Palazzo Ducale

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Doge's Palace A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, is the very symbol of Venice

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Clock Tower For over 500 years it has marked the life, the history and the continual passage of time of Venice

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Secret Itineraries Tour

  • Hidden Doge’s Treasure Tour

The Secret Itinerary through the Doge’s Palace covers the rooms and chambers where the delicate work of some of the most important bodies in the Venetian administration was carried out. These spaces offer an interesting insight into and acknowledgement of the civil and political history of the Venice Republic, its public organisations, and its institutional bodies deputed to government and justice.

INFORMATION The tour is  accompanied by a specialized guide , for a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 25 .

It starts at established times according to the following schedule: – in Italian at 11.00 and  12.30 ; – in  English at 10.00 , 11.30 and  13.00 – in French at 10.30 and  12.00 .

Further departures are available on demand Info: Call center +39 041 42730892 Monday to Friday 09:00-16:00, Saturday and Sunday 09:00-13:00. [email protected]

The tour takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes . The ticket includes the guided tour to the Secret Itineraries and grants access, without a guide, to the Doge’s Palace.

ACCESSIBILITY The spaces have, in some cases, small size and are on different levels, connected by steep and narrow stairs: they are therefore not accessible to those with mobility problems and not recommended for those suffering from claustrophobia, vertigo of cardio-respiratory disorders. They are also not suitable for pregnant women. Children under 6 are not allowed .

TICKETS (includes visit to the Doge’s Palace)

Full price ticket: 32,00 euro

Reduced ticket: 20,00 euro* Children aged from 6 to 14; students  * aged from 15 to 25; citizens over 65; Venetian residents; holders of the Rolling Venice Card; holders of the VeneziaUnica Pack; for those buying the combined ticket to the St. Mark’s Square Museums; holders of the Museum Pass; holders of the Clock Tower ticket;  I.C.O.M. members*; holders of ISIC – International Student Identity Card.

* I.D. required


Call center +39 041 42730892 Monday to Friday 09:00-16:00, Saturday and Sunday 09:00-13:00. [email protected]



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doge's palace secret tour

doge's palace secret tour

VIP Doge's Palace Secret Passages Tour

Admire architecture at the Doge's Palace.

  • Gain special access to areas of the Doge's Palace not usually open to the public—including torture chambers and Casanova’s prison cell!
  • After your secret passages tour, you'll skip notoriously long general access lines to get inside the Doge's Palace for a special tour by our local guide.
  • With a small group of just 20 guests, your journey will be intimate, while privileged access means you won’t waste any time waiting in line.

Preview the experience

Tour description, with special access, you'll see more of the doge's palace than most other visitors..

Away from the grandiose halls and lavish apartments of the Doge's Palace lies a darker side to the space. On this Doge's Palace secret passages tour, you'll step off the beaten path and into the shadows, discovering the secrets and spaces that the Venetian doges themselves tried to keep hidden.

You’ll meet your guide near the Doge’s Palace and head straight inside (no waiting in line for you) where a palace guard will unlock a secret door, allowing you to step into the hidden world of political Venice. Navigate the hidden prison cells reserved for VIP prisoners, torture chambers, secret government archives and top echelon offices. Even back in the day, most Venetians didn’t know this space existed, so it’s hard to overstate just how privileged our secret passages tour is. With their antique cabinets and creaky floors these rooms will truly make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

By exploring the secret passages, you get away from the crowds elsewhere in the Doge’s Palace and walk in the footsteps of Venice’s most colorful characters. Our favorite? Casanova, that legendary romantic—yes, he did exist! And, as you’ll learn, he deserves all of the lore. Against all odds, he was able to escape his cell here in the palace—a cell you’ll get to see exclusively in the secret passages tour.

See secret passages and stunning ballrooms at the Palazzo Ducale.

Few visitors ever have the opportunity to walk the passages you’ve just walked, yet the Doge’s Palace is still one of the top sights of Venice. See what all the fuss is about when you step back into general access areas of the palace to explore the waiting rooms, council halls and ballrooms of the palace. While our secret passages tour is full of dark secrets and hidden rooms, the general access part of this tour is all pomp and grandeur, offering glimpses of Venice’s finest works of art.

You’ll discover the public face of the Republic of Venice with your expert guide, from the Doge’s own lavish apartments to the Hall of the Great Council. Admire beautiful and dramatic paintings by Veronese and Tintoretto, and explore the magnificent halls that demonstrate the prestige of the Venetian Republic.

Small groups, special access, and local guides make for an unforgettable tour.

Throughout your tour, you’ll travel in small groups of only 20 people or less, so you’ll find that your guide is always easy to hear and engage with. Ask all the questions you want—our guides are locals who spend a lot of time in the Doge’s Palace, so you’ll find it hard to catch them out. They’re passionate about the history and art of Venice, and about sharing that passion with you, so they’d love to hear your queries.

With privileged entrance, you'll save time that would have otherwise been spent waiting in line, while special access allows you to go far beyond the usual visitor experience for an adventure into the Doge’s Palace secret passages. Leave no stone unturned or door unopened on this complete, comprehensive, and thoroughly VIP exploration of the history and art of Venice!

Please note that due to Doge's Palace rules, we cannot accommodate children under six years old in the Secret Passages.

Sites visited

Verified guest reviews, apr 28, 2024.

