- Doge's Palace: The seat of power of the Venetian empire, this palazzo is grand in scale and design.
- Bridge of Sighs: This covered limestone bridge, built in 1600, connects the Doge's Palace with the New Prison.
- St. Mark's Basilica: Originally built as a final resting place for St. Mark's, the city's signature church, with its Byzantine domes, spires, and mosaics, is home to incredible jewels like the golden altarpiece, the Pala d'Oro.
About this Venice tour
Venice's iconic Bridge of Sighs is the subject of several legends. The first suggests the name comes from the exhalation made by criminals crossing over to the New Prison as they caught their final glimpse of Venice. Since little can be seen of Venice through the tiny windows inside the bridge, this one falls into the "false myth" file. But there's another legend claiming that lovers who kiss on a gondola beneath the Bridge of Sighs – at sunset, while the bells of St. Mark's toll – will be granted eternal love and bliss. Who knows if this one holds true – the fun part is giving it a try.
As the residence of the ruler of Venice, the Doge's Palace served as a seat of power for the empire. The first floor holds the Ducal apartments, where you'll find Titian's painting of St. Christopher; 18 roaring lions decorating the Sala degli Stucci; the Shield Room, covered with world maps showing the reach of Venice's power; and a dozen salons with marble fireplaces exquisitely carved by Tullio and Antonio Lombardo.
Climb the Scala d'Oro (Golden Staircase) to reach the lavishly appointed council chambers, including the cavernous Grand Council Hall. Tintoretto's grand painting, Paradise, was a political statement at the time, while Veronese's Apotheosis of Venice looms over the room, depicting the gods marveling at the angelic coronation of the personification of Venice. Thirty feet in length, there's nothing subtle about it.
Venice may be a small city, but it's always done things on a grand scale.
Casanova: the great escape artist
The sexual exploits of Giacomo Casanova are legendary. But in conservative Venice, his list of blasphemies, seductions, fights, and public controversies led to his imprisonment at the Doge's Palace. After many months, Casanova escaped the supposedly inescapable prison and fled to Paris. His inquisitors were so impressed by the feat that he was eventually welcomed back to Venice.
Please make your own way to the exchange office "YEX" under the Clock Tower in St. Mark's Square, where our representatives await.
Plan to explore the area around St. Mark's Square after your tour but venture away from the square for any purchases, to avoid paying a premium.
To see all sights, plan to walk for more than 2 miles & climb some steps. Some paths are over cobblestones & bridges. If you have trouble walking, you will find it too challenging to keep up the pace required. It is not suitable for wheelchair users.
Cultural, Walking Tour
English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
If you have knee or hip problems or you are pregnant, this tour may not be suitable for you, due to the strenuous nature of the walking required.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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