The Piazza San Marco (named after the evangelist, Christian protector of Venice, St. Mark) is located on the edge of the Grand Canal and is the heart of the city of Venice. There is St. Mark's Basilica, St. Mark's Campanile and the Doge's Palace.
This square, the only one to merit this title (piazza) in Venice, all the others being called campo, forms an irregular quadrilateral lined with arcades and remarkable monuments (notably the Procuraties). Its arcades are home to cafes and tourist shops, including the famous Caffè Florian of 1720 with its symphony orchestra on the terrace. The part of the square that joins the Grand Canal, between the Doge's Palace and the Marciana Library is called "Piazzetta San Marco". Since the end of the twelfth century, it has had two columns surmounted, for the left one, the bronze winged lion of St. Mark the Evangelist, and the right one of St. Theodore in marble. A superstition would like a true Venetian never to pass between the columns. It is possible that the fact that once was the place of executions is for something.© Photo of Emmanuel Buchot
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