The sacred meets the prophane


St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace

St. Mark’s Basilica: magnificent icon of the city and brilliant treasure chest for the relics of the Saint after whom it is named. Be prepared to walk under the golden mosaic domes and discover one of the most refined and accomplished works of Byzantine craftmanship, a masterpiece by generations of Venetian Goldsmiths: the “Pala d’Oro”.

You will enjoy the view from the terrace and find the original horses which are kept inside, and their interesting story.

The guide will then accompany you to the Doge’s Palace, our "Palazzo Ducale", a magnificent combination of Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance architecture, the centre of the Venetian Empire and the seat of the Venetian Government.

It was once the residence of the Doge, the elected ruler of the city. You will pass through its lavish chambers, which display masterpieces by Tintoretto, Titian, Veronese and Bellini.

You will hear about the different roles played by the Doge and his counsellors, be entertained by the Venetian legends as you walk through the narrow passageways towards the prison cells whilst learning about the prisoners and of course, about Casanova, perhaps Venice's most famous and intriguing escapee.

If you wish to spend more time inside the Doge's Palace independently after the tour your museum pass will allow you to do so.

Time permitting you will walk in the S. Mark’s area with the guide.



  • on Sunday morning the Basilica can be entered only to attend the Mass; the tour can therefore take place only after 2,00 p.m.
  • It is absolutely forbidden to bring suitcases, backpacks or bulky bags into the Basilica. Prior to your visit it is necessary to deposit any luggage at the Ateneo San Basso. The guide will give you correct instructions.
  • Access to the Basilica is only permitted to visitors with suitable attire. Visitor's clothing must be in keeping with the sacredness of the basilica: shorts, sleeveless dresses, low-cut and skimpy clothes are not allowed.
  • The Procuratoria di San Marco, which is the organ in charge with the baslica management, reserves the right to prohibit visits and access to the basilica at any time and without notice for reasons of force majeure (e.g. high water) and/or safety reasons, religious services not specified on the calendar and/or state visits.


St. Mark's Basilica as seen from the Clock tower

Terrace of St. Mark's Basilica as seen from the clock tower

Dome of St. Mark's basilica at dawn

The Doge's Palace and the lion pillar

Doge's palace - inner court

Doge's Palace - inner façade

Doge's Palace - the court

Doge's Palace - the court

Doge's Palace - first floor loggia

Doge's Palace - first floor loggia

Doge's Palace - first floor loggia Piazzetta side

Doge's Palace as seen from a gondola

Doge's Palace - the golden stair

St. Mark's square as seen from the clock tower

St.Mark's square - procuratie and Caffè Florian