Updated: Apr 17
At nighttime, Venice takes on a whole different aura. Throughout the city, the night comes alive with light and shadow. You see it in a whole different way - especially if you can have a special private showing in St Marks Basilica. This is how we see it on a Uniworld River Cruise.
We walk along the harbor edge with the water and gondolas on one side and shops and cafes on the other. We walk over bridges crossing the canals and take in the lights of the building as we move along. Then it's around the corner to St Marks Square where all the buildings are lit for the evening. Around the back of the Basilica, our guide leads us to a secondary entrance and knocks on the door. A night guard answers and after a minute of Italian conversation, he steps aside and allows us to enter. We make our way through the different hallways as our guide explains the meaning of the frescos on all the walls and ceilings.
Finally we enter the dimly light Basilica and have a seat. Our guide describes the origin of the Basilica and then we sit in silence as the lights gradually come up to reveal the splendor of the gold and gems in the various frescos of the walls and ceilings. It's a very special, quiet time as we are the only ones in the Basilica of St Marks.
After the lighting, we get up close and personal with the altar area and also get to go beneath the main structure down into the crypts. All in all, not a bad way to spend the evening thanks to Uniworld River Cruises.
(Click on picture to enlarge)