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4.5 star rating: Recommended 451 Reviews

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

Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

Discover the mysteries of the Doge’s Palace in Venice with this secret itineraries tour. Skip the long line and head straight inside to explore the palace’s opulent public chambers adorned with masterpieces of Renaissance art. Learn how the powerful doges ruled the Venetian Republic with an iron fist, and gain rare entry into shadowy quarters of the Piombi attic prison, where Casanova was once locked up. Walk across the famous Bridge of Sighs and wander the dark dungeons of the New Prison network.

Highlights

  • 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

Built in the 14th century, the Doge’s Palace was once the governing base of the former Venetian Republic’s powerful rulers, the doges. Meet your guide in St Mark’s Square, and admire the palace’s magnificent Venetian Gothic architecture before heading to the front of the long entry queue. 

Wander through awe-inspiring public rooms adorned from floor to ceiling with gilded carvings, murals and opulent décor. Your guide will point out Renaissance masterworks by painters Tintoretto and Veronese, including the famous ceiling fresco Juno Bestowing her Gifts on Venice. See the Trial Chambers of the Council of Ten and learn how this room was used to dispatch the fearsome secret service to investigate traitors of the republic. 

Ascend to the attic and step inside the secretive chambers of the Piombi prison — a network of cells directly beneath the palace’s lead roof that was generally reserved for upper-class inmates and political prisoners. Let your imagination run wild in this part of the palace that is rarely open to the public, and hear how the legendary Venetian lover Casanova was imprisoned here and later made a daring escape. 

Next, cross the famous Bridge of Sighs into the New Prison complex, built in the 16th century. Wander the harrowing network of cells on your own, and then breathe a sigh of relief as you step back into the open air of St Mark’s Square at the end of your 1.25-hour tour. 

Customer Reviews

Mickey K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Very informative, learned much about Venice's history and its secularism.

Robert D L USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

This tour was the highlight of our stay in Venice. The behind the scenes areas that were shown to us were rich in history and intrigue. Our guide showed a real knowledge of the palace. The small group size added to the enjoyment.

Jane P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

My husband and I took this tour in 2000. When I returned to Venice this September with my daughter, I encouraged her to do the same. She was as impressed as we had been! The architecture, the art, the history as explained by the knowledgeable guide . . .all contributed to a fascinating morning. Well worth arising early on our first morning in Venice!

Maureen R

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

Kirsten N

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!

Taghreed O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Amazing tour! Our guide was so engaging and fun!

catherine w

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.

Molly B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This tour was very interesting and informative!

Claire A

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.

Carl T

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

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Tour code: 3731DOGES

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