4. Venice: St Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace, and Gondola Ride
Discover the Doge's Palace, one of the most important symbols of Venice and for centuries, the historical seat of the most important political powers of the Serene Venetian Republic. Meet your professional guide in Saint Mark's Square, who will then escort you into this magnificent palace to visit the halls of power and immerse yourself in medieval Europe among hundreds of masterpieces. Dominating Saint Mark's Square, the heart of Venice, the Doge's Palace stands out for its size and its extraordinary structure, where Byzantine, European and Oriental architecture collide. Immediately entering the palace, you will pass through the great courtyard and admire the wealth of details on the famous Golden Staircase. Once inside the palace, visit the halls where the Duke (Doge) and his council controlled the fate of the Serene Republic, whilst surrounded by hundreds of artistic masterpieces and discover the political history of Venice and its people. Admire the paintings realized by some of the most important artists of the Italian Renaissance, amongst them, the world's largest oil painting by Tintoretto. Passing through the famous Bridge of Sighs, you will reach the new prisons. For the second part of the tour, visit the outside of the Saint Mark's Basilica, once the private chapel of the Doge of Venice, and the only one of its kind in Italy. Your guide will describe the biblical scenes represented throughout the building, together with its history and particularities. Visit the museum with the famous horses on the first floor and the terrace overlooking Saint Marks square. End the tour with a gondola ride, this is the perfect way to appreciate the beauty, charm and color of this unique city built on water. This traditional Venetian mode of transport will depart from San Moise Square, where you will be invited to relax aboard this historic vessel. Admire Venice from this amazing point of view, witness its magnificent architecture and whilst gliding under its bridges, discover secret entrances to the elegant palaces and hidden corners of the city. This is not a guided tour - words are not required to embrace the beauty of seeing Venice from the water.