The Doge's Palace is an absolute must. In February we didn't find any crowds and we visited it at leisure, taking photos (where allowed) and sitting and reading through our guide books. This must be the fourth time I visit it, over the years, but it was the first time for my son (11 yrs old) who absolutely loved it. The Sala del Maggior Consiglio is simply out of this world, but every single hall is breathtaking and is a reminder of the spectacular power and wealth wielded by the Venice Serenissima Republic through the centuries. My son particularly enjoyed the Bridge of Sighs and the prisons, which were quite eery. It is so steeped in history and so beautiful that you won't ever want to leave.
Tip: bring along a good guide book as explanations and signs are minimal.
Also: In the Sala del Maggior Consiglio, don't miss the only disgraced doge's portrait. It sits alongside the portraits of the other first 76 doges, but it's covered with a severe black cloth. He was Marin Faliero and proved to be a traitor to Venice.
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