Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 1, 2015

St Mark’s square is not square

…or rectangular for that matter.  St Mark’s Basilica is not exactly aligned with the square.

St Marks square Venice

We found out by reading Secret Venice. There is a very small metal medallion under the arcade, opposite Sotoportego de l’Arco Celeste.

It is not easy to find , but after a careful search, we spotted it.

mediallion which indicates the exact line of  St Mark's axis

The medallion indicates the exact line of the basilica’s axis. If you stand on the medallion facing the basilica you can see the odd angle of the church.

I find little details like this fascinating. Secret Venice is full of great stuff like this. We walked around Venice for days with the book in hand, discovering all kinds of interesting things about this glorious city.

Click here, here and here for more secret finds…there will be more to come.



  1. You could spend months maybe years in Venice and still keep discovering. Great book

    • I agree, Venice is a place you could easily spend years and still come up with new things to find.

  2. Amazing details in that book. I have only started learning…Thank you Debra

    • It is a great book. We have really enjoyed using it and Secret Florence to discover interesting things.

  3. It’s not only the details that such a book points you to but all the incidental things you spot along the way whilst looking for the ‘secrets’, isn’t it. I rather fancy myself in a fur-lined deer stalker with designer magnifying glass in hand:)

    • You are exactly correct. We found all sorts of things while hunting down the secrets. When you walk slowly looking at everything for clues, you see much more than you otherwise would.

  4. I have never visited Venice but I imagine it’s a multi-layered city so I suspect it’s interesting and exciting to discover some of its hidden details.

    • Venice is one of the most amazing places I have ever been to. I hope you go one day.

  5. Love this! It feels as though Venice is in our back yard and yet you are right – she is a secret stranger whom I hardly know at all.
    Happy travelling in 2015 Debra xcat

    • How lucky to have Venice in your back yard. I love it even when I am lost and frustrated in a back street somewhere or fighting crowds at Rialto. The more often I go, the more I like Venice.

  6. One of my favourite spots in Italy. Perhaps the fact that in Italian we call it “piazza” from the Latin “platea” and in turn from the Geek “plateia” meaning an open place or a broad street used by the public, may explain why it’s shape may not be regular. Actually, St Mark’s features the “piazza” and the smaller adjoining ” piazzetta”, which explains its irregular shape…

    • Siena has a beautiful shell shaped piazza and Greve in Chianti has an unusual triangular piazza…they come in all shapes and sizes. I wonder who put the tiny medallion in Piazz San Marco. I was with an architect who found this fascinating…that is his foot.

  7. I find your information fascinating – nice to know that piazzas come in all shapes and sizes. I imagine you must have looked funny eyeing the ground intently to find that medallion. I wonder if other tourists noticed and tried to look, too?

    • I’m sure people were wondering why we were walking slowly in circles looking at the ground. Who would know it was there and why?

  8. I enjoy your secret finds posts and learning about the hidden details behind some of these famous sites. I look forward to learning more “secrets.”

    • I have a little collection from my last trip and there are lots more from Florence as well. I will buy Secret Tuscany before I return to Italy. I love these books.

      • Great to know itt actually is a series of books! I’d better buy some before I cme over
        Internet is playingupaain, apologies for the spelling

  9. I love little secrets like this! It makes things all that more magical 😀

    • I think so too. We had a great time searching for the secrets of Venice.

  10. An interesting detail….thanks Deb. Yes, Venice is the best…’s crowded with lots and lots of tourists…but one can always find a quiet campo to just sit back and ‘be’ in! I certainly hope I visit again one day.



Leave a Reply