St Mark's Basilica

When you arrive in Piazza San Marco you are literally overwhelmed by the beauty of a basilica which in its richness of decorations, in the stylistic choices, and in the pomposity of the statues and shapes, immediately recalls the history of Venice, its historical power in the world, its strong dominance over the seas and the east. The Basilica of San Marco is the best-known symbol of Venice and of the entire Veneto Region in the world and of all Christianity. The golden church as it is defined, given the golden mosaics inside, which defined the power and wealth of the Serenissima Republic, is composed of three registers, a lower floor, a terrace and domes. Inside, however, it is divided into three naves. The lower floor has majestic arched portals surmounted by magnificent mosaics depicting various biblical scenes. Between the five portals, more than four hundred columns cover the splendid façade. The terrace, which is completely accessible, hosts 4 arches also decorated with amazing mosaics and in their centre, in front of the central window, there is the amazing quadriga. Four huge horses in gilded copper, the absolute symbol of the maritime and military power of the Serenissima Republic which, with the conquest of Constantinople, became an Imperial city. The horses that were part of the Constantinople hippodrome were stolen after the conquest of the most powerful city in the world. The 5 Byzantine-inspired domes inside are decorated with luxurious golden mosaics, inlaid with precious stones, gold and silver. The interior of the basilica immediately connects you with the most famous definition of the basilica “the golden church”. The colour of gold fills the eyes, the heart and the soul of those who visits the basilica. Gold is everywhere, and adorns the most important walls of the structure, and of the domes, narrating the history of Christianity with their designs. In the central nave, there is the main altar which houses the remains of San Marco and behind which the Pala D’oro, part of the Treasury of San Marco, is exhibited. Inside the basilica, one is literally surrounded by a myriad of statues, icons and sacred objects of inestimable value, which together with the mystical atmosphere created by the lights, sounds and scents, lead visitors to experience deep emotions.