Venice, Italy: St. Mark's Basilica
Among Europe's churches, the Byzantine marvel of St. Mark's stands alone. After the saint's remains were smuggled here in 828, Venice took his symbol (the winged lion) as their own. Built with pillaged materials, some describe the church's eclectic style as "Early Ransack." The outside is a riot of domes, columns, and statues; the interior is covered with mosaics, colored marbles, and oriental treasures. For more information on the Rick Steves' Europe TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit www.ricksteves.com.