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Venice - St. Marks Square (Piazza S. Marco)

The bell tower (Campanile) at St. Marks Square (Piazza S. Marco)

Looking across St. Marks Square towards the Basillica S. Marco

St Marks Square, or Piazza San Marco in Italian,  is filled with activity and hosts several attractions.  The campanile (Bell Tower), St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's (duke's) palace, and the Bridge of Sighs to name a few.  For the tourist in Venice, a visit to St. Marks Square is practically obligatory.

Above the square spreads out as the camera looks east across St. Marks Square towards the main entrance of St. Marks Basilica. 

To the upper right is the campanile.  It looks new and it is. Originally built in the 10th century to serve as a lighthouse, the structure toppled just after the turn of the 20th century prompting renewed concern over the fate of the leaning tower of Pisa. The citizens of Venice missed the structure so much that they were compelled to reconstruct a replica of the original tower that recreated the original look of the St. Mark's Square. 

Below (left), the Venetian gothic facade of St. Marks basilica can be seen. The Venetian Gothic style shows the characteristic eastern influence that was favored in the 11th century.

Below (right), for the younger tourists, pigeon chasing is still a popular and accessible diversion during a visit to St. Marks Square (piazza S. Marco).

Ornate facade of St. Mark's Basilica done in the byzantine style St. Marks Square is a pigeon chasing paradise
Credit for the Information Above: 
Steves, R. & Openshaw, G. (2008). Rick Steves' Venice 2008. Avalon Travel Press.
Farcos, D. & Pauls, M. (2007). Rome, Venice, Florence. Globe Pequat Press. Guilford, CT.
Fodor's (2007). Italy 2008 Fodor's Travel Publications. New York, NY.

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