These last two days Pope Benedict has been visiting the Patriarch of Venice, Angelo Cardinal Scola and the Archdiocese of Aquileia with an estimate crowd of 300K.
This is the first visit of a pope to Venice in 26 years. The Pope prayed at the Basilica of Saint Mark (in front of the saint's relics preserved there for a 1000 years), addressed civil, culture and business leaders, the bishops, priests, religious and students and mingled with the people.
Among the things the pope noted was that the "patrimony of civil traditions, culture and art, found rich development thanks to Venetians' embrace of the acceptance of Christian faith. Over the centuries the faith transmitted by the first evangelists weaved itself evermore deeply into the social fabric, and eventually became an essential part of it."
The asked the Lord to send the Venetians the grace of a "sincere and fruitful faith, a faith that can nourish both great hope, and the patient search for the common good."