St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

Duration: approx. 1 hour  Location: Venice
This tour was already booked by 4,329 people

9/10

9 Reviews

Per person
21.50
Gallery

Why choose this experience?

1 For its originality: the tour combines famous treasures and unknown places of the most important religious building in Venice on a fascinating experience!
2 Because it includes the skip-the-line entry to the church of San Marco Venice, the guided visit and the tickets to the Treasury and the Pala d'Oro (Golden Pall)
3 To get in touch with the art, the history and the treasures of the Basilica as a real protagonist

Before booking, please note:

  • the skip-the-line access to St. Mark's Basilica is included in the tour;
  • max 25 participants per group;
  • the tour is bilingual English/Italian until 31 October 2016; from 1 November 2016 the tour is monolingual (English, Italian or French).

History, art and spirituality in an unmissable visit of St Mark's Church in Venice… An original tour of great charm to get in touch with the amazing treasures of the basilica!

St Mark's Cathedral does not need long presentations, as it is famously known and an inevitable stop for every trip to Venice: this tour wants to offer you a complete overview of the most important place of worship in Venice, an unprecedented experience that will allow you to learn about the Basilica from a new perspective, focused on the exceptional Treasures safeguarded in the basilica or located just in a short distance from it… Be prepared to immerse yourself in the millennial atmosphere of San Marco Church in Venice accompanied by our expert guide!

The small number of participants in the tour, maximum of 25 people, will create the perfect quiet atmosphere to fully appreciate the guided visit and to let your hair down to ask questions or further explanations to the guide. You can enter St Mark's Church in Venice by avoiding any line at the entrance – via the skip-the-line access that is included in the tour – and also visit St. Mark's Treasure, usually not included in the Venice regular tours of the Basilica.

As soon as you cross the threshold of the Basilica, you will feel wrapped by the ancient and majestic atmosphere of St. Mark's Basilica. The guided tour will begin at the centre of the nave where you will hear the story of its construction, the arrival of the relics of St Mark and its rise from a simple private chapel of the Doges to Venice Cathedral.

You will learn about the origins of Saint Mark's church in Venice, the long and troubled history of its construction and the events that accompanied the building over the centuries. You may not know that, before reaching its current appearance, Saint Mark's Church in Venice was rebuilt several times or that its structure follows that of the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles in Constantinople. The guide will enrich the purely historical facts with some added curiosities and will involve you in the visit and invite you to ask questions to clarify any doubts!

After the historical introduction to San Marco Church in Venice, the tour will focus on the treasures of the Basilica: the mosaics, St. Mark's Treasury and the Golden Pall are considered the most precious jewels of the cathedral… You will enjoy them during a complete and fascinating guided visit!

The guide will explain the most important 13th-century mosaics adorning the domes, the scenes depicted, their meanings and allegories paying specific attention to their artistic value and dwelling only partially on the religious relevance of the depictions.

The tour of San Marco Church in Venice will then continue with the Treasury, the real gem of this tour, since this visit is not usually included in the regular guided tours of the Basilica. Housed in several rooms next to the Doge's Palace, the Treasury of the Basilica of San Marco is considered one of the most valuable collection of religious art in Italy. As well as precious objects of Eastern manufacture that arrived in Venice after the ransack of Constantinople in 1204, the Treasury houses beautiful Venetian and Western goldsmith works and the throne-reliquary of St. Mark, donated to the patriarch by the First-born of the Heraclius Emperor. The room adjacent to the Treasury retains a remarkable collection of reliquaries.

The last, but not least, stop of our tour inside St. Mark's Basilica will be the Pala d'Oro, which was made especially for the church in the 10th century and completed in the 14th century. Gold, silver, enamel and precious stones compose a rare work of jewellery, enriched with elegant enamel representations made with cloisonné technique. The Pala d'Oro is one of the must-see attractions in St. Mark's Church in Venice, Italy. The guide will accompany you into the room where the Pala d'Oro is stored to allow you to admire it in all its golden splendour!

At the end of the guided tour of San Marco Church in Venice, our itinerary will let you discover a small treasure of rare beauty located just a short walk from the basilica itself, the Chiostro di Sant'Apollonia, which is the only example of a Romanesque cloister of obvious derivation from the mainland in Venice.

The guide will accompany you to the rectory and will open for you an exclusive passageway, a small door that allows direct access from the Basilica to the Bridge and the Rectory Foundation to get to the beautiful Cloister of Sant' Apollonia in Venezia.

