Interesting facts about Venice

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Venice is a city in northeastern Italy.

It is the capital of the Veneto region.

Venice has been known as “La Dominante”, “La Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”.

As of May 2019, the population of Venice is about 260,000 people.

Venice covers a total area of 415.9 square kilometers (160.6 square miles).

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The city sits atop alluvial silt washed into the sea by the rivers flowing eastward from the alps across the Veneto plain, with the silt being stretched into long banks, or lidi, by the action of the current flowing around the head of the Adriatic Sea from east to west.

An island city is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by 150 canals and linked by over 400 bridges.

The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC.

The history of Venice begins around 400 AD The first people to settle in the Venetian Lagoon were frightened men coming form the nearby Italian mainland. For centuries these people had enjoyed prosperous lives in a chain of splendid cities of the Roman Empire strung along the north-eastern shores of the Adriatic.

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The city was historically the capital of the Republic of Venice (a sovereign state and maritime republic in northeastern Italy, which existed for over a millennium between the 7th century and the 18th).

Venice was the greatest seaport in late medieval Europe and the continent’s commercial and cultural link with Asia.

Since the fall of the Venetian republic in 1797, the city has held an unrivaled place in the Western imagination and has been endlessly described in prose and verse.

The city is unique environmentally, architecturally, and historically, and in its days as a republic the city was styled la serenissima (“the most serene” or “sublime”).

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It remains a major Italian port in the northern Adriatic Sea and is one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centers.

Since the end of the eighteenth century, tourism has been a major part of the city economy.

In 1987 Venice and its lagoon were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Today, Venice is regarded as an artistic and architectural treasure.

Piazza San Marco often known in English as St Mark’s Square, is the principal public square of Venice, Italy, where it is generally known just as la Piazza (“the Square”). The vast expanse of Venice’s largest square is brought together and made to seem almost intimate by the elegant uniformity of its architecture on three sides. A remark usually attributed (though without proof) to Napoleon calls the Piazza San Marco “the drawing room of Europe”.

piazza san marco

Certainly Venice’s best-known church, and one of the most easily recognized in the world, St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco). It is also one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture. The present basilica was completed in 1071. Over the centuries, additions of sculpture, mosaics, and ceremonial objects have increased the church’s richness.

Saint Mark's Basilica

The Doge’s Palace is a palace and one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice. It is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The palace was the residence of the Doge (the ruler of Venice) and also housed the political bodies of the state, including the Great Council and the Council of Ten. Within the lavish complex, there were law courts, administrative offices, courtyards, grand stairways, and ballrooms, as well as prisons on the ground floor.

doge's palace

Sweeping through the heart of Venice in a giant reverse S curve, the Grand Canal is the principal boulevard through the city. It is 3.8 km (2.4 mi) long, and 30 to 90 m (98 to 295 ft) wide, with an average depth of 5 meters (16 feet).

grand canal

Rialto Bridge, Italian Ponte di Rialto, stone-arch bridge crossing over the narrowest point of the Grand Canal in the heart of Venice. It is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal. The bridge that stands today still, was designed like the bridge from 1255. Built in the closing years of the 16th century, the Rialto Bridge is the oldest bridge across the canal and is renowned as an architectural and engineering achievement of the Renaissance.

rialto bridge

The most famous Venetian type of boat called a gondolas. Unlike other boats, a long oar is used to move the gondola.

There are approximately 400 licensed gondoliers in Venice, in their distinctive livery, and a similar number of boats, down from 10,000 two centuries ago. Many gondolas are lushly appointed with crushed velvet seats and Persian rugs.

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The Carnival of Venice is held annually in the city. It lasts for around two weeks and ends on Shrove Tuesday. The festival is world-famous for its elaborate masks.

The Venice Biennale is one of the most important events in the arts calendar.

The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world; founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata in 1932.

The city has developed a romantic reputation built upon by countless movies, and thanks to one startling horror film has also evolved a darker atmosphere.

Venice is known for several important artistic movements—especially during the Renaissance period—has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.

Two of the most noted Venetian writers were Marco Polo in the Middle Ages and, later, Giacomo Casanova.

In 1740, in the city of Venice, Paolo Adami, was granted the license to open the first pasta factory.

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