Insider's Guide to Venice

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 446 Reviews

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  • Location:Venice, Italy
  • Duration:85 minutes (approx.)

Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

See the best of Doge's Palace in Venice on a 1.25-hour skip-the-line tour! With a priority-access ticket, you won't waste time standing in line. Walk right past the long queue with your guide, and enjoy a tour that combines the palace's magnificent public rooms with rare access to the Piombi attic prison and the Bridge of Sighs. See Italian Renaissance artwork and learn about the darker deeds of the city's former rulers on this Doge's Palace tour with a difference!
Enjoy personal attention from your expert guide on this group tour, limited to 25 people.


  • 1.25-hour guided Doge's Palace tour with skip-the-line entrance ticket
  • Tour the beautiful public rooms and see Renaissance artwork by Tintoretto and Veronese
  • Learn about the doges of Venice, who ruled the city for a thousand years
  • Enjoy exclusive access to the Piombi attic prison, where Casanova was once held
  • Walk across the Bridge of Sighs to explore the New Prisons

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

See the Bridge of Sighs at Doge's Palace

Your tour begins at St Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), from where you'll stroll over to the elegant Doge’s Palace with your expert guide. Conveniently, your skip-the-line Doge’s Palace tickets offer fast-track entrance, so you'll walk straight past the long lines outside.

Easily Venice's most famous building, Doge’s Palace (or Palazzo Ducalo in Italian) is a mesmerizing example of Venetian Gothic architecture at its finest. Created in the 14th century for the doges of Venice, the rulers of the former Venetian Republic, the palace contains elaborately decorated public rooms alongside darker hidden chambers.

Start your 1.25-hour Doge’s Palace tour by exploring these ornate public rooms, where you'll see how the successive doges made their palace even more impressive with art by 15th-century Italian Renaissance artists. Gaze at Tintoretto's magnificent ceiling frescos, and see Veronese masterpieces such as the Virtues of the Republic. As you walk through the Trial Chambers of the Council of Ten, your guide will point out the vibrant ceiling panel, Juno Bestowing her Gifts on Venice, and the room's dark corner where accusations of treachery were passed to the secret service.

Next, it’s on to the Piombi, the ancient attic prison that traditionally held Venice's upper-class inmates under a lead-cased roof. The Piombi is rarely open to members of the public; enjoy an exclusive walk around these eerie chambers, and see where Casanova, Venice's legendary lover, was cruelly imprisoned.

By the 16th century, the attic prison cells were replaced by the New Prisons, although these horrifying chambers hardly fit the name by today's standards! The New Prisons were joined to Doge’s Palace by the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri), named to signify the prisoners’ sighs as they caught their last glimpse of beautiful Venice. You'll walk across the Bridge of Sighs independently and explore the New Prisons at leisure before your tour ends.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Highly recommend this tour. Excellent guide with right amount of information and humor to keep all age groups interested. Guides are easy to locate pre tour. Would use this tour company again. Maureen

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Elena was so much fun! She was a wonderful storyteller, and was enthusiastic about what she was describing to us. The Secret Tour was a great choice for my family and I. We highly recommend this tour!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Amazing tour! Our guide was so engaging and fun!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Great tour! I believe our tour guide was named Margo and she was the perfect combination of lots of knowledge and inside scoop while having a bit of fun with the group. Not a tour for anyone with mobility issues! Lots of stairs.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This tour was very interesting and informative!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This tour was brilliant! Having access to the cells for both peasants and nobility and the court room was very interesting and our guide was great, full of anecdotes, wit and good humour. The system of earpieces was invaluable with all the winding stairs and passageways so nobody missed out. It was fascinating to see behind the scenes and hear about the Doge.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

The secret itineraries tour was excellent value for money, it was very interesting well organised the guide was very informative we really enjoyed it and would highly recommend.
Cathy and Carl Taylor UK

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Guide was enthusiastic and informative. Everytrhing we hoped the tour would be.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

I was so impressed with this tour. I really enjoyed our guide who was actually filling in for someone else. Unfortunately, I don't remember her name...she normally gives tours in French. She completely held my attention and had so many interesting stories to share. I highly recommend this tour very well done.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Excellent experience. The guide spoke very good english and was a medieval archeologist. We were the only 2 people on the tour. There is no doubt I would do this again. Wish that there was a tour option that would add the regular area of the palace.

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Tour code: 3731DOGES


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