You'll want to fill it up, when you learn about our world famous Colosseum Underground Tour!
We will stroll through the galleries and rooms of the palace without much effort.
To kick off your Doge's Palace Secret tour, our guide will meet you outside the Palace where you will admire and learn all about the glorious pink facade.
Before entering the Palace, our guide will also entice you with the history of the political, religious and social center of Venice! Now, this is one of the most famous city squares in the world.
After skipping the line to enter, you'll walk through the internal courtyard. Just imagine the extravegant parties that the Doge used to throw in this impressive space.
A staircase so big, it's fit for a giant. Our guide will take you up close to this photogenic staircase that adorns postcards across the city.
As you enter the secret rooms by special appointment with our guide, your first stop will be to a dark & damp "wells" once used as an area to detain prisoners.
You'll visit the apartments that were once the epicenter of the maritime republic. There are few rooms in Venice as beautiful as these.
The Golden Staircase is a lavishly decorated staircase that connects the apartments within the palace. You'll never have seen anything quite like it!
While millions of visitors look at this bridge from a distance, you’ll see it from the inside and experience it through the eyes of prisoners who waved goodbye to their freedom and to Venice.
You will see the darker side of the place too as you visit the prison cells of many famous Venetians!
Did you know Casanova was once locked up in the Doge's Palace. His escape was legendary and you'll see where he was once held as a prisoner.
As your Doge’s Palace tour comes to an end, our guide will give you the choice to stay inside the Palace, or exit into St Mark’s Square.
Are you looking for something different, or even something secret to do in Venice? If so, then this Doge's Palace Secret tour is for you. In just two hours, you'll be taken into areas of the Palace that few are permitted to access. You'll then delve into the darker side of Venice as our local tour guide takes you back in time with stories of crime, betrayal and the brutal legal system that once kept Venice in check.
Note: Secret Itineraries are closed in July & August. The tour will still run and cover other amazing galleries!
From the outside, the beautiful and ornately decorated palace is a pleasure to look at. Inside, however, secrets and stories are held within the walls that have helped shape Venice over the years. During this Doge's Palace tour, you'll delve into a darker side of Venice, visiting torture chambers and even the prison cell of the beloved Casanova.
The Doge's Palace, or Palazzo Ducale in Italiano, is a perfect example of Venetian gothic architecture in Venice. The grand palace, once home to the Doge of Venice when the city was a Republic, sits on one side of St Mark's Basilica. Its delicate pink facade and orante columns are just part of the reason it attracts over 1 million visitors each year. But don't let the external beauty of the palace fool you, this palace holds many dark stories hidden within its walls.
You'll meet our local Venice guide outside of the Doge's Palace. Before entering, you'll be given an introduction to the exterior, the Doge's Palace history and the surrounding area. With everyone ready to go, our guide will take you passed the crowds as you skip the line and enter the museum.
The interior of the Doge's Palace is grand to say the least. Walking through the rooms you'll find marble fireplaces, friezes and stucco adorning the walls. Some works of art stand out over the rest and our guide will lead you straight to them.
As you walk into a bright courtyard in the middle of the palace's apartments, you will soon understand the grandeur of this special palace. As you admire your marble surroundings, our guide will lead you towards a door. Through this door, you'll access an area that is restricted to the general public. It is here that the your Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries adventure really begins.
First stop on your Doge's Palace tour is to the small wet detention cells, called wells, or Pozzi in Italiano. Taking a closer look, our guide will point out drawings and writings on the walls that help tell the story of those kept prisoner in these damp, dark and inhumane conditions.
Taking a small stairway nearby, our guide will next lead you to two rooms which once housed members of the Council of Ten, one of the major governing bodies of the Republic of Venice from 1310 - 1797. You will then be taken towards the Office of the Great Chancellor, the man in charge of Venice's General Archives.
As you pass through the offices and Chambers of the men that once ruled Venice, you'll see cabinets full of public and secret documents that have helped us understand how justice was once served on Venice island. Our guide will be there throughout to take you on a journey back in time and answer any questions you may have.
You'll soon arrive at the Doge's Palace torture chamber. This chamber, also known as the Chamber of torment, is directly linked to the Palace's prisons. Inside this room, our guide will explain the common methods of torture used during interrogation.
Next door, you'll find more prison cells. These cells, called Piombi, are not quite as gruesome as the Pozzi found on the lower levels. As our guide will explain, the rooms here were kept for people committing political crimes and those serving only short prison terms. One man, however, that occupied both the Pozzi and the Piombi, was the Italian adventurer and author, Giacomo Casanova.
Our local Venetian guide will relay the exciting life of one of the most famous writers in history, Casanova, as you stand near his cell and the area he escaped from in 18th Century Venice.
The Bridge of Sighs, or Ponte dei Sospiri in Italiano, connects the Doge's Palace interrogation chamber to the new prison cells. During your secret Itineraries tour, our guide will walk you over this enclosed bridge.
The 17th century bridge was given the name "bridge of sighs" for a reason. The bridge connected freedom with incarceration, and prisoners would be walked across this bridge before spending years or even the remainder of their lives in prison. If that was not enough to sigh about, the small windows carved into the bridge offered prisoners their last glance of beautiful Venice, before being locked up.
At the end of your Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries tour, our guide will give you the option to either stay inside the Doge's Palace and explore more in your own time, or return to St Mark's Square. Don't forget to ask our local guides where to eat, drink and pass the rest of your day in Venice. Nobody knows Venice like the locals!
- Venice Walking & Boat Tour
- Venice Multi-Tour Bundle with St Mark's, Rialto & Doge's Palace
- Venice Local Food Tour
- Florence Walking Tour with David
The route taken on this tour involves numerous steps, small inclines and many narrow passages. We do not recommend this tour be taken by small children, pregnant women or those with mobility issues. If you have any doubts about your mobility, we strongly suggest you take a Doge's Palace private tour.
Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark's Square) - on the smaller side of the square (la Piazzetta) facing the Grand Canal, between 2 columns. Your guide will be there holding a sign that says "The Roman Guy".
Where to Meet
What to Bring
Student (18-25 w/ I.D.)
The Roman Guy offers a full refund on Group Tour cancellations made more than 72 hours prior to your tour taking place. Cancellations made within 72 hours of your tour taking place cannot be refunded but we will do our best to accommodate you on another tour or date, pending availability.
The Roman Guy offers a full refund on Private Tour cancellations made more than 7 days prior to your tour taking place. Cancellations made within 7 days of your tour taking place cannot be refunded but we will do our best to accommodate you on another tour or date, pending availability.
Be prepared to be walking or on your feet for the duration of the tour. If that makes you nervous due to a physical condition, contact us for more information or go with a private tour that will move at your pace. Thanks!
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