Venice is often referred to as the true “Jewel of the Mediterranean”, and such a luxurious appellative is greatly deserved. The city is beyond doubt one of a kind, with its waterways, canals and buildings that reflects a rich history dating back to before the time of the ancient Romans, when the area was already an important strategic and commercial settlement for the people of the region.

Piazza San Marco, dominating the wonderful lagoon, is definitely the highlight of the “floating city”. The unique setting makes for a genuinely one-of-a-kind square, not only in Italy, but perhaps in the whole world. The square is a true icon of the country; no less popular or significant when compared to other landmarks such as the leaning tower of Pisa, Piazza San Pietro in Rome or Palazzo degli Uffizi in Florence.

Wonders aligned

Wonders aligned.
Photo by Giorgio Galeotti

In its heyday, the square used to be the political and religious core of the city, with the imposing Saint Mark’s Basilica (San Marco), as well as the Procuratie, an important political and social set of buildings.

Today, the square is visited by millions of tourists from all over the world, who make it the absolute highlight of their trip to Venice. Some of the most iconic and recognizable features of the square are probably the three huge flagpoles. These are beautiful works decorated in high relief engraving by Italian artist Alessandro Leopardi, who worked on the project during the early 1500s. Moreover, when it comes to the most famous features of  Piazza San Marco, it is practically impossible to avoid mentioning the great clock tower (La Torre dell’Orologio), a beautiful example of early Renaissance architecture dating back to the last decade of the 15th century.

Girl with dove

Human and flying visitors gather here en masse.
Photo by Jonathan Emmanuel Flores

If you are visiting Venice, it would be nothing short of a crime (and also practically impossible) to miss this beautiful square. If you are not much of a history or architecture buff, you will for sure appreciate taking a cup of coffee at the legendary Caffè Florian, interacting with the myriad of pigeons that inhabit the domains or just enjoying the hectic vibes of the square, where you will truly be able to hear a multitude of different languages from the countless groups of visitors.