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Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

Location

Venice Map

Last Visited: 2013

The Courtyard

The Courtyard

Personally I find the outside of the Dogeʼs Palace less than architecturally. The heavy third story is vaguely reminiscent of an out of town shopping warehouse, or perhaps a bowling ally, albeit on that has gone a way over the top on the decorations.

Internally, however, it is a different matter, with a series of spaces designed to overawe any visiting dignitaries with the power and wealth of the Venetian state; they do a pretty good job of overawing the modern visitor too.

The Doge's Palace and the Campanile

The Doge's Palace and the Campanile

However, I canʼt show you those, as photography is banned inside the palace. There is, however, a somewhat flaky Street View style 3D Virtual Tour (in Italian only), available on the MUVE site. It works better and is translated, if you go in via the Venice Connected site.

As well as the grand State Rooms and the endless prisons that are included in the standard ticket, I think it is also well worth doing the, so called, Secret Itinerary tour. This takes you behind the scenes to see the rooms occupied by the administrative staff, some of whom were paid almost as much as modern bankers.

For full details of opening hours, ticket prices, etc. please see the official site detailed below. Iʼd recommend allowing a whole day if you are doing the Secret Itinerary in addition to the main palace; we tried to combine it with the Torre dellʼOrologio and it was all a bit of a rush. Bare in mind, however, that the café in the palace is not cheap or quick.