Highlights / General details
Explore the most famous sight in Venice and one of the most magnificent churches in the world without the lines or crowds. A Basilica guard unlocks the doors just for Walks of Italy and its small groups of maximum 15 participants. It’s the ultimate in VIP treatment, and the most exclusive way to visit St. Mark’s Basilica - it will be an experience you will never forget!
Your guide meets you at St. Mark’s Square. Through thrilling anecdotes and swashbuckling stories, learn about the history of Venice and St. Mark’s Basilica—like how it received its precious relics via a 9th-century kidnapping! But then comes the real treat. All of the passersby will wonder where you’re going as a custodian unlocks the basilica’s doors for you and Walks of Italy’s small groups of maximum 15 clients… And walks you right in. Inside, take a deep breath. You’re experiencing St. Mark’s Basilica as almost nobody else does, or ever has ever been able to (aside from the Doge himself)—empty! No standing elbow-to-elbow with other tourists, no seeing the church as if through a strobe light from hundreds of popping flashbulbs, no noise from the crowds. Instead, you’re alone with your guide and the custodian. So you can experience the basilica as it should be experienced: in tranquility and peace. Of course, you’ll also be able to skip all the lines—not only into the basilica, but also to see the Pala d’Oro, the spectacular, Byzantine altarpiece that uses more than 1,900 gems! During the day, there’s a line to see this, but now? You have it almost all to yourself. Since you’re alone in the basilica with Walks of Italy groups only, you can even go where others, visiting during the day, can’t. Like the crypt, which the custodian unlocks for you: This is where the bones of St. Mark are said to actually be kept. Plus, you can see the stained walls here from the past floods that have devastated Venice—the crypt used to be flooded every time the high tide hit the city!
Aside from the emptiness of the basilica, nighttime is the best time to visit because that’s when the mosaics are at their most beautiful. All 43,000 square feet are lit up, glimmering and sparkling in the dark! If just seeing the basilica this way weren’t entrancing enough, there’s also your guide, an expert who’s passionate about Venetian art and history—and about sharing it with you in the most fun way possible. You’ll hear the tale of how St. Mark’s became St. Mark’s, a story that pivots on a kidnapping and a dangerous sea voyage! You’ll learn where the precious marbles decorating St. Mark’s really come from… A one-hour tour that will give you memories which will last a lifetime!
Exclusive after-hours access to St. Mark’s Basilica - Venice’s most famous site.
Feel privileged as a Basilica guard will unlock the doors for you to explore special areas usually missed by visitors (like the Pala d’Oro!).
See the 43,000 square feet of illuminated mosaics; even more breathtaking lit up at night.
Delve into the history of St. Mark’s and of Venice with your enthusiastic, English-speaking guide.
Small groups of only 15 people maximum per guide.
Sites Visited: St. Mark’s Square; St. Mark’s Basilica; The crypt of St. Mark’s; The Pala d’Oro altarpiece.
Exclusive access to St. Mark’s after closing; Expert, English-speaking Walks of Italy tour guide.
Hotel pick-up and drop-off; Gratuities.
Hours of operation
Available on select Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 7:00pm, 7:15pm on select Sundays, and 8:00pm on September 15-16 only.
Approximately 1.5 hours.
Meeting Point: Just outside the entrance of the Correr Museum on Piazza San Marco, 30124, Venice. On St. Mark's square at the opposite side of the Basilica you will find the Correr Museum entrance underneath the portico.
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.
Children 0-2 years of age participate free.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate guests with mobility impairments, wheelchairs or strollers on this tour.
Clients must reach the meeting point 15 minutes before the departure time. No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no shows after tour commencement or departure.
Occasionally St. Mark's Basilica is closed to the public, without previous notice, due to high tides or particular festivities.
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**