Join A Secret Italy

Subscribe to our FREE Ezine

The Doges Palace

The Doges Palace – Palazzo Ducale to the Italians - is one of the highlights of any trip to Venice.

Without a doubt, the Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s Church and St Marks Square are the images of Venice Italy that are known throughout the world.

The Doges Palace is one of those great buildings that exceeds all expectations.

On a sunny day the building appears to float above the Piazza, so typical of Venetian architecture, this whole feeling of light and magnificence conveyed so effortlessly.

The Doge's Palace - A History of Venice

Not withstanding the impression of lightness, this is a building where some of the most important decisions in Europe were once taken.

Initially built as a castle in the 11th century the whole place burnt down and was reconstructed as the present palace during the 14th century. No one is really sure who designed it but Filippo Calandario is the most likely candidate.

It was nearly destroyed again by fire in the 16th century. Despite many wishing to replace it with a more classical building it was thankfully restored faithfully.

The one or two minor classical additions, here and there, do nothing to detract from the previous design.

Open most days, a tour around the Doge's Palace is a must. The palace was not only a palace but also the seat of government, home of the law courts and a prison.

A tour encompasses all of this, from the torture chamber through to the Great Council Halls.

The system of government with its checks and balances on the Doges is fascinating and was put in place to keep the Doges from becoming dictators.

Only a few really tried to overcome this, Marino Faliero is perhaps the most famous of those who tried to change the system and bucking the system was really not a good idea in those days.

You will see that where his picture should be in the Sala del Maggior Consiglio there is only a black space. He was condemned to be erased from living memory and was mutilated and executed.

Our Doge’s Palace Tips

Doge's Palace

Tip 1

If you are in Venice at the height of the summer tourist season and the wait to get in is too long (it nearly always is) rather buy what is called a cumulative ticket at the Correr Museum.

This allows you to see the Correr Museum, which has works by most of the leading Venetian artists dating back to the sixteenth century, and it also allows you to visit the Doge’s palace without having to queue up outside again. Simply enter through the side entrance and save a lot of hassle.

Tip 2

If you really want to get the most out of your limited time in Venice join the tour called Skip the Line. You'll discover a wealth of things you'd never discover on your own. Try to book a few days before you visit.

For some very unique ways to discover Venice click here.


Searching for a good value hotel in Venice? These are my picks.

  1. Home
  2. Venice Essentials
  3. Doges Palace

You'll Enjoy These...

  • The Italy! Mamma Mia! Blog

    The ItalyMammaMia Blog shares with you news, beautiful Italian places, recipes and travel advice. Then we've great videos and essential information for those planning to travel to Italy.

  • Why Visit Venice and the Veneto

    Why visit Venice and the Veneto? This is the Italy of the imagination...except it's real. This is the Italy you've seen in the movies....but you're the star. Organize your trip in 12 photos...

  • Summer in Italy... and Christmas too?

    Ever experienced a summer or Christmas in Italy? Well, we've a way that you can bring that joy and happiness home with you...

  • Venice Tourism - Getting Away From the Crowds

    Venice is not only the Bridge of Sighs and St Marks Square. There is a whole lot more to this great city. Join me, Maria, exploring the Venetian wonders few ever discover.

  • Discovering the Best of Venice

    The best of Venice - 6 experiences you simply must have if you are visiting Venice. Here is the list...

  • The Venice Italy Beach Guide

    Come summer I can only take so much history before I need a beach. That's what the Venice Italy Beach Guide is all about. Discovering the best beaches near Venice.

  • Inside Castello in Venice Italy

    Castello in Venice is a get away from the theme park feel of St. Marks Square. In some ways this is small town Italy, old ladies gossiping in the squares and kids playing in the lanes.

  • The Best Tours of Venice Italy

    The best tours of Venice Italy, selected by an insider. Walking tours, gondola trips, St. Mark’s Basilica and even a creepy ghost tour. We have it all!

  • Venice Italy - The 6 Things you HAVE to See

    There's so much to see in Venice Italy that you can become overwhelmed. Before you despair, here is the list of the 6 sights you absolutely must see and everything you need to know about them.

  • Discoveries While Lost in Venice

    Getting lost in Venice is the best way to discover the amazing secrets and soul of this city. These amazing photos were all captured down the secret alleys and forgotten canals...

  • Gorgeous Pictures of Venice Italy and Verona

    Pictures of Venice Italy features some magnificent photos of Venice, capturing the timeless beauty of the greatest city on earth.

  • The Easter in Venice Guide

    Easter in Venice is wonderful, there's a special feeling in the air and Easter is still celebrated in the traditional way. Be a part of it - click for more.

  • Shopping in Venice - The Guide

    Shopping in Venice is wonderful but you can get lost in a maze of souvenir shops. You'll avoid that if you know where to go. Discover the best places to shop - from markets to designer stores.

  • Christmas in Italy? Everything You Need is Here!

    Planning a Christmas in Italy? I have everything you need - advice on Italian Christmas traditions, insider tips, weather, great value accommodation picks and a guide to the best restaurants.

  • 6 Places to See near Venice

    These 6 places to see near Venice are awesome. If you're visiting Venice don't miss out on seeing them.

  • The Climate in Venice Italy - The Best Time to Visit

    A guide to the climate in Venice Italy, advice on the best time to visit Venice and when not to visit, detailed weather forecasts and much more.

  • The Best Books about Venice Italy.

    Looking for the best books about Venice Italy? Whether it is food, travel or history we may just have the answer for you..

  • Winter in Venice - A Magical Time

    They call it the secret season. A time when Venice returns to the mystical and magical city it has been for centuries. A time when there are more Venetians than tourists. This is winter in Venice.

  • The Best Three and Four Star Hotels in Venice Italy

    Which are the best three and four star hotels in Venice Italy? These are my picks. P.S. I include only hotels which I can recommend with confidence - you won't find any long lists like on other big sites - these are personal, genuine recommendations.

  • Venice Italy Vacation Rentals

    Venice vacation rentals, the best way to really live the city & feel like a local. I love going to the outdoor market, coming home laden with local produce & great wine to cook up a pasta dish.

Please Book with Us...

Maria here, if you enjoy my site and Facebook page I'd love your support.

Simply book your next trip anywhere (not only to Italy) with the search box below or with any of the hotel links on the website.

I promise you'll get the best deal on accommodation available and the income we receive from HotelsCombined helps us to:

  • Stay independent and to keep bringing you the best of Italy.
  • Never have to accept money from hotels directly; that way we can share only those we genuinely love.

Recent Articles

  1. What to See in Sicily

    Wondering what to see in Sicily? We've a lot of fabulous suggestions that you will absolutely LOVE!

    Read More

  2. Why Travel to Italy?

    People often ask us why they should travel to Italy? Why not the UK, France, Thailand or Florida? This is the answer I give them...

    Read More

  3. Why Italy?

    Read More

  4. Things to Do in Bari & Reasons to Love Bari

    In many ways it is in Bari that the heart and soul of Puglia is to be found. Bari is real, Bari is vibrant and Bari is enchanting. Watch out for flying wooden spoons though!

    Read More

  5. Huge Earthquake Risk in Italy

    Read More

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.