I’ve written previously about Venice having only one Piazza; the other squares being considerably inferior are campi. There is also a Piazzetta, the open space at one end of the Piazza between the Doge’s Palace and the Biblioteca that links the Piazza to the quayside and the lagoon. It’s not to be dismissed as just an extension of the Piazza though, apart from the buildings on either side there are two large pillars which demand your attention.
Most visitors would recognise the winged lion symbol of Venice’s patron saint; it is ubiquitous here after all, but the other pillar depicts Mark’s predecessor in the role. Few know that this is Saint Theodore, and that the crocodile he stands over represents a dragon. (Didn’t St George nail that one?)
The pillars and the sanctified ones upon them have witnessed some very un-Christian behaviour over the years. For centuries the space between them was used to execute homosexuals, often by burning them alive.