The pigeons of San Marco have become the symbol of Venice but they are actually a severe problem because pigeons dung is the one of the main reasons of buildings damage in Venice. Venetians use common needles but also pretty odd and scary broken glass to secure some places from pigeons.
It is traditional to feed the pigeons on the square San Marco. The birds are very friendly and they will come up very quickly if you have a corn, wheat or something else. Very soon you will be covered of the pigeons. They will be on you shoulders, heads….and be careful
A local custom is to give food to the pigeons at San Marcos Square.
I don't like pigeons :) they are very dirty animals ... but I do see nice to see them in some places. Is great to see the children feeding these birds.
At the same square you will find little mobile stores to by food for the pigeons for 1 euro (August 2004)
On Saint Marco square one can buy bird feed for 1 € .... a bit expensive in my opinion but when you have kids there s no escaping ... you gotta buy at least one package for each child....haha, only eldest had fun feeding, the other two were a bit scared of the birds flying on to them.
Okay, well I guess this is not only a local custom, but the custom of almost everyone who comes to San Marco Square in Venice. There are as many pigeons as there are tourists. But you can see Tal and Asli feeding them with zeal. They bought packets of birdseed to feed them. These poor birds eat so much that they can barely fly, they waddle when the walk and they fly like a cooked goose, too heavy....
This might not be a true Venetian custom but it's certainly a tourist custom; FEED THE PIGEONS!
Don't worry about the overpopulation either; Venetians came up with a brilliant plan. They now mix birth control in with the food to control the population. So go ahead and feed them…just be prepared to have thousands of pigeons on you.
Feeding the pigeons in Venice is against the law, and carries a fine of 517 euro.
The exception to this law would be within the area around St. Marks Square.
I personally feel this law is 'FOR THE BIRDS'.
The flight of doves in St Marks Square wishes a welcome to tourists from all over the world. An anchient legend says the doves were brought to Venice from Cyprus in homage to the wife of the Doge, it is a must to buy maize and feed them!
Do feed the pigeons whilst in Piazza San Marco. Without these birds, the place just wouldn't be the same.