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?

Thank you.

Posted by George
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
199 posts

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

Posted by Leslie H
Northborough, MA
619 posts

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.)

Posted by Jeff
Fort Worth, TX, USA
84 posts

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 http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it/frame.asp?pid=595&z=2&tit=biglietti and it worked out perfectly.

Posted by Margaret
Bel Air, MD, USA
261 posts

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.

Posted by Madelia
Opal, USA
70 posts

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!

Posted by Leslie H
Northborough, MA
619 posts

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.

Posted by SaHiL
Toronto, Canada
5 posts

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?

Thanks.

Posted by Leslie H
Northborough, MA
619 posts

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.

Posted by Judy
Norfolk, USA
255 posts

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.

Posted by Scott
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
122 posts

I booked the Secret Itineraries tour with tickitaly.com.

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.

Posted by Laurie
Oshawa, ON, Canada
1 posts

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?

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3496 posts

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.