St. Mark’s Cathedral and its Treasures (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

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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On the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, from 1 November 2015 until the end of 2016 St. Mark’s Cathedral and its Treasures guided tour will be suspended because it will not be possible to access St. Mark’s Baptistery and the Zen Chapel. As an alternative, we offer you our brand new St. Mark’s Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour), which combines the skip-the-line visit to St. Mark's Cathedral and its most famous treasures (St. Mark's Treasure and the Golden Pall) with a small little known treasure of rare beauty located just a short walk from the cathedral itself.

 

 

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

Full: €20.00
Concessions
children up to 5 years: free
children from 6 to 12 years: €18.00

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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295 reviews for St. Mark’s Cathedral and its Treasures (Skip The Line Guided Tour)
Reviews in Italian (70) Reviews in other languages (225)
010
average score  
9
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Guidelines for review publication
"Skip the line guided tour of st marks" 5
30louconcerts
October 2015 - Young couple - United Kingdom

Interesting but I found a lot of the information too deep & required deeper understanding of the historical periods of Venice to fully understand the guide's talk. The tour didn't include admission to the upper gallery or views from the outdoor balcony so we had to pay for this like everyone else.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear 30louconcerts,

we are sorry you were not completely satisfied with our tour. Please consider that our guides use the time at their disposal to provide as much information as they can… We regret this was not enough for you! As for the ticket for St. Mark’s Museum, please consider that it is not included in this tour but in another tour we offer, called St Mark's Museum and Cathedral from above (Skip The Line Guided Tour).

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Fantastic Guided Tour of the Cathedral and its Treasures" 10
Joe
October 2015 - Mature couple - United States

The tour guide for our tour was fantastic. She was knowledgeable and friendly. We got to see parts of the Cathedral that other tourist not on this tour did not see. Our guide gave us all the time that we needed to see it all! We highly recommend this tour.

"Worth the money" 8
Curt
October 2015 - Mature couple - United States

Pricey, but absolutely worth it. You get to SIT in the middle of the church (along with tour bus groups) and really take in the mosaics, while everyone else is shuffling through the constantly-moving line. Also, you get very close to some of the oldest mosaics (newly restored to their full glory), in the Bapistry, which is too small for even the organized tour groups to visit -- very special.

"Tour of St. Mark's Basilica - Well worth it..." 9.5
Laura H
September 2015 - Solo traveler - Canada

I was so glad I booked this one-hour tour of St. Mark's Cathedral and its treasures. The guide was very informative and was able to answer any questions posed as we went along. The group was about 6 people which was a perfect size. Highly recommend it. Also, the price was resonable.

"Magnificent Tour in Venice" 10
G8
October 2015 - Group of friends - United States

This tour was outstanding. Tour guide spoke clearly in her English as a second language and the information was historical, well presented and very informational. Our group was small consisting of only 8 people. Very worth the while to not have to wait in the extremely long lines. Not one moment wasted. Highly recommend this tour.

"Recommende" 9
Catus
October 2015 - Family with children - Switzerland

Unlike dodge palace excursion which we took in french, san marco was in english and very informative, we learnt a lot, thanks

"Great tour" 9
Zarbo
October 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

Our guide was very knowledgable, friendly and humerous. It was a fascinating tour, we learned a lot more than if we had visited alone. It was great to be in a small group, avoiding the endless queues, and visiting areas that we wouldn't normally have seen

"Excellent value" 10
GE193
October 2015 - Group of friends - United Kingdom

Visiting St Marks was amazing and the guide was great. Originally read within guidebook that if you pre-book 48hrs in advance - guide was free but we paid €20 each. Although on day was glad when we saw both booking ticket queue and entrance queue. Suddenly an extra €10 was worth it. Francesca our guide was fantastic and we saw parts of the Basicilca that the ordinary public did not see.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear GE193,

thank you for your kind review! However it is not clear to us where you read that the tour is free of charge if you book it 48 hours in advance… We can assure you that this information is not true! We would very much appreciate if you could send us further details about this at info@insidecom.it.

