Meet your guide in St. Mark’s Square at about 10:45am, and stroll to the Doge’s Palace, the power base of the Venetian Republic for many centuries.
Admire the exquisite Gothic exterior, and bypass the main entrance lines with your skip-the-line ticket. Pass through security, and tour the opulent rooms, adorned with masterpieces by artists like Titian and Tintoretto. As you explore, listen as your guide tells tales of Venice’s doges and their ruling councils, charting the history of the 1,000-year republic and those who shaped its fortunes.
See the stunning gold staircase as you learn its history, and follow in the steps of prisoners who once crossed the famous Bridge of Sighs to their incarceration. Hear about prisoners like Giacomo Casanova and others, and view the bleak prison itself.
Next, head for St. Mark’s Basilica, another St. Mark’s Square showpiece. Admire the ornate façade, and pass the main lines for a comprehensive tour of this Byzantine masterwork.
See the gold mosaics and marble floor inlays, and view highlights including the gold, gem-encrusted Pala d'Oro alterpiece and the icons and riches in the Treasury.
Your 2-hour tour then finishes in St. Mark’s Square when your guide departs.