Explore this secret itinerary through Doge's palace on a 2-hour tour of the most iconic building in Venice. On this tour, you will see the chambers where the work of some of the most important Venetian administration bodies was carried out. Learn more about the civil and political history of this city as well as its administration from your professional guide.
Stop At: Doge's Palace, Veneto
Join the guided group tour which starts at the winged lion column at the Saint Mark's Square and enters into the large and bright courtyard of Palazzo Ducale, rich in precious marble decorations, going through a narrow door on the ground floor, you’ll find yourself in the Pozzi.
The guide will explain to you the places of detention, consisting of small wet cells, barely lit by oil lamps, ventilated only through round holes in thick stone walls and closed in by locked doors with solid bolts. Next, through a narrow staircase, you’ll visit the two small rooms of the Ducal Notary and the Deputato alla Segreta, important officers of the institutional machinery.
The guide will then lead you to a large and beautiful Chamber of the Secret Chancellery, whose walls are lined with cabinets containing public and secret documents relating to the work of most of the Venetian magistrate. Passing through the small room of the Deputy to the Chancellery one comes to the Torture Chamber, also known as the Chamber of Torment; this disturbing place is linked directly with the Prisons. The guide will explain how torture was practiced in Venice and in which century it was abolished.
You’ll continue to the Piombi From the Torture Chamber. These cells were used exclusively for the prisoners of the Council of Ten, either those accused of political crimes, those awaiting sentence or those serving short prison terms. You’ll understand why Piombi is in a much better condition than those in the Pozzi, the terrible cells on the ground floor of the Doge’s Palace.
From the Piombi you pass directly under the roof to the attic located at the corner of the building between the waterfront and canal–side facades. Inside it has cabinets that contain a number of weapons, most from the 16th century. From this attic, two long flights of stairs bring you into the Chamber of the Inquisitors, a much-feared magistrate that was set up in 1539 to protect state secrets.