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Good back stage tour" 7
Matt
October 2015 - Young couple - United States

The best part of this tour was the ability to see the restricted areas not available to the general public. The tour guide's English was difficult to understand, however. Also, I would have liked more in depth information.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Matt,

thank you for your feedback. We are sorry you had difficulties in understanding 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... We hope you are sympathetic about this! As for your comment concerning the information, our guides try to use the time at their disposal as best as they can… As you can see from a quick look at the tour's reviews on this page, in fact the tour is generally much appreciated by participants. We regret this was not your case!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"10" 9.5
henri
October 2015 - Solo traveler - Belgium

very good guide

"St. Mark's Cathedral" 10
Bob
September 2015 - Mature couple - United States

This tour delivered on all promises!! Avoided a 30 minute (at least) wait, the tour guide was very good (although a bit hard to understand at times), and we saw some interesting areas not open to the general public. Although not mentioned in the on-line ad, we had free entry to the two small museums on the first floor.....a nice bonus.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Bob,

we are pleased you appreciated the tour despite you had a little difficulties in understanding the guide. As for the small museums on the first floor of the basilica, we may suppose you are referring to the two rooms of the Treasure of St. Mark’ Basilica, which is included in the tour, as indicated online, under ‘inclusions’ on the schedule details of the tour.

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"St Mark's" 10
None
September 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

This tour was great! The guide was very knowledgable and we were shown parts of the building closed off to the wider public. The tour of the rest of the building was eye opening. My partner and I were booked on the tour for a Friday but due to illness we couldn't make it. We were told that we could join the tour on the Saturday instead. We appreciated this.

"St. Marks and its treasure" 5.5
Dr. Mom
September 2015 - Group of friends - United States

St Marks Cathedral was beautiful, too bad we were rushed through it. The tour guides accent was very heavy and she was talking so quickly I could hardly understand her through the headset. She was very informative with what I could understand. On the plus side, we were late to our tour due to a previous tour (same company) and they did accommodate us.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Dr. Mom,

we are pleased you appreciated the tour despite the inconvenience mentioned above. We are sorry you felt rushed but our guides try to use the time at their disposal as best as they can. As for the heavy accent, we hope you are sympathetic about this! The guide who carried out your tour 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.

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Excellent Tour of St. Marks" 9.5
Jeri
September 2015 - Group of friends - United States

Booking a skip-the-line tour is an absolute must for St. Marks. Our tour guide was excellent, very personable with great stories to share. One of the best parts of the tour was a private visit to the Baptistry and Zen chapel. No photos are allowed in St. Marks, but we were permitted to take pictures in the Baptistry with our private tour.

"St Marks skip the line" 10
jeff
September 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

Brilliant. Excellent guide. Well worth the money

"Great Tour" 9
LaurieT
September 2015 - Mature couple - United States

We booked a tour at the last minute online and we didn't know what to expect. It was fantastic! It was a small group so we were not straining to hear anything from our tour guide and our tour guide was great. She gave us a lot of inside information and history of St. Mark's. We also got to visit a lot of areas that were off limits to "regular" visitors that we would have missed if we weren't on this tour. We highly recommend!

"Intriguing" 10
Pam
September 2015 - Mature couple - United States

We were led by a sweet, young, and extremely knowledgeable young lady. A perfect summary of the history was woven into the tour as we were led into rooms and places other people just paying to get in did not see. We also did not have to wait in any of the long lines that were creeping along outside and in. Perfectly done!

"St Mark's Cathedral" 9
jca8
September 2015 - Young couple - Portugal

Time is very precious in Venice, the jump the queue is amazing, and the visit outstanding, to have time to visit the must in Venice, THE Cathedral this service its mandatory. Nice guide and explanation, good value for money.

"St Marks Cathedral" 8.5
Barb
September 2015 - Mature couple - Canada

Nice tour, we get to see some areas not available to the general public. Seeing the Fresco was nice. Our tour guide was great. The only reason we booked a guided tour was because we tend not to stop and appreciate. I think when it is not peak season it is just as good to go and pay for what you want to see when you get there. The church is free and we stil had to pay extra above the tour to see the museum.

"St. Mark's Cathedral" 8
Mrs.
September 2015 - Mature couple - United States

We were very happy we booked this tour in advance. The crowds were unbelievable and this tour allowed us to not only skip the long lines but gave us access to areas where it was just our group of 20. Our guide was knowledgeable and didn't rush us through. We were able to take a seat and just take it the amazing ceiling, floors and architecture. Without the tour, we would have been in the line of people being herded like cattle down the roped off path from the entrance door to the exit. Having visited 16 years ago, I was saddened at the extent of commercialism that has seeped into this amazing piece of history. Take small bills as everything in the cathedral off the "cattle path" will cost you.

"Good length" 9
SAP
September 2015 - Mature couple - United States

Very good tour, just enough information without too much information.

