Saint Mark’s Basilica is Venice’s major must-see. As well as Venice’s most important cathedral, it’s simply stunning! But while so many visitors want to see St. Mark’s, few get to enjoy the opportunity to skip the (often long!) lines and experience the basilica intimately… without the crowds.
Which is why, here at Walks of Italy, we’re so excited to announce our VIP St. Mark’s Basilica After Hours Tour, which begins once the church closes its doors for the evening!
On this exclusive experience, one of our enthusiastic, engaging experts guides a small group (with a maximum of just 12 people) through not only the basilica, but centuries of history.
And it all takes place after the church has closed to the general public. Experiencing the church without the crowd is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Plus, it lets visitors look more closely (and in a more relaxed way!) at the intricate mosaics and impressive architecture.
St. Mark’s is home to more than 43,000 square feet of mosaics—each one handmade with 24-karat gold and colored glass. Between the opulence of St. Mark’s Basilica, and the multicultural influences that created its Byzantine style of architecture, fair to say the basilica is a major symbol of Venice’s wealth and importance as a trading city!
On your after-hours experience, you won’t miss the detailed mosaics at the narthex, or church entrance, which is where many of the Old Testament’s most important stories are narrated. Your Walks expert takes you through the stories, exploring just why they were important enough to include—and what they would have meant to the church’s (mostly illiterate) visitors.
Meanwhile, stories of the New Testament are found along the walls, domes and altar of the enormous interior.
Once visitors have gotten a real handle on (and appreciation of!) the gorgeous interior, they finish off the VIP experience with a behind-the-scenes look at the Pala d’Oro, the church’s priceless, bejeweled altarpiece, and St. Mark’s tomb.
The final flourish? A look at the crypt, complete with the marble altar where many Venetians celebrate occasions like weddings and baptisms.
But no Venetian evening is complete without aperitivo (a glass of wine and some snacks). After your tour, relax at a chic, local bar, where we’ve arranged a complimentary aperitivo for you to enjoy, unwind… and ask your guide any last questions!
Here’s where to find out more about our VIP Private Access tour of St. Mark’s Basilica.