Transfer by motor launch to St. Mark’s Square—the heart and soul of Venice, with palatial arcades and charming cafés. Your guided walking tour passes the Byzantine façade of St. Mark’s Cathedral, originally constructed in the 9th century, with domes and bronze horses. At the exquisite Doges’ Palace, the former residence of the Dukes of Venice and the seat of the Venetian government for 800 years, climb the Golden Staircase to marvel at the paintings of Tintoretto and Veronese. Cross the famous Bridge of Sighs to reach the prison and view the cells. In the square are small workshops of glass manufacturers and you will stop here for shopping before returning to the ship by motor launch.
Guides are not allowed to provide commentary inside the church. An introduction will be given outside and you will view the inside on your own. Only one group may enter at a time, so there may be a considerable wait outside. The visit to the Doges’ Palace involves a lot of stair climbing. Guests who have difficulty with stairs can wait in the lobby. Modest attire is required; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered. Bags/backpacks are not permitted in the Doges’ Palace.