"St.Marks cathedral & treasures" 9
m
September 2015 - Other - United States

Tour was very good. however,you need to immediately correct the following issue. I requested an English speaking tour. It was some in English and most of it in Italian. I speak and understand somd Italian,but my daughters that were with me do not. Why was this tour given in half English and half Italian. I was aware that when the tour guide switched to Italian,she was more detailed and informative. please correct this situation,it was dissapointing.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear m,

we are sorry you missed this important detail before booking! The fact that this is a bilingual tour is clearly indicated both online (in the description and also in the schedule details of the tour) and on the voucher you got after your reservation. We are sorry you did not read  all the information provided carefully as we try to do our best to be as transparent as possible with our clients.

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Huge disappointment" 2
julimyanna
September 2015 - Group of friends - United States

San Marco itself is huge and full of beautiful mosaics, but most of it is in dire need of cleaning. My friend and I were really put-off by the ticket booth that sits directly beside the altar. (We compared it to the money changers Jesus drove out of the temple.) But the tour itself was much worse. Our tour guide had poor command of the English language, which made it difficult to ask some questions. As the tour continued, we also noticed that nearly everything she said about the church was negative. She kept saying, "but there was a problem," when she would discuss the design. The point at which I removed my earphones was when she began talking about how she "is a scientist," who believes in, "carbon dating" to offer evidence that a certain rock used for the baptistry altar was not from the place it is said to have been from. (Last I checked, all rocks are pretty old...) For the rest of the tour she offered her own "scientific" views about the authenticity of various devotional objects housed within the church. This woman claimed to work for the diocese, which I found to be very sad. If the Catholic Church is offering tours of a beautiful, historic church, this should be seen as an opportunity to present to the public the beauty and richness of the faith. That doesn't mean the tour must be given by a believer, just that the skeptic tour guide would do well to keep her own opinions to herself and invite the participants to form their own opinions.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear julimyanna,

we are sorry you appreciated neither the tour nor our guide. 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, who also appreciate the professionalism and the approach of our guides... We regret this was not your case!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"San Marco" 7
None
September 2015 - Other - United Kingdom

The guide, I am sure, did her best and gave a presentation which owed much to the imagination. It was very good to see the Zen Chapel and baptistery.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear None,

thank you for appreciating our tour… However it is not clear to us what you mean by 'a presentation which owed much to the imagination'. Do you think you were given inaccurate information? We would very much appreciate If you could send us further details about this at info@insidecom.it.

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"St Marks Basilica" 8.5
Jim
September 2015 - Mature couple - United States

Booked a guided tour for the Basilica. I believe it is really beneficial to actually know what you are seeing. This was a good tour for that. 1/1/2 points off for a thick Italian accent making it a bit difficult to understand the guide. She also spoke a bit fast. Otherwise, very good.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Jim,

we are pleased you appreciated the tour despite the accent of 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... We hope you are sympathetic about this!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Mr" 10
Clive
August 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

We found it so easy to book the guided tour of St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasurers on the website. The tour leader was excellent, very informative and answered all our questions. We were taken into places which we would have missed if we had not gone on the guided tour. The Cathedral is magnificent, so beautiful. The whole experience enhanced our trip to Venice and we would thoroughly recommend it.

"St Mark's Cathedral and its treasures" 10
Hilary
August 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

The booking process was straightforward. The tour was good, with an excellent and enthusiastic guide. We got far more from the visit than we would have had if we had booked to see the basilica without a guide. She not only had an interesting prepared tour but was able to answer any questions, so clearly had an extensive knowledge.

"St Marks Cathedral Tour" 10
Brett
August 2015 - Family with children - United States

Had a great time touring St Marks Cathedral during our Royal Carbian cruise. The church was beautiful in side and out. Would recommend visiting using the tour to avoid the long lines.

"St Mark's tour" 9
Mimi61
July 2015 - Family with children - United States

The tour was great; no standing in line; knowledgeable guide; English was slightly difficult to understand; had to listen closely; overall worth the money and no wasted time!

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Mimi61,

thank you for your feedback! As for your criticism about the guide's command of language, we are sorry you were not completely satisfied with that. 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... We hope you are sympathetic about this!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Too fast" 7.5
orrganik
August 2015 - Mature couple - France

1 hour to visit San Marco is to fast. The guide was great but sometimes puzzled when I asked her some technical explanations. The visit of the "horses of San Marco" wasn't included and that's curious. I prefer to pay more to have a full visit and a little more time.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear orrganik,

we are sorry you were not completely satisfied with this service. Please consider that the tour duration is clearly indicated online (approx. 1 hour) and our guides try to do their best to satisfy our clients’ questions using the time at their disposal. As for the visit of the horses, please consider that it is included in our St. Mark’s Museum and Basilica from above tour… In fact, as you can see, this visit is mentioned neither on the tour description nor in the Inclusions of this tour. We regret you missed this important detail before booking!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

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