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St. Mark’s Square (San Marco, In Italian)

St. Mark’s Square (San Marco, in Italian)

Venice has only one square or piazza: St.Mark’s Square, a 170 meter-long trapezoid which differs from all other squares that are called ‘campi’ (fields).

5 reasons why St. Mark’s Square is utterly unique?

  • St Mark’s square has been the heart of the Venetian Republic. The Republic was run by merchant noble families with strict rules, electing institutions and cermonial traditions lasting over than 1.000 years. The Venetian government had its headquarters right here, in the Doge’s Palace.
  • Venice’s history is inexorably bound with Byzantium (capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, later Costantinople/Istanbul) for 3 reasons:
  1. Byzantium protected and developed Venice as part of its vast empire;
  2. Venice conquered Byzantium in 1204 during the fourth crusade, conquering ¼ of its territories. The symbols of Byzantium were looted, carried to Venice and exposed in St Mark’s square: the most important being the 4 bronze horses dominating the Basilica’s façade and the 2 imposing columns in front of Doge’s Palace

    Saint Mark’s Basilica

  3. Istanbul was the capital of the Muslim empire and was as much the enemy of the Venetian Republic as its main commercial partner.
  • The Basilica was modeled after the church of Santa Sofia in Istanbul; it was decorated entirely with golden mosaics and marbles of myriad colours and sizes, creating a spectacle that suspends all disbelief.
  • The clock tower. The first mechanical clock came to Europe as a donation to Charlemain by the Muslims. From then on, clocks were exhibited as a symbol of state power and efficiency. Venice, following the trend, did the same and built one of the most amazing of clocks of the age, placing right in St Mark’s square of course.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte,was the only one who modified the Square by destroying a marvelous medieval church on the side opposite Basilica to build his own private ballroom; he also stole the Basilica’s 4 horses and the winged lion, symbol of Venice. Fortunately, the Venetians managed to reclaim them.

Why St. Mark’s?

Well, St. Mark is one of the 4 official evangelists of the catholic religion, and early on became the patron saint of Venice. His body was smuggled from Egypt and carried into the city in the 9th century AD, since when it remains preserved inside the Basilica. The symbol of St Mark is the winged lion, which quickly became the symbol of the Venetian Republic.   

Amazing Venice in a day



  • The best landmarks of Venice in one day
  • Admire the Golden Basilica and the historical Doge Palace
  • Walking tour in the heart of Venice

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SKU: 100516 Category:


Visit the best landmarks of the city in one day! An exclusive combination of tours to admire Venice in all its splendor!

  • Walking tour

Walk trought Campo Santa Maria Formosa, Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo (the “Pantheon” of Venice), the Great school of Charity before viewing Marco Polo’s House and the Malibran Theatre. Return to San Marco through the main shopping area, Mercerie. Move to the front of the entry line and take a guided tour through Doge’s Palace (the Palazzo Ducale).

  • Doge’s Palace guided tourBridge of sighs,

The Palazzo Ducale represented for centuries the seat of the Venetian political power. In his splendid rooms, plastered and immersed in hundreds of masterpieces of painting, the Duke and his Council controlled the fate of a thousand-year history republic. You’ll live it together with a Guide that will show you the halls of power, plunging you in a very particular historical context: the European Middle Ages and the immediately following centuries.

  • The Golden Basilica

Follow a tour guide through St. Mark’s Basilica, one of the most majestic cathedrals in the world. Learn about byzantine art and its religious background while taking a glimpse at the gold mosaics and marble floors.

  • Optional glass demonstration

At the end of your activity you will have the opportunity to do the free optional tour the Glass Craftsman Demonstration visiting a Glass Factory very close to Saint Mark’s square (20 minutes tour). Please follow the instruction that our staff will provide to you locally.

  • Special Ticket

You may visit by yourself the  other magnificent palaces around St. Mark’s Square: Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.  You will discover the many paintings and sculptures that narrate the venetian life-style in the past. be stunned in themagnificent Napoleonic wing with rooms restored for Sissi Empress Austria. (more…)

Additional information

Know before to go

This tour is not fully accessible for wheelchair users or people with walking disabilities.
Tour does not operate in case of exceptional high tide or in case of unexpected religious functions (in these cases it can be postponed the days after otherwise it will be refunded)
For the visit of the Basilica suitable clothing is required (no shorts)
For security reasons sacks, bags or knapsacks are not allowed inside the Doges’ Palace and the Basilica: Prior to your visit you must deposit them at the Ateneo San Basso (St. Mark's Square, Calle San Basso). The storage service is free of charge but please allow sufficient time!
Guided tour. From march to november the visit could be bilingua. From April to October the visit is monolingual
Mobile vouchers are accepted.
During some days of high turnout or for reasons of force majeure (for example high tide or security problems) the waiting time to access to St.Mark's Basilica might be longer than expected: in this case, please line up and respect the instructions provided by the guide

Meeting Point

St. Mark's Square- Clock tower near exchange office (the white building with the blue clock facade). Our assistant will wait for you with a sign "TOUR". Please be at the meeting point 15 minutes before the departure time.


-Shared walking tour with professional guide
– Shared guided tour to Doge's Palace and Basilica with with professional guide
– Entrance ticket valid to visit yourself the palaces around St. Mark’s Square (Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana)
– Audio-receiver devices are included in case of groups over 10 people
– Glass Craftsman at work close to Saint Mark’s Square.
– Free deposit for bags

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