Basilica di San Marco
With its Byzantine domes and 8500 sq metres of luminous mosaics, Venice's basilica is an unforgettable sight. It dates to the 9th...
Booty from the Crusades fill the Basilica di San Marco's treasury, including a 10th-century rock-crystal ewer with winged feet made for...
Tucked behind the main altar containing St Mark’s sarcophagus is the Pala d’Oro, studded with 2000 emeralds, amethysts, sapphires,...
Opera composer Richard Wagner had the right idea: when Venice leaves you weak in the knees, get a pick-me-up at Lavena. The €1 espresso...
The ducal treasures on show in the basilica's museum would put a king’s ransom to shame. A highlight is the Quadriga of St Mark's , a group of four bronze horses originally plundered from Constantinople and now installed in the 1st-floor gallery. Portals lead from the gallery on to the Loggia dei Cavalli , where reproductions of the horses gallop off the balcony over Piazza San Marco.
In the Museo's displays of restored 13th- to 16th-century mosaic fragments, the Prophet Abraham is all ears and raised eyebrows, as though scandalised by Venetian gossip. On an interior balcony, Salviati's restored 1542–52 mosaic of the Virgin's family tree shows Mary's ancestors perched on branches, alternately chatting and ignoring one another, as families do. Hidden over the altar is the doge's banquet hall , where dignitaries wined and dined among lithe stucco figures of Music, Poetry and Peace.