At the Piazza San Marco

The main square of Venezia, Italy is the Piazza San Marco – a wonderful ensemble of buildings depicted so many times in movies that you can’t count them. In James Bond 007: Casino Royale (2006) for example or for the older ones that like films about monarchy: The Austrian classic Sissi – Fateful Years of an Empress (1957) shows the wedding scene inside the Basilica di San Marco and on the square. But beware – it’s really kitschy. 😉

When accessing the square which is brought to life by hundreds of pidgeons you can see the wonderful clocktower and the watchtower, the Campanile (which you can also get up on). You can visit the beautiful Basilica di San Marco holding the remains of St. Marcus and the Palazzo Ducale with the direct connection to the state prisons via Ponte dei Sospiri.

You can have an expensive coffee at the famous Caffé Florian directly on the square and what I really recommend – visit the Museo Correr which is a bit hidden. There you can learn a lot about life in the Republic of Venice and see the rooms Franz Joseph I of Austria and Empress Elisabeth of Austria were living.

If you walk towards the laguna be reminded that it brings bad luck to walk in between the two columns standing there (carrying the lion as a symbol of Venezia and of St. Marcus and St. Theodor sitting on a dragon): Many executions have been done between these two columns. If you have bad luck (or maybe it is good luck?) and San Marco is flooded by rising water you can walk on passageways to the buildings – I never had this experience.

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