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

Highlights

  • - Gain exclusive VIP Access to the secret itineraries of the Doge’s Palace, a hidden labyrinth of secret archives, offices, torture chambers and top-security prison cells.

  • - The only tour in Venice that visits all these sites and explores the backstage of the Doge’s Palace with a small group.

  • - Your expert guide reveals Venice’s dark secrets, fascinating stories, and entertaining anecdotes.

  • - Enjoy skip-the-line access to St. Mark’s Cathedral and admire 4,000 square meters of mosaics in St. Mark’s while you hear the improbable story of its construction and how it came to house all its treasures.

Summary

Explore beyond the usual tourist path, peeking behind the veil into the secret rooms, passages, and chambers used by Venetian dukes in the Doge's Palace.

Tour info

Duration
3 hours
Group Size
15
Pricing (From)
Adult: (15-99 years)
€95.00
Child: (07-14 years)
€89.00
Commentary
English
Meeting Point

Museo Correr, Piazza San Marco, Venice, 30124, IT

Dropoff location

St.Mark's Basilica. , Venice, IT

Why take this tour?

A visit to Venice wouldn’t be the same without delving into its long and fascinating history as the world’s oldest republic. We take you beyond the traditional route, going behind the scenes of the Doge’s Palace to explore the secret archives, offices, torture chambers, and the palace attic, home to top-security prison cells, including that of the famed Casanova!

Discover the Doge’s Palace in the most complete and rewarding way possible: with an expert guide, entertaining anecdotes, and by exploring what 99% of visitors to the Doge’s Palace never get to see. We’re talking, of course, about the secret itineraries, the palace’s hidden labyrinth of secret meeting halls, offices, torture chambers and top-security prison cells!  

By exploring the secret itineraries, you get away from the crowds elsewhere in the Doge’s Palace and walk in the footsteps of Venice’s most colorful characters. Our favorite? Casanova, the legendary brigand (yes, he did exist!). As you’ll learn, he deserves all of the lore: Against all odds, he was able to escape his cell here in the palace, a cell you’ll get to see exclusively in the secret itineraries.

As well as hearing Venice’s juiciest stories, a visit to the secret itineraries means getting to walk through the hidden cells and rooms—parts of the palace that not only most visitors don’t see, but that the vast majority of Venetians in the past never knew about, either! Exploring the secret rooms, with their antique cabinets and creaky floors, will truly make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

You will also discover the rest of the Doge’s Palace with your expert guide, from the Doge’s own lavish apartments to the Hall of the Great Council, where the city’s all-important general assembly made decisions. Admire the beautiful and dramatic paintings by Veronese and Tintoretto and explore the magnificent halls that demonstrate the prestige of the Most Serene Venetian Republic. What the Vatican is to Rome, the Doge's Palace is to Venice: For seven hundred years, the remarkable palace has been the home of not only the Doge, but of Venice’s (independent!) government, courts, and even prisons.  

At the end of your Doge’s Palace Tour, get a comprehensive tour of St. Mark’s Basilica. With access to the group entrance you’ll avoid long general access lines. Here you will get a deep look at the way that Venice built a mercantile empire that once spanned the entire Mediterranean. As you gape at the mosaics and other treasures inside, your expert Venetian guide will explain how the city begged, borrowed, and yes, stole, almost all of them as it grew from a tiny island to one of the biggest powers in the Medieval world. 


Sites Visited: 
  • Casanova’s prison cell
  • Torture chamber
  • Secret archives
  • Hall of the Great Council
  • Courtrooms, the Doges’ Apartments
  • Sala della Scrutinio
  • Palace Armory
  • New Prisons
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • St. Mark’s Basilica 


What’s included?

  • Special access to the Doge’s Palace Secret itineraries

  • Skip-the-Line Tickets to St. Mark’s Basilica

  • Skip-the-line Doge's Palace tickets

  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide

  • Small group of maximum 15 pax

  • Gratuities

  • Hotel Pick-Up/Drop-Off

Things to know

Before you book

  • Due to Doge's Palace regulations, children under the age of 6 are not permitted inside the secret itineraries and therefore cannot take this tour.

  • The prisons and secret itineraries are not wheelchair-accessible, nor is the route suitable for those with walking disabilities or for pregnant women.

  • St. Mark's Basilica can be subject to unforeseen closures due to particular liturgical celebrations. In the case in which the basilica is closed, we will give you explanations from the outside. Also, 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.

  • Tour not suitable for people that are claustrophobic

Before you go

  • Please note that the tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no shows after tour commencement or departure.

  • Please remember that St. Mark's Basilica is a holy place and for your visit there attire must be appropriate: both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees. Your tour guide and sales agent cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress.

  • Backpacks are prohibited inside of St. Mark's Basilica.

  • St. Mark's Basilica can be subject to unforeseen closures due to particular liturgical celebrations. In the case in which the basilica is closed, we will give you explanations from the outside. Also, 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.

  • Tour not suitable for people that are claustrophobic

  • There is no air conditioning in the secret passages, meaning the narrow spaces can get very hot in summer.

  • Photography is not permitted inside St Marks Baslica.

  • All guests (including children) must bring ID on the day of their tour.

Cancellation Policy

    Cancellations received greater than 24 hours prior to tour commencement are fully refundable. Cancellations received within 24 hours of tour commencement are nonrefundable. Amendment requests are subject to availability and price changes. Late arrivals and no shows are nonrefundable. This is applicable to any tour participant that fails to arrive, or arrives after tour departure.

Redemption information

    Mobile tickets will be accepted


    Your voucher will be collected or scanned on redemption

About operator:

Walks (takewalks.com, walksofitaly.com) began over a decade ago (2008, to be exact) in Rome, Italy. We quickly became the premier walking tour company in 7 countries - Italy, Spain, France, the UK, Greece, and Portugal. Our US cities include San Francisco, NYC, Boston, Chicago, and New Orleans.

In 2021, we joined The Hornblower Group (cityexperiences.com) expanding our reach and working alongside this powerhouse travel brand.

Our tour products vary but predominantly we #takewalks, exploring the world by foot - we believe, the best way to get into the heart of a city and its incredible people. From introductory strolls to food tours, day trips, cooking classes, and below the surface, in-depth tours, we have our hand in everything a traveler could want. Oh, and we also like to give our clients exclusive access to the biggest attractions in the world...

Despite the big changes in our brand over the years, our focus has remained simple - to relentlessly create tours with the client experience at the forefront and anchored upon the dedicated, intelligent, and above all, passionate local guides who want to share their cities with you.