The Secret Passages of the Doges Palace in Venice was a great tour and our tour guide, Mat, was very good. A couple of things to note: there are a lot of stairs and narrow staircases and the audio equipment does not work well in the dungeon portion of the tour due to the winding passages and thick walls. If you are not at the front of the group near the guide, you miss a portion of the commentary. Still enjoyed the tour very much.

Oct 15, 2023

Our tour was outstanding. Our guide, Maria Terese was so knowledgeable and funny. Highly recommend.

Tour guid walked too fast and did not keep group together very well

Oct 12, 2023

Pamela was great guide and tour was interesting

Oct 01, 2023

Nico was an excellent tour guide! I Didn’t think I’d enjoy a group tour but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I learned details I wouldn’t have gotten on my own.

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Spend a perfect day in Venice exploring iconic local attractions and tasting the best cicchetti in the city on an evening food tour.

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Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour in Venice

Visiting the Secret Rooms of the Doge's Palace

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson

Visitors to the Doge's Palace , one of Venice's top attractions, can also book a tour of the Itinerari Segreti . The Secret Itineraries Tour takes you to parts of the palace that are off limits during the regular visit, including secret passageways, prisons, the torture chamber, an interrogation room, and the infamous Bridge of Sighs.

Note that the Secret Itineraries tour is available only by reservation (see below) and is not part of the general admission ticket. If it's something you don't want to miss on your trip to Venice—and we do highly recommend it—be sure to book your tour well in advance of your visit.

How to Book the Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

The Secret Itineraries Tour is a guided tour and is available only with a reservation. English language guided tours are currently available several times daily. Book the Secret Itineraries English language guided tour through the Doge's Palace website. The guided tour ticket also includes general admission to the Doge's Palace so you can visit at your leisure after the tour.

Highlights of the Secret Itineraries Tour:

  • The Ducal Notary, the Deputato allo Segreta, the Office of the Great Chancellor, and the Chamber of the Secret Chancellery - All of these administrative rooms held the most important documents of the Venetian Republic. The first two offices, which were interconnected, were occupied by the Doge's notary and an archive for the Council of Ten, the Secret Service of the Republic of Venice. The Great Chancellor was the only figurehead to be elected by the Maggior Consiglio and his job was to oversee the State Archives. Other important and secretive documents were held in the cabinets that lined the walls of the Secret Chancellery.
  • The Torture Chamber and the Piombi - The haunting Torture Chamber is set up with some of the devices used on Venetian prisoners. The Piombi are the lead-lined prison cells where prisoners who had been caught by the Council of Ten were held. These included mostly political prisoners and also Giacomo Casanova, who famously escaped the Piombi in 1756 and wrote about it in his memoirs.
  • The Attic - The attic is one of the older parts of the Doge's Palace and is where a tower once stood. The room contains a Doge's coat of arms and a cache of 16th-century weapons.
  • The Inquisitors' Chamber - A flight of stairs leads from the Attic to the Sala dei Inquisitori alla Propagazione dei Segreti dello Stato, where three magistrates from the highest ranks of Venetian government met to discuss and protect state secrets. The ceiling in this shady room contains beautiful paintings by Tintoretto.
  • The Bridge of Sighs - The Secret Itineraries Tour typically ends at the Bridge of Sighs . Visitors can walk through the narrow, cramped corridors of the footbridge and see Venice as prisoners of yore once saw it: through narrow grills on the windows.

For more tips on how to see the best of Venice and get the most from your stay there, see our guide: Visiting Venice: Italy's Most Romantic City . 

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The Travelling Squid

5 reasons to do the Secret Itineraries tour of the Doges Palace in Venice

Secret Itineraries tour of the Doges Palace in Venice guide

If you’re looking to buy a normal ticket to the Doge’s Palace, I would recommend that you go on the secret itineraries tour of the Doges Palace instead. It cost €28 for an adult ticket , which is much higher compared to the entrance fee for other attractions in Italy, like the Milan Cathedral . But through the tour, you can learn about the workings of the Doge’s Palace, and see places which are not opened to those who purchase the normal ticket at €25. As compared to the Secret Itineraries tour, the normal ticket gives you access to the St Mark’s Museum, which according to Google, looked quite ornate. But we preferred to have a guide and it was worth it. Here’s why you should do the Secret Itineraries tour of the Doges Palace in Venice. It will take about 1hr 30 mins.

5 reasons to take the Secret Itineraries tour of the Doges Palace in Venice

1. our guide was knowledgeable and fun.

Facade doge's palace venice

Our guide was a Venetian lady who told us interesting facts and peppered the tour with jokes along the way. She started off at the square telling us about the big rooms in the palace, which are designated for voting and for political meetings of Venetian noblemen. At one point, one of the meeting rooms was the biggest in the whole of Europe.

statue doge's palace venice

Our guide also mentioned that it was difficult for local Venetians to continue staying in Venice due to the high cost of living. In addition, there is also a high cost involved to do restoration and repair works as workers will have to take a boat over. This explains why we saw plenty of empty homes when we ventured to a more local part of the island in the south-east. It was much more enjoyable listening to our guide as opposed to simply reading the short English descriptions of the paintings.

Facade doge's palace venice

We learnt that the fall of Venice could be attributed to Napoleon , hence he is a figure not well-liked among Venetians.

