Discover the mysteries of the Doge’s Palace in Venice with this secret itineraries tour. Skip the long line and head straight inside to explore the palace’s opulent public chambers adorned with masterpieces of Renaissance art. Learn how the powerful doges ruled the Venetian Republic with an iron fist, and gain rare entry into shadowy quarters of the Piombi attic prison, where Casanova was once locked up. Walk across the famous Bridge of Sighs and wander the dark dungeons of the New Prison network.
Built in the 14th century, the Doge’s Palace was once the governing base of the former Venetian Republic’s powerful rulers, the doges. Meet your guide in St Mark’s Square, and admire the palace’s magnificent Venetian Gothic architecture before heading to the front of the long entry queue. Wander through awe-inspiring public rooms adorned from floor to ceiling with gilded carvings, murals and opulent décor. Your guide will point out Renaissance masterworks by painters Tintoretto and Veronese, including the famous ceiling fresco Juno Bestowing her Gifts on Venice. See the Trial Chambers of the Council of Ten and learn how this room was used to dispatch the fearsome secret service to investigate traitors of the republic. Ascend to the attic and step inside the secretive chambers of the Piombi prison—a network of cells directly beneath the palace’s lead roof that was generally reserved for upper-class inmates and political prisoners. Let your imagination run wild in this part of the palace that is rarely open to the public, and hear how the legendary Venetian lover Casanova was imprisoned here and later made a daring escape. Next, cross the famous Bridge of Sighs into the New Prison complex, built in the 16th century. Wander the harrowing network of cells on your own, and then breathe a sigh of relief as you step back into the open air of St Mark’s Square at the end of your tour. Choose to upgrade your tour with the unique combination of the Secret Itineraries of the Doge’s Palace, usually closed to the general public and the skip the line access to St. Mark’s Basilica, including the terraces. The first part of the tour start at 9am and it combines a guided visit to the Secret Itineraries with a free visit to Doge’s Chambers, assuring you get the most complete tour of the Doge’s Palace. Then you will meet again at 2pm to visit St. Mark's Basilica and its Terraces. The queues here can be long but no worries, we have Skip the Line Access! Your expert guide will take you inside this cavernous space for an extended tour, pointing out mosaics that date all the way back to the 11th century and beautiful artworks. Then it’s up to the second floor for some stolen time inside this busy basilica. The terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica are stunning and worth a visit in their own right, not to mention the incredible views they offer over bustling Piazza San Marco below, the Doge’s Palace and the lagoon.