Yes. I couldn’t talk about Venice leaving this place out now, could I? I think the San Marco Square deserves a post for itself. I loved ALL of Venice but this place is like a whole city in itself. No wonder since it took 200 years (!) to build the basilica alone.
So first, the materials. Okay. Breathe. Is it only me who gets excited by looking at how buildings are made? Different colours of marble pillars. Checkered stone floors. Mosaics all over the place made with gold and pretty gems. Details engraved by hand on every free inch of rock… It’s just too astounding a sight to be real, like it came straight out of a fairytale story.
Then there are the turrets. Every single one is special, not one is the same as the other one. There are slight differences in their position, their colour, their peaks. One is a pyramidal shape, the other a dome, the third on an arch… They look like those layered wedding cakes with mounds and mounds of decorations on them, so much things you could let your eye feast on them for weeks and still not see everything.
There were these long, straight buildings on the piazza with careful symmetrical windows and tiny openings, all very detailed and attractive. Even the lanterns were rustic, all swirly and curvy and I actually expected real candles to be lighted inside…
Now, I know you are waiting to see some photos from the inside… Sadly, I wasn’t allowed to take photographs once I was in the basilica (even though I must admit I took some sneaky photographs on my phone) but, believe me, it was just as phenomenal as the outside, except with even more details. Gold, gold everywhere. Little, neat squares of mosaics lined the ceiling making up pieces of art, all kinds of apostles and saints and things. It was dark inside though, the only illumination coming from candles and a few dim lamps scattered about the place. The thing I was most amazed by was the floor: oh it was so exquisitely detailed! Circles and squares, symmetrical and asymmetrical, patterns or random arrangements!!!
Another marvelous detail on the outside was a huge clock. It looked magical, as if little fairies and elves were operating the mechanisms on the inside. The clock was a midnight blue colour with gold stars and star signs on every hour. Two marble majestic lions gazed over their kingdom, their wings flexed and ready to fly away at any second.
And you know what amazed me most? The moment I stepped into to the piazza I seemed to forget the crowds milling about around me, the noise the tourists were making, the rowdy street vendors. I was in a dream-like daze, a fantasy world where all things are powerful, magical, vibrant or mysterious…