Walks of Italy

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Legendary Venice with St. Mark’s Basilica

Key Details

  • City: Venice
  • Duration: 3hrs
  • Start Time: Times vary.

Tour Highlights

  • 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.
The roof of St. Marks Basilica Starting our tour by the gondolas The Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) The Bridge of Sighs Inside The Bridge of Sighs Touring the oldest parts of the palace Inside the Doge's Palace Doge's Palace with St. Mark's in background Doge's Palace with bell tower Tour with an engaging expert tour guide Painted ceiling panel, Doge's Palace Stairway at the Doge's Palace



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.


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.


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!

Sites visited

  • St. Mark's Basilica
  • St. Mark’s Square
  • Doge’s Palace (general access rooms)
  • New Prisons
  • Bridge of Sighs


  • Skip the line access tickets at St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Skip the line access tickets at the Doge’s Palace
  • Headsets on groups over 6 people
  • Expert, passionate tour guides
  • Small groups of 25 people or fewer


5-stars from over 1340 Customer Reviews

Our guide Marco was excellent. The tour was knowledgeable and was a well-explained history of the basilica and Doge’s palace. Highly recommended.
Really interesting and entertaining tour guide. Thoroughly enjoyed our visit to st Marks basillica and the doges palace.
Very informative trip. Would recommend.

Important information

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

Sometimes this tour runs in reverse order. Guests will still see all the sights in the itinerary, but they will visit the Doge's Palace before St. Mark's Basilica.

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 info@walksofitaly.com.

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.

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We try to schedule walking tours everytime we travel abroad. This was a very thorough tour. It was wonderful to cover so much ground. Francessa made this experience rich. Her knowledge and how easily she shared stories of Venetian history was much appreciated!! We don’t have children but I thought she did a very nice job engaging the young girl with her family on this tour. We plan to recommend this tour to any friends or family that may visit.
Our guide Marco was excellent. The tour was knowledgeable and was a well-explained history of the basilica and Doge’s palace. Highly recommended.
Really interesting and entertaining tour guide. Thoroughly enjoyed our visit to st Marks basillica and the doges palace.
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Very informative trip. Would recommend.
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The guide was very well informed and easy to understand. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and will recommend it to our friends! Thanks so much!
Our guild was excellent and accommodating to our group.
Marco was a fantastic guide!
Wonderful. Terrific guide!!!
Our tour guide Andrea was excellent! He had a wealth of information, as a trained architect, and enhanced the experience enormously! He was also very considerate of all on the tour, and explained everything clearly. It was one of the best tours we’ve been on, and added so much to the experience of these beautiful places. Because Andrea was so good, I will be looking to Walks of Italy for tours in the future. Worth every penny!! Thank you very much!
Mirco was fabulous, so enthusiastic!
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Francesca was a fantastic guide.
Excellent throughout Sabrina very eloquent.
Very knowledgeable guide, wonderful personality. She handled the adversity log the rain and flooding very well. I would give her a very high rating.
Marie was the best tour guide we’ve had while touring Europe! Very knowledgeable, friendly and a wonderful sense of humor. Loved the inside stories about the palaces, occupants and what Venice was like at that time.
Thoroughly enjoyed the walk, the guide was excellent and very friendly and helpful
Mose was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable!
Andrea was the most incredible guide! Insanely knowledgeable, enthusiastic and just an all round lovely person! Me and my friend both learned so much about Venice, it’s history the basilica and Doge’s palace - I’ve recommended this tour to friends coming in February and have told them to try and request Andrea!
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Martina was great and the tour was very interesting.
Excellent tour. Serena was a very knowledgeable and entertaining guide. Walks of Italy worked with us to adjust the day and time of our tour to accommodate changes to our flight times. Thanks very much.
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Our guide was passionate, incredibly knowledgeable, and so much fun! Both St. Mark’s Basilica and Doges Palace are breathtaking and their histories are amazing. This tour was a highlight of my visit to Venice.
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Fantastic tour guide
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Our guide Andrea was knowledgeable, professional, personable and fun. He made the tour interesting and enjoyable.
Paula was an amazing guide. She was very knowledgeable and kept a good pace for everyone. It was clear that she cared if everyone was having a good time. I would recommend it to friends going to Venice. Thank you Paula!
Our tour guide was great. He introduced himself to all of us personally, which we thought was a nice touch considering we were a large group. He was very knowledgeable & spoke excellent English, even teaching us a few Italian phrases along the way. The tour itself was brilliant, it's a great feeling to skip the line, although there were quite a few other groups entering Doge's Palace so we did have to queue for a little while. Would highly recommend to others & take part in another Walks of Italy tour should we visit Italy again in the future. Thank you.
Very crowded in the church but I understand that's not up to you. The guide was excellent.
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Emanuele was an excellent guide. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and proud of Venice.
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We really enjoyed the Legendary Venice tour of the Basilica and Doge's Palace. Mose really brought the buildings to life. We were very happy to be on the tour when we zipped past all the people waiting in line! Also, very cool to be in the basilica during the one hour a day that lights are turned on -- the gold mosaic walls just sparkled. I hadn't even known that the lights were only on for one hour so I appreciated that Walks scheduled their tour to allow us to see it. Highly recommend this as a way to see these two great sights. I thought 3 hours (with a break in the middle for bathroom/quick snack at the Doge's Palace) was pefect.
Josepina was a wonderful guide.
Mose was fantastic. We learned so much. He was informative and fun! You can tell he's passionate about what he does. Thankyou for a great tour!
Guide was great. Knowledgeable, sense of humor and he made the tour delightful. Learned a lot and went back to St. Mark's day before we left.
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We had a wonderful time and enjoyed the restaurant suggestion as well!
Excellent tour, excellent guide
Really enjoyed it and learned such a lot.
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Excellent guide, very helpful and friendly. Highly recommend everyone to take tours with her
Sara was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. She is a great tour guide and made the tour informative and fun.
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