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Sensational. Our guide was so knowledgeable and open to all questions. She would take plenty of time for photos, took some for us as well, and a stop for a coffee and rest room was great. So much to see and we got it all done in easy time. Do be early or on time for the tour as it's helpful to the whole group. The basilica and the palace is amazing and not to be missed. Do read all the documents and with all the security there is lines and checks but all rather quick. Don't bring back backs or large bags as they have to be stored and can't be taken in to the basilica, which holds the group up. Overall a fantastic experience.
There was a fair amount of walking in this tour, especially after a long day in Venice. The guide was very knowledgeable and answered everyone's questions. The Basilica after hours is amazing, when you sit in the pews and they turn on the lights slowly...it's awe-inspiring. Would make it a must try if you have time in Venice
John F United States of ...
Really enjoyed our guide Freddie. She was a local and lived right in the neighborhood we were touring. She gave it a real personal feel. It was really interesting to learn what used to go on in Doges Palace and San Marco's Basilica was beautiful/
We missed the Doge's Palace by 5 minutes and could't get to do another tour of it due to time constraints. St Mark's Basilica Tour was really very informative and so interesting if you enjoy all the history which I do!.
Would have rated higher had we been able to Skip the Line and visit the Basilica.
But we couldn't because IT WAS CLOSED
Quite how any organisation can take bookings for a tour which can't take place is beyond me.
I felt really sorry for the guide, Elena, who was excellent, but couldn't do her job standing outside the Basilica!
The tour turned out to be a complete fiasco. This tour was to be three part tour - Doge's Palace tour followed by St Mark's Basilica tour followed by a ride down the Grande Canal. It was to estimated to be a 5-6 hour tour. We arrived early and were told by the tour coordinator that our Doge's Palace tour would begin promptly at 9:00AM but that the St. Mark's tour wouldn't begin until 2:00 PM. Others in the group were able to get a noon tour - but we were told that 'scheduling issues' issues resulted in our group of four being at 2:00. This meant that we would have nearly 3 hours between the Doge's Palace tour and the St Mark's. We talked it over and, because the ST Mark's portion of the tour was the biggest reason we were on the tour in the first place, decided to go along with the coordinator's instructions and return at 1:45 to the meeting place to begin the St Mark's tour. We did the Doge's tour it was excellent and our guide, Julia was wonderful and walked around for nearly 3 hours before returning to the meeting place for the St Mark's portion. When we arrived we were informed that the Basilica was now closed for a special event and we would just do a walking tour. I know that the closing of the Basilica is beyond the control of the tour companies - but if we had been in the earlier slot we would have been able to have the tour as the others from our group who got the earlier slot were in fact able to take the tour. I don't know whether our coordinator knew that at 9:00AM but if he did he did not say so. Then to add insult to injury we were informed that the ride on the Grande Canal would be at 5:00 - meaning that the 5 hour tour would in fact be over 9 hours. Apparently the 4:00 Canal ride was booked. This was unacceptable to us as we had made dinner plans for 7:00PM based on the tour's advertised approximate length of 5 hours. Our tour company in Rome, City Wonder's, also did Doges/St Marks tours we saw them at the meeting place and we wish that was the company we had in Venice. The company we had was Aventura Belissimo and they were not well organized and our tour coordinator was not very friendly or helpful and we are not sure he was completely honest with us. Needless to say it was the low point of our entire vacation and I would not recommend this tour to anyone if the tour company was Aventura Belissimo.
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Tours were easy to find and join each time. Maria, for the Palace, and Marina, for Basilica and walking tour, were absolutely excellent. A lot of interesting information, through the filter of a resident rather than a tour book, without being info overload. You need to be outside to enjoy the boat.
If you do one tour in Venice, this should be it. I would make sure to do the optional Doge's palace portion too. It was so nice to have a tour with a personable guide who knew what she was talking about. We were able to get really great pictures and not feel overwhelmed by hoards of crowds since it was after hours and few people were inside other than our small group. When they turned the lights on at the Basilica it was just breath taking.
The tour of the Doge's Palace was amazing I learned so much, both about Venice's history and the palace itself. Daniella was very knowledgeable. Walking through the prison and over the Bridge of Sighs was very cool. The walking tour through Castello was very interesting. The boat ride was fabulous we traveled through small canals as well as the Canale Grande, and again, our guide was very informative. St. Mark's Basilica was closed that day apparently priests were being ordained, so we weren't able to see inside the basilica. This was not a problem, as I was in Venice for two weeks and could visit another day when the basilica was open. I thought this tour was really a good value, and a nice way to learn about the city's major landmarks.
