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    The Doge's Dominion: St. Mark's Basilica and the Palazzo Ducale

The Doge's Dominion: St. Mark's Basilica and the Palazzo Ducale

  • City: Venice
  • Duration: Approximately 3 hours

One of Italy's grandest and most impressive city halls, the Doge?s Palace in Venice is a massive Gothic-Renaissance confection begun in 1309 and rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1577.


The elegant Piazza di San Marco, the political and religious heart of Venice for over 1,000 years, is the starting point for this guided tour. At the eastern end of the spacious piazza is the Basilica of San Marco, built in 1063. With its Byzantine style domes and its stunning golden mosaics, the Basilica is a testament to Venice's historical power as a sea-trading empire, and to its political links with both East and West. Our next stop will be the adjacent Palazzo Ducale, or Doge's Palace, the seat of the Venetian government until Napoleon's conquest in 1797. Today the Doge's Palace houses myriad Renaissance masterpieces, including Tintoretto's Paradiso, one of the largest paintings on canvas ever produced. The Doge's Palace also contains the infamous "Bridge of Sighs," where prisoners took a last, wistful look of Venice before descending to the dank cells below. We will conclude the tour with either a climb up to the Loggia dei Cavalli for a close-up view of the famous equestrian statues, or a visit to the Basilica's stunning gold altarpiece known as the Pala d'Oro.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to changes in the booking policy of the Doge's Palace, this tour no longer includes a visit to the "Secret Itineraries" portion of the Palazzo Ducale.

The Secret Itineraries is available at Select Italy:

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Private Tour
# of People Price
1 - 6 people $318.00 per group
7 - 9 people $322.00 per group
10 people $366.00 per group
11 people $372.00 per group
12 people $378.00 per group
13 people $386.00 per group
Additional Fee
$33.00 per person

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Additional Information

Entrance tickets to Doge's palace and Basilica di San Marco are included. All other tickets must be paid for on location by clients.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to possible conflicting schedules with Sunday Mass the visit to the Saint Mark's Basilica is not guaranteed on Sunday morning.

PLEASE NOTE: You will not be allowed to enter St. Mark's Basilica without proper attire - no shorts or miniskirts; sleeveless shirts or bare shoulders should be covered with a scarf.

Sites Included:

  • Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace)
  • Piazza di San Marco
  • Basilica di San Marco
  • Prisons & Bridge of Sighs
  • Pala d'Oro OR the Loggia dei Cavalli

Please note: Due to the location of the Loggia dei Cavalli, this part of the tour is unfortunately suitable only for those people capable of climbing the many stairs to reach the upper Gallery of the Basilica.

All visitors to the Doge's Palace and Basilica di San Marco must pass through a security line. While you will have advance entrance tickets, there is no way to skip the security line.

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We had a great tour with Monica Bittane of the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica. Monica went above and beyond her assignment and included walking us to the Rialto Bridge and giving directions to the restaurant we had planned for the evening. She was informative and easy to to be with. What a pleasure.

Great guide. On time, knowledgeable, really nice.

Our tour guide Sara was phenomenal. Not only was she highly educated and refined, she is a wine expert! She gave our family an in depth historical explanation of The St. Mark's Basilica and the Palazzo Ducale, allowing our children to ask questions and providing interesting explanations appropriate for their ages (17 and 12). A 10!

Our guide Federica was prompt and professional. She was knowledgeable about the history of Venice and answered all our questions. There was a military parade in St Mark's square the day of our tour and she found out for us what it was commemorating. She loves her city and it was evident in her tour. Two of group had been to Venice before but had not used the services of a tour guide and they commented that they enjoyed Venice much more this time around.

Our tour of the Doge's Dominion was a great way to start our visit to Venice. We felt our guide Patty (Patrizia Bracceschi) was very knowledgeable and her presentation was well prepared. Most importantly Patty has an easy personality which made our time together more enjoyable.

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Book From $192.00 Per person based on 2 people

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