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The only Venetian square to be granted the title of 'piazza', St. Mark's Square, or Piazza San Marco, is the city's political, religious and social center. The square lies at one end of the Grand Canal, surrounded by some of the city's most iconic historic edifices. The Basilica di San Marco is the focal point of the square - a 12th-century, Venetian-Byzantine church highlighted with gold mosaics and lavish carvings. On either side lie the Procuratie Vecchie, stately buildings that once harbored the offices and apartments of the procurators. Two columns erected in honor of the city's patron saints, St. Mark and St. Theodore of Amasea, stand nearby, while the splendid Doge's Palace, the towering Campanile, the Procuratie Nuove, the National Library, and a couple of museums take up the rest of the space around Venice's largest square. The city's history comes together at the awe-inspiring St. Mark's Square.
Richly adorned with gold mosaics, intricate carvings and marble arches, Saint Mark's Basilica is a glorious example of Byzantine architecture. The basilica was originally built in the 9th Century to house the remains of Saint Mark. Destroyed in 932 CE, the church was later rebuilt to a better design and served as the Doge's chapel until 1807 when it replaced the Basilica di San Pietro in Castello as the cathedral of the Archdiocese. Although the architectural plan of the church has remained largely unchanged since the 12th Century, generous adornments were added over the years, creating one of Italy's most impressive collections of ecclesiastical art. Inside, the ceilings are made of gold mosaics, full of intriguing architectural details. One of Venice's most iconic structures, the Saint Mark's Basilica sits amid Piazza San Marco at one end of the Grand Canal.
Venice is the land of canals and a trip to this breathtaking city is never complete without a visit to its myriad waterfronts. While in this island city, head to its southern tip in the Dorsoduro neighborhood where you will come across the Zattere Promenade. This seafront once served as a quay and was active in the trade of timber. Sauntering along this walkway, visitors are flanked by the deep blue waters on one side and magnificent Venetian buildings, exhibiting 15th and 16th century architecture, on the other. Whether you are ambling in solitude and soaking in the tranquility of the spot, strolling with family or friends, or walking hand in hand with a loved one, this promenade will ensure a magical experience for all.
Host of the famous Venice Biennale Art Festival; Giardini della Biennale is a vast parkland located in the east of Venice. These gardens were created in the Napoleonic era by draining marsh land and today the garden consists of 30 permanent pavilions which are assigned to various countries. During the Venice Biennale Art Festival these pavilions are used by those particular countries for showcasing performances. The garden is worth a visit, even in the absence of the festival, for its winding paths, canopy of trees, and cute cats that run around.
The Lido di Venezia is a pristine sandbar that has become a thriving tourist destination, thanks to its accessibility from mainland Venice. One of the most photographed and talked about places in Venice, this island is not only famous for its panoramic views and beautiful summer beaches but also home to Venice Film Festival. Most of these beaches are private and often visited by international celebrities from diverse fields. The gorgeous sandbar, stretching luxuriously to almost 11 kilometers (6.83 miles), has featured exclusively as the location in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice.