I guess whether you view this as a tourist trap or an attraction depends on your taste and viewpoint. At any rate there are tons of pigeons in St. Mark's square and they are waiting for you to buy some seed from a street vendor and feed them. They become VERY friendly when you do (see the girl in the photo)! All in all they are probably part of the ambience of St. Marks's, but they can also leave unwanted gifts on top of your head or clothes. The best advice I have heard is that you should let the poop dry before cleaning it and then it just brushes away. Not so easy if you have a big dollop in your hair or on your clothes.
Watching the pigeons swarm all over the people in the piazza (and how silly they act). One sits at the cafe calmly sipping on a cup of coffee. By far the most expensive cup of coffee i have ever had in my life ( i think it was like 9 euro for the privilege of seeing this grand scene.)
Unique Suggestions Get a drink elsewhere, it's not worth sitting on the square.
Fun Alternatives Have a cup of coffee (or whatever your favorite drink is) at a little stand off the square, then see the scene in the piazza, take a picture and go inside to St Mark's, which is beautiful!
On St. Marco's square, it seems to be a traditional thing to do to feed the hundreds of pigeons.
Fun Alternatives Some people still enjoy feeding the pigeons. Remember that if a pigeon poops on your head, you're supposed to let it dry...do not wipe it right away or it will make a mess.
Fortunately, I did not have this problem because I tried to stay away from the birds.
Lol, as a child in St. Marc Square in Venice Italy, feeding the pigeons was a highlight! But unless you are 9 years old and willing to fork over money for rather expensive bird food sold in the square, then its not recommended!
Unique Suggestions Some feel they must have this experience at least once- I am actually glad I did; I was a kid so I wasn't the one paying for all the bird feed! Lol. Hundreds of pigeons flock you and well, do you want a hundred just fed pigeons flying over you and landing on you?! Lol, luckily I don't speak from ill experience in that reguard.
If you MUST do this once anyways, why not bring your own feed? Save yourself money. Don't spend a lot of time feeding the pigeons; it can be fun, but as my parents often expressed to me, "You'd feed the pigeons for hours than were hungry, then were too tired to do anything else."
Fun Alternatives There are LOTS of alternatives in Venice, especially if you are an architecture/history buff. Our favorite thing to do was to meander the streets, and find our nice little hole in the wall, but I forgot the name of it now. Anyways, the interesting thing about the place we found was Mel Gibson has gone in there and taken a picture inside the restaurant, and my mom is a crazy fan so she bought it from them-- it was kinda neat for her. So, go out and explore-- having no itinerary can be the best itenerary for Venice some days.
There are more pigeons in St Marks Square than inhabitants in Venice! There are people selling seeds on the square to feed them - which I personally do not think is a good idea as every time the pigeons saw someone with food they swooped and divebombed down, and sometimes you may be in their path, which they do not really care about!!
Apparantly there was a ban on feeding them at one point - which didn't work.
Sadly the acid in the bird droppings eats away at the stone on the monuments. But it looks like the pigeons are there to stay as long as the tourists are there to feed them!
Anybody visiting Venice has experienced the pigeons feeding in San Marco Square.
You can by a corn bag there (1€ each) and just wait for the pigeons attacking you....you will have them everywhere: on the shoulders, on the arms, and even on the head!!!
Fun Alternatives If you remember...just bring some bread with you....the pigeons will come to you at any rate
I couldn't believe how many people were happy to stand in St Marks Square, hand over their money and glad accept flocks of pigeons descending onto them when they got their bird seed out!!
Unique Suggestions Wear a scarf!!
FEEDING THE PIGEONS... There are people in St Mark's square selling food to feed the hundreds of pigeons there....yes it is touristy...yes it is silly....yes....I fed them too!!!