VENICE (2 of 3): St Mark’s Square –Where everyone goes

We had a bit of a look at the made up gondolas that was getting ready for the regatta. But didn’t linger to watch, instead we continued on to explore Venice on foot.
We found ourselves at St Mark’s Square. In contrast to the stillness we encountered the night before, this morning the square is in uproar. People are everywhere. I’m glad we went last night to see the square when it was shrouded with darkness and we experienced a different atmosphere.
When we left the hotel this morning the skies were clear indicating it is going to be a nice sunny day, the breeze was cooler too, but by midday the sun got intensely hot. As we were walking I could feel the sweat running down my back. At the square we saw a shop selling gelatos so we rushed in to have a cone – a welcome reprieved! Refreshed and energized after the treat we then looked around and took some more photos.

Clock Tower

This is how crowded St Mark’s Square was that Sunday in September. Some of these tourists must be from those two big cruise ships we saw. By the way, the building with a clock with the round bluish center is the Clock Tower. Both the tower and the clock dates back from the last decade of the 15th century.
St Mark’s Basilica – It is the most famous of the city’s churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture.

Front door of St Mark’s Basilica

This is above the front door of the church, which is all that we saw. There was already a long queue of people by the time we got there. We figured that we will be wasting a lot of time if we join the queue, so we just look at the exterior.
Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco – The long arcade along the north side of the Piazza known as Procuratie Vecchie (old procuracies), are formerly the homes and offices of the Procurators of Saint Mark, high officers of state in the days of the republic of Venice. They were built in the early 16th century. Shops and restaurants line the building under those arches. It was nice to window shop there just to get out of the heat.
Piazzetta di San Marco

This area here is called the Piazzetta di San Marco. I read that technically this is not part of St Mark’s square, just an open space on the north side of the church that leads to the waterways of the lagoon. As we walked through this area, we marveled at those of old that also strolled through here from centuries ago. Venice has that feel about it, everything so laden with history.
We walked in between those two columns and turned left to see what was in there and came across this statue. We took a photo as it is such a big statue and has occupied a big space. We figured it must be someone important, duh!
Vittorio Emanuele II statue

This is the statue of Vittorio Emanuele II first King of unified Italy in 1861. The Italians refer to him as the ‘Father of the Fatherland’. At the start of his reign he was known as “an honest man” but he was also dubbed as “the Robber King” by others. He sounds like an interesting character.
I better go. I still have some errands to do 🙂
Other posts about ITALY:
LAKE COMO – day trip and transport strike (1 of 2)
LAKE COMO – day trip and transport strike (2 of 2)
A night out in VENICE
VENICE (1 of 3): A city with no cars – visited during the Regata Storica
VENICE (2 of 3): St Mark’s Square –Where everyone goes —>You are here
VENICE (3 of 3): Gelatos and Masks
Travel Photo of the Week 8
Travel Photo of the Week 13
Text & Photos by Alice Davis

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