Explore St. Mark's Square
During the day, the area is filled with people, pigeons and music. You can spend the whole day here, visiting the interior of the church and Museo Correr. Or go to the top of the bell tower which features spectacular views.
Feeding the pigeons is a popular activity. You can purchase packets of corn from the vendors and take your picture balancing the birds on your arms.
After visiting some of the sights, stop for a drink at the historic Caffe Florian or Caffe Quadri, both of which feature open-air orchestras playing in the square.
Museo Correr is situated in the Napoleonic Wing, the western end of the square. The museum houses a collection of works that highlight the art and history of the city.
The Neo-classical Rooms house sculptures by Antonio Canova (1757-1822). The Procuratie Nuove, designed by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi (1552-1616), contain items that document the history of Venice: naval achievements, festivals, and daily life. The Art Collection includes pieces from the earliest days of Venetian painting through the sixteenth century.
Tickets cost 11 Euro. The museum is open almost every day, except on major holidays. For current opening times, visit www.museiciviciveneziani.it.
Columns of San Marco and San Teodoro
Located in the Piazzetta next to Piazza San Marco, the columns of San Marco and San Teodoro were brought from Constantinople and erected in the 12th century.
One of the columns is topped with a statue of San Teodoro, the patron of Venice before San Marco. The statue is a replica - the original is stored in the Doge's Palace. The second column features a bronze lion with wings, a symbol of the city.
Campanile di San Marco
Campanile di San Marco is over 300 feet high. Visitors can take an elevator up the tower and enjoy spectacular views of the city. If you decide to go, however, you should be prepared to stand in line. The tower houses five bells that toll every hour. At the base of the tower is the Loggetta, decorated with Classical sculptures and reliefs. View the tower from the boat.
Spectacular Facade Mosaics
When you stand in the square facing the font of the church, there are quite a few details to note. The four horses above the doorway are replicas of the statues that are on exhibit inside the basilica. Above the horses, the gilded Venetian lion, the symbol of Venice, and St. Mark and the Angels crown the top of the church.
Facade mosaics are just spectacular. Depicting scenes from the life of St. Mark, the gilded mosaics shine brightly on a sunny day. Notice also the five huge domes on top of the church.
The Piazzetta is flanked by the palace on one side and the Libreria Sansoviniana on the other. There is a cafe in the square where you can order an espresso and rest your feet.
From here, you get a nice view of the palace, the bell tower and the church. The best time to go is early in the morning before the square becomes crowded with tourists.