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”.
1. Basilica di San Marco (Saint Mark’s Basilica)
2. Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace)
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.