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“A Treasure that needs to be cleaned and lighted”

Basilica di San Marco
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$28.69*
and up
Skip The Line: St Mark's Basilica Guided Tour
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$28.69*
and up
Skip the Line: Saint Mark's Basilica Guided Tour
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$65.75*
and up
Skip The Line: St Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Tours
Ranked #3 of 739 things to do in Venice
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Blending the architectural styles of East and West, Venice's magnificent basilica was consecrated in 832 AD as an ecclesiastical building to house the remains of St. Mark.
Vienna, Austria
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“A Treasure that needs to be cleaned and lighted”
Reviewed November 19, 2013

What one can see of the mosaics are wonderful. Having just seen those in Monreale and Palermo, I was disappointed at their cleanliness and the lighting used. St. Mark's in general needs a good bit of restoration work and I was surprised that in wealthy Venice this was so, while in less prosperous Palermo the major churches were in much better condition. This being said, St. Mark's is a world treasure. I only wish that it was being better cared for.

Visited November 2013
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Thank BillandKathy27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cornwall
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Ok but expected more”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

Incredible that it is lined with gold but that really for me was it. The architecture was plain. You can pay extra to a collection of bones of the past Doges but better was some gold artifacts. Best part was the original bronze horses inside cast in 4bc on a Greek island by persons unknown.

Visited October 2013
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Thank Vanistica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stotfold, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
394 reviews
135 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 206 helpful votes
“Stunning but some issues”
Reviewed November 17, 2013

A very beautiful basilica and definitely a site not to be missed. However, beware … NO BACKPACKS are allowed inside but they don't tell you until you are right at the front of the line.

On the day we visited, Venice had had one of its high tides and the raised walkways were in use. Therefore, we had to join a long line on a fairly narrow walkway in order to get into the basilica, only to be told that we would have to go back (against the queue of people) in order to check in our backpack. (There were no signs stating that they were not permitted just a guy turning people back.) I can imagine that on a normal day it would not have been such an issue but … some signs would have been helpful.

The interior was stunning and the views were definitely worth the hassle to get back in. Unfortunately, despite many signs showing 'no photography' the peace of the basilica and the 'prayer only' areas was spoilt by many tourists taking flash photos. There seemed to be no attempt by any of the staff to stop this, so it just escalated.

We visited many other churches in Venice and they were much better managed. To make a visit to the basilica more pleasant, the management need to start 'managing' the tourists.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Chris F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dillon
Level 6 Contributor
363 reviews
146 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Worth the Wade!”
Reviewed November 17, 2013

Square was flooded but it was worth the effort to make it to the basilica! Beautiful building, interior. Relics make it come to life.

Visited November 2013
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Thank Snowpiste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Not to be missed”
Reviewed November 17, 2013 via mobile

From San Marco square, facing the sea front and the two large pillars, we took a right along the seafront and walked to the end to find the tourist information centre. Here you can book bundle tours. We booked a guided tour around Doge's Palace and St Marc's Basilica. It was a little pricier than the €18 entry fee (€45 each for the guided tour) but for the two hour guided tour around both venues, the queue jumping (they get big quickly!!) and the personable and interesting tour guide, I feel money well spent. More than just someone who tells you what everything is, our guide wove questions into our minds and questioned why all these different traditions were in one place; going on to answer the riddles and cryptics in a way that you stay engaged with and really take on board. To pay just an entry fee without finding out the history of everything we visited would have been selling the trip short.
The tour operator associated with the tourist information office also provides walking tours around the city, enlightening you on the vast stories and traditions attached to the beauty around you.

Helpful?
Thank Fernyfern3011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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