The Venice Marathon is now available with Sports Tours International. The beautiful city of Venice is the perfect running and city break destination. Read a bit more below about this fascinating, historical city.
Venice is called La Serenissima, “the most serene,” and as anyone who has threaded the narrow streets and some 400 lithe footbridges over twisting canals to link pigeon-filled Piazza San Marco with the Titan– and Tintoretto-filled Accademia painting gallery or the shop-lined Rialto Bridge over the majestic Grand Canal will tell you, that nickname is absolute hogwash.
What makes Venice one of the most beautiful cities in, well, the world? Let us count the ways… There’s Venice’s unique, lovely architecture (learn the secrets of Venetian symbolism in our blog on how to “read” Venice’s palaces!), its beautiful churches, and, of course, the show-stopping St. Mark’s Square. But what really makes Venice beautiful is the fact that it’s built entirely on canals—so there’s no traffic or bus exhaust, and along many canals, all you can hear is the lapping of the water! To make the most of Venice’s tranquil side, consider going in autumn or even in the winter, when a lovely mist hangs over the entire city.
Piazza San Marco
Talking about Venice, St. Mark’s square (in Italian: Piazza San Marco) is the first place that everybody thinks about. This is the biggest square in the city and here there’s the beautiful Basilica dedicated to the Saint Patron of Venice.
The floor of the square is hidden by million of pigeons. Pigeons wait the tourists that feed them with bread crumbs or seeds. Maybe the image of St. Mark’s square full of pigeons is the most famous image of this city, someone use to say that in Venice there are more pigeons than inhabitants. Before the arrival of St. Mark’s relics, and the consequent construction of the Basilica, this area was a big garden, crossed by the river Rio Batario. The Doge Vitale II Michiel wanted this river to be fill in to allow the construction of the square.
Nowadays St. Mark’s square is the only area in Venice called “Piazza” (which means “square” in Italian), all the other areas of this kind are called “campi” (which means “gardens” in Italian). This square is the inevitable destination of all the tourists in Venice. Everyone wants to be photographed while flights of fat and dirty pigeons assault them to take the seed that they keep in their hands. In the past St. Mark’s square hosted tournaments, processions, fairs and the bull hunting.
Today it is surrounded of very expensive bars, real tourist traps, where you can sit and look at a live remake of Hitchcock’s “The birds”, with just one difference: here the “victims” smile, clearly happy.
The Doge’s palace… Venetians are very fond of this palace because it keeps part of their history and it has been protagonist of important facts of Venice’s life.
The Doge’s Palace was exactly where it is now during the republican period of Venice, it was there when Venice was conquered by Napoleon and it was always there when Venice become Italian. This palace is a constant presence, always loyal to the city.
It has been subject of many changes, because of a long series of terrible fires. The political importance of this palace, once seat of the Doge of Venice, was underlined from Napoleon too, who wanted this palace to become the centre of his administration in 1797, when he conquered Venice.
The historical importance of the Doge’s Palace is testified also from the great sum of money that the newborn Italian republic gave to Venice to remodel this building.
In spite of the loss budget of the new unified Italy, it spared no expenses to one of the most important symbols of this city.
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