There are few things that Venice is more proud of and few things that Venetians fought so hard to protect, as their status as one of the world’s oldest republics. From Venetian masks, created to protect secrecy during public votes, to the creation of different classes and guilds within their closed society – everything in Venice comes back to the protection of the Republic.
It is hardly surprising then that the heart of Venice remains to this day, the Doge’s Palace. Once home to the Duke of Venice and his government, Palazzo Ducale holds all the secrets to the Republic as well as its finest art and an explanation of its great success and eventual fall.
Join us on an exploration of the history and art at the heart of Venice on our special access Secret Itineraries Tour, taking you to parts of the palace usually closed to the public to hear stories that usually go untold.
With an official Doge’s Palace guide, you’ll explore the hidden corridors of the Doge’s Palace usually closed to the public. Traveling in groups of only 25 people or less, your tour will be intimate and with audio headsets for every guest, with your guide easy to hear.
You’ll visit the cramped attic prison cell and hear the true story of how Casanova escaped. You’ll visit the secret archive room and hear about the elaborate system that kept any clerks from learning the secrets of the republic. You’ll also see the torture chamber used by the secret police to extract information, and see the secret access door from the council room disguised as a wardrobe.
Where the secret passages of the Doge’s Palace hold all the best stories of the Republic of Venice, the general access areas are home to the finest art. We’ll take a tour of the huge council rooms and intimidating waiting rooms. Here the walls are hung with masterpieces by the great Venetian artists Veronese, Titian, Tintoretto and Palladio and to name but a few.
As an expert in all things Doge’s Palace, your guide will help you decipher these monumental works (one room holds the longest canvas painting in the world!), translating them into a reflection on Venice’s great ambitions.
Your tour concludes at the entrance to the Bridge of Sighs and the New Prisons where you can visit at your own pace or if you’d rather, move onto your next adventure. One thing is for sure – after uncovering the long and twisted history of the city on your Secret Itineraries Tour, you’ll never look at Venice the same way again.
Feel like seeing some other major attractions in Venice too? Why not check out our Best of Venice Group Tour? You'll see St. Mark's Square with terrace access, Doge's Palace, and St. Mark's Basilica.
Please note that children under the age of 6 years are not permitted on this tour.
Due to the tour content, the Doge’s Palace will not accept children under the age of 6 on this tour.
Our City Wonders coordinators will be wearing blue polo shirts or jackets at the meeting point for easy recognition and holding a sign with the tour name.
Please arrive 15 minutes before the start time of the tour.
A City Wonders tour is the product of meticulous research, detailed planning, and a passion for providing customers with travel experiences they will cherish forever.
With City Wonders it's not just facts, our passionate guides tell you the stories that bring the sights to life.