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Piazza San Marco

From: Venice's Top 11 Free Sights

Piazza San Marco

ABOVE: A view of the Piazza and Campanile di San Marco from the arcades that surround the square.

photoThe Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark's Square, is one of the world's great squares. It's also a honeypot for swarms of daytrippers and other tourists, but don't let that bother you: The square is vast, the crowds are good-natured, and backpackers coexist peacefully with the well-heeled tourists who enjoy overpriced drinks and orchestral music at the café tables.

photoSome Venetians claim that pigeons outnumber the tourists. Certainly there are plenty of them, although their numbers have dwindled since the city began enforcing an ordinance against feeding the birds. (Note: Rick Steves suggests letting pigeon poop dry before brushing it off; this may work on clothing, but it's less effective when the poop is sliding down a balding scalp.)

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Related articles:

Piazza San Marco on our main site

San Marco by the Numbers

Campanile di San Marco on our main site

Fisheye Venice: Piazzetta on our main site

Next page: Basilica di San Marco


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