"The Campanile" Top 5 Page for this destination Campanile di San Marco Tip by suvanki

Campanile di San Marco, Venice: 155 reviews and 292 photos

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This 325ft red brick belltower is one of Piazza San Marcos popular landmarks.

As I mentioned in my intro, I don't like to waste time queueing for hours, when I could be spending the time exploring etc.
However, on my last morning, I'd nipped out to find an ATM in the Piazza, and passing the Campanile, saw there was only a short queue, so decided to take my chance. I'd been stood for 5 minutes, when I learnt that the elevator was broken- there was some chance that it would be sorted within the hour. I returned to my hotel and continued with my original plan, to see as much of Venice in my few hours before returning to the airport

The Camponile holds 5 bells, each had their own function
The Trottiera announced a session of the Grand Council
The Marangona is the largest, signalling the beginning and end of the working day
The Nona rang to announce noon
The Mezza Tererza rang to announce the opening of senate
The Maleficio -the smallest bell rang to announce an execution

In 912 the tower was in operation as a lighthouse and belltower. The area that is now the Piazzetta, was the citys harbour.
It was continually renovated and modified until 1515, when it was rebuilt by Bartolomeo the Younger, who added a gold angel to its top. This lasted until 14th July 1902, when the tower gained a huge crack, followed by the tower completely collapsing at 09.52- being Venetian, it did this elegantly! and surprisingly the only life lost was of the caretakers cat - Melampyge, who was named after Casanovas dog!!

The decision was made to reconstruct the tower 'Where it was and as it was' or dov'era e com'era - (The same slogan being used later that century following the fire and subsequent restoration of the Fenice Theatre), and it re-opened on St. Marks Day 25th April1912. There were those who thought that the Piazza looked far better without the Camponile though.

The base of the tower -an elegant Loggetta, was intended to be a club for noblemen, but became a guardroom for voluntary police officers - the Arsenalotti, then the state lottery centre.
When the tower collapsed, it was completely destroyed, but surprisingly was reconstructed from the salvaged wreckage. Salsovina originally designed a building to completely enclose the campaniles base, but in the end, only a quarter of this work was carried out (between 1537 and 49)
The marble reliefs are from Verona, representing Venice (Justice) Crete (Jupiter) and Cyprus (Venus) (The Most Serene Republic -Serenissima )
Bronze figures of Pallas, Apollo, Mercury and Peace, and the terracotta figures inside the loggia are believed to be the work of Sansovino, except for the figure of St John, which is a modern copy.

Lift Open (!) daily April - June, Sept and October 0900 - 1945
July and August 0900 - 2100
November- March 0930 - 16.15
Closed for 3 weeks after Christmas each year

admission 6 euros.

I've been told that a good view is just before the sunsets.

UPDATE>>>> I understand that the Campanile is closed for restoration at the moment -It usually is after Christmas, but this is a BIG JOB!!!!

Address: Piazza San Marco Venice
Directions: VAPORETTO SAN MARCO or SAN ZACCARIA
Phone: 041 522 4064
Website: http://www.basilicasanmarco.it/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 6, 2010
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suvanki

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