Piazza San Marco, Venice

One of the world's most famous, and most photographed Piazza's, Piazza San Marco is the jewel in the Venetian crown. No trip is complete without passing through.

by Cat Bauer

Since the ninth century, Piazza San Marco has been the centre of Venetian society, politics and culture. After Napoleon invaded, he knocked down a church, built an imperial palace, and dubbed it ‘the drawing room of Europe.’ Titans have strode across its stones and changed the course of history, cocooned by its long marble loggias. It is a magnet for visitors, a gathering place for residents during monumental events, and a great place to sit and watch the citizens of the world pass by. The orchestras of three historic coffee houses battle it out in the square on sunny days, but when the weather turns from ice cream to hot chocolate, the intimate interiors beckon travellers to come inside.

For more Venetian inspiration, visit our Destinations pages.