Get in touch with the millennial history and art of the most important religious building in Venice and enjoy the quiet of a charming cloister dating back as far as the 13th century, a little known treasure of rare beauty located just a short walk from the basilica itself.
25 participants maximum
St. Mark’s Basilica is surely one of the most famous and visited attractions in Venice. On the contrary, not everyone knows the fascinating Cloister of St. Apollonia, a precious treasure located not far from the Basilica.
This tour originally combines a visit to them both, escorted by our expert guide, who will explain you their history and artistic importance. Small groups (maximum 25 people) will make it easier for you to feel the spirituality of these places of worship and enjoy their true nature.
First of all, you will be able to access St. Mark’s Basilica avoiding any line at the entrance and to lose yourself in the magical atmosphere of this church thanks to the skip-the-line entry included in the tour. After taking a comfortable seat in the middle of the central nave, listen to the long and tormented story of the church’s construction and how it became the Cathedral of Venice.
Your guided tour will then continue with the visit of the 13-th century mosaics that adorn the dome and then you will admire the Treasury of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Golden Pall (Pala d’Oro). Assisted by our guide, you will discover the Treasury’s rich history and why it is considered one of the most important collections of sacred art in Italy. The most important jewel in the collection is surely the Pala d’Oro (Golden Pall), specifically forged for the Basilica.
At the end of the guided tour in the Basilica you will be escorted to the rectory, where our guide will open for you an exclusive hallway that connects St. Mark’s Basilica to the Rectory Bridge and Foundation (Ponte e Fondamenta della Canonica) in order to get directly to the fascinating Cloister of St. Apollonia.
The Cloister of St. Apollonia is located where a former Benedictine monastery was, which nowadays houses the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, the Marciano Lapidary and the Historical Patriarchal Archive. What makes this cloister unique is the presence of Romanesque elements, typical of the nearby mainland, which are very unusual to be found in Venice. Around the walls surrounding the cloister, it will be possible to admire the Marciano Lapidary, an important collection of decorative fragments that used to decorate St. Mark’s Basilica. The 13th century wellhead, located at the centre of the cloister, and the flooring in a herringbone pattern, still presenting its original 12th century bricks, are two of the remarkable elements that our guide will show you during your visit to this wonderful place.
The guided tour lasts about an hour and it is bilingual English/Italian, so explanations will be provided in two languages if the audience provenience is mixed.
Departure days & time
From Tuesday to Saturday
From November 1st 2015 to March 31st 2016: 10.30 am, 11.45 am
From April 1st to October 31st 2016: 11.00 am, 12.15 pm, 2.45 pm, 4.00 pm
BILINGUAL TOUR Italian/English (explanations will be provided in two languages if the audience provenience is mixed)
• 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 cases of extra liturgical ceremonies, exceptional high tides or other special occasions, access to St Mark’s Basilica may not be permitted and therefore the tour will not take place. In case of high water that prevents a normal access to St. Mark’s Basilica, ask the Basilica personnel on the spot for directions.
• Access to the Basilica is only permitted to visitors with suitable attire (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.
• It is a 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 - 4.00 pm).
• 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.
The tour includes:
Skip-the-line entry to St. Mark’s Basilica
Ticket to visit the Golden Pall
Ticket to visit the St. Apollonia’s Cloister
The tour does not include:
Tickets to visit the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Arts
What is not specified in “Inclusions”
Photos of this tour
Tour meeting point
From November 1st 2015 to March 31st 2016: in the atrium at the central entrance of St. Mark’s Basilica.
from April 1st to October 31st – in front of the San Clemente Door of St Mark’s Basilica