Basilica San Marco

The Basilica San Marco is old even by cathedral standards and it feels it. Full of beautifully detailed mosaics.

Pro tip: The line to get in is LONG. Buy a ticket in advance! And bring the entire ticket with you. We downloaded the barcode as instructed but security outside wanted to see the entire ticket. Which I didn’t have. Eventually they let us try scanning the barcode and it worked. 

This was our first Italian cathedral and our first Byzantine cathedral. The colors were more subdued than others we’ve seen but the tilework was impressive. 

We paid extra for a ticket that included entrance to the Pala d’Oro, museum, and Loggia dei Cavalli. The Pala d’Oro (Cloth of Gold) is a meticulous gold altarpiece. There’s a separate barcode reader at its entrance.

All the designs you see on the walls and ceiling are tile mosaics. I wonder if that’s easier or more difficult than painting?

basilica interior

The floor is detailed stonework. We also saw stone stairs and bannisters. 

The horses are interesting and so is the small surrounding museum.

The real bonus though is being able to walk outside on the terrace and the views of the surrounding area.

There’s also a nice view overlooking the basilica interior near the terrace entrance and you can get a closer look at the ceiling.

ceiling detail