The Plaza San Marco
is the center of tourism
in Venice, Italy
. It is on the south side of the eastern island of Venice proper, close to the Riva deglia Schiavone
. Around the perimeter of the plaza is a U-shape of museums (the National Archeological Museum
, the Correr Museum
, and others). On the eastern end of the plaza is the Campionale
, a large watchtower and belltower. The eastern side of the plaza proper is taken up by the Basilico San Marco
or St. Mark's Cathedral.
The plaza is, in the summer, completely overrun with tourists and pigeons. For some reason, most tourists (at least those who aren't from New York City) seem to think it's cute to buy little bags of corn provided for the purpose by vendors and try to entice the pigeons into eating out of their hands. Personally, I think pigeons are naught but air rats, and kept having a giggly voice repeat "Shotgun...squab...shotgun...squab..." in my head over and over.
At night, there is outdoor cafe seating in the Plaza, and several of the cafes have outdoor music provided by bands of between one and six musicians. They're usually quite good, with a wide repertoire, and put on a show for the audience as opposed to just playing. The catch is that a coffee in one of these cafes (or outdoors at the tables) costs around Lire16,000 (around $8 US at the current exchange rate) and there is a Lire13,000 charge for the music. However, you can stand behind the tables for free!
If you're a James Bond fan, this is the plaza he drove the hovercraft gondola up into in Moonraker. The pigeons were featured.