This is a view of San Marco and the campanile from beneath the colonnade of the Procuratie Nuove on the south side of the Piazza. One of the figures in the foreground is holding a cup and saucer; nearby (but out of the picture) is the site of the famous Café Florian, a well-known centre of Venetian social life. This painting is a pendant to 'Venice: Piazza San Marco'. The pair are dated on stylistic grounds to about 1756, after Canaletto's final return to Venice.
A number of preparatory drawings survive that can be related to this picture (Windsor, Royal Collection; and David Villiers collection; formerly the Reverly collection). These works show compositions which extend further to the left than that of the painting. Additional studies of the figure group include a work in New York (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lehman Collection), and a drawing formerly in the National Gallery, but now transferred to the British Museum.