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Tour code: 3731DOGES
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

Stephen B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

We really enjoyed this trip. Getting to see the prisons in the cellar and attic were amazing... Be warned there are a lot of steps. Loved the palace as well, but as we were left to our own devices we kept getting lost!

Julie J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Really enjoyed the Doge's Palace. The tour was the perfect length and was able to see the entire building. Only complaint was that our guide's English wasn't ideal for a tour guide, but she was patient and wanted to make sure we understood her content.

Jeanne T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

We really enjoyed this tour. Our guide was very entertaining and informative. Since the tour is early we were able to enjoy the Doge's Palace for a few minutes before the crowds. The Secret Itineraries takes you to areas not open to the general public. We were glad we booked this tour.

Fernando C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This tour was amazing!

Colleen N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This tour was great! Anna was very entertaining and informative.

Jacqueline B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Super knowledgeable tour guide on the particulars and history of the Palace and Venice. Entrance to Doge's Palace is ahead of official opening to the line that began wrapping around the entrance. Our group was a dozen or so people.
A look and historical information on the nuances of the palace and prisons. Free time after allows for actual going crossing within the Bridge of Sighs not part of the tour but part of your entrance ticket to the palace and absorbing the remainder of the huge property. As an FYI , this is more about the secrets not the well known portions - i.e. does not show/explain the Golden Staircase or some of the important parts of the palace itself.

BeckyG

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Our guide, Marie Therese, was very good - informative but not in a dry way - she was a lot of fun. It was great to get to see the parts of the Palace which you wouldn't see ordinarily old prisons, Casanova's cells, administration rooms and also meant that we were able to skip the queue to get in. We arrived early at the meeting point which was very easy to find. We were given our audio bits and were then allowed into the palace to wait for the rest of the tour. It was a small group, around 15 of us, which was just right. After the tour we were able to look around the rest of the Palace at our leisure, walking over the Bridge of Sighs and seeing all the formal rooms and the new prison. My only complaint would be that the audio equipment did not work too well for some in the group, including my husband. We were told that it was brand new equipment that day but there was quite a lot of interference and picking up of other tours. However this did not detract from our enjoyment as being as it was such a small group the audio almost wasn't needed. Definitely recommend this if you have the time.

Irene T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Awesome Guide, very knowledgeable and pleasant. Meeting place was specific enough in a mob of tourists.

William P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This was a grand tour of the Palace and it took us places that the regular tours are not able to go -- skipping the line is essential -- it gets huge. Our guide was knowledgeable and her English was fine. We used those little radio devices which can be annoying, but are really necessary in the crowds if you want to hear anything. The guide was there when she said she would be and all went smoothly. Highly recommend this tour over Cruise Line tours which are much larger and less informative.

Alison P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

We were grateful to book this tour at the last moment, and our guide, Aga, made it worth every penny. She was funny and enthusiastic, and she was kind enough to pay special attention to the kids in the group without dumbing anything down. This was a very enjoyable tour.

From USD $ 70.13

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