San Marco 1, Entrance for the public: Porta del Frumento, Piazzetta San Marco
30124 Venice, Italy
tel: +39 041 271 5911
fax: +39 041 528 5028
Nov-Mar Daily 9a-5p; Apr-Oct Daily 9a-7p
Just a few quick steps from the Basilica di San Marco is the entrance to the famous prison, the Palazzo delle Prigioni, where traveler, adventurer, lover and seducer Casanova (1725-1798) was held captive in 1755 and made his legendary escape the following year. Connecting the Palazzo dei Prigioni (Palazzo of the Prisoners) and the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) is the famous Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs) where prisoners going from their trial and conviction in the Doge's Palace, would look across the bridge at their last glimpse of freedom before entering the prison. When the Palazzo dei Prigioni was still in use, prisoners on the bottom level of the prison got an unwelcome surprise as the high tide came in: they would be immersed up to their knees in water until the tide went down again!