Venice Italy, Salute Church, St. Mark's Square Venice, Grand Canal Venice, Bridge of sighs, Rialto Bridge, Venice sightseeing

St Mark’s square

The Ducal Palace is a Venetian Gothic building overlooking St Mark’s Basin, formerly the Doge’s residence and seat of the Republic’s government and courts, and now one of the most visited museums in Venice.
Soaring majestically up alongside the Ducal Palace is St Mark’s Basilica: built in the 9th century and with a sumptuous interior decorated with golden mosaics, the church is the city’s finest example of Veneto-Byzantine architecture.

Opposite the basilica is the 100.6 metre tall Campanile of St Mark’s, which Venetians affectionately call as “el paron de casa”, or “the boss”; after falling down in 1902 it was rebuilt where it was and how it was.

In the middle of Piazzetta San Marco, opposite the Island of San Giorgio, stand two imposing 12th-century columns originating from the East: one bears the winged lion of St Mark, symbol of the city, and the other a statue of San Todaro (St Theodore, the other patron saint of Venice).

Flanking the piazzetta are the Libreria di San Marco, which now houses the Biblioteca Marciana, and the Palazzo della Zecca, formerly the seat of the state mint, and just beyond them, the Giardinetti reali, a delightful little public garden.

Overlooking St Mark’s Square are the Procuratie Nuove and the Procuratie Nuovissime (built under Napoleon), the Correr Museum and the Procuratie Vecchie.

Under the arcade you’ll find Venice’s historic cafés like the famous Caffé Florian and Caffé Quadri.

Next to the Mercerie is the Clock Tower; recently restored and re-opened to the public it has a clock face with a zodiac and two bronze Moors on the roof that have faithfully struck the hour for the past five hundred years.

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