Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries
The Doge's palace features the very best and the very worst of Venice's history - from vast paintings by Tintoretto and Veronese to the wooden slot where accusations of treason were slipped to the fearsome Secret Police. To wander the corridors of the Duke's palace is to understand the Republic of Venice, for better or for worse.
Our tour of the palace visits all the best sights open to the public in addition to the Secret Itineraries, assuring you get the most complete tour of the Doge's Palace. Marvel over ceilings frescoed by Tintoretto to show Justice presenting herself to the Doge while you think of all the feet that have shuffled on the tiles you stand on - ambassadors waited nervously in this very spot for an audience with the Doge in the Hall of Four Doors. Then there's the numerous flattering works produced on demand by the masters of the time - 'Virtues of the Republic' in the Council Room was Veronese's rosy outlook on the state of his nation while 'The Triumph of Venice' in the Senate Hall was where Tintoretto paid his dues on a high ceiling.
In the Chamber of the Council of Ten, as you marvel over Veronese's 'Juno Bestowing her Gifts on Venice' your guide will point you in the direction of a dark corner, dwarfed by the vibrant masterpiece. This unassuming slot was where friends and foes condemned each other in the form of accusations - warranted or not - that were investigated and acted on with frightening brutality.
For all of the splendor that its corridors hold, you would never guess what is hidden in the attic upstairs in the Palazzo Ducale. Follow your guide to the attic prison where Venice's famous lover and writer Casanova was kept for months before he miraculously managed a successful escape. Peering around this dark room, considering the security that must have existed, it's almost impossible to imagine how he did it - never mind, our guides have the answers.
Casanova was not the only man to see the Doge's palace on less than favorable terms. Our tour visits the spectacular Bridge of Sighs - so named for the prisoners that walked its length on their way to cells across the canal. As they took their last look at beautiful Venice they couldn't help but sigh. You'll hardly be able to stop yourself either or help but recall the work of the master of apocalypse Hieronymus Bosch seen in the Sala del Maggior Consiglio. The torture chamber is a similarly grim insight into what it was to live in the Republic of Venice and the stories your guide tells you there will not soon be forgotten.
Across the Bridge of Sighs we'll see the New Prisons, although the 16th century monstrosities could hardly be accused of fitting the name these days. Those that can read Italian will understand the graffiti that lines cells here but for those that don't never mind, your guide will be happy to translate protestations of innocence carved into the walls by long-gone prisoners.
A visit to the Doge's Palace is a rollercoaster experience, taking you from the artistic highs of Renaissance Venice to its grim bottom. When you step, blinking back into the sun, your head will be full of masterfully executed paintings and needlessly executed prisoners. One thing is for sure - you'll never again see Venice in the same light.
- The Guariento Room
- Chamber of the Great Council
- The Chamber of the Scrutinio
- The Compass Room
- The Chamber of the Council of Ten
- Senate Chamber
- The Council Chamber
- Antechamber to the Hall of the Full Council
- The Four Doors Room
- Bridge of Sighs
- The New Prisons
- Chamber of the Secret Chancellery
- Torture Chamber
- Casanova's Cell
- Chamber of the Inquisitors
- Chamber of the Three Head Magistrates
- The Chamber of Quarantia Civil Vecchia
- Skip the Line Access and Entrance Ticket to the Doge's Palace
- Entrance into the Doge's Palace Secret Itinerary
- Expert English speaking guide
- Meals and drinks
- Personal expenses
- Tips and gratuities
- Optional activity costs
- Children below 6 years old are not permitted on this tour.
- It is the individual responsibility of all visitors to arrive at the tour departure points.
- This tour involves a fair amount of walking, comfortable shoes are recommended. We are unable to accommodate customers with wheelchairs or walking disabilities.
- This tour is operated with a maximum of 20 guests.
- Booking modifications made within 72 hours of tour date will be charged an amendment fee.
Your Confirmation Voucher includes full information (e.g. local telephone numbers) about the Local Operator. To ensure your peace of mind, we select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination.
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Upon booking, you will receive a voucher by email containing all details about the tour. You can check the status of your booking at anytime.
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What if I need to change or cancel my booking?
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