Start your tour on Saint Mark's Square and get to know the area that has been the hub of Venetian social and political life for more than a thousand years. Afterwards, get skip-the-line access to the eye-shatteringly beautiful St. Mark's Basilica with its many glittering surfaces.
St. Mark's first became a church way back in 828, when a couple of merchants smuggled the body of St. Mark out of Egypt in a barrel of pork fat (as the legend goes). This risky mission was because an angel told St. Mark that Venice would be his final resting place, and the Venetian leaders did not want that angel to be a liar.
Since that time the church has risen and fallen and risen again. Today, St. Mark's Basilica is not just Venice's finest church - it's one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in the world.
And this ticket will not only get you skip-the-line access to the church, it also gets you a one-hour walking tour with a fully licensed English-speaking guide.
Your tour will give you context on the history of the Venetian Republic, and insights into the magnificence of the gleaming Basilica.
Of course it's a place of worship, but not only that. Resplendent with 8,500 m2 of glittering mosaics - many made by layering 24-carat gold leaf onto the back of the glass to represent divine light - the whole church seems to shimmer in the daylight. And all around you are shiny, expensive details, silently declaring, 'The Venetian Republic is mighty and wealthy!'
After spending time gawking at the church, you'll be able to wander back out into the Piazza San Marco.
At this point, filled with knowledge and beauty, you should take the chance to fill your belly with some Venetian cicchetti (tapas) - for with the soul satisfied, it's time for the body to get its due.
Vaporetto: 1 or 2 to Valleresso.
Pump the history of St. Mark's Basilica straight into your ears
Two-hour tour of Venice's biggest highlights
Tickets for St. Mark's Basilica: Skip The Line + Guided Tour