Private Doges Palace & Secret Itineraries Tour

Explore the secret itineraries of the Doges Palace on this in-depth tour of Venice's most important building

Highlights and what's included

  • Local Expert Guide
  • Skip the line Tickets for the Doge's Palace & Secret Itinerary


On our Private Venice Doge's Palace & Secret Itineraries Walking Tours you'll be accompagnied by one of our local expert Venice city tour guides to enjoy the most comprehensive tour of Venice's most important building, the Doge's Palace. On our walking tour of the Doge's Palace visit the sumptuous and splendidly decorated rooms of what used to be the "brain" that governed the Republic of Venice.

Its open architecture testifies to the unbeatable power of Venice, queen of the sea. While its lavish chambers display the immense wealth that the city possessed. And then, as one of the highlights of our Private Walking Tours of the Doge's Palace we will enter the Secret Itineraries of the Doge's Palace, behind the walls of the elaborately decorated hallways and chambers lay another world closed to everyone but a few trusted men of the Republic!

As we tour the public rooms of the Doge's Palace your eyes will be captured by the beauty that is around you. You'll learn about the diverse roles played in society by the Doge and his counsellors, who helped create the many institutions that made Venice the most modern and liberal state in Europe. During the walking tour of the Doge's Palace, you'll cross the famous Bridge of Sighs and visit the prisons of the Doge's Palace. You'll hear about the infamous Council of Ten, and be entertained by the legends and stories of the characters who played a role in creating the most serene of Republics.

On our Private Walking Tours of the Doge's Palace discover the lost in the the corridors of power, a tall sturdy door that remains always locked! Behind that locked door lies the Secret Itineraries of the Doge's Palace. A tour that takes you into the inner sanctums of the "brain of Venice" where you'll learn all the secrets of the Venetian Republic. Visit the Chancellors Office, the man responsible for writing all the secret documents of the Republic and learn how the Venetian guaranteed his loyalty!

On our private walking tours of the Doge's Palace you'll also see his offices were a multitude of Secret documents were kept and where you'll be able to admire the interior decorations of the rooms built by workmen from the Arsenale who applied their unique shipbuilding skills to a building on dry land.

The next stop on your Private Tour of the Secret Itineraries of the Doge's Palace is the gruesome Torture Chamber where enemies of the state would be tortured before the state inquisitors. Learn about the single form of torture that the Venetians used and still on display, and why no-one was able to resist the pain! And how prisoners awaiting the same punishment were entertained as they waited their turn! From the torture chamber we head up into "I Piombi" Prisons, so called because they lay directly below the lead roofs of the Doge's Palace. These wooden cells beneath the lead roofs would be intolerably hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter months.

It was in these cells that the famous lover Casanova was incarcerated and here you will learn about the trumped up charges that Casanova's enemies used against him to imprison the world's most famous lover. On our Secret Itineraries of the Doge's Palace tour we will see both the prison cells that Casanova spent time in and you will be entertained by the stories of his two attempts to escape and how finally, he made his way to freedom.

While visiting the prisons we'll take a detour on our tour of the Doge's Palace to enter the attic area of the Palace following a narrow gangway we will walk over the giant timbers dating from the 16th Century that support the roof. Here you will learn about how the Venetians ensured that their timber never rotted and how they were able to construct such a heavy structure without using any supporting structure!

The last two rooms of the Secret Itineraries of the Doge's Palace belonged to the State inquisitors & three judges of the council of ten. Here we can again admire the works of Venetian masters Tintoretto & Veronese, along with some of the few original pieces of furniture to be found in the Doge's Palace. Which includes a delightful cabinet for court documents with three keyholes that meant all three judges had to be present to open the cabinet. The Venetians fear of corruption knew no limits - which is probably why the Venetian Republic survived longer than any other, until its demise in 1797.

Other info

  • This tour is not fully accessible for wheelchair users or people with walking disabilities. However, please contact us directly and we will be able to take you on alternative routes suitable for you.

Meeting Point

Your english speaking guide will come and meet you in St. Mark's Square, between the two columns you will see as you face the water front from the Square. The left column has a lion on the top and the right column has Saint Todaro. Your guide will be holding a sign with your name written on it

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Reviewed by Allison C. on
Susanna was our tour guide for the Private Doges Palace & Secret Itineraries Tour. She was excellent! The tour was very interesting & informative. We learned a lot & really enjoyed the interesting facts & stories that Susanna shared with us. We started at 11:00 am and were the only group (4 of us) touring! We would highly recommend this tour & Susanna. Just remember to dress very warmly. It is freezing in the Palace at this time of year.
Reviewed by Serena Y on
This tour was fantastic! Andrea was our guide, and he was so knowledgeable and personable. We really enjoyed his insight. He arranged for our tour to start early in the day, so it was almost like we had the palace to ourselves. We love history, but Andrea went the extra mile and made it fun. We also liked that he gave some perspective on what was going on in Europe in general at that time. We had questions, and he had answers. Very much worth every penny. Thanks, Andrea!
Reviewed by Kevin on
Just to say that the English tour guide I had was absolutely superb - so knowledgeable! It really added to my whole experience of Venice.
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