2. We got to see Casanova’s cell and learn how he escaped

prison Secret Itineraries tour of the Doges Palace in Venice

Giacomo Casanova is one of Venice’s most famous residents. He was known for his romantic liaisons with women from all walks of life, including nuns. Our guide explained that women were sent to be nuns back then out of poverty. For some, it was not of their choice. In the midst of saving them, Casanova had several affairs and was imprisoned for an affront to religion.

casanova cell Secret Itineraries tour of the Doges Palace in Venice

The subject of Casanova’s escape was a controversial one. It was said that during one of his walks, he found a metal spike which he brought with him back to his cell. He started digging a hole in the wall as a means of escape. But on the night before he planned his escape, he was moved to another holding cell, and had to bribe the warden of that time to cover up (the hole) literally. He was placed in another holding cell where he enlisted the help of his cellmate, Father Balbi, a renegade priest, to dig a hole for their escape.

While Casanova’s account is suspenseful, the guide said that it was to be taken with a pinch of salt, as there was no hole to be found when the cells were checked after his escape.

3. Political prisoners were left in the basement, which could flood during heavy rains

map Secret Itineraries tour of the Doges Palace in Venice

It is most unfortunate if you were convicted of treason back in those days. We were told that political prisoners, especially those who were about to be executed we placed in cells at the basement of the palace. As it rains frequently in Venice and floods often, the cells would be flooded and water levels could rise to one’s chest level. It was a dire situation especially if the cells were flooded and the prisoners had to share it with rats. According to our guide, rats outnumber the number of humans in Venice currently.

4. It is better to be a Chancellor than a Doge

venetian archives doges palace

We visited the Office of the Great Chancellor, who is said to be in charge of all the archival records in Venice. The Chancellors had a nice office with wooden beams supporting it. Apparently, it could get quite hot during the summer. That said, it was still much more spacious that the prison cells below. Our guide said that it was much better to be a Chancellor as compared to being a Doge, as the Doge was expected to furnish the palace with his own wealth. In comparison, the Chancellor knew all the secrets of the city, and as a result, was paid well. His appointment was for life and his office was also quite big, by standards in the past.

venetian archives doges palace

5. We learnt that a bridge built 500 years ago can be sturdier than one built 10 years ago

attic Secret Itineraries tour of the Doge's Palace in Venice

The Secret Itineraries tour led us to the attic where we could see the foundations of the palace, held steady by blocks of wood. It was then where our guide remarked that it was quite steady, as compared bridges which were built 10 years ago to serve incoming tourist traffic.

rope torture doge's palace

After the tour, we took a walk around the palace. The paintings and rooms in the Dodge’s Palace were impressive, decked in gold and paintings of epic battles. If the Cathedrals that we visited in Italy were meant to make people feel awe in a divine presence, the paintings and gold furnishings were meant to make guests feel impressed – it was almost intimidating. We particularly like the frescos on the floor, which were in the form of 3D shapes.

fresco doges palace venice

The Travelling Squid’s Take

For new visitors who are not familiar with Venice’s history, the Secret Itineraries tour will give you a glimpse into what was life in the past, away from the grandeur of the ceremonial halls. It was interesting to learn about how public servants were involved in the administration of Venetian governance, as well as experience the prison cells which used to hold people convicted of political crimes and Casanova.

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VIP Doge's Palace Secret Passages Tour

665 reviews

This tour meets in St. Mark's Square.

Why take this tour?

  • Explore the more impenetrable parts of the Doge's Palace, including torture chambers and interrogation rooms
  • Learn more about the people who passed through this building
  • Acquaint yourself with the long and fascinating history of Venice through stories told by your expert guide
  • Sites Visited
  • Casanova’s prison cell
  • Torture chamber
  • Secret archives
  • Hall of the Great Council
  • Sala della Scrutinio
  • New Prisons
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Tour Includes
  • VIP Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries tickets
  • Skip-the-line Doge's Palace tickets
  • Expert local guide

Take a walk through hidden torture rooms, cells and council rooms

Total customer reviews: 665, latest reviews.

doge's palace secret tour

Meeting Point

Meeting Point   

This tour meets underneath the Portico, just outside the entrance of the Correr Museum in Piazza San Marco, 30124. The Correr Museum is directly opposite the entrance of St. Mark's Basilica. Your guide will be holding a green Walks sign. 

Please meet 15 minutes prior to the tour start time.   

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St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge’s Palace Half-Day Tour with Gondola Ride

Explore st. mark's square's most iconic attractions with skip-the-line tickets and an expert guide.

Only have a few hours to spend on a guided tour in Venice? Then we have you covered. You’ll get skip-the-line entry at both St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace to maximize your time while you learn about the incredible centuries-old histories of these remarkable monuments. Then finish off with a must-do gondola ride in the Grand Canal. Your day in Venice can’t get much more perfect!

St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge’s Palace Half-Day Tour with Gondola Ride

Skip the Line

  • Meet your guide at St. Mark's Square
  • St. Mark Basilica
  • Doge's Palace
  • Grand Ballroom
  • Golden Staircase
  • Prison cells and dungeon
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Gondola ride
  • End near Piazza San Marco

You’ll meet up with your local guide and the rest of your group in the famous St. Mark’s Square near the two columns by the canal. Skip the long lines at St. Mark’s so you can get right inside to learn about this magnificent golden church. Then explore the Doge’s Palace where you’ll see the golden staircase, prisons, and Bridge of Sighs. Finally, your guide will escort you to your gondola ride that might just become your favorite activity of the day!

