Venice

Venice

Overview
Venice is a city in northern Italy
Northern Italy
Northern Italy is a wide cultural, historical and geographical definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the northern part of the Italian state, also referred as Settentrione or Alta Italia...

 which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto
Veneto
Veneto is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about 5 million, ranking 5th in Italy.Veneto had been for more than a millennium an independent state, the Republic of Venice, until it was eventually annexed by Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule...

 region. In 2009, there were 270,098 people residing in Venice's comune (the population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune
Comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

 of Venezia; around 60,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large frazioni
Frazione
A frazione , in Italy, is the name given in administrative law to a type of territorial subdivision of a comune; for other administrative divisions, see municipio, circoscrizione, quartiere...

of Mestre
Mestre
Mestre is a city part of the comune of Venice, in Veneto, northern Italy.The city is connected to Venice by a large rail and road bridge, called Ponte della Libertà ....

 and Marghera
Marghera
Marghera is a frazione of the comune of Venice, Italy. It includes the industrial area known as Porto Marghera or Venezia Porto Marghera....

; 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon).
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Timeline

1309   Pope Clement V excommunicates Venice and all its population.

1328   Antipope Nicholas V, a claimant to the papacy, is consecrated in Rome by the Bishop of Venice.

1508   The League of Cambrai is formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII of France, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Ferdinand II of Aragon as an alliance against Venice.

1539   Council of Trent: Paul III sends out letters to his bishops, delaying the Council due to war and the difficulty bishops had traveling to Venice.

1609   Galileo Galilei demonstrates his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers.

1797   First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquers Venice.

1800   With the church leadership driven out of Rome during an armed conflict, Pius VII is crowned Pope in Venice with a temporary papal tiara made of papier-mâché.

1849   The first air raid in history. Austria launches pilotless balloons against the city of Venice.

1849   After a month-long siege, Venice, which had declared itself independent, surrenders to Austria.

1851   The first performance of ''Rigoletto'' by Giuseppe Verdi takes place in Venice.

 
Encyclopedia
Venice is a city in northern Italy
Northern Italy
Northern Italy is a wide cultural, historical and geographical definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the northern part of the Italian state, also referred as Settentrione or Alta Italia...

 which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto
Veneto
Veneto is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about 5 million, ranking 5th in Italy.Veneto had been for more than a millennium an independent state, the Republic of Venice, until it was eventually annexed by Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule...

 region. In 2009, there were 270,098 people residing in Venice's comune (the population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune
Comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

 of Venezia; around 60,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large frazioni
Frazione
A frazione , in Italy, is the name given in administrative law to a type of territorial subdivision of a comune; for other administrative divisions, see municipio, circoscrizione, quartiere...

of Mestre
Mestre
Mestre is a city part of the comune of Venice, in Veneto, northern Italy.The city is connected to Venice by a large rail and road bridge, called Ponte della Libertà ....

 and Marghera
Marghera
Marghera is a frazione of the comune of Venice, Italy. It includes the industrial area known as Porto Marghera or Venezia Porto Marghera....

; 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon). Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE) (population 1,600,000).

The name is derived from the ancient Veneti
Adriatic Veneti
The Veneti were an ancient people who inhabited north-eastern Italy, in an area corresponding to the modern-day region of the Veneto....

 people who inhabited the region by the 10th century B.C. The city historically was the capital of the Venetian Republic. Venice has been known as the "La Dominante", "Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", and "City of Canals". Luigi Barzini
Luigi Barzini, Jr.
Luigi Barzini Jr. was an Italian journalist, writer and politician most famous for his 1964 book The Italians, delving deeply into the Italian national character and introducing many Anglo-Saxon readers to Italian life and culture.-Early life:Barzini junior was born in Milan, Lombardy, the son of...

 described it in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man". Venice has also been described by the Times Online
Times
The Times is a UK daily newspaper, the original English language newspaper titled "Times". Times may also refer to:In newspapers:*The Times , went defunct in 2005*The Times *The Times of Northwest Indiana...

as being one of Europe's most romantic cities.

The city stretches across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon
Venetian Lagoon
The Venetian Lagoon is the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated. Its name in the Venetian language, Laguna Veneta— cognate of Latin lacus, "lake"— has provided the international name for an enclosed, shallow embayment of saltwater, a lagoon.The Venetian Lagoon...

 along the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po
Po River
The Po |Ligurian]]: Bodincus or Bodencus) is a river that flows either or – considering the length of the Maira, a right bank tributary – eastward across northern Italy, from a spring seeping from a stony hillside at Pian del Re, a flat place at the head of the Val Po under the northwest face...

 (south) and the Piave
Piave River
Piave is a river in north Italy. It begins in the Alps and flows southeast for into the Adriatic Sea near the city of Venice....

 (north) Rivers.

The Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, and a staging area
Staging area
A staging area is a location where organisms, people, vehicles, equipment or material are assembled before use.- In construction :...

 for the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 and the Battle of Lepanto
Battle of Lepanto (1571)
The Battle of Lepanto took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic maritime states, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire in five hours of fighting on the northern edge of the Gulf of Patras, off western Greece...

, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice
Spice trade
Civilizations of Asia were involved in spice trade from the ancient times, and the Greco-Roman world soon followed by trading along the Incense route and the Roman-India routes...

) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi , nicknamed because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe...

.

Origins


While there are no historical records that deal directly with the obscure and peripheral origins of Venice, tradition and the available evidence have led several historians to agree that the original population of Venice consisted of refugees from Roman cities near Venice such as Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

, Aquileia
Aquileia
Aquileia is an ancient Roman city in what is now Italy, at the head of the Adriatic at the edge of the lagoons, about 10 km from the sea, on the river Natiso , the course of which has changed somewhat since Roman times...

, Treviso
Treviso
Treviso is a city and comune in Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Treviso and the municipality has 82,854 inhabitants : some 3,000 live within the Venetian walls or in the historical and monumental center, some 80,000 live in the urban center proper, while the city...

, Altino
Altinum
260px|thumb|Remains of the Roman [[decumanus]].Altinum is the name of an ancient coastal town of the Veneti 15 km SE of the modern Treviso, northern Italy, on the edge of the lagoons...

 and Concordia (modern Portogruaro
Portogruaro
Portogruaro is a town and comune in the province of Venice, Veneto, northern Italy.-History:Portogruaro was founded in 1140, when the bishop of Concordia, Gervinus, gave right to several fishermen to settle here and build a river port. A castle existed here, however, as early as the 10th century...

) and from the undefended countryside, who were fleeing successive waves of Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 and Hun
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

 invasions. Some late Roman sources reveal the existence of fishermen on the islands in the original marshy lagoons. They were referred to as incolae lacunae ("lagoon dwellers"). The traditional founding is identified with the dedication of the first church, that of San Giacomo
San Giacomo di Rialto
San Giacomo di Rialto is a church in the sestiere of San Polo, Venice, northern Italy. It is believed to be the oldest church in the city, supposedly consecrated in the year 421. It survived a fire in the Rialto in the early 16th century. It is notable for the large 15th century clock above the...

 at the islet of Rialto
Rialto
The Rialto is and has been for many centuries the financial and commercial centre of Venice. It is an area of the San Polo sestiere of Venice, Italy, also known for its markets and for the Rialto Bridge across the Grand Canal....

 (Rivoalto, "High Shore"), which is said to have been at the stroke of noon on 25 March 421.
The last and most enduring irruption in the north of the Italian peninsula was that of the Lombards
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 in 568, leaving the Eastern Roman Empire a small strip of coast in the current Veneto, and the main administrative and religious entities were therefore transferred to this remaining dominion, centered upon the Exarchate of Ravenna
Exarchate of Ravenna
The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy was a centre of Byzantine power in Italy, from the end of the 6th century to 751, when the last exarch was put to death by the Lombards.-Introduction:...

, the local representative of the Emperor in the East. The Venetian tradition of the islanders' aid to Belisarius
Belisarius
Flavius Belisarius was a general of the Byzantine Empire. He was instrumental to Emperor Justinian's ambitious project of reconquering much of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire, which had been lost less than a century previously....

 was reported in early histories to explain the largely theoretical link to Ravenna, and to the Eastern Emperor. New ports were built, including those at Malamocco and Torcello in the Venetian lagoon. The tribuni maiores, the earliest central standing governing committee of the islands in the Lagoon, dated from c. 568.

