Piazza San Marco in Venice. Italy

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco is the only square in Venice that the locals call piazza – square. The others are called campo (field), a humble name. This emphasizes the importance of the place both for Venetians and for visitors. Over the centuries, the square has changed. Today, it has the shape of a trapezium, reaching a length of 175 meters and at its widest part – 82 meters. San Marco has the main historical and cultural attractions of Venice, which is why 20 million pairs of feet of tourists from all over the world walk along its sidewalk every year!

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History of origins

The square is named after the Apostle Mark because of the zeal of two Venetian merchants who, in 829, stole relics of the saint in Alexandria, smuggling them to Venice. The cunning men encased the sarcophagus in pork carcasses, so the Arabs, being Muslims, could not thoroughly inspect the cargo. Returning home, the merchants placed the relics in St. Mark’s Basilica, which had been specially built for the purpose. But as a result of a palace coup, the building was badly damaged by fire. In its place in 1063 the construction of the Cathedral of San Marco began. The square in front of the building gradually expanded, reaching its present size. Festive processions, carnivals, bullfights and even executions were held there.

Piazza San Marco in the 18th century

Architectural sights

Piazza San Marco consists of two parts: the Piazzetta and the Piazza. The Piazzetta is the area from the Grand Canal to the bell tower, and the Piazza is the square itself in front of St. Mark’s Basilica.

The sights of the Piazzetta:

St. Mark’s and Theodore’s Columns. When one disembarks from the vaporetto, two marble columns stand before the eyes of the traveler. One is crowned by a sculpture of St. Theodore, the former patron saint of the city; the other by a sculpture of the winged lion, the symbol of St. Mark. These columns represent a conventional gateway, but no Venetian passes between them. In the past, commoners were executed here and locals would often see another hanged man dangling from a rope in the morning, so walking between the columns is considered bad luck and bad form.

St. Mark’s Column Column in Piazza San Marco Theodore’s Column Doge’s Palace San Marco Bell Tower

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Doge’s Palace. The Doge is the ruler of Venice. The Doges erected their Gothic-style residence, preserved in perfect condition to this day, between the 14th and 15th centuries according to a design by architect Filippo Calendario. In the palace the rulers worked and lived. It was home to the Supreme Court, the Senate and the Great Council and the upper balcony served as a rostrum from which the Doge made speeches to the people. In addition to the administrative and legal institutions, the Doge’s Palace housed the prison from which Giacomo Casanova had fearlessly escaped in 1756. On the second floor of the building is the colonnade where, between the 9th and 10th columns, the death sentences of imprisoned nobles were carried out. These columns stand out sharply from the others by their dirty pink color. According to legend, over time they changed color from shame and grief.

The bell tower of San Marco. It marks the end of the Piazzetta. It is the tallest building in Venice, from which the entire city can be seen as if in the palm of your hand. Today tourists are taken to the height of 96 meters by high-speed elevator. The bell tower is made in early Renaissance style and used to serve as a lighthouse for ships.

The sights of the Piazza:

St. Mark’s Cathedral. Piazza San Marco is surrounded on three sides by buildings, so at first glance it gives the impression of a huge matchbox. Here is the most fascinating building in Venice – the cathedral. He began erecting in 11 century and has since been often reconstructed. The building is made in the Venetian style. It holds the relics of the Evangelist Mark and many art objects brought during the Crusades from Constantinople. Today St. Mark’s Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

St. Mark’s Cathedral

Opening hours and ticket prices

1. St. Mark’s Cathedral

During high season the Basilica is open from 9.45 to 17.00. On Sundays and religious holidays from 14.00 to 17.00. Admission is free.

The Treasury receives visitors at the same time. The entrance ticket costs 3 euros.

The St. Mark’s Museum works from 9.45 to 16.45. The ticket price is 4 euros.

The Pala d’Oro is open from 9:45 to 17:00 on weekdays. At weekends and on public holidays from 14:00 to 17:00. The entrance ticket costs 2 euros.

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In low season, all establishments are closed an hour earlier.

2. Doge’s Palace

From April to October the Doge’s Palace is available to the public from 8.30 to 19.00. And from November to March the sight works on a reduced schedule – from 8.30 to 17.30. The price of the combined ticket is 17 euros. It is also valid for admission to the Archaeological Museum, the Correr Museum and the National Library of San Marco.

The Columns of the Doge’s Palace

3. The bell tower of San Marco

From July to September the bell tower is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. In March, April and October from 9 am to 7 pm. In November and Easter a shorter time schedule is from 9:30 to 15:45. The entrance fee is 8€.

