St. Mark’s Basilica is arguably the most famous site in Venice, but right next to it, actually connected to it, is the Doge’s palace, and just across from the palace via the Bridge of Sighs are the historic prisons of Venice. If you are interested in Venetian history, which you will be once you are in Venice, then these are a must see.
How to Get There:
Once you have your ticket from the Correr you just go around the right side of the palace. There will be a line full of people, and an empty line. The empty line is for you because you already have tickets.
What You Will See:
Once inside you will enter the main courtyard of the Palace. When I was there I really wanted to go see the prisons so we followed the signs for them and it took as through the whole palace as well. This palace explains and is dedicated to the history of Venetian government, which is quite fascinating, at least to those of us who studied political science. Walking through the palace reminded us a lot of Versailles in Paris because there was so much gold and incredible murals, and general richness around the place. You can take as long as you want walking around here, but be aware that they close the palace at 6 PM so if you go late in the day like we did you will need to go pretty quick.
Just keep following the signs and you will eventually cross the Bridge of Sighs into the prisons. These are a stark contrast to the beautiful palace you have just walked through. They are thick stone walls with small rooms, double bunks in each room and tiny windows looking out into the hall. Its pretty much what you would imagine a prison being like.