The Venetians offered asylum to the Exarch Paul
Paul (exarch)
Paul was the Exarch of Ravenna from 723 to 727. According to John Julius Norwich, the person traditionally recognized as the first doge of Venice, Paolo Lucio Anafesto, was actually Exarch Paul...

, who was in flight from the Lombard Liutprand
Liutprand, King of the Lombards
Liutprand was the King of the Lombards from 712 to 744 and is chiefly remembered for his Donation of Sutri, in 728, and his long reign, which brought him into a series of conflicts, mostly successful, with most of Italy. He profited by Byzantine weakness to enlarge his domains in Emilia and the...

. Byzantine domination of central and northern Italy was subsequently largely eliminated by the conquest of the Exarchate of Ravenna in 751 by Aistulf
Aistulf
Aistulf was the Duke of Friuli from 744, King of Lombards from 749, and Duke of Spoleto from 751. His father was the Duke Pemmo.After his brother Ratchis became king, Aistulf succeeded him in Friuli. He succeeded him later as king when Ratchis abdicated to a monastery...

. During this period, the seat of the local Byzantine governor (the "duke/dux", later "doge
Doge of Venice
The Doge of Venice , often mistranslated Duke was the chief magistrate and leader of the Most Serene Republic of Venice for over a thousand years. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. Commonly the person selected as Doge was the shrewdest elder in the city...

") was situated in Malamocco
Malamocco
Malamocco is one of the three narrow inlets in the enclosing coastal dune bar that connect the Venetian Lagoon with the Adriatic Sea, together with the Lido and Chioggia inlets...

. Settlement on the islands in the lagoon probably increased in correspondence with the Lombard conquest of the Byzantine territories.

Sometime in the first decades of the eighth century, the people of the lagoon elected their first leader Ursus
Orso Ipato
Orso Ipato was the third traditional Doge of Venice and the first historically known. Sometime in the early 8th century, he was elected to lead the Venetians and granted the title of dux or duke, which has morphed in the Venetian dialect into doge.Orso himself came from Heraclea...

, who was confirmed by Byzantium and given the titles of hypatus
Hypatus
Hýpatos and the variant apó hypátōn was a Byzantine court dignity, originally the Greek translation of Latin consul . The dignity arose from the honorary consulships awarded in the late Roman Empire, and survived until the early 12th century...

and dux
Dux
Dux is Latin for leader and later for Duke and its variant forms ....

. He was the first historical Doge of Venice
Doge of Venice
The Doge of Venice , often mistranslated Duke was the chief magistrate and leader of the Most Serene Republic of Venice for over a thousand years. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. Commonly the person selected as Doge was the shrewdest elder in the city...

.

In 775/776, the episcopal seat of Olivolo (Helipolis) was created. During the reign of duke Agnello Particiaco (811–827) the ducal seat was moved from Malamocco to the highly protected Rialto, the current location of Venice. The monastery of St. Zachary and the first ducal palace and basilica of St. Mark, as well as a walled defense (civitatis murus) between Olivolo and Rialto were subsequently built here. Winged lions, which may be seen throughout Venice, are a symbol for St. Mark.

In 810, an agreement between Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 and Nicephorus recognized Venice as Byzantine territory and recognized the city's trading rights along the Adriatic coast, where Charlemagne had previously ordered the pope to expel the Venetians from the Pentapolis
Pentapolis
A pentapolis, from the Greek words , "five" and , "city" is a geographic and/or institutional grouping of five cities...

. In 828, the new city's prestige was raised by the acquisition of the claimed relics of St. Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria, which were placed in the new basilica. The patriarchal seat was also moved to Rialto. As the community continued to develop and as Byzantine power waned, it led to the growth of autonomy and eventual independence.

Expansion



From the ninth to the twelfth century Venice developed into a city state (an Italian thalassocracy
Thalassocracy
The term thalassocracy refers to a state with primarily maritime realms—an empire at sea, such as Athens or the Phoenician network of merchant cities...

 or Repubblica Marinara
Repubbliche Marinare
The maritime republics were a number of city-states which flourished in Italy in the Middle Ages. The best known are the Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa and Venice. These states competed with each other both militarily and commercially...

, the other three being Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

, Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

, and Amalfi
Amalfi
Amalfi is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno, c. 35 km southeast of Naples. It lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Monte Cerreto , surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery...

). Its strategic position at the head of the Adriatic made Venetian naval and commercial power almost invulnerable. With the elimination of pirates along the Dalmatian coast
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

, the city became a flourishing trade center between Western Europe and the rest of the world (especially the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 and the Islamic world).
In the 12th century the foundations of Venice's power were laid: the Venetian Arsenal
Venetian Arsenal
The Venetian Arsenal was a complex of state-owned shipyards and armories clustered together in Venice in northern Italy. It was responsible for the bulk of Venice's naval power during the middle part of the second millennium AD...

 was under construction in 1104; the last autocratic doge, Vital II Michele, died in 1172.

The Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 seized a number of places on the eastern shores of the Adriatic before 1200, mostly for commercial reasons, because pirates based there were a menace to trade. The Doge already carried the titles of Duke of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 and Duke of Istria
Istria
Istria , formerly Histria , is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner...

. Later mainland possessions, which extended across Lake Garda
Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. It is located in Northern Italy, about half-way between Brescia and Verona, and between Venice and Milan. Glaciers formed this alpine region at the end of the last ice age...

 as far west as the Adda River
Adda River
The Adda is a river in North Italy, a tributary of the Po. It rises in the Alps near the border with Switzerland and flows through Lake Como. The Adda joins the Po a few kilometres upstream of Cremona. It is 313 kilometres long...

, were known as the "Terraferma", and were acquired partly as a buffer against belligerent neighbours, partly to guarantee Alpine
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

 trade routes, and partly to ensure the supply of mainland wheat, on which the city depended. In building its maritime commercial empire, the Republic dominated the trade in salt, acquired control of most of the islands in the Aegean
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

, including Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 and Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

, and became a major power-broker in the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

. By the standards of the time, Venice's stewardship of its mainland territories was relatively enlightened and the citizens of such towns as Bergamo
Bergamo
Bergamo is a town and comune in Lombardy, Italy, about 40 km northeast of Milan. The comune is home to over 120,000 inhabitants. It is served by the Orio al Serio Airport, which also serves the Province of Bergamo, and to a lesser extent the metropolitan area of Milan...

, Brescia
Brescia
Brescia is a city and comune in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy. It is situated at the foot of the Alps, between the Mella and the Naviglio, with a population of around 197,000. It is the second largest city in Lombardy, after the capital, Milan...

 and Verona rallied to the defence of Venetian sovereignty when it was threatened by invaders.

Venice remained closely associated with Constantinople, being twice granted trading privileges in the Eastern Roman Empire, through the so called Golden Bull
Golden Bull
A Golden Bull or chrysobull was a golden ornament representing a seal , attached to a decree issued by Byzantine Emperors and later by monarchs in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The term was originally coined for the golden seal itself but came to be applied to the entire decree...

s or 'chrysobulls' in return for aiding the Eastern Empire to resist Norman and Turkish incursions. In the first chrysobull Venice acknowledged its homage to the Empire but not in the second, reflecting the decline of Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

 and the rise of Venice's power.

Venice became an imperial power following the Venetian-financed Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
The Fourth Crusade was originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, in April 1204, the Crusaders of Western Europe invaded and conquered the Christian city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire...

, which in 1204 seized and sacked Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 and established the Latin Empire
Latin Empire
The Latin Empire or Latin Empire of Constantinople is the name given by historians to the feudal Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire. It was established after the capture of Constantinople in 1204 and lasted until 1261...

. As a result of this conquest considerable Byzantine plunder was brought back to Venice. This plunder included the gilt bronze horses
Horses of Saint Mark
The Triumphal Quadriga or Horses of St Mark's is a set of bronze statues of four horses, originally part of a monument depicting a quadriga , which have been set into the facade of St Mark's Basilica in Venice, northern Italy, since the 13th century.-Origins:The sculptures date from late classical...

 from the Hippodrome of Constantinople
Hippodrome of Constantinople
The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydanı in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with only a few fragments of the original structure surviving...

