Results 11-20of 23 Reviews
July 28, 2005
The piazza is crowded, yet remains somehow relaxing. I enjoyed walking along it looking at souvenirs while eating a refreshing gelato. Of course, I couldn't resist buying a Venezia hat and a blown-glass gondola to remember my ride by. Relaxing in the piazza is a great way to spend a few hours of your afternoon.
From journal City on the Water
los angeles, California
May 9, 2005
First of all, buy some food and feed the pigeons. You won't be able to help giggling as the birds swarm around you! (It's also probably the cheapest thing you'll do during your stay!)
Second, take the elevator to the top of the campanille. The view is AMAZING! You get a 360-degree view of the tiled rooftops and intricate canal system of Venice, as well as the surrounding sea and islands. It's a great place to take a breather and take it all in. It's also a great way to START your visit and exporation of Venice because it gives you a wonderful perspective of the city's layout.
Third, come back at night, when the orchestras are playing, and have some gelato. Truly, you will feel like you are in heaven. It's pure magic!
Certainly, on every vacation, you can't do everything. We chose do skip the Doge's Palace, although we did get an inside peek of beautiful St. Mark's Basilica. If you have time, go in the morning because the line won't be as long and you won't get as hot dressing appropriately. They are very strict--knees and shoulders MUST be covered or they turn you away, even if you've been standing in the long line.
From journal Magical Venice
Cary, North Carolina
July 1, 2004
From journal Ahhhh, Venice!
Oak Hill, Virginia
June 15, 2004
Venice was busy. There were more people than we expected milling around the San Marcos Square. We were very surprised, considering that the only things to do in the square was feed the pigeons, see a church, and listen to the symphony. We had some gelato, took pictures with a couple of members of the Budapest Olympic team, and milled about with the rest of the tourists. We did a little shopping in the alleyways, and got some pizza. The pizza was far better than in Rome, I might add, and we called it a day.
And, for those who might wonder, it didn’t smell at all!
From journal A Tour of Italy
May 23, 2004
So, for every person covered in pigeons, there is a photographer or two capturing the moment. Also, people are wandering around with their cameras held up to their faces, stepping backwards vainly trying to get the whole Basilica in their viewfinder, and frequently bumping into other people. I can hardly imagine more chaos, but surely high season turns this square into a sea of people.
While in the square, a man presented me with his digicam and asked me to take a picture of him. I took a picture of him in the square, showed it to him, and he complained "no bird." Okay, I said. I told him to put his back to the Basilica so as to make a pretty picture and I'd try again. I shoot him with the lovely background and he tells me "no bird - I want bird on head." I'm not sure if this is going to work without feeding the pigeons, considering his competition. I tell him my girlfriend is a pro photographer and will give it a try. She carefully frames him in the picture, putting him at the lower left with the beautiful Basilica behind him. He see the picture and says "No bird. Also, I do not know if you know this simple rule of photography. Person should always be at center of picture." Okay, we are sorry, we tell him. We both give up at creating that perfect photograph.
From journal The Other Side of Venice
London, United Kingdom
March 9, 2004
The best way to approach the much loved spot is from the waterfront, passing the two tall granite columns upon which stand symbols of the city's past and present patron saints, namely a representation of the demoted St Theodore with a vanquished dragon and a massive version of the famous winged lion of St Mark. Having then entered the Piazzetta, the views on either side of the lovely Old Library and even more attractive Doge's Palace respectively are a great introduction to the other wonders that will soon be seen.
Right at the meeting point of the two distinct sections of the open space is the landmark Campanile, which dates back to a faithful reconstruction at the start of the 1900s that followed a dramatic collapse. The panoramas that are available from the top are truly spectacular, but perhaps a little deceptive, because whilst nearly every building is visible, very few canals are. Happily, climbing the long and claustrophobic stairway up what is the tallest structure in the area is not necessary because there is a lift. One piece of advice is to think about the timing of the ascent, as the loud ringing of the bells can be even more overwhelming than the stunning vistas! Also nearby is a much-loved clock tower, but unfortunately throughout the couple of years that my visits spanned, it was under wraps due to major renovations.
Meanwhile, a harmonious contrast to the eclectic exterior of the justifiably world famous St Mark's Basilica is provided by the arcaded Procuratie, which surround the main body of the Piazza on three sides. The northern and southern stretches of the interlinked complex both date back around five hundred years, and house among other things a venerable pair of coffee houses, Caffe Florian and Caffe Quadri. The newer third wing connected the two much later, at the start of the 19th century, but blends in surprisingly seamlessly and completes the scene in fine style. Nowadays, it is home to the Correr Museum, which displays a decent variety of items pertaining to the region's art, crafts and past, including early Renaissance paintings, statues by Canova, and various historical artefacts.
The somewhat daunting crowds have long been an integral feature of what is really the heart of the incredibly popular city. However, appreciating the aesthetic splendour in more relaxed circumstances is both possible and indeed very pleasant at the start of the day, when the whole place is almost deserted. In addition, late at night it is nearly as empty, beautifully lit and incredibly atmospheric.
From journal Venice - The serene city of canals
August 30, 2003
From journal Vexing Venice
August 29, 2003
From journal Venice - Everything Italy Should Be
by A. Stevenson
Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France
October 15, 2001
From journal Venetian Delight
April 23, 2001
Spend a few hours in Piazza San Marco. Despite the long line, try to visit the Basilica. Do not miss the Palazzo Ducale. Enjoy a coffee at one of the cafes if you can afford it. Feed the pigeons. Walk out to Riva degli Schiavoni, the promenade along the Grand Canal, enjoy the view across the water of San Giorgio Island and the Salute church. Stop to admire the Ponte de Sispori (Bridge of Sighs).
But do not forget, there is much more to Venice than Piazza San Marco. And outside of the San Marco siesteri and the Rialto area, Venice can be very quiet and peaceful.
From journal Venice in the Spring