Please bear in mind that, during the short trip from St. Mark's Basilica to the Chiostro di Santa Apollonia (in the Castello district), our guides cannot explain or answer your questions because, they are authorized to provide explanations only in buildings managed by the Procurator of San Marco, such as the Basilica and the Cloister you are about to visit, but not outside. Therefore, you will just have to wait a few minutes for your curiosity. Meanwhile, enjoy the view: from the rectory you can enjoy a splendid view of the Bridge of Sighs!

Located in the former Benedictine monastery of St. Apollonia, nowadays housing the Marciano Lapidary, the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and the Historical Archive Patriarchal, the cloister presents Romanesque elements from the nearby mainland - quite an exceptional situation in Venice - and is constituted by a portico supported by double columns on the longer sides and by squat columns on the shorter sides.

Along the walls that surround the Chiostro di St. Apollonia, Venice you can admire the Marciano Lapidary, a remarkable collection of decorative fragments that once adorned the Basilica of San Marco. The Lapidary is organized chronologically and includes artefacts from the Roman and Byzantine times. Of great importance are also the 13th century headwell at the centre of the cloister and the flooring in a herringbone pattern, which still has the original 12th century bricks.

The guide will explain the history of the complex of S.Apollonia, Venezia, with particular attention to the cloister, and then focus on the lapidary fragments of greatest interest, such as the slab depicting the star of Alexander the Great, which, since its discovery in 1962, has been the subject of various hypotheses and debates.

Quoted by the great poet Gabriele d'Annunzio in 'Fire' the Chiostro di Sant ‘Apollonia, Venice is a rare treasure not to be missed… An oasis of peace that will make you breathe a different atmosphere and enjoy precious moments of tranquillity away from the hustle of the nearby St Mark's Square.

At the end of the guided visit, if you wish to come back to the basilica, our guides will be pleased to provide you with all the directions to reach the cathedral form the cloister and enter without queuing outside. Once you arrive at St. Mark's basilica, you will be able to continue the visit on your own. The guided tour lasts approx. 1 hour.

The Cloister of S. Apollonia and St. Mark's Church in Venice, Italy, with unique and fascinating itineraries that can be booked conveniently online!

The treasures of St. Mark's Church in Venice and the Cloister of St. Apollonia: tour booking directly online... To avoid losing valuable time on site and soak in the magic of Venice from the moment of your arrival in the lagoon!

© Insidecom Tour Operator
(authorization no. 62027 dated 09/07/12 with determination no. 2052/2012)

Important info

Availability:

until 31 December 2016.

Departure point:

from 1 April to 31 October – in front of the San Clemente Door of St Mark's Basilica; from 1 November to 31 December - in the atrium at the central entrance of St. Mark's Basilica.

Departure time

From 1 April to 31 October 2016
from Tuesday to Saturday
11.00 am, 12.15 pm, 2.45 pm, 4.00 pm

From 1 November to 31 December 2016

  • English
    10.30 am Tuesday, Thursday
    11.45 am Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Italian
    11.45 am Tuesday
    10.30 am Saturday
  • French
    10.30 am Wednesday, Friday
Languages available

From 1 April to 31 October 2016
Bilingual tour English/Italian*

From 1 November to 31 December 2016
Monolingual tour
English: from Tuesday to Saturday
Italian: Tuesday, Saturday
French: Wednesday, Friday

Prices

Full: €21.50

Concessions
Children up to 5 years: free
Children 6 to 12 years: €19.50

Duration

approx. 1 hour

Inclusions
  • Guided tour
  • Skip-the-line access to San Marco Basilica
  • Ticket to visit the Golden Pall
  • Access to the Treasure
  • Ticket to visit the Cloister of St. Apollonia
Exclusions
  • Ticket to visit the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art
  • What is not specified under "Inclusions"
Additional information:

Before booking, please be advised that it is compulsory to print a paper copy of the voucher issued at the end of the online reservation and bring it with you the day of the tour.

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.

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, up to a maximun of 25 participants.

*Bilingual tour English/Italian until 31 October 2016: 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). From 1 November 2016 the tour is monolingual.

At the meeting point you will find our assistants, easily recognizable by an identification badge with 'Insidecom' and their names.

