The symbol of the civil and political history of the Venetian Republic
This Gothic-style palace, once the residence of the Doge, dominates St. Mark's Square, symbol of the political life of the Republic of Venice
After a series of restorations and renovations, today it houses the Museo dell'Opera accessed through the Porta del Frumento. Past the courtyard, it is possible to go up to the Loggias to admire the Piazzetta di San Marco and the Venetian Magistrates’ Chambers with the "Bocche di Leone" [Lions’ mouths], used by citizens to post anonymous complaints. The upper floors can be accessed using the Gold Staircase, decorated on the sides by two marble sculptures representing Atlas holding the celestial vault and Hercules killing the Hydra. The institutional chambers contain frescoes and masterpieces by some of the greatest artists, such as Tintoretto, Veronese, Titian and Tiepolo. Over the Bridge of Sighs are the new Prisons. The name "Bridge of Sighs" refers specifically to the state of mind of the prisoners, who would take their last fleeting gazes at the Lagoon once they left the Court before being locked up in prison. It is possible to reserve places on the Secret Itineraries tour, where you can visit the rooms where the political and administrative activities once took place, and discover the civil and political history of the Republic of Venice.