, which were originally placed above the entrance to St Mark's cathedral in Venice, although the originals have been replaced with replicas and the originals are now stored within the basilica. Following the fall of Constantinople the former Roman Empire was partitioned among the Latin crusaders and the Venetians. Venice subsequently carved out a sphere of influence in the Mediterranean known as the Duchy of the Archipelago
Duchy of the Archipelago
The Duchy of the Archipelago or also Duchy of Naxos or Duchy of the Aegean was a maritime state created by Venetian interests in the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea, in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, centered on the islands of Naxos and Paros.-Background and establishment of the...

, and seized Crete.

The seizure of Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 would ultimately prove as decisive a factor in ending the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 as the loss of the Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

n themes
Theme (Byzantine administrative unit)
The themes or themata were the main administrative divisions of the middle Byzantine Empire. They were established in the mid-seventh century in the aftermath of the Muslim conquests of Byzantine territory and replaced the earlier provincial system established by emperors Diocletian and...

 after Manzikert
Battle of Manzikert
The Battle of Manzikert , was fought between the Byzantine Empire and Seljuq Turks led by Alp Arslan on August 26, 1071 near Manzikert...

. Though the Byzantines recovered control of the ravaged city a half century later, the Byzantine Empire was terminally weakened, and existed as a ghost of its old self until Sultan Mehmet The Conqueror took the city in 1453.


Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Venice always traded with the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 and the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

 extensively. By the late thirteenth century, Venice was the most prosperous city in all of Europe. At the peak of its power and wealth, it had 36,000 sailors operating 3,300 ships, dominating Mediterranean commerce. During this time, Venice's leading families vied with each other to build the grandest palaces and support the work of the greatest and most talented artists. The city was governed by the Great Council, which was made up of members of the noble families of Venice. The Great Council appointed all public officials and elected a Senate of 200 to 300 individuals. Since this group was too large for efficient administration, a Council of Ten (also called the Ducal Council or the Signoria), controlled much of the administration of the city. One member of the great council was elected "Doge", or duke, the ceremonial head of the city, who normally held the title until his death.

The Venetian governmental structure was similar in some ways to the republican system of ancient Rome, with an elected chief executive (the Doge), a senate-like assembly of nobles, and a mass of citizens with limited political power, who originally had the power to grant or withhold their approval of each newly elected Doge. Church and various private properties were tied to military service, though there was no knight tenure within the city itself. The Cavalieri di San Marco was the only order of chivalry
Chivalry
Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour...

 ever instituted in Venice, and no citizen could accept or join a foreign order without the government's consent. Venice remained a republic throughout its independent period and politics and the military were kept separate, except when on occasion the Doge personally headed the military. War was regarded as a continuation of commerce by other means (hence, the city's early production of large numbers of mercenaries for service elsewhere, and later its reliance on foreign mercenaries when the ruling class was preoccupied with commerce).
The chief executive was the Doge, who theoretically held his elective office for life. In practice, several Doges were forced by pressure from their oligarchical
Oligarchy
Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy...

 peers to resign the office and retire into monastic
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 seclusion when they were felt to have been discredited by perceived political failure.

Though the people of Venice generally remained orthodox Roman Catholics, the state of Venice was notable for its freedom from religious fanaticism and it enacted not a single execution for religious heresy during the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

. This apparent lack of zeal contributed to Venice's frequent conflicts with the Papacy. In this context, the writings of the Anglican Divine, William Bedell, are particularly illuminating. Venice was threatened with the interdict
Interdict (Roman Catholic Church)
In Roman Catholic canon law, an interdict is an ecclesiastical censure that excludes from certain rites of the Church individuals or groups, who nonetheless do not cease to be members of the Church.-Distinctions in canon law:...

 on a number of occasions and twice suffered its imposition. The second, most famous, occasion in 1606, by order of Pope Paul V
Pope Paul V
-Theology:Paul met with Galileo Galilei in 1616 after Cardinal Bellarmine had, on his orders, warned Galileo not to hold or defend the heliocentric ideas of Copernicus. Whether there was also an order not to teach those ideas in any way has been a matter for controversy...

.

Venetian ambassadors sent home still-extant secret reports of the politics and rumours of European courts, providing fascinating information to modern historians.

The newly invented German printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 spread rapidly throughout Europe in the fifteenth century, and Venice was quick to adopt it. By 1482 Venice was the printing capital of the world, and the leading printer was Aldus Manutius
Aldus Manutius
Aldus Pius Manutius , the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes...

, who invented the concept of paperback books that could be carried in a saddlebag. His Aldine Editions included translations of nearly all the known Greek manuscripts of the era.

Decline


Venice's long decline started in the 15th century, when it first made an unsuccessful attempt to hold Thessalonica against the Ottomans (1423–1430). It also sent ships to help defend Constantinople against the besieging Turks (1453). After Constantinople fell to Sultan Mehmet II he declared war on Venice. The war lasted thirty years and cost Venice much of her eastern Mediterranean possessions. Next, Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. Then Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 found a sea route to India, destroying Venice’s land route monopoly. France, England and Holland followed them. Venice’s oared galleys were at a disadvantage when it came to traversing the great oceans, and therefore Venice was left behind in the race for colonies.

The Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 devastated Venice in 1348 and once again between 1575 and 1577. In three years the plague killed some 50,000 people. In 1630, the plague killed a third of Venice's 150,000 citizens. Venice began to lose its position as a center of international trade
History of international trade
The history of international trade chronicles notable events that have affected the trade between various countries.In the era before the rise of the nation state, the term 'international' trade cannot be literally applied, but simply means trade over long distances; the sort of movement in goods...

 during the later part of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 as Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 became Europe's principal intermediary in the trade with the East, striking at the very foundation of Venice's great wealth, while France and Spain fought for hegemony
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

 over Italy in the Italian Wars
Italian Wars
The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Italian Wars or the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, most of the city-states of Italy, the Papal States, most of the major states of Western...

, marginalising its political influence. However, the Venetian empire was a major exporter of agricultural products and, until the mid-18th century, a significant manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 center.

Military and naval affairs



By 1303, crossbow
Crossbow
A crossbow is a weapon consisting of a bow mounted on a stock that shoots projectiles, often called bolts or quarrels. The medieval crossbow was called by many names, most of which derived from the word ballista, a torsion engine resembling a crossbow in appearance.Historically, crossbows played a...

 practice had become compulsory in the city, with citizens training in groups. As weapons became more expensive and complex to operate, professional soldiers were assigned to help work merchant sailing ships and as rowers in galleys. The company of "Noble Bowmen" was recruited in the later 14th century from among the younger aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

 and served aboard both war-galleys and as armed merchantmen, with the privilege of sharing the captain's cabin.

Though Venice was famous for its navy, its army was equally effective. In the 13th century, most Italian city states already were hiring mercenaries
Mercenary
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

, but Venetian troops were still recruited from the lagoon, plus feudal levies from Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 (the very famous Schiavoni or Oltremarini) and Istria. In times of emergency, all males between seventeen and sixty years were registered and their weapons were surveyed, with those called to actually fight being organized into companies of twelve. The register of 1338 estimated that 30,000 Venetian men were capable of bearing arms; many of these were skilled crossbowmen. As in other Italian cities, aristocrats and other wealthy men were cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

men while the city's conscripts fought as infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

.

By 1450, more than 3,000 Venetian merchant ships were in operation. Most of these could be converted when necessary into either warships or transports. The government required each merchant ship to carry a specified number of weapons (mostly crossbows and javelins
Pilum
The pilum was a javelin commonly used by the Roman army in ancient times. It was generally about two metres long overall, consisting of an iron shank about 7 mm in diameter and 60 cm long with pyramidal head...

) and armour
Armour
Armour or armor is protective covering used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual or a vehicle through use of direct contact weapons or projectiles, usually during combat, or from damage caused by a potentially dangerous environment or action...

