The lion is the symbol of the City of Venice, of the ancient Serenissima Republic, the Municipality, the Metropolitan city, and the Veneto Region. It appears in the coat of arms of the Italian Navy and in the flag of the Merchant Navy. But, above all, it is present in the squares and historical palaces of all the cities that were dominated by the Serenissima, and on Venetian civil, military and religious emblems, banners and coins. 

The winged Lion of St. Mark expresses the greatness and power of the Serenissima, carrying a message at the same time of Culture and of Peace (in the Book) and of Devotion (the Aureole), with a twofold meaning of Strength and Justice (the Sword).

April 25, 2021, the Day in which the City celebrates its Patron Saint St. Mark, the symbol in which Venetians still identify, both at sea and on land, will become the central character for the competition “In the Footsteps of the Lion of Venice”, held on the official social channels dedicated to the celebrations of the 1600 years of Venice.

The Organizing Committee launches, therefore, a proposal to all cities and municipalities in the former territory of the Serenissima Republic and in the world, to send a picture of a Lion of St. Mark as evidence of the Venetian presence in that territory,  or a photo of a Lion of St. Mark encountered during a trip in a city even not among those belonging to the Venetian domain.

The image may be sent to the email address, indicating the city and the place where the Lion of St. Mark is located.

The deadline for sending photographs is April 23, 2021. All the images will be published on the official social channels.

If you decide not to send the photo by email the image of the lion can also be published with the hashtag #Venice1600 #FollowTheLion #FestaSanMarco #25April and with the tag to the official social profiles of the celebrations, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The Lion of St. Mark is represented in paintings, sculptures, bas-reliefs, statues and flags in different positions, each of which communicates important informations to the viewer: it is “andante“, when its entire body appears standing on three legs, with the front right paw holding the book; “rampante“, when the Lion is set in profile on its hind legs and with its front paws holds the book and the sword; “in moeca” instead, the lion is sitting frontally with his wings spread out, resembling in this position resembles a crab with open claws (moeca in Venetian stands for “moulting crab). This is the type used on coins, seals, coats of arms and bas-reliefs; “in gazzetta“, the Lion is seated with outstretched wings and aureole; “vessillifero” when holding a banner. In some representations, the winged lion lays its front paws on a piece of land where some towers can be seen, with its back paws on the water. This last image represents the power of the Serenissima Republic over the land and sea.

Source: Comune di Venezia