Join A Secret Italy

Subscribe to our FREE Ezine

St Mark's Basilica - Truly Enchanting

A very unusual building, the first time I saw St Mark's Basilica with its characteristic five domes I was reminded more of Istanbul than Italy...

St Marks Basilica


The major problem with St Mark's Basilica isn't the Basilica itself but the never-ending lines of people in the piazza waiting to get in. If you can't be bothered with wasting your precious time in Venice then this is the solution .

History of the Basilica

Its Byzantine characteristics are no doubt a result of the strong influence of the Ottoman Empire on Venice and the influence of the once significant Greek community in the city. This influence is often denied by Venetians but is accepted wisdom in Greece.

The Basilica gets its name from Venice’s latest patron saint – Saint Mark. They had a previous one called Saint Theodore (Teodoro) but he was replaced by Saint Mark in 828 and the church was built to house his remains.

Initially the church was a simple affair that was destroyed in a rebellion in 976. It was then rebuilt and continued to grow in splendor – in many ways reflecting the increasing wealth of Venice through the centuries.

By the 15th century the church was more or less completed in its present form and in the last five centuries or so they have done little to mess it up thank goodness.

Open to visitors on most days of the year the church does not charge an admission fee, there are a few rules to respect however and considering this is still a real church and not just a tourist attraction this really is the least anyone can do to show respect– The rules are as follows:

1) Wear shirts with sleeves and cover legs to the knees.

2) No large bags or suitcases are allowed in.

3) No filming or photos.

4) No loud voices.

You get to spend around ten minutes inside before you have to leave.

What to see?

1) The altar screen is amazing – it really gives you an idea of just how wealthy Venice once was and consists of over 3000 precious stones.

2) Look up! the mosaics on the ceiling are awesome. I have never seen anything quite like them and the sense of heavenly light descending down into the darkness below is incredible.

Why not try our Venice Italy Search Engine below?

  1. Home
  2. Venice Essentials
  3. St Mark's Basilica

You might like these

  • The Italy! Mamma Mia! Blog

    The ItalyMammaMia Blog keeps you up-to-date with all additions and changes to the www.italymammamia.com web site. Subscribe here.

  • Summer in Italy

    Ever experienced a summer in Italy? Well, we've a way that you can bring the sunshine and happiness of an Italian summer home with you.

  • The Easter in Venice Guide

    Easter in Venice is wonderful, there's a special feeling in the air and Easter is still celebrated in the traditional way. Be a part of it - click for more.

Please Book with Us...

Maria here, if you enjoy my site and Facebook page I'd love your support.

Simply book your next trip anywhere (not only to Italy) with the search box below or with any of the hotel links on the website.

I promise you'll get the best deal on accommodation available and the income we receive from HotelsCombined helps us to:

  • Stay independent and to keep bringing you the best of Italy.
  • Never have to accept money from hotels directly; that way we can share only those we genuinely love.

Recent Articles

  1. Summer in Italy

    Ever experienced a summer in Italy? Well, we've a way that you can bring the sunshine and happiness of an Italian summer home with you.

    Read More

  2. 12 Reasons to Move to Italy Now

    Need a push to get going? Here are 12 Reasons to Move to Italy now and start living your life the dolce vita way.

    Read More

  3. Fall in Love with Padova

    City of bicycles, City of canals, City of medieval wonders. Padova is all of this and much more.

    Read More

  4. Padua Italy - A Home for the Heart

    Padua Italy, known as Padova in Italian, has to be one of the loveliest of all Italian cities. There is so much to see and do here and it is a city that so many fall hopelessly in love with... I certa…

    Read More

  5. The Best Hotel in Central Rome?

    There is a hotel in Rome that is so very special, where breakfast is served under the orange trees with the fragrance of orange blossom infusing the air.

    Read More

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.