a. Piazza of St. Mark. VENICE. 47. Route. 293
(murazzi) oí masonry (Istrian marble), 30 ft. in height and 40-50 ft.
in width. On the side next the Lagoons the Murazzi are perpen¬
dicular, while towards the sea they descend in four terraces, of
which the highest is broad enough to permit of two persons walking
abreast. The murazzi on the lidi oí Pellestrina and Sottomarina
(p. 345) dato from the last period of the Republic (1774-81). The
Diga of Malamocco, a mole l1/^ M. long, extending into tho open
sea, was constructed by the Austrian government, after 1825, to
protect Venice from the encroachments of the sea. A new mole, the
Diga Nord Est, 4V2 M. long, on the N.E. side of the Lido, was com¬
pleted in 1894. The Lagoons are connected with the open sea by
four entrances: Porto dei Tre Porti, Porto di Lido, Porto di Mala¬
mocco, Porto di Chioggia. Of these the second and third are alone
available for large vessels.
The Lagoons consist of the 'laguna viva', and the 'laguna morta',
which are of about equal extent. In the former the tide rises and
falls about 2!/2 ft.; the latter, near the coast of the mainland, is a
malarious and shallow swamp, now unaffected by the tide. Venice
is situated in the 'laguna viva', here about 5 M. in width. At high
water innumerable stakes ('pali'), rising from the water, mark the
navigable channels which surround the city, forming a complicated
network. When the wind blows strongly, the surface of the Lagoons
is often agitated enough to cause sea-sickness. In winter spring-
tides (alta marea), accompanied by a continuous east wind, sometimes
raise the level of the water about 10 ft., so that even the Piazza di
San Marco is flooded and may be traversed by góndola.
a. Piazza of St. Mark and Environs. Riva degli Schiavoni,
The **Piazza of St. Mark (Pl. G, 5), usually called 'La Piazza,
a square paved with trachyte and marble, 191 yds. in length, on
the W. side 61, and on the E. 90 yds. in breadth, affords the most
striking evidence of the ancient glory of Venice. On three sides it
is enclosed by imposing buildings, which appear to form one vast
marble palace, blackened by age and the elements; on the E. it is
bounded by the Church of St. Mark and the Piazzetta (p. 297).
The two three-storied palaces on the N. and S. side were once
the residence of the nine 'procurators', the highest officials of the
Republic after the Doge, whence their ñame Procuratle. The Pro-
curatie Vecchie, or N. wing, were erected in 1480-1517 by Pietro
Lombardo, Bartolomeo Buon the Younger, and Guglielmo Bergamasco.
The Procuratie Nuove, or S. wing, begun by Scamozzi in 1584, to¬
gether with the adjoining Oíd Library now form the Palazzo Reale
(p. 293). The edifice on the "W. side, the Atrio, or Nuova Fábbrica,
was erected in 1810, partly on the site of the church of San Ge-
miniano, a work of Jac. Sansovino. The groundfloors of these struct¬
ures consist of arcades, and contain the cafós and shops mentioned
at pp. 283, 286.