This evening, you’ll have the unique opportunity to visit St. Mark’s Basilica after the crowds have left and it closes to the public. Unlike daytime visits, this exclusive opening of the basilica lets you admire this magnificent structure when it turns silent, just listening to the narration of your guide. A motor launch ride down the Giudecca Canal takes you to Riva degli Schiavoni, a short walk from the square. You’ll meet your guide in St. Marks’s Square, the heart of Venice and meeting place, living room and promenade for both Venetians and visitors. The church was built on the plan of a Greek cross in Byzantine style.
The beautiful facade shows different architectural styles with gold mosaic arches rising above the carved, Romanesque portal; the rooftop is crowned with five domes, reminiscent of Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. Showcased in the center are the four bronze horses brought from Byzantium in 1204. The inside is rich in mosaics, with many of them dating back to Byzantium. St. Mark's Basilica houses other extraordinary treasures, the finest being the gold altar screen, encrusted with more than 1,000 jewels and Byzantine enamels. The marble floors are entirely tessellated with geometric patterns and animal designs. After this amazing experience, you can have some free time.
Need to Know:
Note: Tour participation is limited, but is subject to a minimum number of participants to operate. As you’ll be visiting a religious site, no bare shoulders or knees are allowed. No photography allowed inside the basilica. Venice is a city built on and encompassed by water. Most tours require a lot of walking and climbing of stairs over many bridges and therefore are not suggested for anyone with walking difficulties. This particular tour has 500 steps, uneven and cobblestone terrain. This tour is only offered on Norwegian Spirit sailings.
Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.