St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures

Duration: approx. 60 min Location: Venice

Art & History tour

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Why choose this tour?

  1. To admire two precious areas only accessible with this tour: St Mark’s Baptistery and the Zen Chapel

  2. To enjoy an intimate and charming atmosphere with only a small group of visitors

  3. Because you will be able to enter the basilica directly without having to queue at the main entrance

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Please note: the tour is bilingual English/Italian (explanations will be provided in two languages if the audience provenience is mixed) and the skip-the-line access to St. Mark's Basilica is included in the tour.

 

A new itinerary to discover the precious art works and fascinating hidden places in this Cathedral made accessible exclusively for this tour… St Mark’s Cathedral in Venice is famous throughout the world but few know that this Cathedral houses many treasures that have still to be discovered.

 

The St Mark’s Cathedral and its Treasures tour we are proposing will lead you to the discovery, via an exclusive itinerary not available to other visitors, of the magnificent treasures of St Mark’s Cathedral in Venice.

 

From the start of the visit you will feel privileged: seated in the centre of the Cathedral, you will listen to a description of the fascinating and long history of St Mark’s Cathedral in Venice.

 

After the history introduction, the visit of St Mark will continue to two locations usually closed to the public: the Baptistery and the Zen Chapel.

 

The former comprises of three rooms decorated with 14th century mosaics. In the centre you will be able to admire the splendid baptismal font, the gravestone of Jacopo Sansovino and one of the most significant examples of Gothic sculpture in Venice: the tomb of Andre Dandolo.

 

The visit of St Mark’s treasures will continue with the access to the Zen Chapel. Converted into a chapel in honour of the Cardinal Zen, who donated a large sum to St Mark’s Cathedral, this place was once the former entrance into the Cathedral from the shore. Despite the chapel being a significant example of Renaissance art, its mosaics are to be traced to the original monumental entrance of St Mark’s Cathedral and can be dated back to the 13th century.

 

The tour will then carry on with the visit of the famous Treasure of St Mark’s Cathedral, housed inside a tower, in two rooms representing the only remaining relics of the former Venice’s Doge’s Palace. The treasure of St Mark’s Cathedral comprises of 283 pieces, amongst them objects of Byzantine and Islamic art, all brought to Venice after the looting of Constantinople. The remaining objects represent gifts donated to St Mark’s Cathedral or purchased over the centuries.

 

In the right hand side room, you will be able to admire splendid liturgical objects, the oldest and most precious ones being of Byzantine origins. The left hand side room houses a vast collection of relics of St Mark’s Cathedral and during the visit the most important ones from the an artistic and religious point of view will be highlighted.

 

After these exclusive treasures, the tour will move to the major altar to admire the splendid 13th century alabaster columnsthat support the ciborium enshrining St Mark’s remains.

 

Finally, the St Mark’s Cathedral and its Treasures visit will be concluded with a description of the Golden Pall, object of inestimable value and artistic beauty. The Pall is a precious background for the altar of St Mark’s Cathedral and can be rotated via a special device and shown to the public during the most important celebrations of the liturgical calendar.

 

St Mark’s Golden Pall in Venice is considered one of the most precious objects in the world. It is composed of gilded silver strips and decorated with precious stones and enamels painted with a technique called émail cloisonné. Assembled at different times starting in 1000 A.D., St Mark’s Pall was completed in 1345 by the master goldsmith Buoninsegna.


Schedule details
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Availability: All year

Departure point: From April 1st to October 31st: in front of St Clemente's Door at St Mark’s Basilica From November 1st to March 31st: in the atrium on the right of the Basilica Central Entrance

Departure time Languages available

From Tuesday to Saturday

From April 1st to October 31st:

11.00 am, 12.15 pm, 2.45 pm, 4.00 pm

From November 1st to March 31st:

10.30 am, 11.45 am

Bilingual tour English/Italian: from Tuesday to Saturday

Explanations during the tour will be provided in two languages if the audience provenience is mixed: the same information will be presented in Italian and then in English, or vice versa, if participants are both Italian and foreigners.

