Venice Sights - tickets ahead?

May 11th, 2006, 06:54 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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For the Doge's palace, you can easily buy your ticket at the Correr museum across the piazza (all tickets are for both the Correr and the palace). No line, and that musuem is itself worth at least a short look. Then you just get in the very short line for people who already have tickets for the palace.
grsing is offline  
May 11th, 2006, 07:22 AM
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zizz is offline  
May 11th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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wego is offline  
May 11th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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I was just going to look into booking a reservation for the "Secrets Tour" for my family (figured our 10 and 7-year-kids would certainly enjoy this), when I saw the reservation suggestion for St. Mark's. I haven't been to Venice for 10 years...are you saying that just to go into St. Mark's (in June) you have to have a reservation, or are you referring to a tour led by a guide? I was hoping to take our family in independently at our leisure, but if it means standing in a long line, I'll make a reservation. Also, does anyone know if it is possible to visit a gondola "factory?" Seems I read somewhere that one exists. Thanks for any advice!
guanciale is offline  
May 11th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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I made reservations last night for the basilica. It said the booking was confirmed but gave an Italian message that I believe said their was an error in emailing us the confirmation. At this point I have a number which looks like possibly a confirmation # and our time to get in...

If we don't actually have anything on paper from the website are they going to let us in or do we need to try to make the reservations again?
krisabug27 is offline  
May 11th, 2006, 11:47 AM
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Krisabug..For what date did you book your tickets for the basilica? I just also tried and the calendar for all of June was white..meaning "closed". I checked May and July just for reference and it was the same story. Maybe I should just keep trying...??
LH is offline  
May 11th, 2006, 04:09 PM
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LH--I just booked a reservation for St. Mark's on June 30, even though the June calendar showed closure. I went straight to Booking, not the Availability Calendar. I booked the 30th, because I was unable to get a reservation for July. I have e-mailed to find out what the problem is. If I get a response, I will add it to this thread.

Krisabug--I didn't get any response in Italian. It said "Booking Completed" with a summary of our reservation. It says "We advise printing the summary sheet as a reminder of the booking made."
Digbydog is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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You don't have to have a reservation (in fact most people don't) and no this is not a guided tour but if there is a line it will save you some time (the line was long when we were there), and there is no charge for the booking so you might as well. I'm not sure they even looked at the time on our paper - he just waived us in. Since it is right there you could even visit the Basilica before Doge's Palace.

We also did the Secret Tour of Doge's Palace and highly recommend it. If we would have just toured it on our own we would have missed so much since neither of us really knew much of the history.

Have a great time!
jesssica is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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Jessica, thank you so much for the clarification on St. Mark's. I will go ahead and make a reservation. I'd like to make it for after our Secret Itinerary tour, which is at 10:00. My hotel person said this tour is about 45 minutes, so I'm thinking I'll make the St. Mark's reservation for about give us plenty of time. Does the 45 minute duration sound right to you? Also, I was wondering about the time spent in St. Mark's...on the website for reservations, they mention that you only have ten minutes to visit! I understand the need to get people through, but is this right? (It does sound like if you go through any of the paid areas, presbytery where St. Mark's sarcophagus is, etc., that you would get more time.) Thanks!
guanciale is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 10:31 AM
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The Secret Itineraries Tour of the Doge's Palace is about 60 minutes. The tour covers parts of the Palace that is not open to the regular public. Therefore, after the SI Tour, you should tour the rest of the Palace on your own, which will take probably another 45-60 minutes.

IF you leave the Doge's Palace right after your SI Tour, you will not be able to return to tour the Palace without buying a regular ticket!

You should push back your reservation for the Basilica.
yk is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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If one is interested in taking a guided tour of the La Fenice Opera House, you should book your ticket at least 1-2 days in advance.

+39 041.24.24
yk is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 11:37 AM
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I believe the Secret Itineraries tour actually lasts 90 minutes. As yk said, you should allow additional time to tour the rest of the Palace on your own afterwards.
luv2cthings is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Thank you for setting me straight on the Secret Itineraries Tour...I will allow for the extra time! That was also good to know about La Fenice...I LOVED reading "City of Falling Angels" and have been tempted to try to see it while we're there. Guanciale
guanciale is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 04:54 AM
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Good advice about reservations. The Secret tour line was 2 blocks long and we were "pointed" to a line 3 persons long. (cash only- best to tke exact change)The tour was very good and well worth the money. We also had St Marks reservations BUT for some unknown reason St Marks was closed the day of our reservations and the plaza was literally filled with young servicemen. We asked our landlord if he knew why but he didn't know either. We finally guessed that thee was some military dedication or celebration. We never caught a line short enough to consider standing in it over the next 5 days. The outside was stunning. lynclarke
lynclarke is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 06:50 AM
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edhodge is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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Wow, this thread is a huge reality check. My mind just cannot grasp how crowded Venice is going to be. I've been to Notre Dame in Paris three times - once in August, once in late December, and once in March, and while crowded, there has never been a long line to enter. It's hard to fathom such a long line to enter St. Marks.

So, if there are such huge crowds, are the vaporetti impossibly crowded (like the cable cars in San Francisco), such that you have to wait a long time to get on one?
missypie is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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Last week I booked the Secret Itineraries Tour and the operator who booked our tickets gave me this information:

There are no toilets in this part of the palace, and no way to leave the tour. You must stay with the tour for the entire 75 minutes. The operator said if anyone cannot stay in the tour for the entire time, we can cancel those who don't want to go.

There are two ticket windows: One for the general public, and one for reservations (near the Information Desk) that should be marked "Secret Itineraries Tour" or "Il Giro di Itinerari Segreto."

Also, she said it is cold inside the palace and it would be wise to take a light sweater or wear a long-sleeve shirt.

I have never been inside the Doges Palace, so I cannot say if she was 100% correct. Maybe someone else can verify this information.

i_am_kane is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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Thanks everyone; I will bookmark for future reference!
Petruska is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 04:17 AM
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Iamkane- yes, the operator was correct. First of all, there are two lines but that is not terribly apparent from the outside. There will be a long line. Go to the head of that line with you reservation number written on a piece of paper so you have something to show to the line coordinator. Do not expect him to speak Englaish. He will point you inside to another line and office. It is at this place that you will convert your reservation into a ticket. (cash only) Once the tour starts, there is no other alternative. You are shown parts of rooms and places where the tour person has to unlock doors. This is a standing tour. You will go into rooms and the tour operator will tell you stories and then you will move on. There are no places to sit or lean. The entire group must wait until the end of the group catches up each time. The tour ends in the palace so one can see other public rooms on one's own. The bathrooms are downstairs in the courtyard by the black gondola. I would guess it probably takes another 10 to 15 minutes to get from the end of the tour to the bathrooms. The palace is pretty crowded with tourists and there are several places where one must go through one small door or flight of stairs to get out. There may 50 people ahead of you also wanting to go through that same door. By the way, once the tour goes up the first flight of stairs, you can no longer take pictures. Also one has to check backpacks inside the palace before the tour starts. hope this helps. lynclarke
lynclarke is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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SusanP-thanks for the link to St. Marks
Like others, I would not have know this was available. My husband would not have wanted to stand in line, so this ensures our entrance. Love the internet!
5swissmiss is offline  

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