Rome has the she-wolf. Sicily has the 3-legged Medusa. And Turin has il toro, the bull. Up in the northeast, however, the lagoon city of Venice chose an even more exotic, mythical icon to symbolize its power and stature. And today, the winged lion of St. Mark stands guard across the city still, staring out from palace façades, pillar tops and the Venetian flag as it proudly flutters in the wind. So how did a city built on the water choose this feathered feline figure as its own symbol, and what does it mean?