Prices Duration

From November 1st to March 31st

Adult: €18.00
Concessions: €16.00 (children from 6 to 12 years)
Free: children up to 5 years

From April 1st to October 31st

Adult: €20.00
Concessions: €18.00 (children from 6 to 12 years)
Free: children up to 5 years

approx. 60 min
Inclusions Exclusions
  • Guided tour
  • Skip the Line access to St Mark’s Basilica
  • Ticket to visit the Golden Pall
  • Access to Zen Chapel (if there is no high water)
  • Access to Treasure
  • Access to Baptistery
  • What is not specified under "Inclusions"
Additional information
No credit or refunds will be given in the case of a NO SHOW (if you don't show up at the meeting point at the time indicated on your voucher). In case of high water that prevents a normal access to St. Mark's Basilica, ask the Basilica personnel on the spot for directions. For reasons of force majeure, the Cappella Zen might be not accessible. In cases of religious ceremonies, exceptionally high tides or other special occasions, access to St Mark's Basilica may not be permitted. In case of exceptional high water the tour will not take place. To visit St Mark's Basilica it is necessary to dress appropriately (no shorts or vest or tops) and backpacks are not allowed for safety reasons. This is a collective tour, which means there might be other participants going on the tour with you. Bilingual tour. In case you need assistance or further information when you are there, ask Venetoinside Info Point located at St. Clemente's Door, next to the Basilica main entrance. The Info Point is open only from April 1st to October 31st, from Tuesday to Saturday (9.45 am - 4.30 pm).
Departure point map
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Reviews
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177 reviews for St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures
Reviews in Italian (38) Reviews in other languages (139)
010
average score  
9
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Guidelines for review publication
"St. Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures" 10
nonickname
April 2015 - Mature couple - United States

Due to a conflict with another tour I changed my AM tour to the afternoon. The agent was very generous in allowing the change. The Tour was held by a bi-lingual guide who simultaneously presented it to both English and Italian speaking tour members. The guide was very knowledgeable and answered many questions. The tour offered access to areas not available to the general public.

"Worth every penny" 10
Meryl
April 2015 - Solo traveler - United States

This tour was great for three reasons. First, the guide, Paola, was very knowledgeable. Second, you totally avoid the long waits to get into the church (and the crowds once you're in the church). Third, you can see the baptistery, which is beautiful and very interesting. The tour is only an hour, but we saw a lot in an hour because we didn't have to wait for the crowds. Plus, we were able to spend extra time in the church afterwards on our own. There were only three of us on the tour, so lots of time for questions. The tour is bilingual (the guide will explain everything in both English and Italian). I recommend it highly.

"The best way to see San Marco" 9
Jollyone
March 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

We were so lucky with our guided tour. There were only 4 of us altogether; the other couple were Italian. Our young guide, PAOLA, arrived at the meeting point early, as did we, and gave us lots of information about the Basilica while we waited for the other couple. She took all 4 of us to parts of the building which other visitors don't see on a "do-it-yourself" tour and made the place come alive with the descriptions and historical information she provided. We have done similar tours elsewhere in the world but this was one of the very best and contributed to a wonderful first visit to Venice - we have already booked a return trip!

"Guide With True Credentials" 9
JS
February 2015 - Other - United States

Excellent tour with a guide who studied archeology. We had a bit of a late start due to tardy arrivals and last minute joiners. The zen chapel holds an original fresco that the general public never sees. That alone was worth the tour. We learned so much and loved this tour.

"Definitely worth the price" 9
de Oldphart
January 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

Of course one can see St Marks for free (as we have done before) but this time we opted for this guided tour. We are very glad we did. Our informative guide (Paola?) helped us see things (and get to places) that we would have missed otherwise. Leisurely and thorough, with plenty of time for questions and simply to enjoy the immense beauty of the place. We would definitely recommend this as a efficient way to make a first visit.

"St Mark's and its teasures" 8.5
N/A
September 2014 - Group of friends - Canada

An excellent tour which gives you the opportunity to visit parts of the cathedral one normally cannot see (and believe me, the Baptistery, for example, is a absolute MUST). The guide we had was knowledgeable and took the time to answer all my questions.... having studied art, I greatly appreciated her explanations and comments. I would definitely recommend this tour to everyone who visits Venice!

"Tour of Saint Mark's Cathedral was Fantastic" 10
None
November 2014 - Mature couple - United States

While in Venice, my wife and I booked a tour of St. Mark's Basilica. Our tour guide was lovely and extremely knowledgeable. The beauty of the tour was the behind the scenes look at the baptistery and treasures room. The relics of the True Cross were amazing. Our visit to Venice would not have been as complete without the tour, and I highly recommend it to folks visiting this beautiful city.

