THE DOGE’S HIDDEN TREASURES
New guided tour in the Doge’s Palace
Following the extensive conservative restoration work that has restored the original splendour of its interior, from April 1, 2015 the evocative rooms of the Chiesetta and Antichiesetta del Doge will be the fulcrum of a new, fascinating artistic-historical tour to discover The Doge’s Hidden Treasures in the Doge’s Palace.
The new itinerary, which requires reservations and a qualified guide (see general information), is an addition to what is already an extraordinary cultural offer from Fondazione Musei Civici in Venice; it unfolds in the Doge’s private rooms in the wing of the Doge’s Palace adjacent to the Basilica.
After entering, near the Porta della Carta – with its lavish sculptures and marble decorations – visitors go up to the Loggiato, which is where the ruler of the Most Serene Republic would appear during public events.
From this vantage point visitors can admire the entire area of Saint Mark’s with the buildings from different periods and in different styles that still mark the boundary.
From there one continues to the Loggia Foscara, a Renaissance addition to the original Gothic arrangement of the Doge’s Palace. Inside are the coffers where the State Treasures are conserved. From here the itinerary continues to the hanging Terrace and, going through part of the Doge’s Apartment – where he enjoyed his private life with his family, the scudieri and servants’ quarters, we continue up a steep staircase that is embellished with a picture by Titian of Saint Christopher, up to the Chiesetta and the Antichiesetta, frescoed in the mid eighteenth century by Jacopo Guarana and Gerolamo and Agostino Mengozzi Colonna.
In this brightly lit room, enlarged by the tromp l’oil of the wall frescoes, is a sculpture of Virgin with Child and Angels by Jacopo Sansovino. The models that Sebastiano Ricci used for the second arch of the Basilica with The Translation of the Body of Saint Mark are conserved in the Antichiesetta.
The creation of this new tour was made possible thanks to the synergy between Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the institutions who committed themselves in a variety of ways to enhance the Doge’s Palace, in particular: The Superintendency of Fine Arts and Landscape for Venice and the Lagoon, the Management of the Veneto Museum Centre and the Municipality of Venice.
The conservative restoration and the technological refurbishment of the new itinerary was made possible thanks to funding from the Italian Committee as part of the programme with UNESCO – International Private Committee for the Protection of Venice and the generosity of several sponsors.