Please note that the guided tour is taking place only inside San Marco Basilica and the Cloister of Sant’Apollonia; no explanation will be given on the outside of buildings, especially from San Marco church in Venice to the cloister.

At the end of the tour, you will be able to come back to St. Mark’s Basilica and continue the visit freely.

In exceptional cases and/or reasons of force majeure that may prevent the tour already purchased to run regularly (i.e. acts of nature, strikes, exceptional closures, serious unexpected events or health problems experienced by the person in charge with the service after which it is really impossible to find a substitute), the tour might be cancelled.The customer will be notified of this as soon as possible and will be asked to choose between postponing the tour on the first date available or get a prompt refund of the price paid for the tour.

Departure point map

9 reviews for St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

Reviews in other languages (24) Reviews in italian (16)
9/10

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9/10

NB

November 2016

Young couple

UNITED KINGDOM

Reviewed on 21 Nov `16 - Booking No. 16136130

'Tour of St Mark's'

Tour
St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

Great tour with a very informative and engaging guide. Amazing access too different parts of the basilica and great efficiency in skipping massive queues!

Strenghts

Worth it to skip the queue alone.

Weaknesses

-

Was this review helpful?
1
10/10

na

October 2016

Mature couple

UNITED STATES

Reviewed on 10 Nov `16 - Booking No. 16104006

'sst marks in glory'

Tour
St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

we visited st marks with the guide for the second time----we had a fabulous visit with our 4 grandchildren in 2015----we have gone to venice for years, but this guided visit brings so much life and detail to the experience. everyone who handles the arrangements is so nice and personal and the visit is so special and you feel so honored to be there and so close to the history and beauty of st marks----gracie mille

Strenghts

personal, informative, small

Weaknesses

None

Was this review helpful?
10/10

Dealesailor

September 2016

Mature couple

UNITED STATES

Reviewed on 23 Sep `16 - Booking No. 1642522

'Venice skip the line'

Tour
St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

This was the best! Easy to book and the tour was fabulous. Great deal for the money.

Was this review helpful?
1
10/10

Traveler

August 2016

Mature couple

UNITED STATES

Reviewed on 29 Aug `16 - Booking No. 1626197

'St Marks Tour'

Tour
St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

Wonderful guide who provided excellent information at every stop along the way. Great way to see parts of St Marks that aren't generally accessible

Was this review helpful?
10/10

Kiki

July 2016

Family with children

UNITED STATES

Reviewed on 11 Aug `16 - Booking No. 1679728

'Wonderful guide!'

Tour
St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

We enjoyed this tour so much. She was enthusiastic and engaged with the group. Paused any time we asked questions and also posed some questions to the group, which helped us to engage even more. She was funny and excited about the material she shared with us.

Strenghts

very knowledgable, kind, interactive, interesting.

Weaknesses

none

Was this review helpful?
9/10

M

July 2016

Solo traveler

JAPAN

Reviewed on 01 Aug `16 - Booking No. 1670463

'was fan'

Tour
St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

not too big group and not too rush.

Was this review helpful?
7.5/10

jomalofe

July 2016

Family with children

PORTUGAL

Reviewed on 30 Jul `16 - Booking No. 1668655

'St. Marks Cathedral and its Treasures Guided Tour'

Tour
St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

The Cathedral is wonderful and unique, clearly a must-see for anyone interested in History of Art and Architecture. The Guided Tour was not so great, for two reasons: 1) the guide was not fluente in English and sometimes was not very clear in explaining her ideas; 2) In relative terms, there was very little time allowed for appreciating the Cathedral itself and its structure, for most of the time was dedicated to the Cathedral Treasures (in our case, in order to have a better view of the Cathedral, we decided to miss part of the explanation about the Pala d'Oro).

Strenghts

The Cathedral - Unique and overwhelming.

Weaknesses

The guide - should be more focused in her explanations, have a better domain of the English language and allow more time for explaining the Cathedral's structure and major art pieces.


Reply by venetoinside.com Staff

Dear jomalofe,

thank you for your feedback! Please allow us to clarify your points: 1) we are sorry you were not completely satisfied with guide's command of language! This guide has been working with us for two years and no one has never complained about her English... In fact many other participants in tours she made gave us positive feedback. We regret this was not you case! 2) The tour description explains in detail the itinerary of the tour, in particular that it is not an usual guided visit of the Basilica and that it includes the visit of the most important treasures of the Basilica and the near cloister… The tour name itself ‘St. Mark’s Basilica and its Treasures’ lays particular attention on the treasures… We are sorry you were not completely satisfied with it!

