VIP Access Secret Passages

Doge’s Palace & St. Mark’s Basilica


3 hrs

running days

Tue, Fri

start time



The most complete tour of both St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, we’ll take you to special access areas not usually open to the public. You’ll explore the Doge’s Palace secret passages and admire incredible mosaics at St. Mark’s Basilica.


The Doge’s Palace secret passages are a sure highlight of this tour, including torture chambers, secret offices, council rooms and even the prison cell where Casanova was held – and escaped!


As well as special access we have privileged entrance at both sites – so you won’t have to wait in line outside. With small groups of 12 people or fewer your adventure will be intimate and your expert, local tour guide easy to hear.

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What's included?

Special access to the Doge’s Palace secret passages (also known as the Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries); privileged, no-wait entrance at the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Square; small groups of 12 people or fewer (although 2 groups may occasionally combine in the secret passages); handpicked Walks tour guide; audio headsets when needed.

The next running date for this tour is in April 2015. Dates for this period will be bookable soon but for visits before this date, consider our Legendary Venice Tour.

Why Choose This Tour?

Discover St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace in the most complete and rewarding way possible. With an expert local guide you’ll embark on an in-depth exploration of what few visitors never get to see. We’re talking, of course, about the Doge’s Palace secret passages, the palace’s hidden labyrinth of secret meeting halls, offices, torture chambers and top-security prison cells!

With special access you’ll see more of the Doge’s Palace than most other visitors.

By exploring the secret passages, you get away from the crowds elsewhere in the Doge’s Palace and walk in the footsteps of Venice’s most colorful characters. Our favorite? Casanova, that legendary romantic – yes, he did exist! As you’ll learn, he deserves all of the lore. Against all odds, he was able to escape his cell here in the palace, a cell you’ll get to see exclusively in the secret passages tour.

As well as hearing Venice’s juiciest stories, a visit to the secret passages means getting to walk through the hidden cells and rooms that the majority of Venetians never even knew about! Exploring the secret rooms, with their antique cabinets and creaky floors, will truly make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

You will also discover the rest of the Doge’s Palace with your expert guide, from the Doge’s own lavish apartments to the Hall of the Great Council. Admire the beautiful and dramatic paintings by Veronese and Tintoretto and explore the magnificent halls that demonstrate the prestige of the Venetian Republic.

Explore the unexpected dark side of St. Mark’s Basilica.

But this isn’t just a Doge’s Palace tour. This is a complete and comprehensive tour of Venice’s two most famous attractions. Your next stop? Stunning St. Mark’s Basilica – one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in the world!

Absolutely enormous, the basilica has 4,000 square meters of mosaic alone. Its history dates back to the 9th century, so there's a lot to explore. Hear the captivating stories of the basilica’s founding (involving a prophecy and a theft), learn of the less-than-honest way in which it acquired its most beautiful artifacts, and explore the church’s countless treasures.

Small groups, special access, local guides. What more could you want?

Throughout your tour you’ll travel in small groups of only 12 people or fewer so you’ll find that your guide is always easy to hear and engage with. Ask all the questions you want – our guides are Venetian locals who spend a lot of time in the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica, so you’ll find it hard to catch them out. They’re passionate about the history and art of Venice and about sharing that passion with you, so they’d love to hear your queries.

With privileged entrance at both sights, we potentially save hours during busy times that would otherwise have been spent in line, while special access allows us to go far beyond the usual visitor experience for an adventure into the Doge’s Palace secret passages.

Leave no stone unturned or door unopened on this complete, comprehensive, and thoroughly VIP exploration of Venice’s two most beautiful sites!

Please note that due to Doge's Palace rules, we cannot accommodate children under 6 years old in the Secret Passages.

Before you travel, please read our important notes about possible disruptions & site entrance requirements here.

Meeting Point: Meets near the Doge's Palace. Ends in St. Mark's Square. Full details provided upon booking.

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Prices for the Whole Family

Our tours aren't one-size-fits all and neither are our prices, which is why infants under 3 travel free and we have special pricing for children, students and seniors - just remember to bring ID on the day of your tour.

Adult: €98
Senior: €94
Child: €74
Student: €94

Private Tour Option Available

To check pricing, running times and dates, enter your details into the form here.

5-star tours, as voted by TripAdvisor users

"We had a fantastic guide, Susan. She knew everything there was to know. The Secret passages are a must to see, and the Basilica is breathtaking. We were late to our tour and the office contacted us and we were able to meet up with the tour. All aspects of the tour were great, from the ease of booking, Susan the guide and the office chasing us up in Venice."

Megan J
Walks of Italy won the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2011, 2012 & 2013 - and we're on track to win in 2014!

Customer Reviews

"Just fabulous. Susan has so much knowledge and passion to share . We can't recommend more."
Jo S.
"The tour was very good, worth doing the secret passages. The guide was very informative. Will use again.".
Mike F

Before you travel, please read our important notes about possible disruptions & site entrance requirements here.

Meeting Point: Meets near the Doge's Palace. Ends in St. Mark's Square. Full details provided upon booking.

check availabilty instantly