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Venice and its Lagoon
World Heritage Site UNESCO

Piazza San Marco - The area of the city to which Venetians are most deeply attached is Piazza San Marco. To set it apart from the other squares in Venice, it is known as "Piazza" rather than "Campo". Piazza San Marco is unique and lovely at all times of day, and with every change of light at daybreak, when the sun streams through the great window of the Basilica and the walls and mosaics glitter with gold, in the blazing midday sun, when the Piazza becomes a flickering mirage, or on a magical moonlit night. The history of Piazza San Marco begins early in the ninth century, when the Venetians chose the site for the seat of their government, and built their Ducal Castle and the Basilica of St. Mark. In those days, the Piazza was a grassy tract, planted with vines and fruit trees. It was much narrower then, lying between the Basilica and the Batario canal (which was later filled in), on whose banks stood the ancient church of San Geminiano. At the time, the lagoon filled much of the area now occupied by the Piazzetta, which originally served as a quay for the small harbour.

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