A masterpiece that is truly worth visiting at least once in a lifetime: this is the Doge's Palace, a monument of rare and absolute beauty. Also known as the residence of the Doge, the main authority of the Republic of Venice from 697 to 1797, and for this reason also called Doge's Palace in ancient times. Officially becoming a museum in 1923, in its long history it has survived fires and floods, passing ownership between successive Doges. Since 1996 the Doge's Palace has become a full-fledged part of the system of the Civic Museums of Venice.
The facade of the Doge's Palace, is considered a Gothic jewel; it stands in the monumental area of St. Mark's Square, one of the most fascinating places in the lagoon city, overlooking the basin of the same name. The Palace has three sides: two main ones and one on the canal that divides it from the Prisons; the fourth facade, however, is the side body of St. Mark's Basilica. The Doge's Palace hosts exhibitions of great historical interest, is open to the public and offers a wide choice of itineraries, including the "Secret Itineraries of the Doge's Palace" and "The Doge's Hidden Treasures."
On the Inside
The palace is entered through the Porta del Frumento from which one ascends to the upper floor with the Loggias that run along the three wings of the palace and offer striking views of the courtyard and Piazzetta San Marco. The exterior facades present a Venetian Gothic style, with refined decorations accompanied by symbols, allegorical motifs, capitals and sculptures. Inside you can admire the Scala dei Giganti, located in the courtyard, a masterpiece of Renaissance art. Visiting the museum, you will discover the history and culture of Venetian civilization, from the origins of the first doges, to the 14th-century palace, continuing with the renovations of Doge Foscari and the 15th century, the fire of 1577, the prisons and other 17th-century interventions, until the end of the Republic of Venice.
What makes the Doge's Palace even more unique are its interior structures: the Golden Staircase, the Bridge of Sighs and the Prisons, as well as works by some of the most celebrated painters in art history, such as Gentile da Fabriano, Carpaccio, Titian, Andrea Palladio, Tintoretto, Giambattista Tiepolo and Veronese. Also not to be missed are the Armory Rooms, a real spectacle for lovers of period weapons, Bridge of Sighs, which was crossed by condemned prisoners, who sighing precisely - watched from its windows, for the last time, the lagoon. Finally, the Bocca di Leone, a sort of letterbox where illegal actions of citizens could be reported anonymously.
The Doge's Palace also serves-as mentioned-also as a venue for temporary exhibitions, special events, lectures and educational activities aimed at schools and families; visitable from April 1 to October 31, Sunday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (last admission 8:30 p.m.); Friday and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. (last admission 10:30 p.m.); November 1 to March 31 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last admission 6:30 p.m.). For all necessary information, just visit the official website or ask us: our reception will be happy to make the best arrangements for your visit!