San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
VENICE, THE POWER OF THE PAST
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.
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 Duke's abode and the State Rooms (including the Collegio or ruling board, the Senate, the criminal court and the huge room of the Great Council), youíll learn the crucial facts of Veniceís history and 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!
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.
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.
ALL ABOUT THIS TOUR
When and How
This tour runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 14:30 to 17:00 pm 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 62,50 € per person. Price includes the service of a pro guide and priority admissions to enter San Marco church avoiding long lines. Other fees 2,00 euros per person for the use of the public ferry. (In case of rain the ferry canít be used and an alternate walk will be proposed)
Between 7 and 4 days before the tour, 50% refund / from 3 days to the date of the tour and no shows, no refunds.
If you are just one person wishing to join this tour send us first an email to email@example.com
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.
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. Google maps link: http://goo.gl/maps/0CoMn
The guide will have a sign saying: Venice for Beginners
Contacts: email firstname.lastname@example.org - cell +393899618900
When & Where
www.yourtoursinvenice.com is run by professional certified guides with many years of experience. Our goal is to provide quality guided tours specially designed for independent travellers. We accept 8 people only in our tours.