Why is St. Mark’s Piazza or San Marco Square so special?

Venice is an alluring canal-lined city that despite its tourists and kitschy gondola rides never ceases to inspire the imagination.

Why? Because its ornate arches, murky canals and stunning buildings give one the impression that they have been taken back in time, back to a place where iPhone-wielding tour groups and picture-decorated menus didn’t exist, and nowhere in Venice encapsulates this better than the Piazza San Marco!

So, what is it about the piazza that makes it so special? Isn’t it just like all the other charming old piazzas you’ll find in any Italian city or village?

Well, not exactly, as the Piazza San Marco is home to Venice’s most impressive buildings, including St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Museo Correr!

Each one of these fascinating structures contains its own unique history that make each one a joy to take the time to experience, let’s take a look at why below:

St. Mark’s Basilica

Venice’s grand and luxurious main cathedral, St. Mark’s Basilica is perhaps the world’s most famous Catholic structure outside of the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.

The basilica is perhaps best known for its illustrious design and endless mosaics. It contains an impressive five domes, combining to create a Latin cross design, as well as 4,000 sqm of mosaics dating back to the 13th Century!

The Doge’s Palace

The Doge’s Palace (Italian “Piazza Ducale”) has a long history of Venetian reinvention, having gone from fortified castle to Doge residence to Venetian prison, but it is the structure’s architecture and artwork that make it so recognisable today.

The palace combines three different architectural styles: Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance; it also houses works from great masters like Bellini, Titian and Tintoretto, making it a wonderful place to experience Venice’s changing influences throughout the decades.

Museo Correr

The Museo Correr is Venice’s most revered museum, housing countless works of art, antiques, architecture, naval instruments and much more. As we know, Venice is a city with a fascinating, profound history, and there is no better place to gain a greater understanding than at the museum that houses so many important pieces from across the centuries!

As you can see, the Piazza San Marco is more than your average town square – it contains the beautifully-preserved remnants of one of the world’s unique cities – it’s truly the first place you should start your Venetian adventure…


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