- City: Venice
- Duration: 3hrs
- Start Time: Times vary.
Our most complete half-day Venice tour, Legendary Venice combines the top two sights of Venice for an insight into the history, art and architecture of Venice.
Enjoy a St. Mark’s Basilica tour plus the Doge’s Palace, where you’ll see prisons, apartments, courtrooms & incredible art: With skip the line access you'll have more time inside.
- Traveling in small groups of 25 with an expert guide passionate about the art & history of Venice, your experience will be fun and engaging.
EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION
SPECIAL ACCESS TOUR OF ST MARK'S BASILICA WITH TERRACE ACCESS.
Meeting in St. Mark’s Square we’ll take a few moments to appreciate this incredible space before using our pre-reserved entrance tickets to enter the Basilica. Absolutely enormous, the Basilica has 43,000 square feet of mosaic alone! Its history, which dates back to the 9th century, is just as hard to get your mind around. But there’s no understanding Venice without understanding St. Mark’s Basilica.
On our St. Mark’s Basilica tour, your guide will take you far beyond the guidebook to really understand St. Mark’s Basilica and Venice as a whole. Hear the swashbuckling tale of the basilica’s founding (a story that involves an angelic prophecy and a bold theft!) and explore the church’s countless treasures. One such treasure is the bronze horses, which you will see up close during your special access visit to the balcony. With this access, your guide will also have an opportunity to speak with you inside the basilica too (not usually afforded to groups), using their time on the balcony to help you really appreciate the ceiling mosaics up close.
The cherry on top comes as you walk outside onto the terraces themselves. From here you'll witness the most beautiful views in all of Venice, over St Mark's Square and past the Doge's Palace down into the lagoon.
UNEARTH SECRET TALES OF POWER AND CORRUPTION AT THE DOGE’S PALACE – PLUS SOME INCREDIBLE ART!
St. Mark’s Basilica is only the tip of the iceberg though. The Doge’s Palace was the real heart of the Republic of Venice – home to the duke, the government, torture chambers, prisons and so much more. Our Doge’s Palace tours show you the best, telling you stories of scandal and politics that you won’t believe (but you should, we’d never lie to you.)
We’ll skip the line here, too, taking you right to the heart of Venice’s power and history, from the Doge’s own lavish apartments to the Hall of the Great Council, where the city’s all-important general assembly made decisions before beautiful frescoes by Veronese and Tintoretto. Learn the secret behind why the painted series of doges is interrupted by a mysterious black veil (hint: it has to do with a beheading); discover just what the Doge really did, who he was and why you might not want the job yourself.
You’ll also get to explore the massive armory as part of your Doge’s Palace tour, and the so-called ‘New Prisons’ where your guide will teach you about the grim life of a Venetian prisoner. You’ll cap it all off with the Bridge of Sighs, which you’ll learn isn’t quite as romantic as you thought. But a bridge that connects interrogation rooms to prison cells will be that way.
PRIVILEGED ENTRANCE, SMALL GROUPS AND EXPERT GUIDES – FOR A TOUR TO REMEMBER.
In order to do justice to these incredible sites, we’ve kept our group sizes to only 25 people or fewer. You’ll have headsets throughout your tour, so you’ll be able to hear your guide clearly, engage with them and ask all the questions you want – a good thing too since they’re some of the best in the business.
We’ve spent years building the best team of guides, chosen for their knowledge, enthusiasm and friendliness. We know how important your guide is to the quality of your tour, so we only work with those who are passionate about sharing their passion for the history, art and stories of Venice with you.
For the best, most enjoyable and informative way to see the top sights of Venice, take a walk with us on our Legendary Venice Tour. It’s three hours, two top sites, and dozens of tales you’ll be retelling forever!
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Before you travel, please read our important notes about possible disruptions & site entrance requirements
The terrace of St. Mark's Basilica, the prisons and the armory of the Doge's Palace are not wheelchair-accessible, as a result of which we cannot accommodate wheelchairs on this tour. For those interested in wheelchair friendly tours in Venice, please contact our Customer Care team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Mark's Basilica can be subject to unforeseen closures due to particular liturgical celebrations. In the case in which the basilica is closed, we will give you explanations from the outside.
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. Walks of Italy cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress. Backpacks are prohibited inside of St. Mark's Basilica.
This tour runs rain or shine. However, occasionally St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace are closed to the public, without previous notice, due to high tides or particular festivities. In these cases we endeavor to contact customers as soon as possible to arrange a suitable alternative.
Between November 3rd and March 31st, there is no skip the line access to St. Mark's Basilica. The good news is that lines at this time of year are almost always minimal. There is still skip the line access to the Doge's Palace during this period.
(Offer valid on these tours only)
Book both tours together and save 10% on the second tour.
Offer only valid on listed tours purchased at the same time. Non-transferable.