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Venice Map

What with the crowds and the scaffolding, getting a clear shot of the exterior of St Mark's Basilica was not easy.

Photography is not allowed inside the church. Which is a good thing, as the constant clicking of cameras can easily destroy the peace and sanctity of a church.

Or at least it would be, if it were enforced.

As it was, I ended up angry at the photographers snapping away regardless, angry at the officials for ignoring them, and most of all angry at myself at being a sanctimonious prig and refusing to disobey the rules.

Anyway, founded in 828CE, the current building largely dates from 1647 and has been extended over the centuries. The word sumptuous hardly does justice to the decorations; the walls are covered in marble and the ceilings with glorious gilded Byzantine mosaics.

Amongst the many treasures, the Palla d'Oro really stands out; the detailed workmanship is as impressive as the gold and precious stones it is made from. Well worth the extra 2.

Entrance to the main part of the Basilica is free. For details of opening times and entrance fees for the Museum, Palla d'Oro, Treasury and the Bell Tower, please see the official site, detailed below.