Walks of Italy

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St. Mark’s & Doge’s Palace

Key Details

  • City: Venice
  • Duration: 3.5 hrs
  • Start Time: 5 pm

Tour Highlights

  • Explore the two most famous sights of Venice in the most exclusive way. Enjoy an evening Doge’s Palace tour (when most visitors have left), then unlock the doors to enter St. Mark’s Basilica after closing time!

  • Visit grand council rooms, the Doge’s apartments and incredible frescos by Veronese & Tintoretto on our Doge’s Palace tour, the enjoy access to areas not usually seen by the public on our exclusive St. Mark’s visit.

  • Throughout your tour you’ll travel in small groups of 15 people or fewer. And since this late entry time at St. Mark’s is exclusive to Walks of Italy, we can guarantee a max of three other groups inside the huge basilica during your visit.

Evening entrance to the Doge's Palace See the Bridge of Sighs from outside Cross the Bridge of Sighs (inside!) Gold mosaic roof tiles, St. Mark's Basilica The Horses of St Mark St. Marks Basilica (photos: www.thetravellingeditor.com) Discover secret nooks at Palazzo Ducale Doge's Palace courtyard & St. Mark's Basilica Doge's Palace courtyard & St. Mark's Basilica

EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION

ENJOY A DOGE’S PALACE TOUR AFTER MOST VISITORS HAVE LEFT.

You’ll start your VIP evening at the Doge's Palace. What the Vatican is to Rome, the Doge's Palace is to Venice. For seven hundred years, this remarkable palace has been the home of not only the Doge (the Duke of Venice), but of Venice’s independent government, courts, and even prisons.

We’ll take you right to the heart of Venice’s power and history on our Doge’s Palace tour, 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 paintings by Veronese and Tintoretto. Learn the secret behind why the painted series of doges is interrupted by a mysterious black veil; 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, with all the weapons you wouldn’t have wanted to face, and the spooky prisons, where you wouldn’t have wanted to end up! Cap it all off with the Bridge of Sighs, which you’ll learn isn’t quite as romantic as you thought.

ENTER ST. MARK’S BASILICA AFTER CLOSING FOR THE MOST EXCLUSIVE VISIT AVAILABLE.

After a short break you’ll continue to St. Mark's Basilica where you’ll get the real treat, and the highlight of our tour. Here you’ll meet an official custodian of the basilica, who will unlock the doors to allow you inside. This VIP access is only available to Walks of Italy, so you’ll see the basilica almost alone!

Enter this stunning space and take a deep breath. You’re seeing the basilica as few visitors will ever see it – as only the Doge himself was allowed to see it – empty! There won’t be any crowding, bustling or shouting during your visit. Just the peace and tranquility with which this basilica, one of the world’s most impressive, should be seen.

There’s no one here to see so we’ll take full advantage of our VIP visit. You’ll visit the Pala d’Oro, a stunning Byzantine altarpiece covered in over 1,900 gems and usually blocked by a very long line. You'll also have a special visit to the crypt, where our custodian friend will unlock the door for you. Above ground get up close to the basilica altar, where your guide will tell you the strange story of how the bones of St. Mark came to rest so far from where they originally lay.

While you’re there, be sure to look up. Night is the best time to admire the basilica’s 43,000 square feet of mosaics, shimmering through the dark.

SMALL GROUPS, EXPERT LOCAL GUIDES & SPECIAL ACCESS – A TRULY VIP EXPERIENCE.

Traveling in small groups of only 15 people or fewer throughout your experience, you’ll find it easy to hear and engage with your guide – and to ask all the questions you can think of. Listen to tales of swashbuckling merchants who fitted the basilica with stolen jewels and precious stones; how it was that Casanova escaped from the Doge’s Palace; and how Venice manage to earn the title of the world’s oldest republic.

On this in-depth, exclusive tour, you won’t just see the two most important sights in Venice; you’ll explore them and by the end of your time with us, understand them. Hand-chosen for their knowledge, enthusiasm and friendliness, our local Venetian guides are the perfect hosts to help you get the most from your Venetian adventure.

Sites visited

  • Private access to St. Mark's Basilica at night
  • Pala d'Oro
  • St. Marks' Basilica Crypt
  • St. Mark's Square
  • Doge's Palace (including the Hall of the Great Council, courtrooms, the Doge's apartments, and Sala della Scrutinio)
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Palace Armory
  • Prisons
  • Bell Tower (outside)
  • The Maricana Library (outside)
  • Torre d'Orologio (outside)

Included

  • Exclusive St. Mark’s Basilica tickets
  • Doge’s Palace tickets
  • Small groups of 15 people or fewer
  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide

Reviews

5-stars from over 273 Customer Reviews

She was amazing and very knowledgeable of all the question that was asked we were so lucky to have a very very nice lady to assist users in every way possible.
Our guide, Andrea, was wonderful!
Pamela was a wonderful guide; so knowledgeable! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her and Walks of Italy.

Important information

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

The prisons and the armory of the Doge's Palace are not wheelchair-accessible.

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.

Please note that there will be a short break (15-30 min) between your visit to the Doge’s Palace and your after-hours visit at St.Mark’s Basilica.

