Plenty to see
Attracting tourists from all parts of the world with its fabulous choice of sites, St. Mark’s Square is the largest square in the romantic city of Venice. On three of its sides the square is surrounded by public buildings including Museo del Risorgimento and Museo Correr, and on the fourth one it opens into the peerless Basilica di San Marco with its arches, five gigantic domes, colored marbles and mosaics, the high alter golden Pala and the impressive four horses’ statue above the main entrance symbolizing the four Evangelists. Next to the Basilica is the breathtakingly beautiful building of the Doge’s Palace – the Venetian government seat for many years and the famous photo site of Venice – the Bridge of Sighs.
Torre dell’Orologio or the Clock Tower is on the right side of the Basilica with the two bronze Moors that strike the bell and the big clock with the zodiac signs and the moon phases.
Opposite Basilica di San Marco and the Doge’s Palace is the Campanile, the bell tower with the golden archangel Gabriel on top, that guards the Grand Canal entry. The tower is 325 feet tall and has an elevator inside. It reveals the best panoramic view of Venice, especially in the morning or at sunset.
Much to do
There is plenty to do around San Marco Square, but the most charming one is to enjoy an Italian espresso at the cafes around the piazza. One of them – Caffe Florian was established in 1720, making it one of the two oldest coffee house in continuous operation in the world.
Travelers love to sit next to the water, below the statue of the Lion of Saint Mark – the symbol of the city with a halo over his head, a sword and a book in its paws. Next to it is Colona di Teodoro – the first Patron Saint of Venice before St. Mark. The two columns are part of the smaller square Piazzetta, forming a wide promenade and an extension of San Marco Square towards the lagoon.
Just next to the statue is one of the gondola rides starting points down Canale Grande. The comfortable cushions, the skillful gondoliers steering the gondolas through the tiny waterways and the glorious palazzos around are a Venice experience that has to be tried.