Best regards,
The Insidecom staff
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9.5/10

Traveller

July 2016

Family with children

UNITED KINGDOM

Reviewed on 28 Jul `16 - Booking No. 1670927

'Great tour and good to skip the line'

Tour
St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

In Venice for a few days. Last minute decision that we should have booked some tours rather than having to queue up for a long time. Went on line and easy to book tickets and what you wanted. Lots to see in the St Marks Cathedral and its Treasures. I didn't realise the Treasures were included in the tour -but very interesting to see. Tour guide was very good and we all had headphones and radio receiver so we could hear clearly as the cathedral gets very busy with other tourists. At end of guided tour you were allowed to then re-enter the cathedral and you could take your time to look at all of the cathedral in more detail (would recommend this as difficult to see everything on first pass through the cathedral). No Photos allowed in the cathedral and you need to cover shoulders and below knee for ladies. Worth also paying to go up to the outside upper gallery as more to see there (pay small separate charge to cathedral once inside).

Strenghts

Tour well organised, small group of around 20 to 25 people. Great to have a separate entrance and beat the queues. Tour guide very good and gives you great history of the cathedral.

Weaknesses

The Cathedral gets very busy and can be very hot inside - so maybe worth considering a tour earlier in the day.


Reply by venetoinside.com Staff

Dear Traveller,

thank you for your kind review! As for your suggestion to book an earlier tour, actually the best times to visit the Basilica are usually in the afternoon, after 3 pm.

Best regards,
The Insidecom staff
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8.5/10

British Traveller

June 2016

Young couple

UNITED KINGDOM

Reviewed on 14 Jul `16 - Booking No. 1660937

'Excellent presenter'

Tour
St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

The presenter was informative and fun. She gave us a good insight into the history of the building and Venice as a whole. The tour group was just the right size. All the staff were helpful.

Strenghts

The presenter was informative and fun. Good insight into the history of the building and Venice as a whole. Good group size. All the staff were helpful.

Weaknesses

I had a printed voucher for a queue jump, but it wasn't clear where to wait for the tour to begin. There are a lot of tour guides in the square which confused matters. Perhaps a bigger sign would help.


Reply by venetoinside.com Staff

Dear British Traveller,

thank you for your review and suggestion! Unfortunately we cannot point out the tour meeting point with large signs due to St. Mark’s Basilica regulations. We try to be as clear as possibile on the voucher, where the meeting point – which is our Venetoinside Info Point at St. Clement’s Door – is specificied both on a map and with a textual description that includes also google maps coordinates. We understand that St. Mark’s Square is often very crowded and find the exact meeting point can be difficult… For this reason we suggest our customers to locate in advance the departure point and how to get there in order to avoid being late or any inconveniences that will prevent them from being at the meeting point in time.

Best regards,
The Insidecom staff
Was this review helpful?
7/10

Lawrence

June 2016

Mature couple

UNITED STATES

Reviewed on 14 Jul `16 - Booking No. 1662836

'Decent tour but guide could speak clearer English'

Tour
St Mark's Cathedral and the Cloister of St. Apollonia (Skip The Line Guided Tour)

We didn't mind this tour overall. But it could have been a lot better if our guide (who was pleasant and knowledgable) spoke better/clearer English. We were paying close attention and probably got only 85% of the information and 50% of the jokes. And I sympathized for the folks in our group for whom English was not their first language. Also, I don't know if the tour company has control over this, but when we entered into the basilica, we had to "cut in line" ahead of folks waiting for a long time. Instead of having someone in an official capacity hold up the line while we went through, we had to follow our guide and essentially cut off folks who were impatient to get in and who didn't understand why we were getting to skip the line (and one woman was unhappy and yelled at our group). This could be managed better.


Reply by venetoinside.com Staff

Dear Lawrence,

we are pleased you appreciated the tour despite you had some difficulties in understanding the guide. Celine has been working as our guide for four years and no one has never complained about her English… In fact many other participants in tours she made gave us positive feedback about her. We regret this was not your case! As for the ‘skip-the-line’ inside the Basilica, guided tours have priority over other visitors since they have strictly times to respect… Of course, other visitors may not be happy with this, and we can assure you that things would not change even if they were managed in a different way.

Best regards,
The Insidecom staff
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