The Basilica di San Marco of Venice

Basilica di San Marco pic
Basilica di San Marco
Image: europetravelideas.com

Accounting professional Samuel Brice Hall is the director of investment relationships with Piedmont Private Equity, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Fond of traveling in his free time, Samuel Brice Hall spent several weeks in Venice, Italy, during Christmas and New Year’s.

An engineering wonder, the City of Venice is built completely on water. One can visit the city any time of the year via plane, cruise ship, or train. A long-distance bus service is also available. A nonstop flight from New York to Venice takes about nine hours.

There are many things to do and see in Venice. Aside from taking the Venetian gondola ride through the Grand Canal, another requisite experience is visiting the Basilica di San Marco.

According to legend, the basilica dates back to the 9th century, when two merchants smuggled the remains of St. Mark out of Egypt inside a barrel containing pork fat. The original basilica burned in 932, and the Venetians rebuilt it with a Greek cross layout, Byzantine domes, walls covered with marble from Palestine, Egypt, and Syria.

It has 8,500 square meters of mosaics. At the entrance are five niched portals crowned with mosaics and stonework arches. The oldest mosaics of the basilica are inside the vestibule. They depict the apostles with the Madonna and have been there for over 950 years. The Pala d’Oro is a gold altarpiece covered with 2,000 sapphires, rubies, emeralds, pearls, and other precious stones.

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