Venice, the power of the past

Venice, the power of the past
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Wed 23 October 2019
Wednesday 23 October 2019
2:30 PM - 5:00 PM



In the past Venice was an independent city state which featured a unique republican government system that lasted for some nine hundred years, and the centre of all this was San Marco square. La Piazza, as the locals call it, encompasses the ruling buildings of the political, religious and civic power of the Most Serene Republic, the two most notably being the highlights of this tour: the Ducal Palace (with the Prisons and the Bridge of Sighs,) and St. Markís basilica itself.
Ducal Palace outside view

We'll start this tour visiting the Ducal Palace, the combined seat of the Duke or Chief of State, the ruling government offices and justice courts of appeal at the time when Venice was an independent republic. As we move along the State Rooms (including the Collegio or ruling board, the Senate, the criminal court and the huge room of the Great Council), you'll learn the crucial facts of Venice history and its state organization. Last but not least the Palace also houses world class paintings by the greatest Venetian painters of the 16th century, making it a great showcase of art. After completing the tour of the palace we move on along a narrow corridor better known as the Bridge of Sighs converted by British travellers into a famous tourist icon in the 19th century that still endures. At the other end the former State Prisons awaits us, but just for a brief visit!

Courtyard in the Ducal Palace
We exit the palace now and start a short stroll into the square to view and talk about the striking buildings located all around: the National Library, the Bell Tower, the Procuratie, and the elegant and charming Clock Tower on top of which two hammering statues toll a bell and still draw peopleís attention every hour. The Piazza, besides hosting the governmental buildings of the past, was a also an open stage where Venetians for centuries paraded in beautiful costumes to celebrate special occasions, providing thus the greatest example of civic pride in Europe.

St. Mark square - Bridge of Sighs
But itís time now to enter an extraordinary building, the real basilica of San Marco. Built in the 9th century for the first time as the burial chapel of the evangelist Mark after his relics were taken from Egypt, the present church was the result of a radical rebuilding and decoration between the 11th and 13th centuries. Once inside, the visitorís attention will be captured by the precious decoration made of gold and colorful shining mosaics in the ceiling, the great variety of marbles along the walls, and last but not least by the jigsaw and geometric patterns of the marble mosaic floor. Declared in the past as the national church to upkeep the worship of Mark, their patron saint, Venetians spent with no restraint to produce this striking building which is also a great example of Byzantine art and architecture.

St. Mark’s statue - St. Mark’s church front view - St. Mark’s church, interior with mosaics



When and How
This tour runs on Wednesday and Saturday from 14:30 to 17:00 and from May to October.

This tour will run with a maximum of 8 people.
This tour will run rain or shine

Pricing and admissions
Price is 65,00 € per person. Price includes the service of a pro guide and priority admissions to enter San Marco church avoiding long lines.

ADMISSION IN THE DUCAL PALACE NOT INCLUDED. 20,00 € p.p. You can hand that amount to the guide on the spot and she/he will get the admissions for you at the ticket office. OR you can prebuy the admission online or directly at the palace and tell the guide you already have it.

Cancellation Policy
Between 7 and 4 days before the tour, 50% refund / from 3 days to the date of the tour and no shows, no refunds.

Single travelers
If you are just one person wishing to join this tour send us first an email to

Our guides
All of our guides are professional and certified

Dress code, backpacks and rucksacks
Inside San Marco church: no shorts, no sleeveless, no bare shoulders. Bermuda pants,
knee high skirts, T or Polo shirts, a scarf to cover shoulder are ok. Backpacks, rucksacks
and bulky bags are not allowed in San Marco church. Even if you can drop backpacks and rucksacks or other bags in deposit, this may be time consuming.

Meeting Point Google maps link: ffff00;">
In San Marco square by the exit of the Ducal Palace called in Italian 'Porta della Carta' located on the right side of san Marco church. It is an ornate gate showing the statues of the Duke kneeling by the Winged Lion. See picture below.

The guide will have a sign sayingVenice, the Power of the Past

Contacts: email - cell +393899618900

meeting point





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Piazza S.Marco -, Venezia, Veneto, Italy
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