The Piazzetta lies between the Basilica and the lagoon.
It was erected 1537, after Plans Sansovinos, precisely at the moment, since Venice made a name of pressure and book metropolis for itself.
Each visitor of Piazzetta gets there, a first impression of the shine and splendour of the republic.
The Doges Palace opposite, the Biblioteca Marciana arises, that belongs today, to the Museo Civico Correr.
The columns at the water come from the 12th century.
The winged lion, on the first pillar, is Persian or Syrian origin.
On the other column stands a statue of the sacred Theodor, the first protection patron of the city.
Favorite thing: Due to its changing history, Venice is packed with various worth seeing architectural buildings. Italian, Arabic and Byzantine styles are representing the city. So keep your eyes open when making your way through the labyrinth of alleys and canals.
The lion of St. Mark, on the front of the Basilica. The book under the lion's paw reads "Pax Tibi Marce Evangelista Meus" which means, "Peace be to you, Mark my evangelist."
The words are from a Medieval legend.
"...on Mark's return to Rome, as he was passing the area around where Venice will later be founded, it was said that an angel appeared to him stating the words in your Latin inscription: Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus. Hic requiescet corpus tuum (trans. "Peace be to you, Mark my evangelist. Here your body will rest"), essentially prophesying that he will one day rest there (i.e. In Venice).
Fondest memory: St Mark was the first bishop of Alexandria. On the 26th of April 68 AD the pagans dragged him through the cobbled streets of Alexandria until he was dead.
In 828, his body was stolen from Alexandria by two Venetian merchants and taken to Venice, where it was sealed in a precious sarcophagus and placed inside the crypt. Its present location is under the table of the high altar.
His feast day is celebrated on 25 April, the anniversary of his martyrdom.
You've seen pictures of the piazza and the birds that seem to be everywhere. Now you are there and you forgot your birdseed?
Don't let this happen to you. Take a small bag of birdseed in your suitcase and bring it to the square. Have your camera ready for some great shots. And be prepared to clean your self if the birds get carried away......
Also, if you go into the Academy and see the art display, notice that in the old paintings of the square there are no pigeons. Then give some thought as to why?--especially because the artist tried to make a good replica of what happened when they brought back St. Mark's body and had the procession.
Pigeon for Lunch, Anyone?
Fondest memory: My daughter loved to feed the birds. If you are taking children, I recommend bringing bird seed.
As I stood in the middle of Piazza San Marco, I tried to imagine the millions of people who had stood in this very spot and felt the awe of such beauty. This piazza has witnessed so much...Carnival festivities, political strikes, elaborate pageants, religious processions, and ordinary citizens standing right here!
I just seemed to block out any mass of people or any swarm of pigeons; instead, I focused on the beautiful orchestras that were playing, the beautiful architecture of the Basilica San Marco, Doge's Palace, Campanile, and the Columns of San Marco and San Teodoro. In that one moment, the grandeur that was Venice was alive!
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Venice took place here in Piazza San Marco when my husband of 40 years asked me to dance to the orchestra music...it was magic.
Fondest memory: ..is of Piazza San Marco devoid of people, before the boatloads of tourists arrive at 9-10 o'clock. Picture yourself standing in the middle of the empty square in the early morning light. Breathtaking! On another occasion it began to rain, and I loved watching the people scatter as the huge raindrops fell, then seeing the piazza all wet!
Go up the bell tower of St. Marks Square and have a breath-taking view of the old Venice.
It is a maze of red color rooftops with more rooftops over the islands in the lagoon.
This bird's eye aerial view is one of a must for all photographer. The other is to walk the narrow streets. The third is by boat.
St. Marks Square has been a movie scene where you can linger around and watch the world go by or waiting for your secret appointment at one of the many outdoor cafes.
Or you can try to identify all the famous tourist sites around the square, first the Grand Canal, Doge's Palace, St Mark's Basilica, St Mark's Clocktower, Procuratie Vecchie, Napoleonic Wing of the Procuraties, Procuratie Nuove, St Mark's Campanile and Logetta and Biblioteca Marciana.
Or just chill out after all that walking or riding the waves of the canals.
Another Venetian landmark not to be missed is the Clock Tower.
Built over 500 years ago over an arch that leads to the old Merceria shops, it has an astronomical clock that has greeted all tourists and merchants to Venice for over half a millennium.
