Doge's Palace

Venice's iconic Palazzo Ducale

Artviva: The Original and Best Walking Tours
Average Rating:   4.9
out of 5 stars
   Based on 91 Ratings.

On 2017/06/08
Eddie Wong said:

Ishmael is Excellent

Ishmael led us on a fascinating food tour in and around the famed Mercado in Florence. After sampling tasty pizza dough poppers and lattes, we ventured into the indoor central market (mercado) and met several family owned businesses that sold olive oil, cheese, and other goodies. I'm not a huge foodie but enjoyed the food and learning about the process of aging olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We also had a full lunch at a local restaurant with delicious pasta and oxtail. I can't say enough superlatives about Ishmael. He is knowledgeable, personable and attentive. I would love to invite him over for dinner in San Francisco so that we can continue our conversations about food, music and art. There's so much more than food on a tour with Ishmael. Peace and blessing on to you. Ciao, Florence. We will return.

On 2017/06/04
Marita said:

Artviva guides set a high standard

I booked Artviva's Original Florence Walk for 5 people and the Uffizi and David tours for three people. Our Artviva guides lived up to their reputation for being extremely knowledgeable about the city and its many wonders and their ability to transmit it all in flawless English was amazing. We really could not have wished for more. It was also great to spread this tour package over three days -- more time to take in all the interesting stories that we were offered. Special thanks to Barbara and Brenda for sharing their passion.

On 2017/05/24
Kathy Harris said:

Florence walking tour

During a recent visit to Florence I was on a small group walking tour called "Sites and Statues" with tour guide Brenda. It was a delight spending the time with Brenda as she shared her stories and her knowledge of her beloved Florence. Thanks ArtViva for sharing Brenda with us!

On 2017/05/02
John Aldeborgh said:

Just A Fantastic Tour

We took the tour of the Uffizi Gallery on April 22nd with Loredana as our guide. Just an outstanding way to see the museum as you get the opportunity to merge the art with the history of Florence and the Medici family history. If you love art history and the renaissance then Florence and the Uffizi have to be on your bucket list. Loredana is an outstanding guide, she is very personable and a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on both the art in the gallery as well as history of Florence and the renaissance. A great way to spend an afternoon.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:

We were a group of 6 that had taken 4 tours in Florence and loved all of them. This tour in Rome was significantly different. This tour is not for the faint of heart. It is crowded and loud and tiring. I would never do it again even though our tour guide, Rosie, was great.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:

Elisabetta gave us the two hour tour at the Uffizi Gallery. She was an EXCELLENT tour guide. We had a group of 6 and she held all of our attention. I would highly recommend this tour and this tour guide.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:

We loved our tour to visit the David with Claas. It is only an hour long, and it is a MUST if visiting Florence. The only issue was that it was crowded and Claas did not hold his microphone up to his mouth, but pinned it on his shirt. There was a lot of background noise, walking to the tour, and inside the building. I would highly recommend he talk slower and hold his microphone to make the tour even better. I would highly recommend this.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:

Our family of 6 spent the day visiting Tuscany with Stefan. We had a glorious day. Stefan was knowledgeable and fun...we learned so much. I highly recommend this tour! Couldn't have been better!

On 2016/11/04
Tasha said:

BEST way to see Rome

My husband and I were on our honeymoon and booked the "Original Rome Walk" for a Monday afternoon on Halloween; it ended up being a private tour with our guide Sylvie and it was FANTASTIC! She was super knowledgeable and funny, and took the time to answer my husband's multiple questions. The tour itself was also great - I would highly recommend this to anyone visiting Rome!

On 2016/11/02
Dawn Everidge said:

Tour of a lifetime

My friend and I took the Genius of Michelangelo Tour by Artviva and it was absolutely brilliant, the highlight of our time in Florence!! We cannot recommend it enough!! Our tour guide was fabulous, a riveting former art history professor, who brought The Renaissance to life for us as he guided us through Florence. His stories pulled us back to the Florence known to Michelangelo and his contemporaries. The crowds disappeared for us as we were transported through time and were guided to Michelangelo's well-known and lesser known works. Ultimately the masses literally parted for us, momentarily, as we realized the dream of a lifetime, seeing his masterpiece, The David. It was the tour of a lifetime that we never wanted to end!

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Piazza San Marco, 1 Venice 

One of the top must-see landmarks on any tour of Venice is the Doge’s Palace – or, Palazzo Ducale in Italian.

The Doge’s Palace was originally built on the Malamocco island nearby. In the 800s, the Doge Angelo Partecipazio decided to transfer the building to the island of Venice, at which point the Doge’s Palace was constructed along the water’s edge by St Mark’s Square. Alas, this building was completely destroyed by fire just a couple of centuries later. Another built in its place in the 1100s was then radically altered when a restructuring of the government required adjustments to the building.

The current structure of the Doge’s Palace just by Venice’s St Mark’s Square dates back to around 1340.

The Doge’s Palace served not only as the residence of the Doge but also to accommodate official institutions. To this end, in the 1600s the famous Bridge of Sighs was constructed to link the Palazzo Ducale to an adjacent prison.

Until the Napoleonic takeover of Venice in 1797, the Doge’s Palace remained as the seat of the Doge of Venice, head of the Republic of Venice. At this point in time however, Venice fell into the hands of the French and then the Austrians. It was only in 1866 that Venice returned to Italy.

Throughout this turbulent period in Venice’s history, the Doge’s Palace served various uses including for official political and cultural offices and even a library, Biblioteca Marciana.

At the end of the 1800s, the building was in desperate need of some TLC. The government undertook great restoration works before in 1923, allowing the Doge’s Palace to be turned into a must-see Venice museum.  

Its unique history has seen the façade bear the marks of several architectural influences, including Byzantine-Venetian, Classical, Gothic and Renaissance styles. Indeed today, the Doge’s Palace is one of Venice’s most iconic images.

Although not officially a museum, the Doge’s Palace is home to some breathtaking sculptures, paintings and frescoes. All of this in addition to the majesticbeauty of the palace itself, official residence to the Doge (mayor) of Venice and seat of the region’s government in the centuries during which Venice was one of Europe’s most important cities. 


Tintoretto’s Paradise (one of the world’s largest oil paintings) along with several of his frescoes    

Veronese’s Rape of Europa    

The Apotheosis of Venice    

Sansovino’s enormous sculptures Mars and Venus    

A Palladio fresco decorates the ceiling of one of the grand halls    

The Doge’s private living quarters and the regal state rooms 

Opening Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 7:00 pm (April – October); Daily 9 am- 5:30 pm  (November – March); Also closed January 1, May 1 and  December 25

Costs: Entrance fee to be paid in cash when picking up reserved tickets; 10 euro reservation fee per ticket  

See our tour of the Doge's Palace

€ 42.00

Doge's Palace Visit

Prepare to let your imagination take flight as you follow our experts behind the scenes to explore the Doge’s Palace. See the architectural pomp and pageantry conceived by these Renaissance business tycoons on this small-group Venetian excursion.
€ 49.00

Exclusive Highlights of Venice

Visit St Mark’s Square and the magnificent Doge’s Palace during this 2-hour adventure with your own personal guide. Get a taste of Venetian life, history and culture across the centuries during this in-depth exploration of its most wondrous sights.
€ 149.00

Glorious Venice in a Day (or Two or Three)

Take advantage of our expert personal guides for the ultimate exploration of the ‘City of Canals’. Be entertained by the stories and the history behind this magnificent world as told by your own walking-talking fountain of knowledge!
€ 59.38

The Treasures of the 'Floating City': 4 hours

Immerse yourself in this in-depth exploration of Venice’s greatest pieces of art and architecture. Surround yourself in the city’s beauty and history to fully appreciate its cultural and artistic contributions to the world at large. 
€ 70.91

The Ultimate Venetian Experience

Explore one of the most charming and unique cities in the world while gliding around on a traditional gondola. View the beauty of this metropolis both on foot, and by water, as part of this bespoke introduction to the authentic Venice.