Let's discover Piazza San Marco - Saint Mark's square!
All the squares in Venice are called "campi" except the most important of all, Piazza San marco, Saint Mark's square.
This square was the centre of political life and all the buildings that surround it were connected to the governement of the Serenissima. It was here that all the most important feasts, celebrations and games in the city took place. In the IX century the doge decided to move his residence here and he had a kind of castle built, the Palazzo Ducale.
In those days the square was much smaller than it is now. In the centre there was a canal, the Batario rio, beyond which there was an orchard "brolo", with vines and fruit trees. Where thne Clock tower stands now there was a sanbuca tree, which the merchands used for tying up their horses. There was a bell tower too, but it was about half the size of the present one and it was mostrly used a watch tower.
The water of the lagoon went aroud the doge's palace-cum-castle, beside the bell tower and as far as a small church, which was the doge's private chapel. Over the centuries the square changed, Artist Gentile Bellini (1429-1507) painted a picture of the procession that took place in the square on April 25th (St. Mark's feast day) 1496.
It is like a photograph of the past. The Palazzo Ducale had by then lost its fortress look. The best defence of the city was the lagoon, which separated it from the enemy like a wall.
During our tours we don't cover San Marco square but during your Venice holiday we'll give you a lot of info related to all Venice points of interest. What are you waiting for? Choose our free tour FREE WALK IN VENICE!