Everywhere you turn in Venice, you are confronted by a statue of a winged lion.
Apparently the story of the lion goes like this: St. Mark the Apostle died and was buried in Alexandria, Egypt. The symbol for St. Mark is the lion.
In the ninth century two merchants from Venice stole the remains of St. Mark from it's resting place in Alexandria and after and adventurous sea journey presented it to the Doge in Venice.
A Basilica was built on the main piazza to house the remains. The basilica and the piazza was renamed after St. Mark and he became the Patron Saint of Venice.
The lion of St. Mark aquired it's wings as the believe is that he protected the merchants on their journey across the Mediterranean sea.