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Legendary Venice: St. Mark Basilica & Doges Palace

Highlights / General details

If you want to submerge yourself in the incredible history of Venice’s once-great maritime empire, our Legendary Venice tour is the perfect excursion for you. We take you on a skip-the-line, special access tours of two of the floating city’s most important buildings: St. Mark’s Cathedral, and the Doge’s Palace. As you explore these jaw-droppings spaces, your expert local guide will bring them to life with the histories and stories of how they were built and the human dramas that played out inside. History buffs and casual visitor alike will love the way this tour brings the stones of Venice to life.

We start in the world-famous St. Mark’s Square, taking a moment to appreciate the space before diving into St. Mark’s Cathedral - 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. You’ll also get special access to the first floor terrace where you can see the famous horses stolen from Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade as well as amazing views over St Mark’s Square and the city.

Next it’s off to the Doge’s Palace, where pre-reserved tickets once again get us past the lines and inside what was the political heart of the empire for hundreds of years. Here you’ll visit the Doge’s own opulent apartments and the Hall of the Great Council where matters of state were decided under beautiful frescoes by Veronese and Tintoretto, You’ll also see the armory and the New Prisons, where you’ll learn about the grim lives of anyone unlucky enough to be taken prisoner. You’ll also find out the secret behind the mysterious black veil that interrupts the official series of Doge’s portraits. Hint: it will make you not want to work in Venetian government.

Finally, you’ll wander over the Bridge of Sighs and learn why this romantic icon is a little more grim than you have probably been taught. Venice is a beautiful city but it doesn’t really come to life until you have an expert, local Venetian guide to show you around and tell you the stories that take you deep into the history and lore of the city. In a small group of no more than 15 people you will have intimate access to your guide and be able to ask them all the questions you want about improbable history of one of the world’s most unique cities.

Sites Visited: St. Mark's Basilica; St. Mark’s Square; Terrace of St. Mark’s Basilica; The H Mark; Doge’s Palace (general access rooms); New Prisons; Bridge of Sighs.

Inclusion

Venice walking tour including local Venetian guide; Skip the line access tickets at St. Mark’s Basilica; Special access to the terraces of St. Mark’s Basilica; Skip the line access tickets at the Doge’s Palace; Headsets when necessary.

Exclusion

Hotel pick-up and drop-off; Gratuities.

Hours of operation

Available Monday at 8:30am and Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 2:00pm. No tour departures on: April 5, 7,14, 16, 19, 28; May 14; June 2; August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29.

Duration

Approximately 3 hours.

Location

Meeting Point: Just outside the entrance of the Correr Museum on Piazza San Marco, 30124 (On St. Mark's square at the opposite side of the Basilica you will find the Correr Museum entrance underneath the portico.).

Additional Information

Please remember that the basilica is a holy place and attire must be appropriate: Both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees. I Need Tours cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress.

Small Group Tour with a minimum of 2 participants, maximum 15 participants.

Participant restrictions

Children 0-2 years of age participate free.

The terrace of St. Mark's Basilica, the prisons and the armory of the Doge's Palace are not wheelchair-accessible, as a result unfortunately we are unable to accommodate guests with mobility impairments, wheelchairs or strollers on this tour.

Policies

Clients must reach the meeting point 15 minutes before the departure time.

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.

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.

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

Complete information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, will be included on your Confirmation Voucher.

**All information requested must be supplied or booking is subject to automatic cancellation**

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