A must-see in Venice is the Doge's Palace in Piazza San Marco. The palace dates from the 14th century, and was the residence of the Doges of Venice.
On view is the splendor of high Venetian style—Byzantine and Moorish architectural influences, gilded detailing, lush fabrics, rich colors, glistening marble floors, and allegorical paintings and portraits. Highlights include the Doges apartments, the old prison, and the Bridge of Sighs.
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The Venetian Empire didn't have an Emperor, it had a Doge. And his home was the pink marble perfection of the Palazzo Ducale, which was also where all the official doings of the Venetian Republic were carried out. Some of Venice's most important art is housed in this museum and fabulous repository of history; don't miss the famous Bacchus, Venus and Ariadne masterwork by Tintoretto. Take a tour (the Secret Itinerary tour is a good option) and then have a glass of wine in the Palazzo's small bistro by the Grand Canal. The windows look out onto the gondolas plying their way past the Bridge of Sighs.