; merchant passengers were also expected to be armed and to fight when necessary. A reserve of some 25 (later 100) war-galleys was maintained in the Arsenal. Galley slaves
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 did not exist in medieval Venice, the oarsmen coming from the city itself or from its possessions, especially Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

. Those from the city were chosen by lot from each parish, their families being supported by the remainder of the parish while the rowers were away. Debt
Debt
A debt is an obligation owed by one party to a second party, the creditor; usually this refers to assets granted by the creditor to the debtor, but the term can also be used metaphorically to cover moral obligations and other interactions not based on economic value.A debt is created when a...

ors generally worked off their obligations rowing the galleys. Rowing skills were encouraged through races and regatta
Regatta
A regatta is a series of boat races. The term typically describes racing events of rowed or sailed water craft, although some powerboat race series are also called regattas...

s.

Early in the 15th century, as new mainland territories were expanded, the first standing army was organized, consisting of condottieri
Condottieri
thumb|Depiction of [[Farinata degli Uberti]] by [[Andrea del Castagno]], showing a 15th century condottiero's typical attire.Condottieri were the mercenary soldier leaders of the professional, military free companies contracted by the Italian city-states and the Papacy, from the late Middle Ages...

on contract. In its alliance with Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 in 1426, Venice agreed to supply 8,000 cavalry and 3,000 infantry in time of war, and 3,000 and 1,000 in peacetime. Later in that century, uniforms were adopted that featured red-and-white stripes, and a system of honors and pensions developed. Throughout the 15th century, Venetian land forces were almost always on the offensive and were regarded as the most effective in Italy, largely because of the tradition of all classes carrying arms in defense of the city and official encouragement of general military training.

The command structure in the army was different from that of the fleet. By ancient law, no nobleman could command more than twenty-five men (to prevent the possibility of sedition
Sedition
In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent to lawful authority. Sedition may include any...

 by private armies), and while the position of Captain General was introduced in the mid-14th century, he still had to answer to a civilian panel of twenty Savi or "wise men". Not only was efficiency not degraded, this policy saved Venice from the military takeovers that other Italian city states so often experienced. A civilian commissioner (not unlike a commissar
Commissar
Commissar is the English transliteration of an official title used in Russia from the time of Peter the Great.The title was used during the Provisional Government for regional heads of administration, but it is mostly associated with a number of Cheka and military functions in Bolshevik and Soviet...

) accompanied each army to keep an eye on things, especially the mercenaries. The Venetian military tradition also was notably cautious; they were more interested in achieving success with a minimum expense of lives and money than in the pursuit of glory.

Modern age



After 1100 years, the Republic lost independence when Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Venice on 12 May 1797 during the First Coalition
First Coalition
The War of the First Coalition was the first major effort of multiple European monarchies to contain Revolutionary France. France declared war on the Habsburg monarchy of Austria on 20 April 1792, and the Kingdom of Prussia joined the Austrian side a few weeks later.These powers initiated a series...

. The French conqueror brought to an end the most fascinating century of its history: during the 18th century Venice became perhaps the most elegant and refined city in Europe, greatly influencing art, architecture and literature. Napoleon was seen as something of a liberator by the city's Jewish population, although it can be argued they had lived with fewer restrictions in Venice. He removed the gates of the Ghetto
Venetian Ghetto
The Venetian Ghetto was the area of Venice in which Jews were compelled to live under the Venetian Republic. It is from its name in Italian , that the English word "ghetto" is derived: in the Venetian language it was named "ghèto".-Etymology:...

 and ended the restrictions on when and where Jews could live and travel in the city.

Venice became Austrian territory when Napoleon signed the Treaty of Campo Formio
Treaty of Campo Formio
The Treaty of Campo Formio was signed on 18 October 1797 by Napoleon Bonaparte and Count Philipp von Cobenzl as representatives of revolutionary France and the Austrian monarchy...

 on 12 October 1797. The Austrians took control of the city on 18 January 1798. It was taken from Austria by the Treaty of Pressburg in 1805 and became part of Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state founded in Northern Italy by Napoleon, fully influenced by revolutionary France, that ended with his defeat and fall.-Constitutional statutes:...

, but was returned to Austria following Napoleon's defeat in 1814, when it became part of the Austrian-held Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. In 1848–1849 a revolt briefly reestablished the Venetian Republic under Daniele Manin
Daniele Manin
Daniele Manin was an Italian patriot and statesman from Venice. He is a hero of Italian unification .-Early life:...

. In 1866, following the Third Italian War of Independence
Third Italian War of Independence
The Third Italian War of Independence was a conflict which paralleled the Austro-Prussian War, and was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austrian Empire.-Background:...

, Venice, along with the rest of the Veneto, became part of the newly created Kingdom of Italy.

During the Second World War, the historic city was largely free from attack, the only aggressive effort of note being Operation Bowler
Operation Bowler
Operation Bowler was an air attack on Venice harbour by Allied aircraft on 21 March 1945, as part of the Italian campaign of the Second World War...

, a precision strike on the German naval operations there in 1945. However the industrial areas in Mestre and Marghera and the railway lines to Padua, Trieste and Trento were repeatedly bombed
Oil Campaign chronology of World War II
The Oil Campaign chronology of World War II lists bombing missions and related events regarding the petroleum/oil/lubrication facilities that supplied Nazi Germany.-Legend:...

. On 29 April 1945 New Zealand troops under Freyberg reached Venice and relieved the city and the mainland, which were already in partisan
Italian resistance movement
The Italian resistance is the umbrella term for the various partisan forces formed by pro-Allied Italians during World War II...

 hands.

Subsidence



Foundations


The buildings of Venice are constructed on closely spaced wooden piles
Deep foundation
A deep foundation is a type of foundation distinguished from shallow foundations by the depth they are embedded into the ground. There are many reasons a geotechnical engineer would recommend a deep foundation over a shallow foundation, but some of the common reasons are very large design loads, a...

. Most of these piles are still intact after centuries of submersion. The foundations rest on the piles, and buildings of brick or stone
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

 sit above these footings. The piles penetrate a softer layer of sand
Sand
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal...

 and mud
Mud
Mud is a mixture of water and some combination of soil, silt, and clay. Ancient mud deposits harden over geological time to form sedimentary rock such as shale or mudstone . When geological deposits of mud are formed in estuaries the resultant layers are termed bay muds...

 until they reach a much harder layer of compressed clay
Clay
Clay is a general term including many combinations of one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure.- Formation :Clay minerals...

.

Submerged by water, in oxygen-poor conditions, wood does not decay
Decomposition
Decomposition is the process by which organic material is broken down into simpler forms of matter. The process is essential for recycling the finite matter that occupies physical space in the biome. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death...

 as rapidly as on the surface. It is petrified as a result of the constant flow of mineral-rich water around and through it, so that it becomes a stone-like structure.

Most of these piles were made from trunks of alder
Alder
Alder is the common name of a genus of flowering plants belonging to the birch family . The genus comprises about 30 species of monoecious trees and shrubs, few reaching large size, distributed throughout the North Temperate Zone and in the Americas along the Andes southwards to...

 trees, a wood noted for its water resistance. The alder came from the western-most part of today's Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 (resulting in the barren land of the Kras
Kras
Karst ; also known as the Karst Plateau, is a limestone borderline plateau region extending in southwestern Slovenia and northeastern Italy. It lies between the Vipava Valley, the low hills surrounding the valley, the westernmost part of the Brkini Hills, northern Istria, and the Gulf of Trieste...

 region), in two regions of Croatia, Lika
Lika
Lika is a mountainous region in central Croatia, roughly bound by the Velebit mountain from the southwest and the Plješevica mountain from the northeast. On the north-west end Lika is bounded by Ogulin-Plaški basin, and on the south-east by the Malovan pass...

 and Gorski kotar
Gorski kotar
Gorski kotar is the mountainous region in Croatia between Karlovac and Rijeka. Together with Lika and the Ogulin-Plaški valley it forms Mountainous Croatia. Because 63% of its surface is forested it is popularly called the green lungs of Croatia or Croatian Switzerland...

 (resulting in the barren slopes of Velebit
Velebit
Velebit is the largest though not the highest mountain range in Croatia. Its highest peak is the Vaganski vrh at 1757 m.The range forms a part of the Dinaric Alps and is located along the Adriatic coast, separating it from Lika in the interior...