St. Mark’s, Doge’s Palace, and Gondola Tour Description

Your 3.5-hour tour includes:

Skip-the-line entry and guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica

Skip-the-line entry and guided tour of Doge’s Palace

30-minute gondola ride

Maximum group size of 20

A local, English-speaking guide

St. Mark’s Basilica

You’ll begin your tour of Venice in St. Mark's Square, or Piazza San Marco, which is perhaps one of the most famous public squares in the world. Then follow your guide past the crowds for your skip-the-line entry into St. Mark’s Basilica to see why it’s nicknamed the “Church of Gold”. With over 45,000 square feet of gilded mosaics constructed over eight centuries, the interior of St. Mark's Basilica is unlike anything you've ever seen.

Please note that St. Mark's is a sacred place, so we ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise you might be refused entry and you’ll miss out on a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Venice can be hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs

The Gothic building right next to St. Mark’s Basilica is the infamous Doge’s Palace that has a storied past of tyranny, torture, and an iron fist of rulers. From the 15th to 18th centuries, the Doges of Venice lived and ruled from this palace that includes paintings from Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese.

The interior of the Doge's Palace is grand to say the least. Inside you’ll find marble fireplaces, friezes and stucco adorning the walls. Some works of art stand out over the rest, including iconic pieces by Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese, and your guide will explain the stories and interpretations behind the art. You'll also pass through the awe-inspiring Great Council Chamber, which is one of the largest rooms in Europe and the place where the most important decisions were discussed.

One of the palace's most impressive features is the Golden Staircase, considered the most valuable staircase ever built. It connects the first floor of the palace to the third, where the Doge's offices were located. Your guide will show you the grand offices from which Venice was ruled for centuries, including the rooms that housed the powerful Council of Ten—the city's governing body.

Linking the palace to the prison cells, you'll cross the infamous Bridge of Sighs ( Ponte dei Sospiri ). Prisoners walked across this enclosed bridge before spending years or even the remainder of their lives behind bars. If that wasn’t enough to sigh about, look out from the small windows carved into the bridge that once offered convicts their last glimpse of beautiful Venice. That's plenty to sigh about. 

Traditional Gondola Ride

You might think it’s a super touristy thing to do—and it is—but taking a gondola ride through the Venetian canals really is a fun activity. That’s why it’s included on this tour to make sure your time in Venice is filled with the best opportunities. Enjoy lazily gliding through the canal while your gondolier poses for photos!

Being an island and subject to problems related to high water, the gondola or boat tour cannot be guaranteed due to force majeure.

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What you get with this tour

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See what people are saying

302 total reviews

Incredible tour experience

We had Elaina as a tour guide and had a great experience. She has so much knowledge on Venice history and clearly is passionate about what she does. We had rainy weather the day of our tour but Elaina did everything she could to ensure our comfort while maintaining the tour.

Good value for money very enjoyable

We had a great experience on this tour, our guide was knowledgeable and friendly and fun. A pity we ran a bit late starting and then had to go through certain areas rather fast. The radio audio is a great plus as you don't have to be right next to the guid to hear her.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to bring?

We recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes, a camera, and a water bottle. Large bags and backpacks are not allowed and will have to be checked before entering the Doge's Palace. It's best to leave them at your hotel if possible.

We recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes, a camera, and a water bottle. Large bags and backpacks are not allowed and will have to be checked before entering the Doge's Palace. It's best to leave them at your hotel if possible.

What if I have concerns about my mobility on this tour?

This is a walking tour that includes several sets of stairs, and you will be on your feet for most of the 3.5 hours.

Does this tour skip the line?

Yes, this we provide Skip-the-Line tickets all year round!

What if it rains?

Our tours run rain or shine! If the weather is particularly bad the gondola may not run due to safety concerns, in which case a partial refund will be provided.

Is lunch included in the price of the tour?

No, lunch is not included in the price of your tour, but your guide will have lots of recommendations for tasty places to eat.

How long is the gondola ride?

The gondola ride is about 30 minutes long and the gondolier will decide which canals to float through.

Free 24-hr cancellation on group tours! Learn more

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Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries - Venice Guided tour. Discover secret areas of the Doge's Palace with an expert guide!

Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries - Venice Guided tour

Discover secret areas of the Doge's Palace with an expert guide!

  • Reserved entrance
  • Confirmation by email
  • E-voucher accepted
  • Duration: about 1h30
  • Discover the Doge's Palace secret path.
  • Take advantage of your reservation to avoid the queue at the entrance.
  • Visit the cell where Giacomo Casanova was imprisoned.

Narrow passages, steep stairs, small cells and torture chambers, an exciting tour that will reveal you all the secrets of the Doge's Palace hidden areas. At the end of the tour you can stay in the museum for as long as you wish!

PLEASE NOTE:  the tour is not allowed to children under 6 years of age.

doge's palace secret tour

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Secret Tour of the Doge’s Palace in Venice

secret tour doge's palace

Who doesn’t love a good secret? The Doge’s Palace secret tour was the most exciting part of our boys’ trip to Venice. It’s not hard to work out why they found it so thrilling. The hidden doorways, secret passageways and spine tingling stories of daring escapes and torture chambers could have come straight out of the pages of a thriller. There are 11 centuries of history behind these walls and we heard all the best stories on our top secret tour.

The Doge’s Palace is one of Venice’s most well known sights. The pink and white Gothic palazzo on St Mark’s Square is a powerful symbol of the city’s magnificent past when Venice was the world’s greatest trading empire.

secret tour doge's palace

The Doge’s Palace or Palazzo Ducale was the official residence of the 120 doges, the dukes who ruled Venice from 697 to 1797 and it’s every bit as opulent as you would expect, with golden staircases, priceless Renaissance paintings by the likes of Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese, and the world famous Bridge of Sighs.

