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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214 reviews for St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures
Reviews in Italian (52) Reviews in other languages (162)
010
average score  
9
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Guidelines for review publication
"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.

"st Marks" 8.5
alex
May 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

The booking service was great, no long queues and a very informative and friendly guide, great visit we really enjoyed it.

"First day in Venice" 10
Dan
May 2015 - Mature couple - United States

The tour booking saved a lot of time waiting in line. The tour was excellent and took us to parts of St. Mark not seen by the general public.

"Tour of Basilica San Marco" 8.5
Carpax
May 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

The information regarding where to meet for the tour was very good especially as there was a photo of the rendezvous point. Very well organised and on time. Our guide was a young Italian woman who apologised for her English - I could understand her accent and what she was saying though my husband missed a little of the talk. Our guide was delightful, funny, and a joy to watch as she imparted her knowledge with a genuine smile. Access to the Treasures, Relics and golden screen was cramped, especially the Relics, but I don't flag that as a problem as the Basilica is so popular and it was May! Felt very privileged to have access to two areas the general public, not in tour groups, are unable to see - the Zen Chapel and the Baptistery. My husband and I decided not to go to the museum upstairs when our tour had finished which I regret, a little, as I had forgotten the original four horses were there. However, it is not a huge regret as we had so much to see elsewhere in Venice.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Carpax,

thank you for you kind and detailed feedback as well as for being sympathetic with our young guide! Next time we suggest you to book our St Marks Museum and Cathedral from above tour, which includes the visit of St. Mark’s Museum and allows you to admire the basilica from an unusual perspective!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"Good trip!" 8.5
Muppie
May 2015 - Mature couple - Netherlands

It was well organized, and the tourist guide, was very nice, as she did this guided tour for the first time, and she was afraid het english was not good enough, she was a splendid guide and her english was very good, the church was beuatiful, thanks!

"St Mark's Basilica guided tour" 6.5
jamesy
May 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

Biggest advantage was by-passing the queues. However the tour access and start point was poorly signed. We were allocated a young trainee guide whose English was not the best and it was not easy to understand her structured talk, ans she was unable to deal with many questions.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear jamesy,

thank you for your feedback! Please consider that the regulations of the Procuratoria di San Marco do not allow to place large signs outside the basilica and this is why we provide very accurate information on the voucher, on which the tour meeting point is clearly indicated both on a map and with a textual description. We regret that this was not enough for you! 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

"Exciting and great tour!" 9.5
mcobacoba
May 2015 - Mature couple - United States

It was a great and memorable tour experience ! There was a long long line to get into St. Mark's Cathedral, but with this tour ticket, we were able to skip all that. Our tour group participants were about 12 people or so, and the guide was young and friendly and very informative. With this tour, not only the guide explained a bit more than just looking at the treasures, but also you get to see the areas where general ticket holders weren't able to see. That's a big plus. I would very much recommend this tour!

"Very interesting tour" 10
MW
May 2015 - Mature couple - Netherlands

The tour of St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures was very interesting. Our guide was really professional and well informed. She was able to tell us much about the historical and cultural background of the building and the treasury, and she had a great sense of humour too. And, as promised, no standing in line.

"St Marc's Basicillca" 4
Julie
May 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

We were very disappointed as this was an English speaking tour - there were Italian people on the tour so consequently our guide told us everything in English then also in Italian which took twice as long. This took up so much time that we never saw the whole Basillica we didn't get to go upstairs which I really wanted to do to see the view. I am unlikely to ever to be able to return to Venice so I consider this a very poor service. Also I have had over 300 emails today from Veneto inside which is very annoying as well as time consuming.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Julie,

we are sorry you were not satisfied with this tour. Please note that the fact that St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures is a BILINGUAL tour as well as its duration (1 hour) are clearly indicated both on the voucher and on venetoinside.com. We regret you missed this important detail before booking! As for the multiple email sending on Sunday 17 May, we deeply apologize about it! As we have already notified to all customers who experienced this inconvenience, this was due to a temporary problem of our servers and we managed to fix it only in the late evening.

Sorry again for that and best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"A great insight into this church, its history and the epic proportions of a bygone era" 10
Steph
April 2015 - Group of friends - Australia

Our guide was extremely good slipping in and out of Italian and English with apparent ease. Her knowledge of the cathedral was first class inclusive of the raw history about pillage, confiscation and downright unprincipled behaviour of Venice's conquerors and they of other nations.

"visit ti st marks cathedral" 10
amelia
April 2015 - Mature couple - United Kingdom

EXCELLENT!the lady giving the tour was very articulate, explaining in very good English, about the history of the place and taking us to, until then (as we had been before) areas we had not seen before. A very good tour - thank you

"Tour of Saint Mark's Basillica" 3
Ken
April 2015 - Mature couple - United States

We were disappointed, largely due to unfortunate timing of visiting on Easter Weekend. The tour was abbreviated both as to time and coverage and probably should have been suspended. We could have seen as much or perhaps even more on our own. Saint Marks itself is impressive, but somewhat ordinary and not even in the same class as several of the literally awe-inspiring Cathedrals we saw in Sicily and Rome.

Reply by venetoinside.com Staff:

Dear Ken,

we are sorry you were not satisfied with the tour. After getting your review we contacted our on site staff to better understand what happened on that day. On 4 April 2015 St Mark's Cathedral and its Treasures tourtook place regularly, except for the visit to the Golden Pall, which was closed. Unfortunately we were not warned about this extraordinary closure and therefore we could not notify to our clients that the Golden Pall would not have been included in the tour. We apologize for the inconvenience!

Best regards,

the venetoinside.com staff

"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.

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