In the most comprehensive official excursion into the heart and history of Venice this tour will begin by introducing Piazza San Marco – the most celebrated square in Italy and “the finest drawing room in Europe” as Napoleon called it – and its famous campanile, the clocktower, and the celebrated Venetian caffès, before we step inside the Doge's Palace, the official home of Venice's Chief of State, the Doge, and the seat of power.
The original fortification was built in the 9th century and its evolution as the incredible palace we see today was apparent by the 13th century. It is an architectural wonder in itself, and showcases the extraordinary talents of Sansovino, Titan, Tintoretto, Veronese amongst many other artists and architects.
Guided Tour Doge's Palace - Our Venice tour guides are all highly qualified and speak fluent English.
You will see the Golden Staircase and the Doge's apartments as well as the fabulous institutional rooms where the Venetian nobles gathered to deliberate on the events that helped shape much of European culture. Here, as well, Venice's favoured artist sons glorified the city in enormous paintings framed in 24 carat gold leaf, including Tintoretto's vast 25 metre masterpiece “Paradise”.
We'll cross the Bridge of Sighs and explore the escape-proof stone prisons before re-emerging to enjoy the glorious open courtyard and savour one last glimpse of Sansovino's magnificent “Giant's Staircase”.
rom here we will skip the line and go straight into St Mark's Basilica to marvel at its treasures, including the 8,000 square metres of luminous 24-carat gold mosaics, some dating from the 11th century. Every surface not covered in precious marble is encrusted with the riches accumulated by the Venetian empire over centuries. In pride of place is the priceless Pala d'Oro, only ever turned to face the public on special feast days – we get to see it up close!
We'll finish our tour on the terrace overlooking the piazza to enjoy the view of a lifetime next to the famous Quadriga – four life size bronze horses, copies of the 2,400 year-old originals, which arrived in Venice in 1204 and now safely housed inside the Basilica in this special gallery – we'll see them too!
Guided Tours Venice - Our Venice tour guides are both professional and knowledgeable - enjoy what Venice has to offer to the most!