2 - 5.00
St. Mark's Square also popularly known as Piazza San Marco, is the largest and most important square in Venice. In the city of water, it is the widest swath of flat. It is a popular meeting place for Venetians and visitors. This beautiful place is famous throughout the world for its fine architecture. The Piazza's angular design was once a showcase for the city's aristocracy and is a reminder of Venice's centuries-old legacy as a powerful marine republic.
The Square is often referred to as “the drawing room of Europe,”.The geographic and cultural heart of Venice has St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace at one end, the campanile in the centre, and the colonnaded arcade topped by the Procuratie palaces lining three sides—this elegant square is also steeped in history. You can Settle in at one of the many Fancy café tables and watch tourists (and pigeons) pose for photos while you sip a Bellini and soak in the square’s Renaissance splendor.
The square is at the end of the Grand Canal and the waterfront is an absolute delight. St Mark's Square is also one of the largest open spaces in Venice, a big contrast to the winding pathways and lanes within Venice where you are surrounded in by the buildings most of the time.
The café and restaurants are a little expensive but the experience is worth it. The surroundings are so beautiful that it will take your experience of Venice to another level. North of the Piazza is small streets that are full of shops leading towards the famous Rialto Bridge. Along here you can cross one of the four bridges, Accademia Bridge to the slightly quieter south island of the city.
The first-ever church constructed on the location of the San Marco Basilica was built around 830 BC. The construction of the current building started around 1063. It was originally the private church of the Doge. San Pietro di Castello was at that time the official church of Venice. When the economic center moved towards the Rialto and San Marco area, the San Marco basilica became the official church of the city in 1807.
St. Mark's Square is the only square in Venice which is called a Piazza. It is shaped as a trapezium with a length of 176 m and a width between 62 m. The small square with the 2 lions next to the building is called the Piazzetta Dei Leoncini. The one with the 2 columns in front of the lagoon is the Piazzetta San Marco. The other 135 smaller public squares in Venice, besides the Piazzale Roma, are called Campo, such as Campo di Santo Stefano, Campo di Santa Margherita.
When you look at the side of the Palazzo Ducale, you will notice 2 pink columns between all the white ones. The doge used to stand here to announce the death sentences. The pink color symbolizes blood. The executions then took place between the 2 columns with the statues of San Teodoro and the lion of San Marco. From between the columns, the condemned could watch the clock tower to see the exact hour of their death.
Some people believe that there was supposed to be a third column besides the ones with San Teodoro and the San Marco lion. Three columns were delivered by boat to Venice. During the process of moving them from the boat to the shore, one column fell overboard into the lagoon. A team of researchers has recently started to search the lagoon between the Marciana Library and the Ponte Della Paglia.
On top of the clock tower, next to the building, you can see a bearded old man and a young man hit the clock with a hammer on the hour. The old man hits first to indicate the time that passed. The young man symbolizes the future or the time that still has to come. These statues were created by Ambrogio Delle Encore in 1497.
The three flagpoles in front of the basilica are the original ship’s masts. They refer to the 3 kingdoms that Venice conquered: Cyprus, Crete and the Peloponnese. During that time, they were considered a symbol of tyranny and almost demolished. To save them, it was said they referred to Freedom, morality, and Equality. Now they are decorated with the Venetian, Italian and European flags.
Piazza San Marco is lower than the rest of Venice. When there is an acqua alta, it is therefore always the first area to be flooded. At 90 cm, approx. 2% of the historical center is flooded, which is the area around San Marco. Contrary to what you might expect, the water doesn’t flood from the lagoon onto the square. It comes from underneath through the drain holes and hence starts at different places on the Piazza.
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.