"St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasurers" 8
Tom
October 2014 - Mature couple - Canada

Was an enjoyable experience. Definitely could have been a longer tour as there is so much to see. Our guide was outstanding and very knowledgeable. The only problem was that there were only three couples on the tour however one of the couples had very limited English which required our guide to convey the same information in two separate languages. Definitely not her fault as the couple should have booked the tour in their language. A lot of information and so much to see. Well worth the cost and time.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Tom,

we are pleased you enjoyed the tour! As for the explanations in Italian, please consider that St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures is a BILINGUAL tour  and this is clearly indicated both on the voucher and on venetoinside.com, before the beginning of the booking procedure. We regret you missed this important information!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Had to share the English Tour with the Italian Tour" 8.5
Tony
October 2014 - Young couple - United States

Unfortunately I cannot remember the guide's name but she was very thorough in her descriptions of the Treasures tour and did a fantastic job answering all of the questions asked. I would've rated it higher had the tour been specifically in English and not had to share 50/50 with the Italian tour. I don't know if we would've gotten more information in the time allowed or we would've been done sooner, but wasn't overly thrilled that we had to split it up that way especially with so much to see in St. Mark's as well as Venice itself. As for the tour itself, it was definitely interesting to see the treasures and would recommend seeing it if you have the time. Nothing that I would say that blew my mind or that I would've felt missed out on if we didn't see it, but it's always nice to get to see that hidden gem.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Tony,

thank you for your kind review! As for the explanations in Italian, please consider that the fact that St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures is a BILINGUAL tour is clearly indicated both on the voucher and on venetoinside.com. Unfortunately we cannot manage one-language tours separately but we are transparent in declaring it to our clients. We regret you missed this important detail before booking!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"St. Mark and its treasures tour" 7.5
Lilian
October 2014 - Young couple - Singapore

It was high tide at the point of meeting and the meeting point was covered with water. It took us around 15 mins just to get to the entrance of the church as walking paths were very limited. By the time we got to the entrance, the tour had already began and we were starting to panic. Luckily we were able to meet someone who took us into the church via a staff entrance to join the group. The tour was in dual languages but as there was only an Italian couple, the guide spoke to them privately each time after the English explanation. The tour started seated in the middle of the church which was really nice as the other visitors not in the tour couldn't seat. Following a visit to the private rooms, treasure room and the area behind the altar. The tour explained the history of the place as well as the treasures of the church which we enjoyed. A longer tour would have been nice but in all, would recommend the tour.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Lilian,

we are pleased you appreciated the tour despite the problem in locating the meeting point. Please note that on the voucher issued after your reservation it is clearly indicated that ‘In case of HIGH WATER that prevents a normal access to St. Mark s Basilica, ask the Basilica personnel on the spot for directions’... Unfortunately, the phenomenon of ‘acqua alta’ cannot always be forecast in advance and this may cause problems to visitors or even fully inhibit the access to the Basilica. In order to help our clients, we try to provide clear information on the voucher but high water is a real problem for Venice and its inhabitants and it may affect the experience of tourists as well!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Golden splendour" 7
Dilysp
October 2014 - Mature couple - United Kingdom
Wash day

The walk around the basilica was very good and enjoyable. The tour guide was very knowledgeable but she had a very strong Italian accent and at times it made it difficult to understand her.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Dilysp,

we are pleased you enjoyed the tour despite some difficulties in understanding the guide. In fact she has just finished her training with a senior guide and is still improving her English... We hope you are sympathetic about this!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"we got stood up" 0
PCR
October 2014 - Group of friends - United States

We were there and could not find a group... it was crazy outside and we were frantically looking and asking to no avail... it was a total waste of money

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear PCR,

we are sorry you could not find the group to do the tour. However it is not clear to us where you were looking for the guide… Please note that the tour meeting point is clearly indicated on the voucher - both with a textual description and on a map – and it is located at our Info Point. You would have found a member of our staff waiting for you there... Did you not see him? Please send us further information to better understand what happened on that day at info@insidecom.it.