) and south of Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

. Leonid Grigoriev has stated that Russian larch
Larch
Larches are conifers in the genus Larix, in the family Pinaceae. Growing from 15 to 50m tall, they are native to much of the cooler temperate northern hemisphere, on lowlands in the north and high on mountains further south...

 was imported to build some of Venice's foundations. Larch is also used in the production of Venice turpentine.

History


The city is often threatened by flood tide
Tide
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth....

s pushing in from the Adriatic
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 between autumn and early spring. Six hundred years ago, Venetians protected themselves from land-based attacks by diverting all the major rivers flowing into the lagoon and thus preventing sediment from filling the area around the city. This created an ever-deeper lagoon environment.

In 1604, to defray the cost of flood relief Venice introduced what could be considered the first example of a 'stamp tax'. When the revenue fell short of expectations in 1608, Venice introduced paper with the superscription 'AQ' and imprinted instructions, which was to be used for 'letters to officials'. At first, this was to be a temporary tax, but it remained in effect until the fall of the Republic in 1797. Shortly after the introduction of the tax, Spain produced similar paper for general taxation purposes, and the practice spread to other countries.

During the 20th century, when many artesian wells
Artesian aquifer
An artesian aquifer is a confined aquifer containing groundwater under positive pressure. This causes the water level in a well to rise to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached. This type of well is called an artesian well...

 were sunk into the periphery of the lagoon to draw water for local industry, Venice began to subside
Subsidence
Subsidence is the motion of a surface as it shifts downward relative to a datum such as sea-level. The opposite of subsidence is uplift, which results in an increase in elevation...

. It was realised that extraction of water from the aquifer
Aquifer
An aquifer is a wet underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well. The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called hydrogeology...

 was the cause. The sinking has slowed markedly since artesian wells were banned in the 1960s. However, the city is still threatened by more frequent low-level floods (called Acqua alta, "high water") that creep to a height of several centimetres over its quays, regularly following certain tides. In many old houses the former staircases used to unload goods are now flooded, rendering the former ground floor uninhabitable.

Some recent studies have suggested that the city is no longer sinking, but this is not yet certain; therefore, a state of alert has not been revoked. In May 2003 the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

 inaugurated the MOSE project
MOSE Project
The MOSE Project is a project intended to protect the city of Venice, Italy from floods...

 (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico), an experimental model for evaluating the performance of inflatable gates; the idea is to lay a series of 79 inflatable pontoons
Pontoon (boat)
A pontoon is a flotation device with buoyancy sufficient to float itself as well as a heavy load. A pontoon boat is a flattish boat that relies on pontoons to float. Pontoons may be used on boats, rafts, barges, docks, floatplanes or seaplanes. Pontoons may support a platform, creating a raft. A...

 across the sea bed at the three entrances to the lagoon. When tides are predicted to rise above 110 centimetres, the pontoons will be filled with air and block the incoming water from the Adriatic Sea. This engineering work is due to be completed by 2011.

Geography


The city is divided into six areas or "sestiere
Sestiere
A sestiere is a subdivision of certain Italian towns and cities. The word is from sesto, or sixth; and is thus used only for towns divided into six districts. The best-known example are the sestieri of Venice, but Ascoli Piceno, Genoa, Milan and Rapallo, for example, were also divided into sestieri...

". These are Cannaregio
Cannaregio
Cannaregio is the northernmost of the six historic sestieri of Venice. It is the second largest sestiere by land area and the largest by population, with 13,169 people as of 2007....

, San Polo
San Polo
San Polo is the smallest of the six sestieri of Venice, northern Italy, covering 86 acres along the Grand Canal. It is one of the oldest parts of the city, having been settled before the ninth century, when it and San Marco formed part of the Realtine Islands...

, Dorsoduro
Dorsoduro
Dorsoduro is one of the six sestieri of Venice, northern Italy.Dorsoduro includes the highest land areas of the city and also Giudecca island and Isola Sacca Fisola...

 (including the Giudecca
Giudecca
Giudecca is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It is part of the sestiere of Dorsoduro. It is a locality of the comune of Venice.-Geography:...

 and Isola Sacca Fisola), Santa Croce
Santa Croce
Santa Croce is one of the six sestieri of Venice, northern Italy.-Geography:It occupies the north west part of the main islands, and can be divided into two areas: the eastern area being largely mediaeval, and the western - including the main port and the Tronchetto - mostly lying on land reclaimed...

, San Marco (including San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the islands of Venice, northern Italy, lying east of the Giudecca and south of the main island group. The isle is surrounded by Canale della Grazia, Canale della Giudecca, Saint Mark Basin, Canale di San Marco and the southern lagoon...

) and Castello
Castello, Venice
Castello is the largest of the six sestieri of Venice, Italy. The district grew up from the thirteenth century around a naval dockyard on what was originally the Isole Gemini, although there had been small settlements of the islands of San Pietro di Castello , also called Isola d'Olivolo, since at...

 (including San Pietro di Castello and Sant'Elena
Sant'Elena
Sant'Elena is an island of Venice. It lies at the eastern tip of the main island group and forms part of sestiere of Castello. The original island was separated by an arm of the Venetian Lagoon from Venice itself, and was centred on the Church of Sant'Elena and its monastery, originally built in...

). Each sestiere was administered by a procurator and his staff.

These districts consist of parishes – initially seventy in 1033, but reduced under Napoleon and now numbering just thirty-eight. These parishes predate the sestieri, which were created in about 1170.

Other islands of the Venetian Lagoon
Venetian Lagoon
The Venetian Lagoon is the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated. Its name in the Venetian language, Laguna Veneta— cognate of Latin lacus, "lake"— has provided the international name for an enclosed, shallow embayment of saltwater, a lagoon.The Venetian Lagoon...

 do not form part of any of the sestieri, having historically enjoyed a considerable degree of autonomy.

Each sestiere has its own house numbering
House numbering
House numbering is the system of giving a unique number to each building in a street or area, with the intention of making it easier to locate a particular building. The house number is often part of a postal address....

 system. Each house has a unique number in the district, from one to several thousand, generally numbered from one corner of the area to another, but not usually in a readily understandable manner.

At the front of the Gondola
Gondola
The gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian Lagoon. For centuries gondolas were the chief means of transportation and most common watercraft within Venice. In modern times the iconic boats still have a role in public transport in...

s that work in the city there is a large piece of metal intended as a likeness of the Doge's hat. On this sit six notches pointing forwards and one pointing backwards. Each of these represent one of the Sestieri (the one that points backward represents the Giudecca
Giudecca
Giudecca is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It is part of the sestiere of Dorsoduro. It is a locality of the comune of Venice.-Geography:...

).

Climate


According to the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

, Venice has a Humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 (Cfa), with cool winters and very warm summers. The 24-hour average in January is 2.5 °C (36.5 °F), and for July this figure is 22.7 °C (72.9 °F). Precipitation is spread relatively evenly throughout the year, and averages 801 millimetres (31.5 in).

Economy


Venice's economy
Economic history of Venice
Venice, situated at the far end of the Adriatic Sea, gained large scale profit of the adjacent middle european markets. So did the fact that the town belonged to the Byzantine Empire. Along with increasing autonomy it gained far reaching privileges in both Empires...

 has changed throughout history. In the Middle-Ages and the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, Venice was a major centre for commerce and trade, as it controlled a vast sea-empire, and became an extremely wealthy European city, a leader in political and economic affairs and a centre for trade and commerce. This all changed by the 17th century, when Venice's trade empire was taken over by other countries such as Portugal, and its naval importance was reduced. In the 18th century, then, it became a major agricultural and industrial exporter. The 18th century's biggest industrial complex was the Venice Arsenal, and the Italian Army still uses it today (even though some space has been used for major theatrical and cultural productions, and beautiful spaces for art). Today, Venice's economy is mainly based on tourism, shipbuilding (mainly done in the neighbouring cities of Mestre
Mestre
Mestre is a city part of the comune of Venice, in Veneto, northern Italy.The city is connected to Venice by a large rail and road bridge, called Ponte della Libertà ....

 and Porto Marghera), services, trade and industrial exports. Murano glass
Murano glass
Murano glass is a famous product of the Venetian island of Murano. Located off the shore of Venice, Italy, Murano has been a commercial port as far back as the 7th century. By the 10th century, the city had become well known for its glassmakers, who created unique Murano glass...

 production in Murano
Murano
Murano is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It lies about 1.5 km north of Venice and measures about across with a population of just over 5,000 . It is famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking...

 and lace production in Burano
Burano
Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy; like Venice itself, it could more correctly be called an archipelago of four islands linked by bridges...

 are also highly important to the economy.

