Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica Secret Passages Tour in Venice

S Marco Basilica
You won’t miss anything on this complete tour of the Doge’s Palace. This VIP experience offers special access to areas not usually open to the public, including torture chambers and the great romantic Casanova’s prison cell. So skip the long lines, get away from the crowds, follow the footsteps of Venice’s most colorful characters, and enjoy an insider’s look at the famed historic residence!

You’ll meet your tour guide near the Doge’s Palace and head straight inside through a secret door. As you step into the hidden world of political Venice, you’ll navigate the isolated prison cells, torture chambers, secret government archives, and top-echelon offices. Even back in its heyday, most Venetians didn’t know this space existed, so it’s hard to overstate just how privileged this secret passages tour is! With antique cabinets and creaky floors, these rooms will truly make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

As you leave the secret passages behind, you’ll enter the general access areas of the palace and explore the waiting rooms, council halls, and ballrooms. This part of the palace contrasts with the dark and mysterious portions, revealing a haughty grandeur. Within these walls, you’ll view some of Venice’s finest works of art and discover the public face of the prestigious Republic of Venice. Stroll through lavish apartments and admire dramatic paintings by Veronese and Tintoretto.

This tour ends with a visit to Venice's other great site, St. Mark's Basilica. Once again, skip the long lines and enjoy a complete look inside the Basilica. Admire various eastern and western architectural elements, stunning gold mosaics, and the famous altarpiece, the Pala D'oro. No other landmark pays homage to the city's past as much as St Mark's Basilica does, a structure that benefited greatly from the pillaging of Venetians abroad.

Read more about unique experiences to have in Venice.

Itineraries with Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica Secret Passages Tour in Venice

Veneto and Tuscany for Active Families: Venice, Verona, Lake Garda, Siena & Florence - 14 Days

Families with teens who want to get out and explore (and find the perfect backdrop for their photos) should give this two-week itinerary through the Veneto and Tuscany a try. You'll start in Venice, where you can explore secret passages, craft your own masks, and paddle a gondola. Then head to Verona and Lake Garda, biking through both urban and natural attractions. Wrap up in the Tuscan cities of Siena and Florence with a hot air balloon ride, gelato-making, and more.

Discover Greek & Italian History: Athens, Crete, Rhodes, Venice, Rome, & More - 14 Days

Explore over two thousand years of Greek and Italian history in this two-week tour. You'll kick things off in Athens to see the Acropolis and nearby historic villages, then explore maritime history in the Greek islands with two nights in Crete and Rhodes. Catch a flight to Venice in the north of Italy to continue your education of ocean-going empires, then travel south to end your trip in Rome and Naples to discover the world of the gladiators and ancient Pompeii.

Discover Venice, Tuscany, & Rome - 12 Days

From the canals of Venice to Rome's buzzing nightlife, this incredible trip through the highlights of Italy is perfect for travelers who want to see it all, making your way across the country with a mix of trains and rental car. Start in Venice to see the famed Grand Canal, then head to Florence for its famed cathedrals and da Vinci's art. From here, start the self-drive portion of your trip exploring the stunning region of Tuscany to its fullest before ending in Rome, where ancient history, eclectic neighborhoods, and a vibrant food scene await.

Veneto and Tuscany for Active Families: Venice, Lake Garda & Siena - 10 Days

Your whole family can fully engage with Italy on this adventurous itinerary, ideally suited for teens with energy to spare. You'll begin in Venice, where you'll craft Carnival masks and explore the secret passages of the city's famous landmarks. After a stop to wander the streets of Verona, you'll head to the park-lined shores of Lake Garda, filled with attractions for all ages. Finish the tour in the Tuscan city of Siena, your base for hot air balloon rides, hikes, and more.