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St Mark’s Square

Enclosed by spectacular buildings, St Mark's is one of the most beautiful squares in the world.

TravelCurious Tip

The Caffé Florian, on the southern side of the square, claims to be the oldest café in Europe.

There are few places more distinctively and recognizably Venetian than the Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark’s Square as it is known in English. Some of the city’s most famous landmarks are located here, and it’s the perfect place to come and wander over the old flagstones in the sunshine, past the enamoured couples and the famous swirling masses of pigeons, and soak up the quintessentially Venetian atmosphere.


Putting a Ring on it

The eastern end of the square is dominated by St. Mark’s Basilica, a world-renowned masterpiece of Italo-Byzantine architecture whose extravagant exterior has long earned it the nickname Chiesa d'Oro (Church of gold). Next to the basilica stands its famous campanile, or bell tower. At 98m high, the campanile is the tallest building in Venice, and one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks, with its distinctive rusty brown brickwork contrasting strikingly with the prevailing white and cream of its surroundings.


Red Right Hand of the Doge

South of the basilica, and adjacent to the famous Grand Canal, sits the square’s other major landmark, the doge’s palace. A masterpiece of the Venetian Gothic architectural style, the palace is grand without being overly imposing, and it takes some time to fully take in the extent and intricacy of the carved stonework and delicate arches. On a darker note, you may notice the distinctly reddish tinge of the façade’s 9th and 10th columns, between which a representative of the doge used to appear and announce death sentences to the assembled crowd below.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Venice
Bridge of Sighs
According to legend, convicts would sigh as they walked this bridge before being imprisoned in the Prigioni Nuove.
Doge's Palace
Originally home to Venice’s most powerful man, this Gothic masterpiece is one of the city’s top attractions.
St Mark's Basilica
Formerly the Doge’s chapel and famous for its sumptuous design, the Church of Gold will leave you breathless.
Museo Correr
This extensive collection in St Mark's Square illustrates the life and culture of the Venetian Republic, as well as displaying exquisite bronzes and paintings.
Wine (Ombra)
The residents of Venice have been drinking wine for centuries, including Pinot Grigio and Prosecco.
St Mark’s Bell Tower
The bell tower of St Mark's Basilica, located in the Piazza San Marco

Related Tours

Private Tour of Venice in a Day inc Tickets
Discover the architectural and artistic highlights of Venice on this full day tour!

  • Commence your tour at the iconic St Mark's Square 
  • Snap pictures of St Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace 
  • Learn about Venetian architecture 
  • Walk to Marco Polo's House  (entrance not included)
  • Cruise through Venetian's city squares, head towards the Church of San Zaccaria 
  • Visit the famous Rialto bridge 
  • Stroll around the Rialto Market, famous for its fish and vegetables 
  • Conclude at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Venetian Highlights

Begin with a walk around the world famous St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space, this square is enclosed by the astonishing St Mark’s Basilica and the magnificent Doge’s Palace. We will make a visit to the Doge’s Palace, built in 812, which is one of the best examples of Venetian gothic architecture. Right next to the Doge’s Palace is another superb building that will be sure to capture your attention. St Mark’s Basilica is deemed to be an icon of Italian art and culture and the city’s top highlight. 

Bridging 118 Islands

You will walk on to discover more about the iconic house of Marco Polo, Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo and Campo S, as well as marvelling at the beauty of Maria Formosa and eventually the Convento di S. Zaccaria. We will then head towards Venice’s most iconic bridge- Rialto. Famous as the oldest bridge to cross the Grand Canal, its arcade full of small souvenir shops is the best place to buy beautiful Venetian masks and feathers. After walking along this fantastic bridge you will conclude our tour admiring dozens of Tintoretto Paintings in the breathtaking building of Scuola Grande di San Rocco, named after St. Rocco, the saint protector against the devastation of plague.
Private Tour of Venice in a Half Day inc Tickets
Enjoy a whistle-stop tour of Venice, which is particularly useful for those short on time or new to the city.

  • Commence your tour at the iconic St Mark's Square 
  • Snap pictures of St Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace 
  • Learn about Venetian architecture 
  • Walk to Marco Polo's House 
  • Cruise through Venetian's city squares, head towards the Church of San Zaccaria 
  • Visit the famous Rialto bridge 
  • Stroll around the Rialto Market, famous for its fish and vegetables 
Iconic Locations

The itinerary will begin with a walk around the world famous St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space; this square is enclosed by the stunning St Mark’s Basilica and the absolutely magnificent Doge’s Palace. You will make a visit to the palace, originally built in 812, and celebrated as one of the best examples of Venetian Gothic architecture in the city. Right next to the Doge’s Palace is St Mark’s Basilica, deemed as an icon of Italian art and culture; it is indeed one of the city’s top highlight. 

Onto the Rialto Bridge

You will then walk on to discover more about Marco Polo’s House, Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo & Campo S. Maria Formosa and eventually the Convento di S. Zaccaria. You will then head towards Venice’s most iconic bridge - the Rialto. Famous for being the oldest bridge to cross the Grand Canal, its arcade full of small souvenir shops is the best place in Venice to buy Venetian masks and feathers. After walking along this fantastic bridge you will then take a leisurely stroll around the bustling Rialto Market, a picturesque shopping area primarily selling fish and vegetables to the Venetians for more than seven centuries.
Private Tour - Unmissable Venice inc Tickets to St Mark's bell tower
Trace the city’s fascinating beginnings, learn about its failed defence against the plague and unearth its dark secrets. Focusing on the neighbourhoods of San Polo and San Marco, your journey will take you through Venice’s grandest central district. The architecture is sublime, the excitement rejuvenating and the atmosphere unique. 

  • Begin at the Mercato di Rialto (an ancient food and produce market)
  • Explore the Grimani Palace, a lesser known Venetian treasure
  • Climb the Basilica St Mark’s bell tower, take in the breathtaking views across the city
  • Visit St Mark's Square, and see the outside of the beautiful Doge’s Palace
You will begin your tour walking towards Venice’s pre-eminent bridge- Rialto. Famous for being the oldest bridge on the Grand Canal, its arcade full of small souvenir shops is the best place to buy beautiful Venetian masks and feathers. After walking along this fantastic bridge you’ll stroll around the bustling Rialto Market, a picturesque shop primarily selling fish and vegetables that has been in existence for more than seven centuries.  Here, you will be able to take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the market! Venetians have been trading fish, vegetables, meat and spices here for 1000 years. 

Next, explore the San Polo district and the Grimani Palace. Following this, cross the Grand Canal and ascend St Mark's bell tower. Enjoy breathtaking views over the city.

 Venture through the most magical streets and canals of San Marco, and pass the iconic St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space, this square is enclosed by the astonishing St Mark’s Basilica and the magnificent Doge’s Palace. You will see the Doge’s Palace, built in 812, which is one of the best examples of Venetian gothic architecture. Right next to the Doge’s Palace is another superb building that will be sure to capture your attention. St Mark’s Basilica is deemed to be an icon of Italian art and culture and a top highlight of the city. 
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