Piazza San Marco, also known as St Mark’s Square, is the principal public square of Venice, Italy. Napoleon is said to have called the Piazza San Marco “the drawing room of Europe“.
The Square is dominated at its eastern end by St Mark’s Basillica . The Piazzetta dei Leoncini is an open space on the north side of the church named after the two marble lions (presented by Doge Alvise Mocenigo in 1722).
Beyond that is the Clock Tower (Torre dell’Orologio), completed in 1499. To the right of the clock-tower is the closed church of San Basso, designed by Baldassarre Longhena (1675).
To the left is the long arcade along the north side of the Piazza, the buildings on this side are former homes and offices of the Procurators of St. Mark, built in early 16th century by the Republic of Venice. The arcade is lined with shops and restaurants at ground level, with offices above. The restaurants include the famous Caffè Quadri, patronized by Austrian rulers in the 19th century, while the Venetians preferred Florian’s on the other side of the Piazza.
Turning left at the end, the arcade continues along the west end of the Piazza as the Napoleonic Wing, rebuilt by Napoleon in 1810. Behind the shops is the entrance to the Museo Correr (Correr Museum).