But there’s another side to the Doge’s Palace, a secret side that the ordinary visitors don’t get to see. One you get to see on the Doge’s Palace secret tour. Away from the magnificence of the grand rooms you can find hidden corridors, dank prisons and torture chambers. These are the secret rooms used by the infamous Council of Ten, the ten all-powerful nobles who made up Venice’s secret service.

secret tour doge's palace

See inside the prison cells

secret tour doge's palace

A small door in the ground floor takes you to the Pozzi (the wells). These small, damp cells were miserable places that flooded at high tide and one of the worst prisons in the palace. From here, a series of narrow staircases and numerous passages leads you up to the Piombi (the leads), the prison cells in the attics. These cells were used for people accused of political crimes and the Council of Ten’s own prisoners. Although the cells are far more comfortable than those downstairs, the ceilings here are so low that you have to duck your head to go inside. As part of the tour you can go inside the cell used by the palace’s most infamous prisoner, Casanova.

Find out how Casanova escaped

Casanova, born in Venice in 1725, is renowned for being one of the world’s most famous lovers, but he’s also famous for his daring escape from the dreaded prisons in the Palazzo Ducale.

Casanova was put in prison for five years for corrupting nuns (he had love affairs with nuns and married women among countless others) and for trying to convince Venetian nobles to join the Freemasons’ Secret Society. He’d been in prison for over a year when he managed to cut a hole through the floorboards of his cell with an iron bar he’d shaped into a chisel. But he was moved to a new cell just days before he had finished.

Still determined to escape, Casanova sent secret messages to another prisoner hidden in the pages of the books they were sharing. He then hid a tool inside a Bible, covering the book with a bowl of macaroni cheese. When the two men had broken out of their cells, they escaped onto the roof, slid down a drainpipe and walked out of the palace through the main door by pretending that they were officials who’d been accidentally locked in overnight.

Years later, Casanova returned to Venice and worked as a spy for the Council of Ten.

Dare to go inside the Torture Chamber

secret tour doge's palace

Discover where the secret documents were kept

The Council’s secret files were all kept in the Chamber of the Secret Chancellery, a large room built to look like the deck of a ship, with two levels and uneven floors. The wood-panelled walls here all hide cupboards where they kept secret documents including the reports written by Venice’s network of spies. Cats were imported from Persia and Syria to catch the mice who started chewing the precious documents.

Look for the Tintoretto in the Chamber of the Inquisitors

secret tour doge's palace

Find the secret door in the Chamber of the Three Head Magistrates

secret tour doge's palace

In one of the wooden cabinets in this chamber is a secret door which leads to a passageway to the Chamber of the Council of Ten. The ceilings in this room are beautiful – Veronese painted one of the panels and the entire floor is an optical illusion.

After the Doge’s Palace secret tour you’re free to walk around the rest of the palace. Be sure not to miss:

The Scala d’Oro , the golden staircase lined with 24-carat gold.

At the top of the staircase, look out for the face of a grimacing man with his mouth open. This is a secret post box where people could accuse others of anything from swearing to avoiding tax. The notes put in here had to be signed by two accusers and were then investigated by the Council of Ten.

secret tour doge's palace

The Sala dello Scudo – the enormous globes and maps in this room are a fascinating tour of the world as it was known in 1762. It even traces Marco Polo’s route to China.

secret tour doge's palace

The Palazzo Ducale is open every day from 8.30am until 5.30pm. Adults, €20; children, €13; under 6s, free. The ticket also includes access to the Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and the Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. The Secret Itineraries Tour also costs €20 for adults, €14 for children over 6. Entrance includes entrance to the Doge’s Palace. Tickets for the Doge’s Palace Secret Tour must be booked in advance on the website.

Why the Doge's Palace secret tour is a must-see on a visit to Venice. This is the tour that takes you into secret corridors, murky prison cells and torture chambers. Find all about Venice's top secret society and how the famous lover Casanova escaped from jail on the secret itineraries tour of the Palazzo Ducale. #venice #dogespalace #secretitinerariestour #familytravelvenice #familytravelitaly

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This looks like a tour worth taking! The Council of Ten sounds scary, like something out of a vampire movie. Seeing your photos reminds me that I need to get back to Venice. Such a beautiful city, and so much history.

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It would make a fantastic background for a movie, Hilary. The stories are really exciting. Venice is just gorgeous, isn’t it?

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Claire, I’m so infinitely jealous you got to do this tour. How interesting and fascinating. I only spent two days in Venice and was so overwhelmed by its exterior beautify that hardly got to explore the world inside those beautiful palaces, galleries and residences. I cannot wait to get back. Thank you for sharing such a beauty with us. xx, nano

It’s a brilliant tour, Nano, really fascinating. I went here on my third visit – there’s so much to see in Venice, you really need to go a few times at least. I’ve now been four times and there are still places I’ve missed out on visiting. Oh well, it’s a good excuse to return!

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really fascinating tour

It was fantastic, Tanja!

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I did this tour with my teenage boys and I agree, it was fabulous! We loved Venice.

I love finding tours like this, Lisa. It was such a great way of making those exciting stories come alive.

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Oh, this looks like a great tour! Something else than just the standard stuff. Love that! #FarawayFiles

It really was a wonderful tour, Esther. We especially liked the feeling of being some of only a few special people to see these secret rooms while all the other visitors were looking at the more well known parts of the palace.

