Basilica di San Marco
St. Mark’s Basilica is the most important Catholic Church in the city, and one of the most important Italian monuments. The famous winged lion, a symbol of modern Venice and of the ancient ‘Venetian Republic’ is depicted on its façade’s pediment. The original church dates back to before the year 1000, while its famous polychrome façade, embellished with mosaics and bas-reliefs, is a 13th century addition. Inside, a triumphant array of domes and transepts, mosaics and gold, marble and numerous other treasures awaits you.
St. Mark’s Square, or Piazza San Marco, consists of a central, trapezoid-shaped unit integrated with other areas. Measuring 170 metres in length, it faces directly onto the water and is surrounded by several magnificent stately buildings. Its incalculable scenic beauty makes it one of the most widely-photographed places in the world, and the square is crowded with people during most hours of the day. The best thing to do here is to look around and enjoy the view. Don’t forget that the square has a number of specific landmark sites, whose interiors can also be visited, among which are: the Basilica of San Marco, the Bell Tower, Palazzo Ducale, the Clock Tower and some 18th century cafés – for example the Florian and the Quadri, to mention a few of the best-known.