Saint Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy

Saint Mark’s Square, Piazza San Marco in Italian, known in Venice simply as la Piazza, is a major attraction in Venice. It is the city’s main square. Napoleon Bonaparte called it “the drawing room of Europe”.

When one is at Piazza San Marco, there are three structures that stand out.

1. Basilica di San Marco (Saint Mark’s Basilica)

This minor basilica is in Italo-Byzantine and Gothic style. Originally for exclusive use by the Doge, it became Venice’s cathedral in 1807. It houses the relics of Saint Mark the Evangelist.

2. Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace)

The palace, in Venetian Gothic style, was the residence of the Doge, Venice’s supreme authority. Now, it is a museum. It is one of the main landmarks of Venice.

3. Campanile

The campanile is one of the most recognizable symbols of Venice. It is the bell tower of Saint Mark’s Basilica. Visitors may go up the tower by elevator for beautiful city views.

Another stand out is the Piazzetta which technically is not part of Piazza San Marco. It is a promenade that faces the sea. The piazzetta flows into Saint Mark’s Basilica.

The clock tower is a main feature of the Piazza, but my husband and I barely noticed it. There are a lot of things to see in the Piazza. I was a bit overwhelmed just right after exiting the Basilica.

Attached to the left of the clock tower is Procuratie Vecchie which housed the procurators of San Marco. Since the 1700’s, on the ground floor is Caffe Lavena made famous by composer Richard Wagner who hanged out there daily. It became controversial when it charged a group of tourists for $135 for four espressos with shots of an Italian liqueur, Amaro. The espresso was $8 each, Amaro $11, and the live entertainment was $56. To sit at one of the cafes at the Piazza, one has to be willing to pay the price for live entertainment.

Piazza San Marco has other historical structures framing it. These are the ones that caught our attention. We should have explored some more, but we were hungry, and our minds were already on our upcoming gondola ride. 


About Dee Gilbert

I am one half of a couple who loves to travel; the half who likes to write and share travel experiences. Reading about travelers' experiences inspire me more to see the world. So, I thought, perhaps in my own little way I could inspire others, too. :)
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5 Responses to Saint Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy

  1. Jessica says:

    Wow!! I’m so glad you went to Italy! Now I get to see Italy, too! Gorgeous photos!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ralietravels says:

    As said before, it is nice to see your photos from the off season. We were there later in the early spring and the Piazza was crowded. I can’t imagine it in the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

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