Believe it or not, this time Inside Venice, which does not want to be accused of snobbery, leaves the off beaten tracks (itineraries, interests, tastes) direct your attention (just for a moment, we swear) to St. Mark’s Square. Yes, you’ve heard, Piazza San Marco indeed.
The golden interiors of the Basilica reflecting the light of thousand candles? The eighteenth-century Café Florian with its small orchestra? The Doge’s Palace? Everything has been said written about one of the most visited places in the world. A place, which embodies the very essence of beauty. Your eyes are lost in friezes, lozenges, mosaics and panoramic views and perspectives. I, personally, have been walking across this square twice a day for more than twenty years, but my eyes still get lost. Looking up or down, its overwhelming beauty ends up by stunning you. But can a small detail not be noticed in over twenty years? Where were you looking, what were you thinking? Not long ago, the umpteenth scaffolding was dismantled and another small part of marble went back to its original splendour. Finally, free from the patina of history, from the soot, which once came from the industries on the Giudecca island when sirocco or garbin (south west wind) wind blew. You cannot believe what you see.
Yes, there it is “PIAZZA SAN MARCO”. It is not the traditional nizioleto, the typical Venetian street sign, it is engraved in the marble, but the font is the same, maybe stencil, maybe bold. So, there used to be a time when it appeared necessary to signpost the square as if it were not clear that that was St. Mark’s Square. The exceptional character of this place made us forget that St, Mark’s Square was a square like many others in the city and signposting was necessary. And there it is, ignored by most of the people, vestige of a past everyday life, which cannot win its own monumentality. Ubi maior minor cessat (in the presence of a more important person/event, the less important one loses relevance), says the Latin proverb.
If you, by any chance, would like to find it before time returns it to the oblivion, without overlooking the rest of course, the clue is in the title.