Enjoy Skip-the-line to explore two of the most iconic buildings in Venice. Learn the history of the Venetian Republic and discover the masterpieces of art, as you walk the corridors and halls of both the Venetian doges and the St Mark’s Basilica. Drown yourself in the golden mosaics and other treasures as you also walk over the famous Bridge of Sighs.
Join the guided group tour which starts at winged lion column at the Saint Mark's Square and enter from the large and bright courtyard of Palazzo Ducale, rich in precious marble decorations, going through a narrow door on the ground floor, you’ll find yourself in the Pozzi (wells). The guide will explain you the places of detention, consisting of small wet cells, barely lit by oil lamps, ventilated only through round holes in thick stone walls and closed in by locked doors with solid bolts. You’ll see the cells and some writings and some drawings on the walls as you can almost imagine and feel despair and the desire for freedom of the prisoners.
Next, through a narrow staircase, you’ll visit the two small rooms of the Ducal Notary and the Deputato alla Segreta, important officers of the institutional machinery.
These interconnected rooms lead to a Square Atrium.
The guide will then lead you to a large and beautiful Chamber of the Secret Chancellery, whose walls are lined with cabinets containing public and secret documents relating to the work of most of the Venetian magistrate. Passing through the small room of the Deputy to the Chancellery one comes to the Torture Chamber, also known as the Chamber of Torment; this disturbing place is linked directly with the Prisons. The guide will explain how torture was practiced in Venice and I which century it was abolished.
You’ll continue to the Piombi From the Torture Chamber. These cells were used exclusively for the prisoners of the Council of Ten, either those accused of political crimes, those awaiting sentence or those serving short prison terms. You’ll understand why Piombi is in much better conditions than those in the Pozzi, the terrible cells on the ground floor of the Doge’s Palace. From the Piombi you pass directly under the roof to the attic located at the corner of the building between the waterfront and canal–side facades. Inside it has cabinets that contain a number of weapons, most of the 16th century. From this attic, two long flights of stairs bring one to the Chamber of the Inquisitors, a much-feared magistrate that was set up in 1539 to protect state secrets.
Later after being fascinated with the story behind this palace you’ll walk your way to the entrance of the Cathedral, where you’ll Skip-the-line at the entrance. Inside this Golden Basilica, the guide with explains to you the famous fact about the incredible golden mosaics and the masterpieces of Byzantine arts which you’ll be awed! Byzantine arts are a unique artwork in Italy and mosaics are found in the church’s atrium, you’ll have the pleasure to savor beautiful gold mosaics and marble inlays of the floors, while the guide will show you the represented biblical scenes from the Old Testaments, the history and the particularities of this ancient basilica.
The guide will also point out a treasury view which is a splendor of religious art collection among the centuries, where you’ll admire the altarpiece of Pala d’Oro an exquisite example of the Byzantine art with its thousands of gems and precious stones. As you feast your eyes with treasures, the guide will narrate the history of this Byzantine artwork and the story behind each of it.
Later the guide will escort you to the most interesting visit inside the cathedral, to the Museum of St Marks. You’ll have the opportunity to observe the Bacoòoaas’c ceiling and the mosaics up close but also the chance to see the most impressive and magnificent original sculpture of the Horses of St Mark. These gold-plated bronze horses were originally in the Hippodrome of Constantinople and listen to the stories and history of the other artwork and of how the Horses of St. Marks was pillaged during the Fourth Crusade.
This three-and-a-half-hour tour will end at the museum of St. Marks Museum it’ll be a hassle free and not overwhelming tour. Our professional guides will guide you through, a perfect balance between art, architecture, and history.
Piazza San Marco (in front of "Yex" Exchange Office, under the clock tower)