Walks of Italy

Walks of Italy

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VIP Secret Passages Tour
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Key Details

  • City: Venice
  • Duration: 2.5hrs
  • Start Time: 12.45PM

Tour Highlights

  • The most complete tour of the Doge’s Palace, we’ll take you to special access areas not usually open to the public – including Casanova’s prison cell!

  • You’ll see torture chambers, secret offices & secret passages, then visit general access areas of Palazzo Ducale to admire stunning artworks by Veronese & Tintoretto.

  • Traveling in small groups of max 12 people throughout, your journey through the secret underbelly of the palace will be intimate, while privileged access means you won’t queue at all.

Admire architecture at the Doge's Palace Doge's Palace courtyard & St. Mark's Basilica Doge's Palace courtyard & St. Mark's Basilica Doge's Palace courtyard & St. Mark's Basilica Painted roof panel, Doge's Palace Inside The Bridge of Sighs Inside The Bridge of Sighs The (not so) New Prisons Discover secret nooks at Palazzo Ducale Statues at the Doge's Palace Palazzo Ducale a.k.a. the Doge's Palace The Bridge of Sighs Meet in central Venice

EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION

Visit the New Prisons on our Secret Passages Tour

WITH SPECIAL ACCESS YOU’LL SEE MORE OF THE DOGE’S PALACE THAN MOST OTHER VISITORS.

You’ll meet your guide near the Doge’s Palace and head straight inside (no waiting in line for us) where a palace guard will unlock a secret door, allowing you to step into the hidden world of political Venice. Navigate the hidden prison cells reserved for VIP prisoners, torture chambers, secret government archives and top echelon offices. Even back in the day most Venetians didn’t know this space existed, so it’s hard to measure just how privileged our secret passages tour is. With their antique cabinets and creaky floors these rooms will truly make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

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.

Painted ceiling panel at the Doge's Palace

SEE SECRET PASSAGES AND STUNNING BALLROOMS AT PALAZZO DUCALE.

Few visitors ever have the opportunity to walk the passages you’ve just walked yet still the Doge’s Palace is one of the top sights of Venice. See what all the fuss is about when you step back into general access areas of the palace to explore the waiting rooms, council halls and ballrooms of the palace. While our secret passages tour is full of dark secrets and hidden rooms, the general access part of this tour is all pomp and grandeur – visiting some of Venice’s finest works of art.

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

Small groups on our Doge's Palace Secret Passages Tour

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, 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, we save time waiting 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 the history and art of Venice!

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

Sites visited

  • Casanova’s prison cell
  • Torture chamber
  • Secret archives
  • Hall of the Great Council
  • Courtrooms, the Doges’ Apartments
  • Sala della Scrutinio
  • Palace Armory
  • New Prisons
  • Bridge of Sighs

Included

  • Special access to the Doge’s Palace Secret Passages
  • Tickets & reservation fees
  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide
  • Small groups of 12 or fewer
  • Headsets

Reviews

5-stars from over 18 Customer Reviews

Really nice tour. Informative guides who seem enthusiastic. Lots of great information.
Marco was our guide
This tour was a highlight of Venice. Susan, our guide was spectacular, full of information that was presented in a very interesting and easy to follow manner. Highly recommended!
This tour is a must do...Marco is just brilliant with his delivery and knowledge
Marco was fabulous. Extremely knowledgeable and engaging, with just the right touch of humor. We would highly recommend him and this tour. We took the tour on a very crowded day, and were able to enjoy a very private experience without a lot of people around us.
Marco was a great guide, full of good humor which made learning so much enjoyable.
Just fabulous. Susan has so much knowledge and passion to share . We can't recommend more
Loved our guide and we had a wonderful tour. The best!
The tour was very good, worth doing the secret passages. The guide was very informative. Will use again.

Important information

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

Please note that the Doge's Apartments are currently closed for an exhibition and are not expected to re-open until late July (date not yet confirmed).

Due to Doge's Palace regulations, children under the age of 6 are not permitted inside the secret passages and therefore cannot take this tour.

The prisons and secret passages are not wheelchair-accessible, nor is the route suitable for those with walking disabilities or for pregnant women. Please contact us at info@walksofitaly.com if you have walking disabilities or if you are in a wheelchair to discuss alternative tours.

Book Another Tour Now & Save 10%!
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I enjoyed both tours and found the audio system to work really well. Mose did a particularly good job on the VIP Access Tour in Venice. I must have asked him six or seven questions and he always had an answer. His knowledge of art history and ability to tell stories were very impressive. The boat tour was also interesting, as the guide shared a good perspective of a person native to the city. If I have a chance to visit other cities in Italy, I will likely contact this company again.
Freddy was our guide and she was fabulous. She gave us an insight in to daily life in Venice that we would otherwise not have known. Loved the walk around the markets and Freddy showed us the 'quieter' areas of Venice. All magic. Doge's Palace seemed to drag a little - but it is such a massive area and has so much to show that I truly cannot think of what could have been removed from this part of the tour. The less touristy parts of Venice were the most memorable and we send our heartfelt thanks to Freddy for explaining what life is like for a true Venetian
Really nice tour. Informative guides who seem enthusiastic. Lots of great information.
Marco was our guide
This tour was a highlight of Venice. Susan, our guide was spectacular, full of information that was presented in a very interesting and easy to follow manner. Highly recommended!
This tour is a must do...Marco is just brilliant with his delivery and knowledge
Marco was fabulous. Extremely knowledgeable and engaging, with just the right touch of humor. We would highly recommend him and this tour. We took the tour on a very crowded day, and were able to enjoy a very private experience without a lot of people around us.
Marco was a great guide, full of good humor which made learning so much enjoyable.
Just fabulous. Susan has so much knowledge and passion to share . We can't recommend more
Loved our guide and we had a wonderful tour. The best!
The tour was very good, worth doing the secret passages. The guide was very informative. Will use again.
We really enjoyed all of our tours. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and the tours were very interesting.
We toured with 4 different companies while in Italy, and Walks of Italy was by far our favorite. Wonderful, smart guides who are easy to interact with and make learning fun. Unfortunately we missed our last tour in Venice because we mixed up the days. We were SO disappointed. We called Walks of Italy and they gave a full refund, minus the price of the museum tickets. Very kind of them. Unfortunately we did not receive a phone call when we were late to the tour because we would have been able to arrive late... but, overall, it was our fault for mixing up the dates. Thanks for a great time, Walks of Italy. We hope to return very soon.
We took the morning walking tour with Mose and an afternoon tour VIP dodge palace & St Marks I don't remember his name. both guides were fantastic and were the highlights of our trip to Venice.
Susan was fantastic. She knew everything there was to know. We were late for the tour and the office contacted and we were able to meet up with the tour. It was a fantastic experience and very worthwhile. Thanks
Very good!
This was an amazing tour. Our guide Sara was so knowledgable & was able to answer every question we had.We learned so many interesting facts that weren't in any of our tour books.
This was a VERY good tour and I would recommend it to anyone. The small group size and 'secret' areas visited make it well worth the money. Mose is a terrific guide.