St. Mark’s Square represents the city center of Venice and the center of once prosperous Venetian Republic. It is the largest and the most impressive square in the city that inflames emotions and admiration of visitors from all around the world.
In Italian, the name of this square is Piazza San Marco while in English it is popularly called Saint Mark’s Square. Piazza San Marco, together with Piazzetta dei Leoncini (Small Lions’ Square- named after two small statues of lions) and Piazzetta San Marco (a part of the square looking at the Venetian Lagoon) composes the center and the heart of the city and represents the symbol of the historical Venetian Republic. With its length of 170 meters, it represents the largest city square in Venice and a perfect place for tourist to admire the architecture of the city as well as to sit and relax after exhausting walks through the Venetian streets.
Apart from its beauty, Saint Mark’s Square is also important because there are numerous tourist sights and museums on this square. The first thing a tourist sees on the square is the astonishing Basilica of Saint Mark and its very high bell tower. This beautiful basilica is without precedent; the astonishing façade and the interior frescoes in gold list it as a must see in Venice.
Next to the basilica there is the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) that was the center of political and legislative power of the Venetian Republic. This palace is best known among tourists for its enormous and beautifully decorated council rooms. Across the basilica in a set of beautiful buildings that encompass the square, there are also The National Archeological Museum, Museum Correr and the Marciana Library. All of these museums have different and important collections that attract numerous tourists, anxious to take a peek into the history and wealth of the Venetian Republic.
(!) The Saint Mark’s Square is also a perfect place to enjoy an espresso, cappuccino or a glass of wine in one of the numerous cafés. Be aware though, the prices especially in these cafés are unusually high for most tourists. Do not be surprised if you pay more than 10 Euros for a cappuccino.
(!) Venice is well-known among tourists for the absence of benches and places where to sit and rest. Authorities would say it is because they did not want to occupy the limited space, while tourists would say it is because they wanted to boost the local economy and make exhausted tourists sit in numerous and expensive cafés or restaurants (read our article on different prices in Venetian cafés). Even though it is prohibited to sit on any of the stairs around Saint Mark’s square, no one takes these warnings seriously and many tourists decide to take a break right here and enjoy the view.