Walks of Italy

Walks of Italy
Book Tour
View Tours
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 1115 Customer Reviews

Tullia was such a great tour guide. We enjoyed the tour immensely. Thank you Walks of Italy
Matteo was fabulous. Knowledgeable, witty and considerate - a perfect tour leader. We will happily seek out Matteo again when we are next in Venice. Thank you. Diane and Michael
The earpieces are very challenging. The sound quality was fine, but the actual earpiece was very painful for me. You should consider different sizes - the one you had was way too large for my ear, or getting the kind that hang over your ear instead of fit in your ear.

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.

Book Another Tour Now & Save 10%!
(Offer valid on these tours only)
When booking this tour you’ll have the option to add any of the below to your cart.
Book both tours together and save 10% on the second tour.
Offer only valid on listed tours purchased at the same time. Non-transferable.
Venice Food Tour with Markets & Gondola
More Info
Day Trip from Venice to Verona
More Info
Venice Boat Tour
More Info
(No comment)
Tullia was such a great tour guide. We enjoyed the tour immensely. Thank you Walks of Italy
Matteo was fabulous. Knowledgeable, witty and considerate - a perfect tour leader. We will happily seek out Matteo again when we are next in Venice. Thank you. Diane and Michael
(No comment)
(No comment)
The earpieces are very challenging. The sound quality was fine, but the actual earpiece was very painful for me. You should consider different sizes - the one you had was way too large for my ear, or getting the kind that hang over your ear instead of fit in your ear.
Pamela has been absolutely engaging, fun and informative. Venice became alive through her anedoctes and legends about the city, its institutions and people. She was very personable and professional as well making sure that the whole group could follow an easy pace, keeping track of the ones who were a bit more tired and the kids that we had along. She quicly changed someone's headset as she detected some technical issue with it and generally speaking she delivered as great story of the history of such a magic city. Thank you Pamela for your nice welcome!
This was our third tour with Walks. There were four of us, ages 23-68. Our guide was excellent and extremely knowledgeable. The only thing I might change is that the information regarding the government was interesting but somewhat dry. We had expected to see the private apartments of the Doges and I had my daughter, 23, with us who was disappointed and less interested in the government. We did not see that the tour comprised of only the government (and of course, the basilica which was what we expected) and not the more personal aspects of the doges, or we would have chosen something different. On the website, you might want to indicate the focus of each of the Doges Palace tours so people can make a more informed choice. You also might want add some spice anecdotal information/facts to the government tour to liven it up a bit.
This was our first tour in Italy and so happy we started in Venice with Moses! He was wonderful, he spoke very good English and easy to understand and was very knowledgeable, he kept us entertained the whole tour as well! Would definitely do another tour with Moses!
Mosul our guide was fantastic - perfect level of detail and very personable
(No comment)
While the guide was knowledgeable, she was not really enthusiastic and not a good story-teller. We got really bored and realized how a guide with a good story telling ability (like the one we had in the Uffizi tour) makes a big different in a tour.
Sarah was awesome. very energetic and kept things moving!!
Fourth walk with your company, and this was excellent as well. The guide was extremely knowledgeable.
Our guide Donatella was knowledgable and charming, striking a very nice balance between providing facts and "entertaining" with anecdotes. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour and will recommend it to friends & family.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour!! Without the cultural context the guide provided, we certainly would have had a lessened experience at the Basilica and Doge’s Palace. The tour wasn’t rushed, unless you count the march around the people in the general admission queue, and the pace was perfect! 5 stars from Charlotte, NC
(No comment)
Perfect. Mattia was interesting, knowledgeable and funny. My teenage son even loved it! Thank you - I will definitely recommend Walks of Italy to friends!
Our guide, Sarah was amazing. She was very knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. This was well worth it. We wouldn't have learned anything if we did the tour on our own.
(No comment)
Fabulous with lots of ancient history.
We really loved our guide. He was very knowledgeable, and had a great accent which I thought was wonderful. He was respectful of us and the places we were visiting. I highly recommend this tour. It was three hours long, which even in the heat, enjoyable.
Oue guide was fantastic, very knowledgeable and engaging. The only problem was the headsets did not work well. Throughout the tour we all had a hard time hearing with static and a couple of other people seemed to be on our frequency so we could hear them and not our guide. Other than that, very nice.
Very thorough and nice tour. So many groups scheduled at the same time.
Our guide, Iole, was amazing. Really funny and nice. She told us a lot of interesting facts about the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica. 100% recommended
Barbara was a lovely host and we had not only a wonderful food experience but glimpses into the true Venetian culture. Also spent time with new friends over wine and food. Great day.
(No comment)
Pamela spoke very clear English and was easy to understand. She added an extra charm and some humor with little interesting bits of information. I would recommend your company.
We had a fantastic tour! Our guide was both informative and funny! She kept the attention of my husband and myself in addition to both our our teenagers who agreed she was the best guide we had had on our two week trip! We would definitely want to be in her tour group should we return to Venice.
The guide was great
Elena was wonderful. Very friendly, informative and funny. She made sure all questions were answered.
(No comment)
Tour is a little on the long sideline terms of duration - especially considering we had just arrived from the state that morning. All the same though, I am glad we did the tour.
(No comment)
Veronika was terrific and accommodated the children well.
Sarah was absolutely amazing! She has a brilliant knowledge of all things Venetian! She was sweet funny & kind! She answered all questions we had! She’s an asset to Walks
(No comment)
Our tour guide was fantastic! He did an incredible job of giving history and providing critical insights as to the relevance and thematic elements of what we were seeing in the architecture and art in St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace. It was informative and engaging with small touches of humor along the way. One of the best tours we took on our trip!
Tour started on time, excellent tour guide for adults.
Our guide was amazing - keep it up!
(No comment)
(No comment)
Passionate guide providing extensive information about St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and Venice in general. Lole was charming and very enthusiastic guide. Loved her.
We have taken 5 of your walks of Italy tours and have enjoyed each one. Thank You.
(No comment)
(No comment)
(No comment)
(No comment)