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I also did that tour back in 08! It was so amazing to learn about Casanova and his escapes! Plus, the views of the Bridge of Sighs is amazing! Will have to do this again when I go with my husband one day! #FarawayFiles

It’s such a great tour, isn’t it? My boys loved it – especially the bit about Casanova escaping onto the roof and hiding his tool under a plate of macaroni cheese!

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We’re visiting Venice in the spring, definitely going to look into this tour, it sounds fascinating ( if a bit grim)! #FarawayFiles

It is fascinating, Amanda. It’s definitely one worth doing. I’ll be writing more about the best things to do in Venice in the next couple of weeks.

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I like the idea of getting access to secret places beyond the main tourist zones, but I’m a little squeamish about torture chambers! I do need to get to Venice and see the Doges Palace someday. Beautiful post! #FarawayFiles

Thanks so very much. We loved the idea of a ‘secret’ tour – it really appealed to all of us. There weren’t too many torture instruments to look at so we weren’t too horrified here.

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I wish we had done this tour when we took my son to Venice some years ago – he would have adored it! But you can’t do everything in one visit. My husband was just saying we should be go again! #farawayfiles

I think that Venice is definitely one of those places you need to see a few times. We made this tour on my fourth visit and I partly chose it because one of my sons was absolutely adamant he wanted to see the Doge’s Palace and this tour sounded perfect. There are still so many places we weren’t able to see on this trip so we’ll have to go back one day too.

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What a fascinating tour, definitely one to add to the must do list in Venice #FarawayFiles

It’s a great tour, Catherine.

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I’ve been looking forward to reading this! I wish we had made time for it during our trip to Venice. I’m sure your boys LOVED it. I enjoyed hearing all about Casanova – and interesting he later went on to work for the Council of Ten. #farawayfiles

They really did love it, Corey. They loved finding out all the secrets of the palace and Casanova’s escape was particularly fascinating.

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Sounds like an amazing tour! I only saw the outside of the palace (I was only in Venice for one day) but would love to join a tour like this to see what the palace holds within its walls!

It was a great tour, Bryna, and a good way of skipping the long queues to get inside the palace too.

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I can see why your kids liked this tour. I mean, there are a lot of interesting rooms and stories in there. I didn’t even know a secret tour of the palace was available. It is too awesome to skip it. This is one I am adding to my list of things to do for when I go back to Venice. #FarawayFiles

It’s a really worthwhile tour to do, Ruth. You feel quite special being able to go on a secret tour away from all the other tourists in the palace. I’d definitely recommend it.

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I would love to do this tour. Wooden panels hiding secret passageways, I wonder if Enid Blyton ever took this tour!? #FarawayFiles

It’s so Famous Five, isn’t it? My kids loved the mysteries and intrigues they found out – and who doesn’t love unearthing secrets?!

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I visited Venice and the Doge’s palace a few years ago but we didn’t go on the secret tour! What an incredible building, though. The Bridge of Sighs is also an amazing site in its own right! No wonder Venice is so sought after for travelers. 🙂 #farawayfiles

It is such an amazing building, isn’t it? It’s quite a thrill to see the Bridge of Sighs in real life too. We loved getting to see the secret side of Venice on this tour.

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Oh excellent find! We’ll be in Venice in late spring, I’ll make sure to book this ahead of time. #FarawayFiles

Lucky you, Erin! You do need to book this tour ahead of time but it’s well worth it.

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I visited the Doges Palace a year or so ago and loved it. Your special tour sound s fascinating. Its a place full of such mystery and intrigue. #FarawayFiles

It’s such an extraordinary building, isn’t it, and I couldn’t get over ELEVEN centuries of history here! The secret tour really was worth doing – we felt we found out a lot about the palace that the other visitors didn’t get to experience.

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Ah man, wish I’d known about these tours when I went – I love exploring and history, this would have been right up my alley! #FarawayFiles

It’s a fantastic tour, Keri. It’s always there for next time you visit Venice!

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Doge's Palace/Secret Itineraries Tour

Does anyone have any experience purchasing these tickets? I have found several companies that offer them. Does anyone have a recommendation for a company that they have used? Is this a better option than just buying the regular entrance tickets into the Doge's Palace? If we do this tour at 1135, will we still have enough time to tour the basilica and the campanile afterwards?

We bought our Secret Itineraries tour tickets on the Doge's Palace homesite. It was easy. The tour was great fun, the docent passionate and caring about her subject. These tickets are different than the regular entrance tickets from the Palace but you are encouraged to stay after the tour and visit the rest of the Palace. George

I would also highly recommend this tour, and we also purchased them directly. And, you definitely have enough time to do the 11:35 English tour and then St. Mark's and the Campanile. And, you can get a free reservation for St. Mark's, so there's no reason to wait in line. (And, when we did the same thing you're doing, in mid-July, there was a HUGE line for St. Mark's. But, we just walked right in.)

This tour is money WELL spent. You get to see places that others don't see. You're in a small group, not in the typical large swarm. You bypass the line to get into the palace. At the end of this tour, you're left in the palace to see the parts of the normal tour as well and you'll have plenty of time to do that. You'll need the time because the standard tour through the palace is LONG.

This was sold out for a week when we got there so you'll want to book well in advance. We got our tickets from and it worked out perfectly.