Tourism



Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world, due to the city's being one of the world's greatest and most beautiful cities of art. The city has an average of 50,000 tourists a day (2007 estimate). In 2006, it was the world's 28th most internationally visited city, with 2.927 million international arrivals that year.

Tourism has been a major sector of Venetian industry since the 18th century, when it was a major center for the Grand Tour
Grand Tour
The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary. It served as an educational rite of passage...

, due to its beautiful cityscape, uniqueness, and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage. In the 19th century, it became a fashionable centre for the rich and famous, often staying or dining at luxury establishments such as the Danieli Hotel and the Caffè Florian
Caffè Florian
Caffè Florian is a coffee house situated in the Procuratie Nuove of Piazza San Marco, Venice. It was established in 1720, and is a contender for the title of the oldest coffee house in continuous operation ....

. It continued being a fashionable city in vogue right into the early 20th century. In the 1980s, the

Carnival of Venice
Carnival of Venice
The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival starts 40 days before easter and ends on Shrove Tuesday , the day before Ash Wednesday.-History:...

 was revived and the city has become a major centre of international conferences and festivals, such as the prestigious Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale
The Venice Biennale is a major contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years in Venice, Italy. The Venice Film Festival is part of it. So too is the Venice Biennale of Architecture, which is held in even years...

 and the Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi in 1932 as the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica", the festival has since taken place every year in late August or early September on the island of the...

, which attract visitors from all over the world for their theatrical, cultural, cinematic, artistic, and musical productions

Today, there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark's Basilica
St Mark's Basilica
The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, northern Italy. It is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture...

, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco , is the principal public square of Venice, Italy, where it is generally known just as "the Piazza". All other urban spaces in the city are called "campi"...

, to name a few. The Lido di Venezia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics, celebrities, and mainly people in the cinematic industry. The city also relies heavily on the cruise business.

However, Venice's popularity as a major worldwide tourist destination has caused several problems, including the fact that the city can be very overcrowded at some points of the year. It is regarded by some as a tourist trap, and by others as a 'living museum'. The cruise ship
Cruise ship
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way...

s that use the Giudecca Canal send a large wake toward the city, that slowly causes the city to sink. Unlike most other places in Western Europe, and the world, Venice has become widely known for its element of elegant decay
Elegant Decay
Elegant Decay is the distinct cultural/historical concept that some places, and structures, become gradually more elegant, notable or beautiful as they decay, or fall into ruin, due to their historical, architectural and/or cultural significance...

. The competition for foreigners to buy homes in Venice has made prices rise so highly that numerous inhabitants are forced to move to more affordable areas of Veneto
Veneto
Veneto is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about 5 million, ranking 5th in Italy.Veneto had been for more than a millennium an independent state, the Republic of Venice, until it was eventually annexed by Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule...

 and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, the most notable being Mestre
Mestre
Mestre is a city part of the comune of Venice, in Veneto, northern Italy.The city is connected to Venice by a large rail and road bridge, called Ponte della Libertà ....

.

Transport



Venice is built on an archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of 117 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon, connected by 409 bridges. In the old centre, the canals serve the function of roads, and almost every form of transport is on water or on foot. In the 19th century a causeway to the mainland brought the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station
Venezia Santa Lucia railway station
Venezia Santa Lucia railway station is a terminal station serving the comune of Venice, Italy. It is also the only railway station in the historic city of Venice ....

 to Venice, and the Ponte della Libertà
Ponte della Libertà
Ponte della Libertà is a road bridge connecting the city of Venice to Mestre, on the mainland of Italy.Designed in 1932 by engineer Eugenio Miozzi, and opened by Benito Mussolini in 1933 as Ponte Littorio, the bridge is the only access for road vehicles to the capital city of Veneto...

 road causeway and parking facilities were built during in the twentieth century. Beyond the road/rail land entrances at the northern edge of the city, transportation within the city remains (as it was in centuries past) entirely on water or on foot. Venice is Europe's largest urban car-free area. Venice is unique in Europe, in having remained a sizable functioning city in the twenty-first century entirely without motorcars or trucks.

Waterways


The classical Venetian boat is the gondola
Gondola
The gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian Lagoon. For centuries gondolas were the chief means of transportation and most common watercraft within Venice. In modern times the iconic boats still have a role in public transport in...

, although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies. Many gondolas are lushly appointed with crushed velvet seats and Persian rugs. Less well-known is the smaller sandolo
Sandolo
The sandolo is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat designed for the generally shallow waters of the Venetian Lagoon. The plural is sandoli.A sandolo is of a much simpler build than a gondola, but has a pointed, decorated metal nose...

. The main transportation means are motorised waterbuses (vaporetti
Vaporetto
Vaporetto is a waterbus operation. It has a set of 19 scheduled lines that serves locales within Venice, Italy, and travels between Venice and nearby islands, e.g., Murano and Lido. The natives used to call the Vaporetto Batèo...

), which ply regular routes along the major canals and between the city's islands, and private boats. The only gondolas still in common use by Venetians are the traghetti, foot passenger ferries
Ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

 crossing the Grand Canal
Grand Canal of Venice
The Grand Canal is a canal in Venice, Italy. It forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city...

 at certain points without bridges.

Public transport


Azienda Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano (ACTV) is the name of the public transport system in Venice. It combines land transportation, with buses, and canal travel, with water buses (vaporetti). In total, there are 25 routes that connect the city.

The Venice People Mover (managed by ASM) is a cable
Cable railway
A cable railway is a steeply graded railway that uses a cable or rope to haul trains.-Introduction:...

 operated public transit system connecting Tronchetto island with Piazzale Roma. Water taxis are also active.

Airports


Venice is served by the Marco Polo International Airport
Marco Polo International Airport
Venice Marco Polo Airport is an airport located on the Italian mainland north of Venice, Italy, in Tessera, a frazione of the comune of Venice nearest to Mestre...

, or Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

, named in honor of its famous citizen. The airport is on the mainland and was rebuilt away from the coast. Airport is connected by land to Venice main island (Piazzale Roma, the bus terminal) by the ACTV lines (for example line 5 aerobus) and by sea to Venice, Murano and Lido by Alilaguna lines.

Some airlines market Treviso Airport
Treviso Airport
-Ground transportation:*A public urban bus service, operated by ACTT, connects the airport with the railway station in the centre of Treviso*A bus services connecting with flights for Transavia and Ryanair, operated by BARZI BUS SERVICE in 40 minutes by highway...

 in Treviso
Treviso
Treviso is a city and comune in Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Treviso and the municipality has 82,854 inhabitants : some 3,000 live within the Venetian walls or in the historical and monumental center, some 80,000 live in the urban center proper, while the city...

, 30 km from Venice, as a Venice gateway. Some simply advertise flights to "Venice", while naming the actual airport only in small print. To reach Venice from Treviso airport people can catch a public bus from the company ATVO.

Venezia Lido, a public airport suitable for smaller aircraft, is found on the NE end of Lido di Venezia. It has a 1000-metre grass runway.

Trains


Venice is serviced by regional and national trains, which can connect the city to Rome in 3.5 hours and to Milan in 2.5 hours. Treviso is thirty-five minutes away. Florence and Padua are two of the stops between Rome and Venice. The St. Lucia station
Venezia Santa Lucia railway station
Venezia Santa Lucia railway station is a terminal station serving the comune of Venice, Italy. It is also the only railway station in the historic city of Venice ....

 is a few steps away from a vaporetti stop.

The station is the terminus and starting point of the Venice Simplon Orient Express from or to London Victoria and Paris.

