From the pier, you’ll travel approximately 20 minutes by private motorboat to the San Marco area along the Canale della Giudecca. From the Venetians favorite square, Piazza San Marco, you’ll begin your guided walking tour. After some remarks on the history of Venice, you’ll admire the Marciana Library and the Loggetta by J. Sansovino, the bell tower, the clock tower and its two bronze Moors, the two wings called Procuratie Vecchie and Procuratie Nuove, and the cathedral. Next to the cathedral is the Doges’ Palace, the former official residence of the rulers of Venice (Dogi). This is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture, well known for its ornate facade and multi-arcaded loggia.
Here, you’ll climb the famous Golden Staircase, admire the paintings from Tintoretto and Veronese, and wander through the echoing Great Council Chamber and many other historical rooms. Adjoining the palace is the famous Ponte dei Sospiri, or Bridge of Sighs. This legendary structure connects the palace to the former ducal prison. Today, it is a favorite rendezvous of lovers who believe that if they kiss under the bridge, their love will last forever. You’ll then admire the magnificent facade of the Basilica di San Marco, named for St. Mark. At the conclusion of this excursion, you will return to the cruise ship pier and then head to the airport by motor coach.