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Visit San Marco

The clock tower

The Clock Tower, or as it is usually called Moors Tower, is one of Venice landmarks. It was built at the and of XV century when the City of Venice decided to substitute the old Sant’Alipo Clock Tower. The astronomical clock  was revealed in 1499 as the “most complex clock in the world”. The planets’ movement were…

Saint Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco, in Italian)

Venice has only one square or piazza: St.Mark’s Square, a 170 meter-long trapezoid which differs from all other squares that are called “campi” (fields). 5 reasons why St. Mark’s Square is utterly unique? St Mark’s square has been the heart of the Venetian Republic. The Republic was run by merchant noble families with strict rules, electing…

St. Mark’s Square – the history of Venice

St. Mark’s Square: the only square of Venice St. Mark’s Square (San Marco, in Italian) is one of the most important, beautiful and fascinating places in Italy, famous worldwide for its beauty, its magic and its architectural integrity. It is the only real square of Venice, as all the other  are actually called “campi” or “campielli”. St….

The new prisons

The Building The huge prisons were made of large marble and Istrian stone blocks and were intimidating and frightening. Still today we don’t know how they were assembled. The palace was constructed in 1500 to create a more hygienic prison for the inmates and certain judicial functions of the Doge’s Palace were also transferred there….

Lords of the prisons

The Guards The guards were called the Lords of the Prisoners because of their brutality and corruption towards the treatment of the prisoners. The guards allowed improvements to be made to the treatment of the prisoners but only for a bribe. This meant that prisoners could receive food from outside or get out of the…

The torment of prisoners

Pleas of prisoners After the sentence was passed, prisoners could make pleas to the magistrates to improve the hardships of prison life. The approval of such pleas was subject to the payment of pezaria, an amount decided by the Magistrates in charge. In their pleas, prisoners often requested to serve their sentence at home, to transfer to more sanitary…


Piazza San Marco in Venice is one of the most important, beautiful and fascinating squares of Italy, renowned worldwide for its magnificence, its magic and its architectural integrity. In Venice Piazza San Marco is the only real square, because all the other spaces that recall the shape are actually defined as “” or “squares” fields….

The Lion and Theodore

Once the basin of San Marco was the sea port of Venice and those who came by ship could admire the impressive unique architecture of Palazzo Ducale, seat of the Venetian power, and two marble and granite columns topped by the statues of the two patron saints of Venice: the winged Lion, symbol of St. Mark the Evangelist, and “Todaro , the Byzantine St. Theodore of Amasea,…

In the Shade of San Marco

The history of St. Mark’s Bell Tower The building of St. Mark’s Bell Tower (once used as a lighthouse) begun in XI century under the Doge Pietro Tribuno but the current look was reached only between 1511 and 1514. It is 98,60 mt. high and is made of a brick base measuring 12m per side and 49,50m in height. The upper…

The Bridge of Sighs, the Clock Tower and Mercerie

The Bridge of Sighs You are now on the Ponte della Paglia, the Bridge of Hay, where boats would drop off stacks of hay for the horses’ stables inside the Palazzo Ducale on the ground floor. Which is also where, until the 16th century, the city’s prisons were located; and so for extra security the doge of the time had the prisons moved…

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