Eat a hearty lunch before you go on your tour. We spent almost 2 hours on the Secret Itineraries tour, then roaming through the rest of the Doge's palace on our. The good news is that late in the afternoon, the lines were shorter for St. Mark's. About a 10-15 wait.

Could someone please tell me the major difference between the Secret tour and the regular tour? My husband has bad knees & something I read led me to believe that maybe we should not try the Secret tour. Thanks!

I'm not familiar with the "regular" tour, but the Secret Itineraries Tour takes you "behind the scenes" a bit, through some offices, archives room, prison (from which Casanova escaped), torture room, etc. There is not much walking - a few stair cases - but, you are standing the whole time.

To see the glory and the extravagance of the palace, you stay afterwards and wander through the palace. And, if you're interested, there is a very nice display of weapons that our kids, in particular, really enjoyed.

I hope that helps.

Not to take the attention away from OP, but between the regular and the secret tour, which one is better for a first timer?

Also, can these tours be purchased on location?

I'll say that that's an impossible question, since they're both so different and interesting. So, I'd recommend doing both.

Here's the detailed Secret Itineraries Tour.

I thought that the Secret Itineraries Tour must be booked in advance, but the website says that reservations "can be made at the Museum Information Desk the day before the visit or the same day, depending on availability". However, I suspect that it sells out regularly, so I would still recommend booking it in advance.

I forgot to mention in my earlier post that the "regular" tour also includes the prisons in the basement of the Doge's Palace, which was quite interesting, including the Bridge of Sighs.

I went to the musei civici veneziani website to book our Secret Itineraries tour. We are scheduled for 10 October. There are 3 English tours.....looks like 25 tickets for each tour. For that day, one of those tours only had 3 tickets left for one of the time slots.

I booked the Secret Itineraries tour with

The Secret Itineraries is completely different from the regular tour. The Secret tour takes you into the cells and recounts the story of Casanova and other infamous prisoners. The regular tour, which you can do after the Secret tour is complete, is simply a visit to the major rooms of the Doges Palace.

Does anyone know if you purchase a Secret Itineries ticket and are able to remain in the palace after to look around....can you also get into the Manet exhibit ... or is a separate admission charged for art exhibits?

The SI ticket is also the entrance ticket to the Palace. The tour begins inside. You may enter any time before the tour and stay as long afterward as you like. On the SI tour you only visit parts of the Palace that are not open "to the public." If you want to see other parts, you will need time before or after. I thought their audio guide was worth it. There's also a reasonably priced cafe inside the Palace. I think the best time to visit the basilica is between 11.30 and 12.30 when the mosaics are floodlit. If you include the museum (worth it just for the close-up look at some of the mosaics and for the views from the balconies (inside and outside), you'll want 1-1/2 to 2 hours, possibly more. The campanile is really just the views of Venice, so most people don't spend a lot of time up there. It can be a wait, if it's crowded - both limited space and small elevator. I was there just before sunset and stayed quite awhile watching as dusk came on and the lights went on. That was February, though. It may not be open past sunset when you are there.

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Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro Tour is included in most guided tours’ itineraries. Opened in 1935, under Stalin’s regime, the metro was not only meant to solve transport problems, but also was hailed as “a people’s palace”. Every station you will see during your Moscow metro tour looks like a palace room. There are bright paintings, mosaics, stained glass, bronze statues… Our Moscow metro tour includes the most impressive stations best architects and designers worked at - Ploshchad Revolutsii, Mayakovskaya, Komsomolskaya, Kievskaya, Novoslobodskaya and some others.

What is the kremlin in russia?

The guide will not only help you navigate the metro, but will also provide you with fascinating background tales for the images you see and a history of each station.

And there some stories to be told during the Moscow metro tour! The deepest station - Park Pobedy - is 84 metres under the ground with the world longest escalator of 140 meters. Parts of the so-called Metro-2, a secret strategic system of underground tunnels, was used for its construction.

During the Second World War the metro itself became a strategic asset: it was turned into the city's biggest bomb-shelter and one of the stations even became a library. 217 children were born here in 1941-1942! The metro is the most effective means of transport in the capital.

There are almost 200 stations 196 at the moment and trains run every 90 seconds! The guide of your Moscow metro tour can explain to you how to buy tickets and find your way if you plan to get around by yourself.

Moscow Metro Tour

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Moscow metro private tours.

  • 2-hour tour $87:  10 Must-See Moscow Metro stations with hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • 3-hour tour $137:  20 Must-See Moscow Metro stations with Russian lunch in beautifully-decorated Metro Diner + hotel pick-up and drop off. 
  • Metro pass is included in the price of both tours.

Highlight of Metro Tour

  • Visit 10 must-see stations of Moscow metro on 2-hr tour and 20 Metro stations on 3-hr tour, including grand Komsomolskaya station with its distinctive Baroque décor, aristocratic Mayakovskaya station with Soviet mosaics, legendary Revolution Square station with 72 bronze sculptures and more!
  • Explore Museum of Moscow Metro and learn a ton of technical and historical facts;
  • Listen to the secrets about the Metro-2, a secret line supposedly used by the government and KGB;
  • Experience a selection of most striking features of Moscow Metro hidden from most tourists and even locals;
  • Discover the underground treasure of Russian Soviet past – from mosaics to bronzes, paintings, marble arches, stained glass and even paleontological elements;
  • Learn fun stories and myths about Coffee Ring, Zodiac signs of Moscow Metro and more;
  • Admire Soviet-era architecture of pre- and post- World War II perious;
  • Enjoy panoramic views of Sparrow Hills from Luzhniki Metro Bridge – MetroMost, the only station of Moscow Metro located over water and the highest station above ground level;
  • If lucky, catch a unique «Aquarelle Train» – a wheeled picture gallery, brightly painted with images of peony, chrysanthemums, daisies, sunflowers and each car unit is unique;
  • Become an expert at navigating the legendary Moscow Metro system;
  • Have fun time with a very friendly local;
  • + Atmospheric Metro lunch in Moscow’s the only Metro Diner (included in a 3-hr tour)