Car


The maritime portion of Venice has no roads as such, being composed almost entirely of narrow footpaths, and laid out across islands connected by staired stone footbridges, making transportation impossible by almost anything with wheels. Cars can reach the car/bus terminal via the Ponte della Libertà
Ponte della Libertà
Ponte della Libertà is a road bridge connecting the city of Venice to Mestre, on the mainland of Italy.Designed in 1932 by engineer Eugenio Miozzi, and opened by Benito Mussolini in 1933 as Ponte Littorio, the bridge is the only access for road vehicles to the capital city of Veneto...

 bridge. It comes in from the West from Mestre
Mestre
Mestre is a city part of the comune of Venice, in Veneto, northern Italy.The city is connected to Venice by a large rail and road bridge, called Ponte della Libertà ....

. There are two parking lots that serve the city: Tronchetto and Piazzale Roma. A ferry to Lido leaves from the parking lot in Tronchetto, and it is served by vaporetti and buses of the public transportation.

Administrative subdivision


The whole comune (municipality) di Venezia is divided into 6 municipalità (boroughs):
1) Venezia (historic city)-Murano
Murano
Murano is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It lies about 1.5 km north of Venice and measures about across with a population of just over 5,000 . It is famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking...

-Burano
Burano
Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy; like Venice itself, it could more correctly be called an archipelago of four islands linked by bridges...

 (Venezia insulare): 69.136

2) Lido-Pellestrina
Pellestrina
Pellestrina is an island in northern Italy, forming a barrier between the southern Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, lying south west of the Lido....

 (Venezia litorale): 21.664


Mainland (terraferma):
3) Favaro Veneto
Favaro Veneto
Favaro Veneto is a city part of the comune of Venice, in Veneto, northern Italy. The city is centre for the Favaro Veneto Municipality which covers the habitants of Ca' Noghera, Ca' Solaro, Campalto, Dese and Tessera. The entire Municipality has 23.753 inhabitants ....

: 23.615

4) Mestre
Mestre
Mestre is a city part of the comune of Venice, in Veneto, northern Italy.The city is connected to Venice by a large rail and road bridge, called Ponte della Libertà ....

-Carpenedo (Mestre centro): 88.952

5) Chirignago-Zelarino: 38.179

6) Marghera
Marghera
Marghera is a frazione of the comune of Venice, Italy. It includes the industrial area known as Porto Marghera or Venezia Porto Marghera....

: 28.466


A Royal Decree, in 1926, annexed mainland to the comune of Venezia.

Demographics


In 2009, there were 270,098 people residing in Venice's comune (the population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; around 60,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland); and 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon), of whom 47.4% were male and 52.6% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 14.36 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 25.7 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Venice residents is 46 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Venice declined by 0.2 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85 percent. But the population in the historic old city declines at a significantly faster rate: from about 120,000 in 1980 to about 60,000 in 2009.

As of 2009, 91% of the population was Italian. The largest immigrant group comes from other European nations (Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

, the largest group: 3%, South Asia: 1.3%, and East Asia: 0.9%). Venice is predominantly Roman Catholic, but because of the long standing relationship with Constantinople there is also a perceptible Orthodox presence, and due to immigration it now has some Muslim, Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 and Buddhist inhabitants.

There is also a historic Jewish Community in Venice. The Venetian Ghetto
Venetian Ghetto
The Venetian Ghetto was the area of Venice in which Jews were compelled to live under the Venetian Republic. It is from its name in Italian , that the English word "ghetto" is derived: in the Venetian language it was named "ghèto".-Etymology:...

 was the area in which Jews were compelled to live under the Venetian Republic. It is from its name, in the Venetian language
Venetian language
Venetian or Venetan is a Romance language spoken as a native language by over two million people, mostly in the Veneto region of Italy, where of five million inhabitants almost all can understand it. It is sometimes spoken and often well understood outside Veneto, in Trentino, Friuli, Venezia...

, that the word "ghetto
Ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

", used in many languages, is derived. William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

's play The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice is a tragic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic...

, probably written in the late 16th century, features Shylock, a Venetian Jew and his family. Venice also has an eruv
Eruv
An Eruv is a ritual enclosure around most Orthodox Jewish and Conservative Jewish homes or communities. In such communities, an Eruv is seen to enable the carrying of objects out of doors on the Jewish Sabbath that would otherwise be forbidden by Torah law...

, built for and still used by the Jewish community.

Municipal administration

Composition of the City Council
Party Members
PD
Democratic Party (Italy)
The Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in Italy, that is the second-largest in the country. The party is led by Pier Luigi Bersani, who was elected in the 2009 leadership election....

17
PDL
The People of Freedom
The People of Freedom is a centre-right political party in Italy. With the Democratic Party, it is one of the two major parties of the current Italian party system....

10
Left
Communist Refoundation Party
The Communist Refoundation Party is a communist Italian political party. Its current secretary is Paolo Ferrero....

 and Greens
Federation of the Greens
The Federation of the Greens is a green political party in Italy, which includes also a large eco-socialist faction. Since 2009 the party leader is Angelo Bonelli.-Early years:...

5
LN 4


  • Name of the Mayor: Giorgio Orsoni
    Giorgio Orsoni
    Giorgio Orsoni is an Italian lawyer, politician, and the current mayor of Venice.-Biography:Orsoni is a lawyer by profession, and since 1972 has been Professor of administrative law at the University Ca 'Foscari of Venice...

  • Date of election: 30 March 2010
  • Party: Democratic Party
    Democratic Party (Italy)
    The Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in Italy, that is the second-largest in the country. The party is led by Pier Luigi Bersani, who was elected in the 2009 leadership election....



Venice's City Council is composed by 45 members.

Of six boroughs into which Venice is divided, five are governed by centre-left coalition and one by centre-right coalition.

The current mayor of Venice, Giorgio Orsoni
Giorgio Orsoni
Giorgio Orsoni is an Italian lawyer, politician, and the current mayor of Venice.-Biography:Orsoni is a lawyer by profession, and since 1972 has been Professor of administrative law at the University Ca 'Foscari of Venice...

, has been elected in March 2010. He has been also Assessore since 2000 to 2005 and councilior of the Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale
The Venice Biennale is a major contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years in Venice, Italy. The Venice Film Festival is part of it. So too is the Venice Biennale of Architecture, which is held in even years...

 since 2000 to 2003.

Culture



Cinema and Venice in popular culture and media



Venice has been the setting or chosen location of numerous films, novels, poems and other cultural references. The city was a particularly popular setting for several novels, essays, and other works of fictional or non-fictional literature. Examples of these include Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and Othello
Othello
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565...

, Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Benjamin Jonson was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, which are considered his best, and his lyric poems...

's Volpone
Volpone
Volpone is a comedy by Ben Jonson first produced in 1606, drawing on elements of city comedy, black comedy and beast fable...

, Voltaire
Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet , better known by the pen name Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, free trade and separation of church and state...

's Candide
Candide
Candide, ou l'Optimisme is a French satire first published in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. The novella has been widely translated, with English versions titled Candide: or, All for the Best ; Candide: or, The Optimist ; and Candide: or, Optimism...

, Casanova's autobiographical History of My Life, Anne Rice
Anne Rice
Anne Rice is a best-selling Southern American author of metaphysical gothic fiction, Christian literature and erotica from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history...

's Cry to Heaven
Cry to Heaven
Cry to Heaven is a standalone historical novel by Anne Rice, first published in 1982. Taking place in Italy during the eighteenth century, it follows the paths of two unlikely collaborators: a Venetian noble and a maestro from Calabria, both trying to succeed in the world of the opera.-Plot...

, and Philippe Sollers
Philippe Sollers
Philippe Sollers is a French writer and critic. In 1960 he founded the avant garde journal Tel Quel , published by Seuil, which ran until 1982...

' Watteau in Venice
Watteau in Venice
Watteau in Venice is a novel by French author Philippe Sollers published in 1991 by Editions Gallimard, and translated by Alberto Manguel, published in 1994 by Charles Scribner's Sons. This novel is a meditation on Venice and on the ebb and flow of our new global culture, its seductive games,...

. Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...

's 1912 novella, Death in Venice
Death in Venice
The novella Death in Venice was written by the German author Thomas Mann, and was first published in 1913 as Der Tod in Venedig. The plot of the work presents a great writer suffering writer's block who visits Venice and is liberated and uplifted, then increasingly obsessed, by the sight of a...

