- Expert English-speaking local guide
- Priority access guided visit of St. Mark’s Basilica
- Priority access guided tour of the Doge’s Palace
- Small group – maximum 16 participants
An unforgettable experience: two landmarks who together make up the heart of Venice. Explore St. Mark’s Basilica, a priceless treasure of golden mosaics and then visit the majestic Doge’s palace embellished by the most famous Renaissance Italian painters.
3.5 hours, total duration varies
Meet your expert local guide and begin this incredible journey through history, legend and art to discover two of the most famous landmarks in Venice: The Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica.
Begin in Piazza San Marco with a short guided visit inside St. Mark’s Basilica, one of the symbols of Venice. Hear the life story of St. Mark the Evangelist and the fascinating tale of how his sacred remains were stolen from Alexandria and smuggled back to Venice, now protected inside the Basilica. You’ll also learn about another symbol of Venice: The winged lion representing St. Mark who according to legend was visited in a dream by an angel in the form of a winged lion while he sought refuge from a storm. Suddenly you will understand why there are so many artistic representations of the Venetian Lion. Continue your guided visit admiring the interior and the golden domes while hearing fascinating anecdotes about the Byzantine style basilica.
Your guide will lead the way to the cathedral museum and panoramic terrace where you can admire the stunning view on Saint Mark’s square, often referred to as “Europe’s living room”, thanks to the elegant palazzos and stylish people who gather here everyday in this spectacular square. View the city from a completely different point of view as your guide shares the fascinating story of the horse statues on the top of the cathedral.
After a short break, our next stop will be the Doge’s Palace. As supreme authority of the Venetian Republic, the Doge resided and ruled from this ornate palazzo built in 1340 AD. With an expert guide by your side, you will learn the history of this fascinating palazzo, walk along its winding hallways, take in the magnificent courtyards and enjoy the heart stopping view over the Venetian Lagoon. You’ll also hear of the dark heart of Venice as you visit the underground prisons and hear the tales of their unfortunate occupants. Walk a mile in their shoes and cross the famous “Bridge of Sighs” where many prisoners caught their last glimpse of the outside world before meeting their tragic fate.