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After you board your ship, visit one of Venice’s iconic places. St. Mark’s Square, or the Piazza San Marco, dates from around 800 C.E., though it was much altered over the centuries; its famous basilica followed a little later and was completed in 1092. While Napoleon may or may not have described the square as “the finest drawing room of Europe,” the quotation has been passed down through the centuries for good reason. The square is an unusually refined public space, and no number of pigeons or tourists can diminish its elegance.

Take a look at the basilica as well, which melds Romanesque and Byzantine influences. In fact, the four horses atop its façade were literally pillaged from Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, in one of the darker episodes in the history of Venice.

Much of the magic of Venice is the joy of simply getting lost wandering its labyrinth of canals and alleys. So start walking in any direction from the square—you’re in no danger of getting too lost as you’ll dead end at the lagoon before you get too far.

To read more about the 8-Night Venice & The Amalfi Coast Voyage as well as other Azamara cruises around the world, visit AFAR Journeys.
Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
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