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 Andrea 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 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). At the end of the guided tour you can remain inside the Basilica and continue the visit on your own. Please note that St. Mark's Basilica closes at 5.00 pm and therefore participants in the 4.00 pm tour will not have time enough to visit the basilica freely.
Departure point map
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Reviews
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235 reviews for St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures
Reviews in Italian (55) Reviews in other languages (180)
010
average score  
9
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"St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures" 10
CdnTrvlr
July 2015 - Mature couple - Canada

We had a fascinating tour behind the scenes at San Marco Basilica in July, 2015. It was interesting to see the treasures and many of the rooms that most others do not get a chance to see. Our guide told interesting stories and is very knowledgeable of the history of the basilica.

"St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures" 10
A
July 2015 - Mature couple - United States

Our guide was great!!!!

"St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures" 10
Mark
July 2015 - Mature couple - Australia

Great tour, brilliant guide, stunning building

"St Mark's cathedral" 10
Tess
July 2015 - Group of friends - Ireland

Excellent and charming guide. Very well prepared and knowledgeable. To be recommended.

"Fantastic tour" 10
fthorpe
June 2015 - Solo traveler - United States

I booked this tour as a last minute something to do while I was spending a day in Venice. I'm so glad I did! My tour guide, I'm sorry I don't remember her name, was incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, and took her time taking us through each and every section we could. We were able to see parts of the cathedral that the "regular public" wasn't able to, and that's was great - so much history! I would highly recommend this tour while in Venice.

"St Marks cathedral and its treasures" 9
Lyns
July 2015 - Solo traveler - New Zealand

great tour, very interesting and nicely paced. The tour leader was great (cannot remember her name tho sorry). Getting access to the parts of the church normally inaccessible to non tour groups was fab and so was walking straight through with skip the line access.

"Very knowledgable!" 8.5
Shannon
July 2015 - Group of friends - United States

We enjoyed the tour. As English speaking Americans, the tour guide was a little difficult to understand. She took the time to answer questions and was thorough, but again - she was a little difficult for us to understand. Very organized group that started on time.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Shannon,

we are pleased you appreciated the tour despite the little difficult in understanding our guide! She speaks British English and unfortunately some words and expressions are not the same as in American English.

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"St Mark's visit" 9.5
Zel
June 2015 - Family with children - United Arab Emirates

informative, highly commendable

"St Mark's Cathedral Tour" 10
J
June 2015 - Family with children - United States

Booking this tour online before our trip was easy and saved a lot of time in Venice. While the general public was cueing up in a long line in the heat we just walked right in a side door (easy to find and marked on the ticket). Make sure you wear appropriate clothes (cover shoulders etc). I saw St Marks about 20 years ago and didn't take a tour so I didn't really appreciate what I was seeing. Our tour guide was very informative and spoke good English. Hearing about the mosaics and the architecture was impressive. The "Treasures" section was just a small room but fascinating. We got to see not just the artwork/glass but also the finger bones(and other parts)of famous people stored in glass jars. We also saw the Baptistery which was pretty interesting. Walking up to see the Golden Altarpiece was the highlight. It was amazingly intricate an studded with like 2000 precious gems!

"Do not miss the Baptistery and Zen Chapel!" 10
Jeff
June 2015 - Group of friends - United Kingdom

I have been to St Mark's several times but never to the Baptistery and Zen Chapel (only available on a tour). They are both stunning and should not be missed! Obviously St Mark's was very crowded at the end of June, but we had a wonderful tour guide who covered everything first in English, then Italian. Highly recommended.

"magnificent" 8
us
June 2015 - Mature couple - United States

This was magnificent. We had a little group, it was almost like having our own private tour. The only negative was that it wasn't quite long enough.

"St mark's cathedral & its treasures" 10
Brad
June 2015 - Mature couple - United States

Great tour. Very beautiful cathedral.

"Good experience" 8
Helen
June 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

Excellent Guide who made the tour interesting but not too 'heavy' with history

"Get much more from your visit to the Basilica" 8
David
June 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

Overall, a well worthwhile tour, that was informative and enjoyable, and a more satisfying and rewarding experience than simply walking through the basilica. The complimentary earpieces were most useful.The tour guide handled specialized terminology well in English, but would have added to the explanations by giving more detail and significance to the Christian ideals and beliefs that produced this wonderful building.

"Great way to see behind the scenes" 7.5
a
June 2015 - Other - Italy

Interesting tour to get " behind the scenes" and see beautiful things that most tourists do not see. The tour was just long enough (longer would have been too much- Mostly walking and with a short period of sitting in chairs which was a nice surprise. The guide was young and did a good job -- hard to understand her English at times ( not entirely clear). She did the tour in bot English and Italian, so there was always a part of the group waiting while she translated- which was ok - but cut down on our time to learn new things. She also spoke sometimes in Italian on her microphone (to others in the church)and did not realize that the whole group coudl hear her (and some of us could understand her -- some of us spoke both English and Italian -- she assumed we only knew one language). generally ok tour, would recommend, but perhaps with a different, more experienced guide. Thank you very much

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear a,

we are pleased you enjoyed the tour but sorry you did not completely appreciate the guide! In fact she 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 and her professionalism... We hope you are sympathetic about this!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Insite to History" 10
Chicken
June 2015 - Young couple - Ireland

Excellent tour, well worth it, small group and the tour guide was well versed in the history of the Basillica. The non public areas are definately worth seeing. Will remember it for ever, and will use the site again.

"Gorgeous Cathedral" 9.5
MP
June 2015 - Other - Canada

St. Mark's is the most beautiful cathedral I have ever seen and taking this tour was a great way to not only avoid the 2 hour line up, but to also learn about the cathedral. I liked that we could remain inside after the tour was done to take in the mosaics a little longer.

"tour basilica" 10
none
June 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

Superb tour recommending to friends

"St Marks tour" 9
None
June 2015 - Mature couple - United States

This is a great service, especially for seniors.

"A Great Way to Learn about St. Marks" 10
Rob
June 2015 - Family with children - United States

The tour was an excellent way to learn about the history, architecture, and cultural and religious background on St. Marks. It brought this historic site to life. The tour guide was superb, with information and also making it relevant to today's world.

"san marco" 9.5
sue
June 2015 - Mature couple - United States

church is awesome, need clarification about photography, yes,no, maybe no flash. Other visitors in church taking photos all the time. Tour guide informed,but talked alittle to fast

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear sue,

we are sorry you were not completely satisfied with this tour. Please consider that the Basilica official regulations do not allow to take any pictures inside the building but unfortunately a lot of visitors do not respect them and the watchpersons are not enough to prevent this risk when the church is very crowded…

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"At marks cathedral and its treasures" 0
Suzie
May 2015 - Other - Australia

Tour probably would have been good if we could have found the meeting place! Nobody knew about it. The cathedral staff said it was self guided and once inside we had to pay extra for the treasures. Tried asking everyone. Tried looking inside the cathedral for the group. Couldn't find. Don't waste your time or money. The other tour I did with this mob was crap too. Enjoy the shopping instead. Seriously disappointed with the sight seeing. The free visit to the glass factory was far more interesting than trying to find the guide for 1/2hr

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Suzie,

we are sorry you could not find the meeting point and therefore do the tour. Please note that the voucher you got after your reservation clearly indicated where to meet the guide both with a textual description and on a map. Moreover, the meeting point is also indicated on the Info&Map details of the tour on venetoinside.com... We regret this information was not enough for you! In fact, it is not clear what really happened and why you paid extra money so we would very much appreciate if you could send us further details about this at info@insidecom.it!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"You will not see the whole basilica" 6
APerot
May 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

When I have first come across the guided tour for San Marco Basilica I was delighted, and I booked straight away. I chose the last visit at 4:00pm so but that is where I was wrong. Tour information mentioned that we would see parts of the monument that are not open to general public. How exciting ! It also mentioned that tour is bilingual, but at the time I did not pay much attention to that part. When tour started, I realised that we were a half Italian- half English tour. As a consequence, every explanation had to be done in both languages. Which means that effectively our visit was halved and I have paid 20 euros for half-hour. The part that I mostly missed was visiting the loggia, above the main entrance. Also, I expected to see the original horses which are now inside the basilica, and get some detailed information about this wonderful piece of art. Should I have realised that our guided visit did not cover this, I would have visited separately prior to the tour. But as we were the last tour, and the Basilica closes at 5:00, we had to rush out. We left Venice in the evening. Our tour guide was reasonably good, engaging more with the Italian guests and giving a simpler version of facts in English. When reading the tour description later, I realised that they made no false promises. Organiser just did not mention that we would Only see a few parts of the monument. There are benefits in booking a tour, but one may want to book an earlier one, and then continue the visit independently. Or pay for the 2 euros to skip the queue, and buy a good guide of the basilica.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear APerot,