Where to eat

After a busy tour, your appetite will get the better of you. But we do not recommend lunch at one of the many cafes in Piazza San Marco. Just a cup of coffee here is asking 10 euros. And the bill for the main Venetian dishes such as Moleche, Risotto nero and Fegato alla veneziana can be 100 euros. So it’s best to get away from the tourist center. After all, expensive does not always mean delicious. Restaurants on the square are used to a large influx of tourists and do not always cook to perfection. The restaurant owners do not care whether the customers like the food or not: in a day or two, they will leave, and their place will be taken by new ones. For a tasty and economical meal, it is better to go to the residential neighborhoods, where there are inexpensive restaurants frequented by locals. They can be found in the Castello neighborhood on Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, and in the Canareggio quarter along Fondamenta della Misericordia and Fondamenta degli Ormesini.

A cafe in Piazza San Marco

Things to see and do

Walking in Piazza San Marco could soon become a toll. According to former City Hall Councillor Augusto Salvadori, he is pushing for the installation of cash registers and turnstiles at the entrances. In addition, the politician believes that the price of 7.5 euros to travel on the Grand Canal is too low, considering raising the cost to 10 euros. This would help make life a little easier for the citizens, as the stops filled with commuters would empty out a bit.

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Flood Snow on Piazza San Marco in 2008 View through the arches

On their website, the authorities of Venice have published an appeal to the city’s guests. They ask not to use suitcases with plastic wheels, which rumble on the paving stones under the windows of Venetians at all hours of the day and night, because of which the City Hall receives numerous complaints from citizens. Tourists should abandon the “noisy” bags by using air- or liquid-filled wheels. It is possible that this request will soon be approved as a local law, for the violation of which penalties will be imposed.

Piazza San Marco (Italy, Venice) – reviews

Review of Piazza San Marco (Venice, Italy)

Piazza San Marco, one of the most beautiful squares, which includes several attractions at once, so it is often called an open-air museum. It is the very center of Venice, its heart. San Marco is indicated by many signs, signs and.

Attractions and pigeons)

Piazza San Marco is the main square of Venice. It is the place where excursions around the city on the water begin. This is not surprising, because here are concentrated several major attractions. As in all the squares there is a lot of activity going on here.

Venetian fairy tale

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Beautiful views, lots of sights.

Piazza San Marco is the main town square in Venice. The sightseeing tour of Venice began there, the guide spoke about the history and customs of Venice, the buildings surrounding the square: the Doge’s Palace, the Cathedral of San Marco and the bell tower, the clock tower.

The cathedral, the bell tower and the perpetually empty cafes.

Must see in Venice! Well it is impossible to miss it walking around the city. There is even a vaporetto stop nearby. A huge square in front of the Cathedral of St. Marko, made in the Byzantine style. Honestly, it looks more like a palace than a palace.

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Venice’s main square, the most popular tourist pilgrimage spot has been brought to an absurd situation, pigeons simply have no place on it now! This is the most crowded and cosmopolitan place in Italy. There’s not a lot of people here. Here, for example.

The main pigeon square in the world)

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The city of legends.

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The heart of Venice

I continue to share my impressions about the bus tour to Europe, which I visited in the fall 2012. I am sure that I have enough impressions and emotions for many more reviews. This time I want to tell a little more about.

Walking on the square of pigeons and tourists.

Hello! Today, continuing my Venetian reviews, I want to tell you about the central square of this beautiful city, San Marco. This square is the heart and calling card of the city named after the main cathedral of the city, dedicated to the patron saint of Venice, St. Mark.

Fantastically beautiful square, the heart of romantic Venice!

not found (probably crowds of tourists, but the square is big enough for everyone to disperse in peace)

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Piazza of the Soaring Lions is well worth a visit!

I want to tell you about Piazza San Marco in Venice. Upon arrival in Venice, the first thing I was able to see were the canals of Venice – the gondola ride departed just from Piazza San Marco and returned to the same. First things first.


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Or how our acquaintance with Venice began

We left for Venice early in the morning, barely had time to grab breakfast. We were driving from the coast of Lido di Jesolo, we were taken by bus to the boat station, and then we took a boat. And here we were sailing on the waves.

All the beauty of Venice united here!

Not for nothing they say that the heart of any city is its square. Exactly by the main square you can give a city its characteristic. But if this city is known to all of us Venice! Then, the heart of Venice, I would call the magnificent Piazza San Marco.

At the heart of the tourist center of Venice

Piazza San Marco is a bright jewel of Venice. Every year tourists from all over the world travel thousands of kilometers to see it. They are not afraid of floods, which occur here every year. Even approaching on a boat, you immediately see the bell tower.

A lot of people.

Once again, dear friends, writing about Venice. Those who usually read my reviews know that my walk along the Grand Canal made me sad – I could not see anything at all because of the weather.

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Pigeons, pigeons and more pigeons ))))

About Piazza San Marco in Venice has already been said and told a lot. This is an incredibly beautiful place. I do not want to tell about the cathedrals and not even about the majestic architecture. No, my review will be quite unusual – I will write about pigeons.

The square of pigeons))!

I also want to share my impressions of Venice and Piazza San Marco. Immediately comes to mind Venice Film Festival and its symbol of the lion. Before Venice for me was associated only with carnivals, Venice Film Festival and gandolas.

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