Basilica di San Marco, Venezia

June 13, 2010 § 3 Comments

[St Mark’s Basilica, Venice]

visitors lining up outside the Basilica di San Marco. May 15,2010.

Who said there would be less people lining up the Basilica di San Marco when it rains? All I can tell is that there were plenty of people even when the square was flooded! I guess there were just too many people travelling to Venice with a fixed schedule. So even when the weather wasn’t good, people still show up there as scheduled. That’s exactly what happened to us.

After some research, I read that the lights are on inside the basilica everyday from 11:30 for about an hour. However it falls exactly on the same time for the only English guided tour in the day in Palazzo Ducale (urgh… I think they should work something out between the basilica and the palazzo. So that all the visitors who can understand English don’t have to sacrifice either one.) I chose Palazzo Ducale over the basilica, so I made a reservation for the basilica for 1:30pm.

But when we got there, the basilica was closed due to the flood. So we went to have lunch, and thought we might not get the chance to see this basilica in this trip, as we’ve only got one day to see Venezia. After a so-so lunch, we did a bit shopping and got a bit lost nearby. Before we headed back to our hotel, I suggested to walk by San Marco to try our luck. THANK GOD it was opened again, and the water was gone.

I showed the printed reservation email to the security guard, he barely read it before letting us in right away while there was a huge line behind us. Seriously….. people, get a reservation!

goldern mosaic across the ceiling

We got in at 4:15 on a Sunday afternoon. My oh my, the lights were ON! I believe that’s because there was a mass going on. The entire church was beautifully lit with the warm goldern glow across the ceiling. It was dazzling. I have to say it was definitely a special moment to stand under those goldern mosaic, a very different experience than every other church I’ve visited.

15 minutes later, the mass was over and the lights were off. What a difference it made! The ceiling was completely in the dark and I could barely see there’s some sort of pattern on the ceiling. My only advice to anyone planning to see this church is: “only visit the Basilica di San Marco when the lights are on.” Don’t bother to come at any other time, it’s not worth fighting the crowd to stand under a jet black ceiling. Also, don’t count on the sunlight and think the nature might lit up some part of the ceiling. It’s a completely different thing.

lights off 😦

I do not understand why can’t they leave one or two lights on in the church through out the day. I just… cannot understand.

Previous stop: Palazzo Ducale
Next stop: Duomo di Milano


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§ 3 Responses to Basilica di San Marco, Venezia

  • […] ceiling. the goldern staircase Previous stop: Venezia Santa Lucia (Railway Station) Next stop: Basilica di San Marco Categories: Attractions, Italy Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment […]

  • Ed B says:

    “why can’t they leave one or two lights on in the church”?
    Perhaps they want people to see the church the same way it was seen upon it completion .. just a thought.

    • Katharine says:

      I’d like to think that they would lit up some candel light in the old days 🙂
      I’m sure the reason they decided to cover the entire ceiling in goldern mosaic, was that they know how beautiful it’d looks with lights. I also think that everyone would prefer their house of God to be always at its full glory.

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