Your LivTours Venice Evening Tour begins when you meet your guide and fellow travelers – your group will be no more than six travelers total – in one of Italy’s most stunning squares – St Mark’s Square. This big open square is known for the local charm of its cafes and its Italian-Gothic architecture. Just off the Grand Canal, this square has more than a thousand stories to share. The first church built where St Mark’s stands today dates back to 819 AD.
In the company of your LivTours guide, you will learn about St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, the two most important buildings of this square which create the majestic backdrop. You will gain an understanding of the cultural influences behind the architectural beauty of the surrounding buildings making them so strikingly beautiful.
After admiring the square while your expert guide gives you the background to Venice it is time to explore the Doge’s Palace. Originally built as a 10th-century fortress, space was transformed into a palazzo. This building hosts opulent rooms and endless tales of the Doge’s that lived here. The Doge was the highest ruler when Venice was a kingdom on its own and not yet part of Italy. The tales are illuminating, but also dark as they mark Doge’s Palace was expanded so much that it ended up sharing a wall with St Mark’s Basilica next door. After all, they could not expand into the sea! Learn about the amazing color-changing facade of the Doge’s Palace and why it changes color from day tonight.
Before leaving the Doge’s Palace, your expert guide will take you to the famous Bridge of Sighs. You will find out why this Italian walkway has an English name and enjoy the views of the Lagoon of Venice from there. A sight worth remembering!
Once you have finished exploring the Doge’s Palace, your guide will lead you and your group to the side entrance of St Mark’s Basilica, reserved for exclusive night time visits. You will be surprised just how dark it is inside the Basilica. Your guide will help you find a pew as you prepare for the lights to be turned on one by one slowly exposing the detailed golden mosaic ceiling. The mosaics depict stories from the Old Testament with images of Noah, Adam, and Moses. Some scholars think these are replicas of the miniatures of ancient medieval manuscripts of The Bible. A night-time visit creates an ambiance which is absolutely unforgettable.
Taking this tour in the evening has even more advantages than the special light show, as you will be able to see the Pala D’oro ancient altarpiece up close, usually impossible with the hordes of daytime crowds. You will have time to admire the craftsmanship of gold and silver metalwork as well as the 1300 pearls and 1900 gemstones that adorn it.
You will also get to see the crypts where noble Venetians have been laid to rest. Learn how the crypt was moved in the 16th century to avoid flood damage and how it was sealed off for over two centuries only to be reopened in the 19th century!
This unique and unforgettable evening tour is perfect for all ages and history levels.