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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

James D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

It was a pleasure walking past the long lines, meeting our tour and experiencing the palace at a relaxed pace. Then we had the rest of the day to explore on our own.

vmirani

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Great tour. Very interesting to see the secret rooms, including the upstairs prisons, and Casanova's room and his escape! And it was cool to end the tour coming out of a hidden cupboard where you rejoin the normal walk on your own tour.

Deb N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Great tour and guide.

Estelle S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

One of the best tours we did in Italy. We learnt so much about the history of Venice and how it was administered. A very interesting and informative tour and one I would recommend to everyone

Jess

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Although expensive was a fantastic tour! Was recommended by a friend who went a few weeks ago. It was really interesting and nice to get away from the crowds as we went to parts of the Palace that no one else had access too. Learnt the story of Casanova's stay and escape from the prison. Highly recommend.

Penelope B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great tour - really interesting and skipping the queue in such a busy place was really wonderful. The guide was very informative, it was terrific.

Marcia P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

What a great tour! It was fascinating!

Rena W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

An excellent tour providing an interesting insight into the history and workings of the Doge's Palace. Our guide was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. There are lots of stairs to climb so recommended only for those who are able?

Amy B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This tour was amazing!

Patricia w

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

We received the e voucher straight away, giving us all the details of the excersion.We arrived just before the trip and were greeted straight away. The tour started on time and was well worth doing.

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