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"ST MARKS" 9
KJ
October 2014 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

Guide very good. One point though as the area around the entrance was flooded the meeting point was not available. There were many people about and we decided with others to join the queue for entry. We then discovered that your representative was inside the building checking vouchers.Perhaps a clearer notice of the location of the meeting point for these times would be helpful.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear KJ,

we are pleased you appreciated the tour despite the problem in locating the meeting point. Please note that on the voucher issued after your reservation it is clearly indicated that ‘In case of HIGH WATER that prevents a normal access to St. Mark s Basilica, ask the Basilica personnel on the spot for directions’ and also ‘In case you need assistance or further information when you are there, ask VENETOINSIDE INFO POINT located at St. Clemente’s Door, next to the Basilica main entrance, open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9.45 am to 4.30 pm’. Unfortunately, the phenomenon of ‘acqua alta’ cannot always be forecast in advance and this may cause problems to visitors or even fully inhibit the access to the Basilica... In order to help our clients, we try to provide clear information on the voucher but high water is a real problem for Venice and its inhabitants and it may affect the experience of tourists as well!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Good tour" 7
Maz
October 2014 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

Again we booked this tour prior to our visit to Venice. The tour guide was very knowledgeable but a little hard to hear and understand at times. We had previously had an audio tour of the Doges Palace which was excellent and perhaps it would be better if this tour was done as an audio tour.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Maz,

we are sorry you were not completely satisfied with this tour. Our guide has just finished her training with a senior guide and she is getting more and more positive feedback by foreign people participating in the tour, which means she is improving her English... We hope you are sympathetic about this!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"St. Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures" 10
none
October 2014 - Mature couple - United States

This was a wonderful tour. It was small. Miserable distorting ear pieces were not necessary. Our guide was so knowledgeable and focused on little know facts and history. She was enthusiastic and had a mischievous sense of humor. We viewed rooms not widely open.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear none,

we are pleased you appreciated the tour and our guide! However, it is not clear to us why you call the listening devices as ‘miserable distorting ear pieces’… Did they not work properly? We changed some devices which were not working well a few months ago and we haven't got any complaints about this issue since then... Please send us further details at info @insidecom.it.

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Wonderful Tour" 10
K'sGal
September 2014 - Mature couple - United States

Our tour of St. Mark's Cathedral and its treasures was wonderful. Our tour guide was extremely friendly and knowledgable. This was the perfect way to experience the cathedral....no waiting in long lines, less than 15 people in our group, English speaking tour guide AND you get to see the amazingly beautiful treasures that are NOT included with the general admittance.

"St. Mark's" 10
Gino
October 2014 - Mature couple - Canada

The tour guide was open and well informed. She provided information in an entertaining way. We were apart from the main crowds which was a welcome relief compared to the Vatican Museum Tour. We had plenty of time to look around and we were not rushed. I would recommend this tour.

"Thoroughly enjoyable" 9.5
JCD
October 2014 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

Instructions for joining were clear and we were met by a guide at the entrance. Tour started promptly and the earphones& microphone sets worked well. The guide was knowledgeable and spoke clearly, answering questions with ease. The pace was right with enough time to look around at the magnificent sights around. This is the advantage of the earphones that you can look around whilst still listening in to the talk and you don't all have to cram next to the guide to hear. At the end we were told how to see extra things not included in the tour. Great! Will go back again to see the things in the sun next time!!

"Thoroughly recommend" 8
Squirrel
March 2014 - Young couple - United Kingdom

We were promptly met by our guide at the door of St Marks. It turned out to be a very small group which was great. You get to see a section of the Basilica which is normally not open to the hoards who queue around the inside of the basilica. So it's well worth skipping all this as it seems that it's always busy. Our guide was very well informed, answered all questions knowledgeably, and we didnt feel rushed at all.

"st Mark's tour" 9.5
E
September 2014 - Mature couple - Canada

The tour of St Mark's was excellent. All was efficient, well organized, and the guide was excellent …what else can I say!

"St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures" 9.5
maggie
September 2014 - Mature couple - United States

It was a great tour and Veneton Inside made it easy. We were taken behinds the scenes of the St. Mark's and given an excellent guide who was well informed and made our tour very interesting. Thanks!

"Not much to say..." 5
Ingo
October 2014 - Mature couple - United States

Nice young lady, with difficulty in English. Was a rainy day, so Bascilica was not crowded. I was disappointed in tour. Days afterward I listened to Rick Steves Audio Tour and learned so much more. No mention was made by guide of exhibits on second floor, wich would have been of high interest to both my wife and I.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Ingo,

we are sorry you were not satisfied with the tour and the guide's command of language. As you can read from the other reviews published on venetoinside.com, this tour is found interesting and fascinating by almost all of our clients. We regret that this was not good enough for you! As for the exhibits on the second floor, please note that they are included in another tour we offer, called St Marks Museum and Cathedral from above.

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"St. Marks Cathedral and Treasures" 3
Padder
September 2014 - Solo traveler - United States

The only advantage to taking this tour is that you avoid the usual long lines to get into St. Marks. The tour takes you to the same places seen by everyone else. And with so much that could be explained about this remarkable structure, you wind up listening to banal, trivial, boring factoids on Catholic/ Christian mythology and philosophy having little to do with St. Marks itself. A real let down!

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Padder,

we are sorry you were not satisfied with the tour. As you can read from the other reviews published on venetoinside.com, this tour is found interesting and fascinating by almost all of our clients, also because it includes two areas that are usually closed to the public and are only accessible with this tour, that is St Mark’s Baptistery and the Zen Chapel... Didn't you see them? It is not clear to us if you visited them or not, but surely they are included in the tour.

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"explendid" 9
joao
September 2014 - Family with children - Brazil

we loved the experience with a very good guide, that explained a lot of things about the Basilica. The tour at the religious reliquies was amazing.

"Very nice way of seeing The Basilica!" 8.5
Giaccomo
September 2014 - Mature couple - Netherlands

It showed places we wouldn't have seen on our own. And with a very friendly guide, who gave us many insights. Well worth the money. We would do it again if we ever cake to Venice in the future.

"Basilica di San Marco" 8
Idon'thaveanickname
September 2014 - Mature couple - United States

The tour guide did a good job. What was awkward was combining an English language and Italian language set of explanations during the tour, especially when there were only two people that spoke Italian. Another constructive criticism: there were no clear directions on what to do if there is acqua alta, which there was. We finally just said let's break into the line and tell someone that we're in a tour group. Others not so assertive would have proceeded to the end of a very long line to do the same. In fact, the older couple that spoke Italian were late because they were confused as to what to do. It wouldn't take very much to improve these logistics. Otherwise, like I said, the history was very interesting and the Basilica and its mosaics are exquisite.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Idon’thaveanickname,

we are sorry you were not completely satisfied with our service. We specify that St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures is a BILINGUAL tour both online on venetoinside and on the voucher, and we regret you missed this important information! As for your criticism about the logistics, we try to give clear information on the voucher in order to help our clients in case of high water (‘In case of HIGH WATER that prevents a normal access to St. Mark s Basilica, ask the Basilica personnel on the spot for directions’ and also ‘In case you need assistance or further information when you are there, ask VENETOINSIDE INFO POINT located at St. Clemente’s Door, next to the Basilica main entrance, open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9.45 am to 4.30 pm’). Unfortunately, the phenomenon of ‘acqua alta’ cannot always be forecast in advance and this may cause problems to visitors or even fully inhibit the access to the Basilica. We apologize again for any inconvenience but high water is a real problem for Venice and its inhabitants and it may affect the experience of tourists as well.

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Very satisfied" 8
agd
September 2014 - Solo traveler - Malta

an interesting tour

"guide tour" 2
sili
September 2014 - Family with children - France

we certainly won't recommend this visit to friends! without any interest. too expensive! too speedy!!!! hardly understandable, as such a heavy Italien accent. result: nothing remains. we regret having payed so much money (we were four people)!!!!

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear sili,

we are sorry you were not satisfied with the tour. As you can read from the other reviews published on venetoinside.com, this tour is found interesting and fascinating by almost all of our clients... We regret that this was not good enough for you and your group!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"enjoyable visit to St Marks" 10
pop
September 2014 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

The booking of tickets was easy and we met our guide at the allotted time. A small group, provided with hearing devices, made it easy to hear our guide and to move around. Our guide was excellent and explained very clearly. Altogether a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Cannot recommend it highly enough.

"St. Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures" 4.5
jenny
August 2014 - Family with children - Canada

Your company was great; we unexpectedly ran into a torrential storm on our way over to the church and missed our tour because we were late; I emailed you and was told that we could join another tour on another day, we really appreciated that and have recommended you to our friends for next summer. Unfortunately, our tour guide was a lovely, knowledgable young lady whom we could not understand at all. Her english was quite good, but she had a very strong accent.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear jenny,

thank you for appreciating our professionalism, we always try to do our best to meet clients’ needs in the best possible way. As for your criticism about the guide, she has just finished her training with a senior guide and started to get more and more positive feedback by foreign people participating in the tour, which means she is improving her English... Everybody has had his first working experience and training and this is necessary to become good and professional in one's job. We hope you are sympathetic about this!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

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