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 1230 Customer Reviews

Romy was excellent. Very knowledgeable, and friendly. The tour was interesting and well paced.
Loved it! Loved the stories and the history. Knowledgeable, personable and interesting guide.
Guide was knowledgeable and passionate about her subject as well as being fun and entertaining. Great tour all round!!

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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Romy was excellent. Very knowledgeable, and friendly. The tour was interesting and well paced.
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Loved it! Loved the stories and the history. Knowledgeable, personable and interesting guide.
Guide was knowledgeable and passionate about her subject as well as being fun and entertaining. Great tour all round!!
A very enjoyable afternoon! Sabrina was very knowledgeable and proficient.
Terrific tour and tour guide!
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Laura was a great guide. We enjoyed our tour very much.
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My husband and I enjoyed Tullia and our tour very much. We have used your company on previous vacations and are always pleased. Thank you.
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Marie-Therese was without a doubt the most funny, knowledgeable, and entertaining tour guide we had on our entire Europe trip. She alone made this tour worth so much more than the cost. She answered everyone's questions with a smile and you could feel here palatable love for the historic art of the Doge's Palace. I would sincerely recommend this tour solely because of her.
Marie Therese is fantastic, and she was able to give an amazing experience with a sore throat!
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We took several of your tours during our vacation in Italy. All great, but Marie-Therese was really, really exceptional - the best!
Susan was so knowledgeable, we felt beautifully informed and looked after.
Mosel was fantastic. Great mix of enthusiasm and knowledge. He could be easily understood and made our three hours go quickly, yet we learned a lot about Venice.
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LaVenia (spelling?) was absolutely wonderful. So much knowledge, charismatic, helpful, fun and kind. This was a highlight of our Italy vacation thanks to her guiding this wonderful well-planned tour! Thank Lave!
Marina was the most informative and happy guide. She made the tour a great experience. Thanks Marina
We loved Marie Therese. She was very knowledgeable, passionate and fun! She made our day, we truly enjoyed the tour!!!!
Our tour guide was great and made the experience very enjoyable. She was very knowledgeable and had a great personality. It was so worth it to skip the line since we visited in July.
Great tour that highlights 2 of the most important sites in Venice. Love the skip the line - there is no way I would sit in line for hours for anything. Our guide was very knowledgeable and explained the highlights. Otherwise, I would have no idea what I was looking at.
Amazing tour which was largely down to the tour guide Alessandro. He was so passionate about the history of Venice and certainly knew his stuff - he kept us all together and entertained throughout the tour. I would recommend this to anyone. Thank you Alessandro/
This was an extensive 3 plus hour tour of the Basilica and Doge's Palace. Donatella was our guide and did a wonderful job of explaining both the history of the area as well as the protocol for visiting theses sites. She kept remarkable tract of a fairly large group of us and somehow made it all so pleasant. Would certainly use Italy Walks again.
Tour was very good. Our tour guide Elena was excellent and very knowledgeable. St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s palace are must see places in Venice. Our family would recommend this tour very highly
Outstanding tour; Mose (tour guide) was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot of history as we saw these sites. Skip the Line with a guide is the only way to see these sites in Venice! Two Huge Thumbs Up for the Tour!
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Alessandro was so informative, passionate about history, and so considerate of the group he was guiding. Our experience was so enhanced by his enthusiasm and generosity. Thank you!!
The guide was excellent: he was very knowledgeable, he paced the event very skillfully & made the whole tour very interesting.
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I loved the tour our guide Romy was amazing she told us all sorts of tidbits regarding the Basilica and Palace that you would never find in text books and you can tell she loved what she was doing it made the tour that much more fun. I would highly recommend the tour to others
Elenora was excellent.
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I was very impressed with your office support and the fact that I got fast responses at all hours. Amanda and Diego and another assistant were very helpful, patient and personable when I had lots of questions. I am impressed in your company in general. We will use you again.
Marina was phenomenal
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My family ( 2 adults, 3 teens) recently participated in this tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and the tour itself was very in depth. The tour is 3 hours long, in August, so it was very hot. We did have about a 15 minute break between the Doges palace (2 hours) and St. Marks (1 hour) where we were able to stop by the cafeteria, but you will still want to bring plenty of your own water. I will admit that the teens attention did wander, particular in the palace, but this was through no fault of the tour or the guide. If you are interested in history and the background of Venice then you will love this. I would not recommend for young kids, it's very intensive. We did a morning tour that ended with us being on the chapel roof at noon, when the nearby church bells were ringing and it was pretty cool to see the statues hitting the bells (even the teens were impressed!)
Myself and my wife took this tour. Fantastic tour and very informative. Well worth the money and the fact that we did not have to queue to get into St. Mark's Basilica was a great bonus.
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Sabrina was very knowledgeable and interesting. I would definitely recommend this tour.
Very informative tour! We were able to learn so much and Mose made the tour interesting!
Wonderful tour. Everything is well organized and very informative.
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