible?
No. Unfortunately, due to site restrictions we cannot accommodate wheelchairs on this tour. If you use a wheelchair and book this tour by accident, we are happy to offer you credit for a future tour that is wheelchair accessible anywhere in the world, or a full refund.
Can I take a bag with me into St. Mark's Basilica?
You can only take small bags into St. Mark's. Anything bigger than a purse - backpacks or luggage - is prohibited. There is no coat check either, so do not bring any large bags with you.