Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour & St. Mark's Basilica

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A visit to Venice wouldn’t be the same without delving into its long and fascinating history as the world’s oldest republic. We take you beyond the traditional route, going behind the scenes of the Doge’s Palace to explore the secret archives, offices, torture chambers, and the palace attic, home to top-security prison cells, including that of the famed Casanova!

Our guide to Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour & St. Mark's Basilica

Discover the Doge’s Palace in the most complete and rewarding way possible: with an expert guide, entertaining anecdotes, and by exploring what 99% of visitors to the Doge’s Palace never get to see. We’re talking, of course, about the secret itineraries, the palace’s hidden labyrinth of secret meeting halls, offices, torture chambers and top-security prison cells!  

By exploring the secret itineraries, you get away from the crowds elsewhere in the Doge’s Palace and walk in the footsteps of Venice’s most colorful characters. Our favorite? Casanova, the legendary brigand (yes, he did exist!). As you’ll learn, he deserves all of the lore: Against all odds, he was able to escape his cell here in the palace, a cell you’ll get to see exclusively in the secret itineraries.

As well as hearing Venice’s juiciest stories, a visit to the secret itineraries means getting to walk through the hidden cells and rooms—parts of the palace that not only most visitors don’t see, but that the vast majority of Venetians in the past never knew about, either! Exploring the secret rooms, with their antique cabinets and creaky floors, will truly make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

You will also discover the rest of the Doge’s Palace with your expert guide, from the Doge’s own lavish apartments to the Hall of the Great Council, where the city’s all-important general assembly made decisions. Admire the beautiful and dramatic paintings by Veronese and Tintoretto and explore the magnificent halls that demonstrate the prestige of the Most Serene Venetian Republic. What the Vatican is to Rome, the Doge's Palace is to Venice: For seven hundred years, the remarkable palace has been the home of not only the Doge, but of Venice’s (independent!) government, courts, and even prisons.  

At the end of your Doge’s Palace Tour, get a comprehensive tour of St. Mark’s Basilica. With access to the group entrance you’ll avoid long general access lines. Here, you will get a deep look at the way that Venice built a mercantile empire that once spanned the entire Mediterranean. As you gape at the mosaics and other treasures inside, your expert Venetian guide will explain how the city begged, borrowed, and yes, stole, almost all of them as it grew from a tiny island to one of the biggest powers in the Medieval world. 

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions for Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour & St. Mark's Basilica

  • Please note: Due to Doge's Palace regulations, children under the age of 7 are not permitted inside the secret itineraries and therefore cannot take this tour.
  • You will receive a voucher for this experience. Please read it thoroughly.
  • Itinerary subject to change without notice.
  • Gratuities to guides are appreciated but never obligatory. 
  • Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
  • Please note that the tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no shows after tour commencement or departure.
  • This tour has a maximum capacity of 20 guests.
  • The prisons and secret itineraries are not wheelchair-accessible, nor is the route suitable for those with walking disabilities or for pregnant women. 
  • Please remember that St. Mark's Basilica is a holy place and for your visit there attire must be appropriate: both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees. Your tour guide and sales agent cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress.
  • Backpacks are prohibited inside of St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Cancellation Policy: A full refund will be given on cancellations made more than 72 hours prior to tour commencement. Cancellations received within 72 hours prior to the tour are non-refundable. We will, however, do our best to reschedule you for another tour. Please note, this is subject to availability and price changes.
  • Tours depart precisely at the scheduled tour start time. If you show up late or cannot find the meeting point, for any reason, refund requests are not honoured per policy. For most tours, it is not logistically possible to join the group after it has started.

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