These mosaics of San Marco Basilica are from the 11th century but they never lose their luster. They’re our windows to Byzantine art.
Be warned: you can’t take photos inside St. Mark’s Basilica. While there’s no entrance fee, the number of visitors allowed to get inside is controlled and limited. There’s usually a queue outside in the morning and late afternoon. Go inside at lunchtime when tourists try to avoid the nasty summer heat. A huge hat or an umbrella can be helpful, too.
One of the most interesting things to ogle at Basilica di San Marco is the presence of mosaics. You can’t miss them. They’re ubiquitous inside and on the facade of this holy place. You’ve got to remember that these mosaics date back to the 11th century. Though their colors aren’t as bright as ages ago, they refuse to fade.
Except for the last mosaic (which I took near the entrance), the rest are from the facade. The ones that decorate the portals outside are the oldest mosaics of the basilica.
If you’re a Christian, you can probably guess that these mosaics depict the stories taken from the Bible.
Interesting Fact. There are 8,000 square meters of mosaic inside and outside the Basilica. That’s more than the size of an American football field – can you imagine?!
Venice: The Mosaics of San Marco Basilica
How to Save Time and Money in Venice
Venice can be overwhelming for a first-time visitor. You would have no idea where and how to start. There are just many things to do and see, and most often – if you do it on your own, there’s a fat chance you’ll be lost in the narrow alleys. How many times did I end up on a dead-end alley? Countless! Google Maps seemed confused, too!
So, to save time, money, and effort, do yourself a favor – choose a tour! You don’t have to join everything but choose the ones you think would be interesting to do.
Where to stay in Venice
Venice is expensive. Like, really expensive. That’s why many backpackers would go on a day trip from Milan or Bologna. If you decide to stay for a night or two, try Venezia Naturalmente. It’s the cheapest I could find in the city. It’s within walking distance to everything, including the water taxi, San Marco Square, and two major bridges connecting to the Grand Canal’s other side. The staff is friendly, and they’d help you navigate the city. It’s clean, and it’s also in a quiet area.
From the basilica, it’s an easy 2-minute walk to Venice’s most photographed bridge, the Bridge of Sighs. Also, right in front of St. Mark’s Basilica is the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site, St Mark Square. If you have time, climb to the top of St. Mark Bell Tower at sunset and be awed at the sweeping view of Venice.