we are sorry you were not satisfied with this tour. Before booking a tour online, we expect customers to read all the information provided. In fact, if you had read it more carefully, you would have avoided this unpleasant situation since we provide all the details you mentioned above on the tour description and on the schedule details of the tour… The visit to St. Mark’s Museum and the access to the external lodge are not listed on the Inclusions of the tour – in fact, they are included in another tour, St Marks Museum and Cathedral from above – as well as the fact that St. Marks Basilica closes at 5 pm is specified with the following warning: ‘Please note that St. Mark's Basilica closes at 5.00 pm and therefore participants in the 4.00 pm tour will not have time enough to visit the basilica freely’. We do our best to provide our clients with clear and detailed information about the itinerary of the tour and its inclusions together with other notes that would help them to choose the best tour according to their preferences and needs... We are sorry you could not benefit from this information!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Guided Tour of St. Mark's Cathedral" 8
Lynn
May 2015 - Young couple - Canada

I enjoyed the tour, the tour guide did a very good job of describing the history of the cathedral and the architecture and artwork within. We got to see many parts of the cathedral that are not open to the general public. I though the tour would be in English; it was also in Italian and as the descriptions were very detailed, each half of the tour group spent extra time waiting for the description in their own language.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Lynn,

we are pleased you appreciated 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 online booking procedure. We regret you missed this important information!
Best regards,
the venetoinside.com staff

"St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures" 10
None
May 2015 - Mature couple - United States

This was a wonderful tour, skipping the line and taking us to areas not open to the public tours. We saw the golden altarpiece, and many frescos and beautiful paintings. Explanations were complete and informative. We loved this tour.

"Excellent Experience" 10
Family in Venice
May 2015 - Other - Canada

Apart from not having to line up, this was a wonderful way to see San Mark's because it came with the expert guidance of our tour guide. She was very knowledgeable - and all the extras were included. Well worth it for us.

"St Mark's Cathedral - beautiful" 9
kmme
May 2015 - Other - United States

Some of us had been to St. Marks previously but only outside, not inside. Loved doing the tour since those going through on their own seemed to have much more limited time inside and I felt like we not only had enough time to really take it in and enjoy the beauty but learn interesting information along the way. Everyone in our extended family group ranging from 14-74 years enjoyed themselves. Bonus that we were there mid-day when they turn on the lights so you can see the floors and gold ceiling better.

"St. Marks Cathedral" 9.5
TSNYC
May 2015 - Other - United States

Very good tour -- however... we noticed that when we got to the treasury (which was included in the tour I purchased) - people on our tour who had had not paid for the treasury in advance were charges 20 Euro PER PERSON. The sign said it was 3 EUR per person as we entered! And, our guide told us - as we got there - that it is very small so its better to just walk in and look for yourself. As I said - ours was included in the price - but I would have been VERY upset had I paid an additional 20 EUR to go look around for myself.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear TSNYC,

we are pleased you appreciated our tour! As for the price, please consider that this tour can be purchased both online and on the spot… We guess that the price paid by other participants was the cost for the whole tour and not only for the access to the Treasury! Probably there was a misunderstanding!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"St Mark's skip the line tour" 10
leeleebythe sea
May 2015 - Mature couple - Canada

Tour very informative and worth it just to skip the line. However it felt a bit rushed.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear leeleebythe sea,

we are pleased you appreciated the tour but sorry you felt the experience a bit rushed. Our guides do their best to provide all the most important information about the sites visited as well as let clients enjoy the visit using the time at their disposal. We regret this was not enough for you!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Tour of St. Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures" 8
Deebee
May 2015 - Solo traveler - Ireland

As well as touring the cathedral itself, the group also visited a couple of areas not open to the public, except via an organised tour. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The guide was professional, knowledgeable, good humoured and spoke excellent English. She (unfortunately, I've forgotten her name) told us it was her first tour after training, but you wouldn't have realised it! I would recommend this tour if you wish to see these areas.

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