25 Mar 2017

Bond's hotel in Venice - St Mark's Square

In Casino Royale, Bond and Vesper are staying in a suite at a hotel by the famous Piazza San Marco, known as St Mark's square, in Venice. As Vesper is leaving for her secret meeting with Gettler, pretending she's just going to the bank. Bond walks her down to the lobby where Vesper kisses Bond goodbye for the last time, knowing that she will not see him again.

The view from Bond's hotel suite in the film

Bond is waiting for Vesper to come back and is looking out on the St Mark's square from the suite balcony. The famous Saint Mark's Basilica (Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco) the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice is seen at the far end of the square, next to the bell tower, known as St Mark's Campanile.

When Bond understands that he has been betrayed he runs down through the hotel lobby, scenes actually filmed at the Prague National Museum covered earlier. When Bond runs across the square on his way to the Venice branch of the Basel Bank, the basilica and the bell tower are briefly seen in the background.

The west facade of the Basilica di San Marco 

The square is enclosed with arcades on three sides with the two longest arcades along the north and south side of the Piazza. It is in one of these arcades that Bond finds the entrance to the Venice branch of Basel Bank.

Needless to say, St Marc's square is one of the most famous places in Venice and packed with tourists during the day. It is on this square that Sir Roger drives his hovercraft gondola (known as the Bondola) in Moonraker. This scene will be covered later.

The history of the Piazza San Marco is too long to even try to summarise, but the only pre-renaissance building still standing on the square is the Doge's Palace. The buildings surrounding the square on three sides date back to the 16th century.

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