We, very cleverly, did this tour in a different day before we took the focused guided tour into the Basilica. We got a very nice, comprehensive input of all the exquisites on the Piazza, and the immediate surroundings.
Thank you Susan for a great tour of Doges Palace and St Mark's Basilica. Your knowledge about the history of these buildings and Venice was fantastic. We really enjoyed the tour, and would recommend to others.
Informative, animated, engaging tour guide who really shared her passion for Venice and it's history. You must ask when you book to stay in the Basilica at the end of the tour to go upstairs and visit the horses an extra 5. If you have more time you can always visit them at another time.
Doing what: Skip the Line: St Mark's Square Highlights Tour
This tour was informative and interesting and all of the tour guides were interesting and knowledgeable. The skip the line at the Basilica was well worth it.
The after-hours tour of St. Mark's was a highlight of my trip to Italy. The basilica draws huge crowds during the day, and most tourists aren't able to spend much time there. With this tour, you get to see everything with only a few other groups in the church. Our guide was wonderful and super knowledgeable about the history of St. Mark's and all of the artwork there. It was an incredibly special experience to watch as the lights were slowly turned on, and then be able to walk up to view the magnificent alter piece. If you only do one tour while in Venice, this is the one to do.
If there is one thing to do in Venice, this is seriously it. This might be the most I've ever paid for a Viator tour but it is worth every dime. The day after taking this tour, I was back in the plaza there and saw a man trying to squint into the Basilica through a shut door and I thought to myself, Wow, we got to go in there last night and see it at its finest and go places most visitors never get to see with an excellent guide! I wish I could remember the guide's name as she was one of the best tour guides I've had worldwide and she made it one of the best Viator tours I've ever had young lady who joked she looked Scandinavian but truly is a Venetian.
Elisabetta was wonderful and gave us so much information. I learned so much!!! It was wonderful to avoid the long line at St Mark's Basilica as we went right in. The whole experience was worth the price and it was nice because it was a small group which I always prefer. Will for sure recommend not only this tour but Viator as well.
Excellent tour! Excellent guide! He was very knowledgeable and friendly. He was very informative and we enjoyed the tour of st. Mark's Basilica. We also saw many other sights that we would not have seen without a guide. This tour was an excellent value.
Denise M New Zealand
Although I booked this tour out of a sense of obligation - you can't visit Venice without seeing the obvious, these two places came to life for me and I'm so glad to have done them. Apparently the tour company that runs these tours have been given sole rights to run the after-hours tours, and we got to see things that aren't always seen during the day-time tours. There were four groups with the guides working in with each other so we didn't block viewing from the other groups. To visit the crypt area of the Basilica was special but an amazing WOW moment when we got to see behind the alter photo. You need to go on this tour just for that experience alone! One of my highlights - book now!!
As usual, our Viator tour guide led us on a great walk in Venice history through the square to the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica. Without a doubt, one of the highlights of our three-week Italian vacation. Actually, ALL of our Viator tour guides were awesome!
Having three tours in a day gave us a good perspective on Venice - history, art, culture and architecture. Following guides through busy streets and buildings is not easy, but our guides made sure we were always together. The smaller group sizes helped. I would have liked a bit more time in St Mark's Basilica, maybe to purchase a book, as these were not available outside the Basilica.
Wonderful guide for Doge's Palace. The Basilica tour was a little repetious and very crowded.
Our guide was personable and knowledgeable, and it was a relatively small group. Great to go straight into the Basilica, the lineup was very long. Enjoyed the walk on some quieter streets lanes, and got a feel of Venice as locals live.
This was a great tour for the ones who are visiting Venice for the first time. The tour is broken up in two parts. First tour was the Doge's palace and the second one was St Marks Basilica. You had lunch on your own. I could not really understand the first Tour guide but the second one was excellent. She was full of information about Venice and the beautiful St Mark's Basilca. I would highly recommend this tour.
This tour was certainly good value. Our tour guide for the Doges Palace was very knowledgeable of the history and shared this with us with a good sense of humour.
It was disappointing that we could not 'skip the line, to the St Marks Basilica- the clergy were apparently having a 'staff' meeting and the Basilica was closed. While we could take a tour when it reopened, the queue stretched right around the Square.
The Grande Canal boat tour was also very worthwhile. Knowledgeable guide and just a really lovely way to see some of Venice
Pleasant leader but spoke too quickly and not able to understand everything. Basilica was closed for the am and we missed this part of the tour.
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