According to a story on the web,
"The clock shows the hours in Roman numerals, the phases of the moon and the Zodiac. It also gives indications to sailors about the tides and which months are more favorable for sailing. The Serenissima gave a large reward to the Ranieri brothers who constructed the clock tower, but legend has it that later their eyes were removed in order to keep them from repeating such a wonder."
The Molo is the area of St. Mark's Square that is on the Grand Canal. It is the traditional "Front Door" to Venice (molo really means 'jetty'), and is a hive of activity.
It is marked by two massive granite columns brought from the Orient in the 12th century. There were actually three of these columns originally, but one of them fell into the water and sank. I found it particularly satisfying to take photos of these columns. One of them is topped by the winged lion of St. Mark that has a book between his paws. The lion was originally gilded and may have been intended to be a griffen. The other has St. Theodore, Venice’s first patron saint (until he was replaced by St. Mark), who looks like he is standing on an alligator or a crocodile. The statue's head belongs to a Roman Emperor and the rest, including the "dragon", to an early St George.
Favorite thing: At the beginning of the 9th century, the Venetians built their Ducal castle and later their Basilica, the piazza was much smaller, squeezed between the facade of the church and a canal, At the end of the 12th century, the church of St. Mark’s was enlarged, the Ducal Palace was turned into a "palacio".
The beautiful Clock Tower in St. Mark's square is possibly the second most well known clock in the world; after "Big Ben". It was built in 1499. It was designed by Mauro Codussi, and decorated with an astronomic clock that shows the hour, the moon phases and zodiac signs.
At the top of the tower, once an hour the bronze statues of two huge shepherds or moors strike the bell. The figures are sometimes referred to as Moors because of the dark color of the bronze patina.
At Epiphany and the Ascension (just twice a year) the procession of the statues of the three Kings led by an angel appears. The Magi's carousel; the three Kings, preceded by an Angel blowing a trumpet, passed in front of the gilded bronze Madonna with Child. Originally, the trumpet actually emitted a sound.
In the 1979 film Moonraker, James Bond is seen throwing Chang (the bad guy) through the glass face of the famous St. Mark's clock and down into a piano below, thus disrupting an opera performance. The real clock was obviously not used. For one thing, face of the real clock consists of revolving metal disks so a glass-fronted studio-based 'clock stunt double' was used.
St. Marks square where Italians come to chat, shop and eat. (along with the many pidgeons)
From the square, you can wonder to the many wonderful shopping boutiques.
Fondest memory: Inside the Basillica of St Marks Cathedral is many mosaics which tell stories and the most impressive sight was the gold and precious gems and St Marks remains inside the church just brought me to tears.
Favorite thing: Every strong or conquering nation on the globe probably still shows proofs of its past pilfering in its public edifices and ornamentation. Take Rome for example. Fifteen obelisks nicked from Egypt. Not bad. The Venetians, once masters of the Mediterranean, were nowise immune from such permanent loans. The remains of St Mark the Apostle were stolen from Alexandria in a barrel of pork. The four horses that once emblazoned the Byzantine Hippodrome have been copied for the public to gaze upon atop San Marco, the true copies spirited away to the basement. Indeed, Venice has taken much that once belonged to Constantinople. Note the four Roman emperors in the famous "Tetrarch" on the corner of St Mark's. See how they almost cower in fear and unfamiliarity in their new surroundings.
Favorite thing: Piazza S.Marco is the only true square in Venice (the other open areas are campi). It has been the scene of some of the most important religious and political activities of the Serenissima as well as the center of Venetian social life for almost a millennium. At first the Square was limited to the parvis of the Basilica, because of the presence of a canal, 'Rio Batario', which divided the present Square in two parts. The part of the Square now between the Procuratie, was once the vegetable garden of S.Zaccaria monastery with S.Geminiano church in the middle. The present shape of the Square was established in the XII century, for the meeting of Pope Alexander III and the Emperor Barbarossa by filling in Rio Batario and the dock. A small new Square was built with the columns of S.Marco and S.Todaro, the city's patron saints, overlooking St. Mark's Basin. The alteration of the Square was all done over the course of one century, adapting to the growing power and wealth of Venice. The present form reflects the works of many famous architects such as Sansovino, Longhena, Scamozzi, Rizzo and Tirani.