A sign inside the Basilica San Marco invites you up a steep stone stair to the gallery, containing St Mark's Museum, or the Museo Marciano and Loggia dei Cavalli. At the top of the stairs are a couple of rooms housing evocative fragments of the original mosaics and odds and ends, including a 16th-century double bass, which once accompanied St Mark’s famous choir.
The Loggia offers a mesmerizing pigeon-eye view of the piazza, and lets you take in some of the rich sculptural and decorative details of the Basilica itself. The four replica horses on the façade, paid for with much fanfare by Olivetti, don’t bear close examination after you’ve seen the originals, restored and regilded in 1979, only to be imprisoned inside – one of the saddest sights in Venice, for they were made to glint in the sun and shimmer in the light of the moon.
Image by Morn, Creative Commons License