Symbol of Venice, the Venetian Republic and the Venice Film Festival award, Ladies & Gentlemen may I present The Lion of Saint Mark as our Italy Pic of the Day!
From Venice to Vicenza, the Lion of Saint Mark is commonly seen atop tall columns in some of the most beautiful piazzas across the Veneto region of Italy. Today’s pic of the day, is of the Colonna di San Marco (St Mark’s Column) in Piazza Erba in the heart of historic Verona.
The most famous Lion of Saint Mark is the Lion of Venice in the Piazza San Marco of Venice. The Lion of Saint Mark represents Venice’s patron saint, Mark the Evangelist, the author of the Gospel of Mark. Ever wonder why the winged lion, or the Lion of Saint Mark, is the symbol of Venice? Read on!
Lion of Saint Mark Photos
Lion of Saint Mark Meaning
Under this winged lion’s paws stands a bible, on which the words “Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus, hic requiescat corpus tuum” are inscribed. They translate in English as “Peace to you Mark, my Evangelist, here may your body rest.” According to Venetian tradition Mark was traveling through Europe. When he arrived in Venice, an angel appeared to him and spoke these words.
Now, St. Mark was originally buried in Alexandria, Egypt but in 828 two Venetian merchants stole his remains and brought them back to Venice. Saint Mark’s Basilica was built to house the remains. Fascinating stuff right!
The Lion of St. Mark also symbolizes some pretty lofty qualities. Power, majesty, strength of the word of St. Mark, spiritual elevation thanks to the wings, and wisdom thanks to the book. Across Italy there are other versions of The Lion of St. Mark. One of which includes a sword said to represent justice.
In other words, The Lion of St. Mark is one cool cat in Italy. Here’s another image Paolo captured of our flying feline friend from Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza.
This is one of the things I love most about Italy. Every statue, every fountain, every piazza has a story and even if it’s ancient history, Italians haven’t forget it. This is also why explore Italy with Paolo is a joy. He’s constantly dropping stories like these as if it’s no big deal to remember them all, or come from a country so rich in history.