St Mark's Basilica (Basilica of San Marco)
Basilica di San Marco (St Mark's Cathedral) is magnificent. It is both a wonderful architectural flurry of Gothic, Byzantine, Romanesque and Renaissance styles declaring the wealth of Venice over centuries, and a spiritual place of worship. Its domes and turrets, and gold mosaic stand out over the square and over Venice, and four ancient classical horses top the entrance, taken from Constantinople (Istanbul) when Venice sacked that city around 1200. Inside the church is dazzling.
The church was begun in 828 when the body of St Mark was returned to Venice, smuggled by merchants from its resting place in Alexandria, Egypt. An angel had told St Mark his final resting place would be Venice (which did not even exist at the time) and the Venetian leaders were keen to make it happen. Over the years, churches were built, burnt, rebuilt and expanded resulting in the incredible building we see today.
Review by Ronald C, May 2013
Doing what: Small-Group Tour: Best of Venice Walking Tour and Grand Canal Water Taxi Ride
A great tour. The first hour was with a guide in a water taxi and was very interesting. The second hour was with a different guide around St Mark's Square and inside the beautiful Basilica. The third hour was a fascinating walk through the wonderful, narrow alleys of the relatively quiet eastern part of Venice, finishing near the Fish Market and Rialto Bridge.
Review by miquel t, April 2013
Doing what: Skip the Line: Venice Walking Tour with St Mark's Basilica
the weather was not to good very wet and windy, but the guide was really good and we had a great morning with no waiting at the basilica, and we were shown all the wonderful buildings and little plazas, we lso had a very good fish meal next to the fish market. thanks for every thing, really recommend your guide.
Review by Colin F, November 2012
Doing what: Skip the Line: Best of Venice Walking Tour including Basilica di San Marco
Great tour with a very knowledgeable and personable guide that gave wonderful insights into the history of a remarkable city. This tour brings Venice alive
Dominating one end of St Mark's Square the church is easy to find. Nearest vaporetto (ferry) stops: Vallaresso/S. Marco.