Saturday, November 8, 2014

San Marco

so before we go off for our tour along the Grand Canal - let's stop for a minute at the Piazza San Marco and its basilica and other landmarks...

In Venice only one square can be called a piazza- unlike other Italian cities where there are numerous piazzi - here all other smaller squares must be called Campo...

the Piazza has many landmark sights- including the Basilica of San Marco - a classic byzantine church covered in priceless mosaic art and carvings- so let's do a bit of show and tell...

entering into the piazza - you can see the campanile (bell tower) in the background- along with a corner of the doge's palace...

I know I posted this photo before but this is such a good representation of the SIZE of the piazza that I am reposting- this shot is of one side of the three sides and the fourth is the basilica/doge's palace side....

as always with San Marco - there is restoration going on- so here is a corner without wood blocking the area from view- this is the left hand side of the basilica and there are I think five arched domes across the front in total-

details of the arches in front-

moving around to the right side of the basilica - this is an entrance to the doge's palace

and this-  a detailed side view of the basilica-

at the corner where the doge's palace and the basilica meet stand these gentlemen- as they have for centuries-

for the tourists who only have a limited shore leave from their cruise ships - souvenirs abound right in the piazza San Marco-

even a bobble-head pope - he is a rock star these days!

along the side of the piazza,  near the basilica several more historic buildings show the charm of Venice-

there is of course the story of the clock maker who was blinded by the doge after completing the clockworks - but this story is so common in all places with famous clocks I think no one would ever have become a clock maker if it was true every time you heard it...

the campanile- rebuilt in the early 20th century after a collapse-

a view of the campanile and the corner of the palace- along with one of the classic Venetian street lamps-

the ground level of all the buildings which ring the piazza is lined with arcaded shops and cafes-

one of the most famous cafes in all the world - Venice's Florian-

each cafe on the piazza has its own outdoor seating area and its own orchestra- the music is played on a rotating basis so the musicians get a break while the other orchestra either next door or across the square takes over the entertainment of the visitors- and there is always an excuse to stop for a coffee or drink- perhaps a snack... linger a while, it's Venice...

and because it is Venice- the aqua alta (high water) comes periodically to San Marco - the water starts coming up through the drains and little by little takes over the square - in the worst seasons it is too deep to walk through and pedestrians make their way across the area on raised wooden walkways.

but if the water gets too high you can always choose a gondola- LOL - there are many right across from the doge's palace-  below a gondolier heading to work...

views from the water side of the palace-

the below view- taken from the water and showing a bit of the Bridge of Sighs in the far right -

next up- a ride on the Grand Canal- so now that I am back online (horrid computer problems this week left me high and dry with no way to post after our arrival in Florida late on Sunday- so sorry for the delay but out of my control... thank god for computer hospitals- LOL)

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