If you’re heading to Venice, whether or not you’d planned on it, you’ll almost inevitably visit the famed St Mark’s Square. St Mark’s Square (or piazza san Marco to the Italians) is the main public square in Venice, named as such for the cathedral down the Eastern End dedicated to old mate, Saint Mark. As one of the main “attractions” in the city, it was imperative that when we visited Venice, the square was on the list of things to see.
As with many parts of the city, St Mark’s Square is a great example to find remnants of the immense wealth that once perpetuated from Venice. It shall always remain a humbling feeling to walk through an area once home to arguably the most powerful people in the world, and St Mark’s Square definitely delivers that feeling.
The Cathedral itself stands on the Eastern end of the square, of course facing West, guarded by looming archways, and adorned with stunning carvings, statues, and of course, a great deal of gold. Unfortunately, renovations prevented us from actually going inside, but the shell of the basilica provided fuel for the imagination.
While the cathedral takes up the entire Eastern side of the Square, the rest of it’s sides are lined by high-end shopping, restaurants and cafes. It is almost always a sure sign that a meal is out of my price range if the price is not listed on the menu, and a warning from our tour guide confirmed that these are most definitely not places that backpackers can afford to eat at.
But apparently pigeons can.
Pigeons appear to be everywhere in Italy, but in St Mark’s Square, they gather en masse. Which may seem like an odd thing to notice, considering the sheer amount of incredible architecture around, but it is hard to not notice them, when both St Theodore and the Lion of Venice have the flying rats sitting on on their heads.
There isn’t really any way to avoid them, but as always, I’d advice touching them, feeding them or letting them touch you. Not because I have a problem with pigeons per say, but because that is what the guide told us.
It is well worth finding a walking tour if you’re visiting St Mark’s, a lot of significant historical events took place in the square, far more then I could ever remember or scrawl down.