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Piazza San Marco in Venice

Nov 16, 2007
It all began for the Piazza as early as the 9th century when it was a much smaller space than it is today. In 1177, changes and additions were made to the square before the meeting of Pope Alexander III and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Additional buildings were added in 1640 and the newest buildings in 1810 were specially made at the request of Napoleon. Although named as a square, according to its shape this square is actually a trapezoid and the length of the Piazza is 175 meters.

There is no shortage of archaeological delights in Venice and there is plenty to see at Piazza San Marco. From this unique plaza, one may tour the St. Mark's basilica that is a famous cathedral adorned with domes and attractive mosaics. One may visit the Palazzo Ducale di Venezia which is a gothic palace that was the place of residence of the Doge of Venice. Among other special features and attractions, one may also view the Torre dell'Orologico, the Clock Tower that has become a part of Venetian culture as it has been striking the hour for over 500 years.

The Piazza San Marco has always been known as a place of central importance to the people of Venice. This is rather like an extraordinary museum out in the open air, filled with enchantment and architectural masterpieces. It is reported that Napoleon referred to the Piazza San Marco as the "finest drawing room in Europe". Today, the Piazza continues to attract guests and has proved to be a very popular venue for tourists.

The Piazza hosts cafes and souvenir shops even bags of food for the pigeons can be purchased. It is probably true that a majority if not all of the tourists visiting Venice have their photographs taken with pigeons in the background at the Piazza San Marco.

Hotel accommodation can be found within walking distance of the Piazza San Marco. It probably should be noted that the price of vacation rooms close to the Pizza itself will be higher than accommodation that is situated a bit further away in a quieter area. Various levels of holiday accommodation may be found west of the Piazza, east of the Piazza, north of the Piazza and along the waterfront.

Many people would recommend that the best time to visit the Piazza San Marco is during the early evening. At this time, the square is lit up and [takes on] a lively, unique and even romantic atmosphere. Musicians begin to play and sometimes people begin to dance. This special square seems to have a character and personality all of its own.

Today the Piazza San Marco continues to be a very popular gathering place in Italy. This site hosts historical buildings steeped in tradition and culture, indoor and outdoor cafes, buildings of architectural interest, stones, monuments, artistic structures, traders, pigeons, people, bustle and perhaps best of all no cars.
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