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  • Drop-off  at your hotel, Novodevichy Convent, Sparrow Hills or any place you wish
  • + Russian lunch  in Metro Diner with artistic metro-style interior for 3-hour tour

Fun facts from our Moscow Metro Tours:

From the very first days of its existence, the Moscow Metro was the object of civil defense, used as a bomb shelter, and designed as a defense for a possible attack on the Soviet Union.

At a depth of 50 to 120 meters lies the second, the coded system of Metro-2 of Moscow subway, which is equipped with everything you need, from food storage to the nuclear button.

According to some sources, the total length of Metro-2 reaches over 150 kilometers.

The Museum was opened on Sportivnaya metro station on November 6, 1967. It features the most interesting models of trains and stations.

Coffee Ring

The first scheme of Moscow Metro looked like a bunch of separate lines. Listen to a myth about Joseph Stalin and the main brown line of Moscow Metro.

Zodiac Metro

According to some astrologers, each of the 12 stops of the Moscow Ring Line corresponds to a particular sign of the zodiac and divides the city into astrological sector.

Astrologers believe that being in a particular zadiac sector of Moscow for a long time, you attract certain energy and events into your life.

Paleontological finds 

Red marble walls of some of the Metro stations hide in themselves petrified inhabitants of ancient seas. Try and find some!

  • Every day each car in  Moscow metro passes  more than 600 km, which is the distance from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
  • Moscow subway system is the  5th in the intensity  of use (after the subways of Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai).
  • The interval in the movement of trains in rush hour is  90 seconds .

What you get:

  • + A friend in Moscow.
  • + Private & customized Moscow tour.
  • + An exciting pastime, not just boring history lessons.
  • + An authentic experience of local life.
  • + Flexibility during the walking tour: changes can be made at any time to suit individual preferences.
  • + Amazing deals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the very best cafes & restaurants. Discounts on weekdays (Mon-Fri).
  • + A photo session amongst spectacular Moscow scenery that can be treasured for a lifetime.
  • + Good value for souvenirs, taxis, and hotels.
  • + Expert advice on what to do, where to go, and how to make the most of your time in Moscow.

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doge's palace secret tour

doge's palace secret tour


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    Learn about the civil and political history of the Venice Republic and its public organisations with a guided tour of the Secret Itineraries, a series of rooms and chambers where the Doge's Palace was built. The tour is available in Italian, English and French and requires a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 25.

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    The Secret Itineraries Tour also costs €20 for adults, €14 for children over 6. Entrance includes entrance to the Doge's Palace. Tickets for the Doge's Palace Secret Tour must be booked in advance on the website. The Doge's Palace secret tour was one of the highlights of our trip to Venice.

  16. VIP Doge's Palace Secret Passages Tour

    Go behind the scenes on a 2.5-hour tour of the Doge's Palace and discover the secret itinerary of the rulers of the Venetian Empire. See the secret archives, offices, and torture chambers, as well as the palace attic and top-security prison cells. Points of interest: Doge's Palace. Bridge of Sighs.

  17. Doge's Palace

    Can you recommend either a Secret Itineraries Tour or the Hidden Doge's Treasure Tour if I can only pick one? Go! My Account. ... Doge's Palace - Secret Itineraries Tour or the Hidden Doge's Treasure Tour. Jump to bottom. Posted by aimeesoo on 04/25/23 05:47 AM.

  18. Doge's Palace/Secret Itineraries Tour

    The Secret tour takes you into the cells and recounts the story of Casanova and other infamous prisoners. The regular tour, which you can do after the Secret tour is complete, is simply a visit to the major rooms of the Doges Palace. Posted by Laurie. Oshawa, ON, Canada. 04/20/13 10:52 AM.

  19. Private Moscow Metro Tour

    Private Sightseeing Tours in Moscow: Check out 6 reviews and photos of Viator's Private Moscow Metro Tour

  20. Moscow metro tour

    The Moscow Metro Tour is included in most guided tours' itineraries. Opened in 1935, under Stalin's regime, the metro was not only meant to solve transport problems, but also was hailed as "a people's palace". Every station you will see during your Moscow metro tour looks like a palace room. There are bright paintings, mosaics ...

  21. Moscow Metro Tour with Friendly Local Guides

    Moscow Metro private tours. 2-hour tour $87: 10 Must-See Moscow Metro stations with hotel pick-up and drop-off. 3-hour tour $137: 20 Must-See Moscow Metro stations with Russian lunch in beautifully-decorated Metro Diner + hotel pick-up and drop off. Metro pass is included in the price of both tours.

  22. 628DirtRooster

    Welcome to the 628DirtRooster website where you can find video links to Randy McCaffrey's (AKA DirtRooster) YouTube videos, community support and other resources for the Hobby Beekeepers and the official 628DirtRooster online store where you can find 628DirtRooster hats and shirts, local Mississippi honey and whole lot more!