Doge’s Palace: book your tickets now!
Doge’s Palace: discover our guided tours
Doge’s Palace: enjoy your tour with a private guide!
Visit St. Mark's Square and the majestic Doge's Palace with an exclusive guide for you!
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Fast track entry
Duration: about 3 hours
After admiring St. Mark’s Square, visit the secrets itineraries of the Doge's Palace!
confirmation by email
Fast track entry
Duration: about 3 hours
WHY VISIT THE DOGE'S PALACE?
There are many parts to visit in the Doge's Palace. From the ground floor you can start from the Opera Museum, where the original capitals of the palace divided into six rooms have been collected, continuing through the beautiful courtyard in the center of which there are two royal wells from the 16th century, you will see the loggias that give a unique feature to the architecture of the building. Inside it is possible to see the Doge’s Apartment, with rooms used by the Doge for his private life activities and you can tour the institutional rooms of the Palace, where the political and administrative activities of the Republic were carried out. The Doge's Palace is connected to the prisons through the Bridge of Sighs, which is a closed and covered bridge divided into two corridors that allow, on one side, the passage from prisons to the Chambers of Magistrates, and on the other side, from the prisons to the Halls of Avogaria. It is possible to continue with the visit to the Palace in the Weapons Rooms that have different weapons used, through the years, especially by the palace guards.
A LITTLE HISTORY OF THE DOGE'S PALACE
When the first Doge settled in Venice, they decided to build the Doge’s Palace in the area that is currently called Rialto. In the 10th century, the existing building was partially destroyed by a fire and the reconstruction was carried out by Doge Sebastiano Ziani who restored the entire St. Mark's area. The new construction was basically divided into two parts: one for the functions of justice and the other for the functions of the government.
The Palace was very different from what we can visit today and took its current form in the 1400s with the Doge Francesco Foscari and, between the end of the 1400s and the beginning of the 1500s, another fire, made necessary a new restructuring with expansion of the Doge's Palace along the river. The works were entrusted to Antonio Rizzo and later to Pietro Lombardo, who worked on the decoration of the façade and on the Stairway of the Giants (Scala dei Giganti). The Doge’s Palace was completed in 1559, however, a new fire in 1577 destroyed important paintings that decorated some of its rooms, of which the wooden structures were reorganized.
Since 1797, the year of the fall of the Serenissima, the building was given the function of housing several offices during the French and Austrian domination. The annexation to Italy took place in 1866 and towards the end of the 19th century, the Italian government financed an important restoration of the Palace since 1923 entrusting it to the municipality of Venice that turned it into a museum.
WHAT IS THE DOGE'S PALACE NOWADAYS?
The Doge’s Palace is a building that represents the Venetian Gothic art and architecture, with a large collection of different decorative elements and some typical Renaissance inserts. It is made up of three parts, the part towards the St. Mark's basin, which is the oldest and which houses the Council Chamber. The part towards St. Mark's Square where the Scrutiny Room is located and the part of the Renaissance that is on the opposite side, where the Doge's apartment and government offices are located. Currently, the Doge’s Palace houses the Civic Museum of the Doge’s Palace, which is part of the Civic Museums of Venice.
CURIOSITIES OF THE DOGE'S PALACE
Did you know that the columns of the Palace Loggia are not all the same? If you look at the columns on the first floor of the façade from the square, you can see that two of them are not white, but red. It is said that it was precisely from these red columns that the Doge attended the ceremonies in the square, and it is also said that from these two columns were decreed the death sentences and the execution of the aristocrats. Those condemned to death were offered a last chance and those who managed to pass the test could obtain a pardon. The test consisted of, looking at the column and spinning around it with their hands tied, without falling from the base directly into the sea, the column is misaligned with respect to the others which made the test almost impossible to pass. Also the base is very slippery and narrow.
Did you know that there is another curiosity linked to another column? You should know that the two main columns of St. Mark's Square were transported from Constantinople to Venice by Doge Vitale Michiel along with a third column but, when they were landed, one of the three columns ended up in the sea, and despite numerous attempts to recover it, the third column was never found and still lies at the bottom of the sea of Venice after 800 years.
HOW TO VISIT THE DOGE'S PALACE?
The Doge’s Palace of Venice is one of the most visited museums in the city, for this reason we advise you to book your tickets in advance. To take advantage of the priority ticket, you can buy the Pass for the Museums of St. Mark's Square (which includes the Doge's Palace, the Correr Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the Marciana Library) or the Venice Museum Pass, which will allow you to visit 11 Museums in Venice at a very affordable price. Another option to visit this museum can be as part of a guided group tour that can even be combined with a tour of the city.
If you want to admire the Doge’s Palace with a guide just for you, you can book a private tour of the museum.
After having visited the Doge’s Palace and having explored the Secret Itineraries of the Doge's Palace, you can continue your visit to the other monuments of the city. You will be very close to the St. Mark’s Basilica that overlooks the St. Mark's Square, surrounded on three sides by important buildings such as the Clock Tower (Torre dell' Orologio), the Correr Museum and the National Archaeological Museum. Not far away is the Marciana Library with its splendid monumental rooms. After stopping in one of the beautiful bars of the square and consulting the Map of Venice, you can organize your tour in a better way. Continuing along the canal that flanks the Doge's Palace, you can admire the Bridge of Sighs, which takes its name from the sad sighs of the prisoners who were taken from the palace to the prisons.
Continuing towards the north, between the characteristic Venetian streets, you will arrive at the Parish of Santa Maria Formosa and, later, the Basilica of Saints Giovanni e Paolo burial place of numerous Doges. From here, towards the Grand Canal, you will reach the beautiful Franchetti Ca 'd'Oro Gallery, practically opposite the Ca' Pesaro that houses the International Gallery of Modern Art and, following the course of the Canal, you will find the famous Rialto Bridge, one of the most beautiful and characteristic bridges of Venice.
If you buy the Venice Museum Pass, you will have included in one single ticket the Civic Museums of Venice and the St. Mark's Square Museums. Among the Civic Museums, in addition to those already mentioned, you can visit the Ca' Rezzonico and see its sumptuous ballroom, the Mocenigo Palace that houses the Museum of Textiles and Costumes, the House of Carlo Goldoni where the famous playwright and writer lived and in the lagoon of Venice, you can visit the three Islands of Venice, Murano, Burano and Torcello, Murano with the Museum of Glass and Burano with the Lace Museum. You can end your visit to Venice with another museum, the Accademia Galleries of Venice, which exhibits mainly works of Venetian art from the 13th to the 18th century.