Piazza San Marco, Venice

Must see · Historic Walking Area · Landmark
Venice's principal public space, Piazza San Marco has served as the city's social, religious, and political center for centuries. In fact, Napoleon called the square "the drawing room of Europe." It's the largest square in the city and the only one given the designation of "piazza" (the others are all called "campi"). Originally constructed in the ninth century as a small public space dotted with trees, the square was substantially enlarged in the 12th century and was paved with bricks in the 13th. Several major architectural sites surround the area. The most notable is an imposing church dedicated to St. Mark. Don't feed the pigeons--city law forbids feeding the birds in the square. To visit Piazza San Marco on your trip to Venice, use our Venice trip planner.
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Piazza San Marco reviews

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36,929 reviews
  • Beautiful piazza - when we visited relatively empty which was both amazing and sad. I had seen this piazza several times previously with hordes of tourists, but this time because of COVID19 people...  more »
  • This is on everyone's bucket list and it does not disappoint. We were "lucky" in that we visited during Covid, so it was not as overrun as usual. Early morning and late afternoon are amongst the best....  more »
  • A lovely square to visit. The coffee shops were ridiculously overpriced eg:€20 for a coffee so a big no for eating or drinking there. A lot of the shops not open and the building very run down.  more »
  • Venice is an incredible city to explore. As a wedding photographer I found it intriguing. The presence of large crowds in most areas required patience and seizing opportunity from moment to moment to get clear backgrounds. Give yourself plenty of time to see the place properly and to get into the quieter areas away from the usual tourist path.
  • You say Venice and the fist thing that comes to the mind is this square. Amazing, elegant, sober. It is incredible how the whole square has a coherent architectural style despite the fact that the building that surround it have been built in very different ages. You can't miss it.
  • Once an orchard field, San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) now teems with tourists and locals alike, with the square livened up by numerous musical performances from nearby restaurants. A lovely spot to chill out and people watch, or simply admire the craftsmanship of the basilica and tower which dominate the square.
  • our Venice trip was a unique experience due to Corona, so few people on the historical square, this is seldom. It was also regulated according to the Venice city homepage, you are not allowed to eat and drink outdoor, only in the cafeteria or restaurant, and all time with mouth and nose protective mask, you see so many cafe shops on the square are closed, the square is not so living as normal, the Gondola crews are not so friendly anymore because of bad business, even aggressive as I just wanted to get clear about what kind of route they were proposing...
  • Nice place to gather, good point of reference for walking around Venice. Move a bit off the square to enjoy decently priced food. If you're lucky to be here when it floods, be sure to enjoy hanging your toes in the water!

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