Book Another Tour Now & Save 10%!
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Even 1 month after my trip, this was the most memorable tour experience. I am returning to Venice with my daughter next year and plan to book it again so that she can experience it with me. Excellent guide was very knowledgeable and thorough. The experience of sitting in the dark in St Marks while the lights were slowly turned on and the murals were discussed was amazing.
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She was amazing and very knowledgeable of all the question that was asked we were so lucky to have a very very nice lady to assist users in every way possible.
Our guide, Andrea, was wonderful!
(No comment)
Wow...where do we begin? Our guide, Pamela, was absolutely amazing...Having come from another tour right to ours in the early evening, one would think she would be tired and the length and detail of ours would somehow show in her presentation...never happened...this woman was so invested in her performance, so detailed in her knowledge, so expressive in her vocabulary and had wonderful eye contact with us right till the very end, we will never forget this tour. It was truly worth the cold and windy almost an hour wait in line to get in...they only had ONE guard doing security checks on all of the visitors. Pamela is like ALL the guides we had with you, a true asset to your company and we would recommend you in a heartbeat. Thank you.
Pamela was a wonderful guide; so knowledgeable! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her and Walks of Italy.
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Very knowledgeable and easy to understand tour guide. The time inside the Basillica was well worth it and the effects at night were dramatic.
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Awesome tour!
This was a wonderful tour and our guide Nicoletta was very informative. We enjoyed this tour very much!
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Susan's subject knowledge was exceptional.
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Andrea was pleasant and enthusiastic, and very helpfully answered questions at the end of the tour. I would certainly recommend him as a guide.
Loved everything!
Andrea was fantastic! Loved his enthusiasm. Was very informed, answered all questions, very sociable and perfect English. He made the tour most enjoyable. This was an awesome tour that I will highly recommend. Thank you.
Super tour, really enjoyed it, and our guide Nicola was wonderful.
Wonderful and knowledgeable guide. What a way to start our vacation. Excellent tour that I would recommend to everyone.
Romy was an excellent guide and very knowledgeable. The tour was special indeed. It could've been maybe 1/2 hour shorter... or included something else, perhaps. The break in between was nice and useful. thank you for an excellent tour.
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Very informative! Good group size. I appreciated the use of the headsets to assist hearing the guide’s presentation. I especially like the effect of slowly turning up the lights in St. Mark’s Basilica with quiet time to allow the viewer to take in the magnificent mosaics, flooring and carvings. I had visited St. Mark’s on a previous trip to Venice but saw it during a guided day tour and it was very crowded. The evening tour after the Basilica is closed is such a treat! You can really take time to reflect on the wonders before you without feeling rushed or as if you are in a mob.
What a great tour. Our guide was knowledgeable and passionate the ability to see St Marks at night away from the crowds was worth every penny.
Excellent!
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This was such a special tour to have St. Mark's and Doge's Palace almost to yourself. I can't imagine having to see these sights with hundreds if not thousands of other people in the space. It was a truly awe inspiring sight to see. If anyone has troubles with large crowds do yourself a favor and book this tour. It is well worth the money you spend and a great value. Our tour guide was super informative too and I felt like I was getting a great history lesson in a fun way.
The guide was excellent. She was very passionate about her job. Really explained everything well. Would highly recommend it to my friends.
Romy was an amazing tour guide. She is so passionate about the history and providing information to the participants of the tour that you can’t help getting totally absorbed in it. She is extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. She takes the extra effort to explain things and goes out of her way to answer any questions we May have. The tours themselves were really excellent but it was Romy who made things come alive. We really enjoyed both tours and really are so lucky that we had Romy as our guide.
Susan is an amazing guide. Not just beause of her knowledge but also her delivery. She managed to convey so much in such an intriguing and dramatic way. It was like watching a play unfold. I loved this tour and it was worth every penny.
The guide was fantastic! I'd give her 6 stars if available.
Really enjoyed our after hours tour of St Marks and Doge’s Palace! Guide was extremely knowledgeable and made the tour a great experience. Loved the Bridge of Sighs and seeing the prison. Another highlight was the illumination of St Marks. Highly recommend.
This tour is definitely the only way to see two beautiful/
It was a wonderful tour without the crowds with a great guide Mose. We were in Venice briefly for 2 days and we saw a lot on our tour. The added bonus was the entrance ticket included the other St Mark's Square museum fees such as the Correr Museum which we visited the next day. Our teens really enjoyed the tour besides us adults. The Walks of Italy guides were excellent.
We really enjoyed the tour. It was so beautiful at night, definitely one of the highlights of our trip!
Marina our tour guide was outstanding!!!! She was so knowledgeable and her love of her country and her experience is amazing. Going after hours couldn't be beat. No lines, no waiting in the heat and had the places mostly to this small group of people was amazing. We were not rushed, Marina was able to tell us a lot about the history and those small things that you may have missed on an unguided visit. St. Mark's was truly amazing. When they started turning on the lights in the Basilica to reveal the gold ceiling it was amazing..... I can see why Marina was envious of our experience as it was everyone's first time in the Basilica. I would recommend to anyone. Truly worth the money.
Very knowledgeable guide.
Andrea was passionate and enthusiastic about the subject and very well informed. Made the tour very interesting!
Our guide was so knowledgeable, brilliant, and solicitous. Plus she had a flair for drama that made the tour even more memorable. Thank you!
Marie Therese was an amazing guide! She was clear, informative, and funny! I wish she had been our guide to all of the sights we saw throughout our European travels!
Unique experience in St marks after dark. Totally worth it and our guide was awesome!
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Andrea did a great job! Tour was very informative & Andrea made the history come alive. St Marks was awe inspiring & being in the church after hours was gorgeous. Have loved all of our Walks Tours we booked this trip. Will use them again in the future & recommend them to others.
Our guide Pamela was very knowledgeable and engaging. We especially liked the evening access to avoid crowds.
Great tour, great guide. Highly recommended!
Mirco was one of the best guides we have had during our many travels. His passion for his city, knowledge of history and easy delivery made him very personable and engaging. Truly made the visit so much more interesting. Thank you Mirco!
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"We took a guided tour of the Doge Palace and St. Mark's Basilica and it was fantastic. Susan our tour guide was most knowledgeable and was a pleasant person to tour with. I would highly recommend the tour to anyone who wants to really hear about the history of the buildings."