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The Doge's Palace

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Venice | Italy

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As you enter the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, and wander through its halls and chambers, know that you're walking in the footsteps of Doges and councilors who shaped the destiny of the Serenissima Republic. The palace stands proudly as a symbol of Venice's glorious past: Gothic grandeur meets Renaissance elegance. Key highlights:
1: The palace has opulent façades adorned with intricate carvings, statues, and frescoes. Originally a 9th-century structure, the palace underwent numerous renovations, especially under Doge Francesco Foscari in the 15th century, reflecting Gothic and Renaissance influences.
2: Inside, the Hall of the Great Council, built between 1340 and 1355, impresses with its size and harmonious proportions. Here, the greatest artists of their time, including Tintoretto and Veronese, contributed to its decoration. The highlight is Tintoretto's 'Paradise,' the world's largest oil painting, which fills the entire wall behind the Doge's throne.
3: The “Stairs of Gold” lead to the opulent state apartments. Only the Council and Doge's guests of honor were allowed to use these stairs. Each room, including the Doge's private quarters and the ornate Sala del Collegio, tells a story through its lavish decoration and artworks.
4: The council chambers, where policy decisions were made, are sumptuously decorated with paintings by Titian, Veronese, and other masters.
5: The iconic Bridge of Sighs connects the palace to the prisons. The bridge got its name from the sighs of prisoners catching their last glimpse of Venice before their imprisonment.
Tickets can be purchased at the palace's ticket office or online.
Image by Palazzo Ducale.