Begin your tour with a visit to St. Mark's Basilica, dedicated to Venice's patron saint and awash in golden mosaic tiles.
Walk through the church to the Pala d'Oro (Golden Altar), one of the treasures inside the church, representing the work of generations of Venetian goldsmiths. Experts consider the altar one of the best examples of Byzantine goldsmith craftsmanship.
Continue your tour with a brief walk to the Doge's Palace, or Palazzo Ducale, which is adjacent to St. Mark's Basilica. Admire the different architectural features on the exterior of the palace, with elements of the Byzantine, Gothic, and Renaissance eras.
Learn about the rulers who once lived in and governed from the Doge's Palace when this was the center of the Venetian Empire. Walk through ornately-decorated halls and rooms, some with artwork by famous Venetian painters – including Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese. Hear about the prison attached to the Doge's Palace, and about one of its best-known residents – Casanova – who famously escaped from this impenetrable building.
Enjoy a perfect introduction to Venice with tours of these two important landmarks.