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 1044 Customer Reviews

This was an excellent tour and about the right length. The guide was very knowledgeable and interesting. I would highly recommend the tour.
Earphones need sponge or need to be softwr
The tour was excellent!👍

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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This was an excellent tour and about the right length. The guide was very knowledgeable and interesting. I would highly recommend the tour.
Earphones need sponge or need to be softwr
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The tour was excellent!👍
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The guide was very kind and led the tour in a very passionate and interesting way, with fun too. We appreciated the headset, which allowed you to listen to the guide clearly.
Andrea was excellent. Very knowledgeable and personable. We are glad to have participated in the tour. Thanks.
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Our third walk of Italy tour and we will be taking another Take walks tour in Barcelona on Saturday 16 . Allways professional
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It was a very lovely tour.
I wish I had a chance to see the basilica after the tour, but it closed immediately afterwards. Of course, the basilica's hours are outside your control, but it might be good to include this as a disclaimer for the 2 PM tours.
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Loved our guide !
Monica was well informed, kept to time and made this visit enjoyable
Nicoletta was an excellent tour guide. The lines for group tours were longer than usual which made tour tour run over time. Nicoletta did not stop at 12:00, but continued the tour until its completion around 12:25. That was very kind of her. Thank you!
Mose was an excellent guide. He was entertaining and timed the tour perfectly.
Excellent tour! Pamela was a great guide and we learned so much about St. Mark’s basilica and the Doge’s Palace as well as about Venice!
Our guide was very good and we enjoyed our tour.
Sabrina was a great tour guide... very knowledgeable and her love for the city really showed. Greatly enjoyed!
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We thoroughly enjoyed this tour. We thought our guide was excellent. She was so knowledgeable and friendly. We also thought that the price was very reasonable. The meeting point was easy to find and the quality of the earbuds and radio sets meant that you could hear everything at all times. Thank you so much. We would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Venice.
Our tour guide Moses is simply excellent providing insight into the art and architecture of Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica within the historical context of Venice! And his approachable and easy manner made it possible to ask questions along the way.
Our guide Emanuele was a delight. He was very well informed not only about the history of St. Mark's and Doge's palace but also of Venice, it's people and culture. Compared to most tour guides in Italy, his English was very clear and understandable. He also had a great sense of humor, which can help on a hot day when you're standing in line waiting to enter a site. My only constructive criticism has to do with the headsets used on the tour. Some people find it very difficult to wear the hard plastic "ear buds". There are other styles on the market with soft plastic cups that fit better, are more comfortable and stay put better. That's the only reason for my Event Rating of 4.
Having a knowledgable guide, and not having to queue makes the experience so much better than wandering around with a guidebook.
Guide was very informative- learned so much.
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The guide was on time, gave a great tour with great background, and answered all of our questions. One of the queues was really long and the guide could have cut the tour short but did not, she spent the extra time with us so we would see everything. St. Mark's and the Doge Palace is very crowded, hard to navigate with all of those people and she did a great job. This is our third Walks Tour and we'll be back!
We enjoyed Nicoletta's tour very much. She was an excellent and fun tour guide.
Out tour guide was great. Very informative, happy to answer all questions. Great tour!
Great guide. Knew all the history.
The guide was very knowledgeable and managed some extraordinary clients very well so there was no upset and not too much delay. Thank you.
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We had a great tour. Our guide was very easy to listen too and had lot of really interesting information. We got to see so much and skipping the awful lines was a big bonus. Thanks very much
Matteo has nice manner & personality, enjoyed tour. A new flag & longer pole would be a benefit compared to other tours taken.
We had a very enjoyable tour. Well organized, timely and informative. Would recommend to others.
Pamela was an excellent guide. Cheerful in her manner, enthusiastic about Venice and the history connected with the tour. Good pace of delivery, did not feel rushed. Would book again.
I really enjoyed the tour with Paola she was very informative and also helpful with regards to leaving backpacks in the 2 baggage drop off points for our tour. The tour started and finished on time and we were able to hear and understand her very well.
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Elena was extremely knowledgeable and had very interesting stories to enhance our tour... she was also very personable and made sure we all stayed together.. this certainly helped make our tour memorable!! We can highly recommend your tour and certainly Elena. Thank you!
Adriana was fantastic....knowledgeable and eager to share a lot of information. Keep up the great work
Pamela(guide) was excellent.
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