,
has served as the basis for an opera (Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice
Death in Venice (opera)
Death in Venice is an opera in two acts by Benjamin Britten, his last. The opera is based on the novella Death in Venice by Thomas Mann. Myfanwy Piper wrote the English libretto. It was first performed at Snape Maltings near Aldeburgh, England on 16 June 1973.The astringent score is marked by some...

), a film (Visconti's
Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti di Modrone, Count of Lonate Pozzolo was an Italian theatre, opera and cinema director, as well as a screenwriter. He is best known for his films The Leopard and Death in Venice .-Life:...

 Death in Venice
Death in Venice (film)
Death in Venice is a 1971 film directed by Luchino Visconti and starring Dirk Bogarde and Björn Andrésen. The film is based on the novella Death in Venice by Thomas Mann.-Plot:...

) and a cocktail (Death in Venice). The city has also been a setting for numerous other films such as the James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 series From Russia with Love
From Russia with Love (film)
From Russia with Love is the second in the James Bond spy film series, and the second to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Released in 1963, the film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and directed by Terence Young. It is based on the 1957 novel of the...

, Moonraker
Moonraker (film)
Moonraker is the eleventh spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The third and final film in the series to be directed by Lewis Gilbert, it co-stars Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Corinne Clery, and Richard Kiel...

, The Tourist, Casino Royale
Casino Royale (2006 film)
Casino Royale is the twenty-first film in the James Bond film series and the first to star Daniel Craig as fictional MI6 agent James Bond...

, Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

 in Summertime, Fellini's Casanova
Fellini's Casanova
Fellini's Casanova is a 1976 Italian film by director Federico Fellini, adapted from the autobiography of Giacomo Casanova, the 18th century adventurer and writer....

, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas. It is the third film in the Indiana Jones franchise. Harrison Ford reprises the title role and Sean Connery plays Indiana's father, Henry...

, A Little Romance
A Little Romance
A Little Romance is a 1979 romantic comedy film, starring Laurence Olivier and Diane Lane in her film debut. It was directed by George Roy Hill. The screenplay is written by Allan Burns and George Roy Hill, based on a novel by Patrick Cauvin...

, The Italian Job
The Italian Job
The Italian Job is a 1969 British caper film, written by Troy Kennedy Martin, produced by Michael Deeley and directed by Peter Collinson. Subsequent television showings and releases on video have established it as an institution in the United Kingdom....

, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is a 2001 adventure thriller film adapted from the Tomb Raider video game series. Directed by Simon West and starring Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, it was released in U.S. theaters on June 15, 2001. The film was a commercial success...

, and The Talented Mr. Ripley
The Talented Mr. Ripley (film)
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a 1999 American psychological thriller written for the screen and directed by Anthony Minghella. It is an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith 1955 novel of the same name, which was previously filmed as Plein Soleil .The film stars Matt Damon as Tom Ripley, Gwyneth...

. The city has also been the setting for music videos such as Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Dear Prudence" and Madonna
Madonna (entertainer)
Madonna is an American singer-songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983...

's Like a Virgin (song)
Like a Virgin (song)
"Like a Virgin" is a song by American singer Madonna from her second album of the same name. It was released on November 6, 1984 by Sire Records, as the first single from the album. The song appears on the greatest hits compilation albums The Immaculate Collection and Celebration...

, as well as in the video game Assassin's Creed II
Assassin's Creed II
Assassin's Creed II is a historical third-person action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It is the second video game installment of the Assassin's Creed series, and is a sequel to the 2007 video...

.

Architecture





Venice has a rich and diverse architectural style, the most famous of which is the Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 style. Venetian Gothic architecture
Venetian Gothic architecture
Venetian Gothic is a term given to an architectural style combining use of the Gothic lancet arch with Byzantine and Moorish architecture influences. The style originated in 14th century Venice with the confluence of Byzantine styles from Constantinople, Arab influences from Moorish Spain and early...

 is a term given to a Venetian building style combining use of the Gothic lancet arch with Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 and Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 influences. The style originated in 14th-century Venice, where the confluence of Byzantine style from Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 met Arab influence from Moorish Spain. Chief examples of the style are the Doge's Palace and the Ca' d'Oro
Ca' d'Oro
Ca' d'Oro is a palace on the Grand Canal in Venice, northern Italy. One of the older palazzi, it has always been known as Ca' d'Oro due to the gilt and polychrome external decorations which once adorned its walls.The Palazzo was built between 1428 and 1430 for the Contarini family, who provided...

 in the city. The city also has several Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 buildings, including the Ca' Pesaro
Ca' Pesaro
The Ca' Pesaro is a baroque marble palace facing the Grand Canal of Venice.Originally designed by Baldassarre Longhena in mid-17th century, the construction was completed by Gian Antonio Gaspari in 1710...

 and the Ca' Rezzonico
Ca' Rezzonico
Ca' Rezzonico is a palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice. Today it is a public museum dedicated to 18th century Venice. - Design :Ca' Rezzonico stands on the right bank of the canal, at the point where it is joined by the Rio di San Barnaba. The site was previously occupied by two houses...

.

Music and the performing arts


The city of Venice in Italy has played an important role in the development of the music of Italy
Music of Italy
The music of Italy ranges across a broad spectrum of opera and instrumental classical music and a body of popular music drawn from both native and imported sources. Music has traditionally been one of the cultural markers of Italian national and ethnic identity and holds an important position in...

. The Venetian state – i.e., the medieval Maritime Republic of Venice – was often popularly called the "Republic of Music", and an anonymous Frenchman of the 17th century is said to have remarked that "In every home, someone is playing a musical instrument or singing. There is music everywhere."

During the 16th century, Venice became one of the most important musical centers of Europe, marked by a characteristic style of composition (the Venetian school) and the development of the Venetian polychoral style
Venetian polychoral style
The Venetian polychoral style was a type of music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras which involved spatially separate choirs singing in alternation...

 under composers such as Adrian Willaert
Adrian Willaert
Adrian Willaert was a Flemish composer of the Renaissance and founder of the Venetian School. He was one of the most representative members of the generation of northern composers who moved to Italy and transplanted the polyphonic Franco-Flemish style there....

, who worked at St Mark's Basilica. Venice was the early center of music printing; Ottaviano Petrucci
Ottaviano Petrucci
Ottaviano Petrucci was an Italian printer. His Harmonice Musices Odhecaton, a collection of chansons printed in 1501, is commonly misidentified as the first book of sheet music printed from movable type. Actually that distinction belongs to the Roman printer Ulrich Han's Missale Romanum of 1476...

 began publishing music almost as soon as this technology was available, and his publishing enterprise helped to attract composers from all over Europe, especially from France and Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

. By the end of the century, Venice was famous for the splendor of its music, as exemplified in the "colossal style" of Andrea
Andrea Gabrieli
Andrea Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist of the late Renaissance. The uncle of the somewhat more famous Giovanni Gabrieli, he was the first internationally renowned member of the Venetian School of composers, and was extremely influential in spreading the Venetian style in Italy as...

 and Giovanni Gabrieli
Giovanni Gabrieli
Giovanni Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist. He was one of the most influential musicians of his time, and represents the culmination of the style of the Venetian School, at the time of the shift from Renaissance to Baroque idioms.-Biography:Gabrieli was born in Venice...

, which used multiple choruses and instrumental groups. Venice was also the home of many famous composers during the baroque period
Baroque music
Baroque music describes a style of Western Classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1760. This era follows the Renaissance and was followed in turn by the Classical era...

, such as Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi , nicknamed because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe...

, Ippolito Ciera
Ippolito Ciera
Ippolito Ciera was an Italian composer of the Renaissance, active at Treviso and Venice.Little is yet known about his life, for neither his biography nor his works have yet been the subject of a scholarly study. He was a Dominican friar and sang at Treviso Cathedral: the earliest documentary...

, Giovanni Picchi
Giovanni Picchi
Giovanni Picchi was an Italian composer, organist, lutenist, and harpsichordist of the early Baroque era. He was a late follower of the Venetian School, and was influential in the development and differentiation of instrumental forms which were just beginning to appear, such as the sonata and the...

, and Girolamo Dalla Casa
Girolamo Dalla Casa
Girolamo Dalla Casa was an Italian composer, instrumentalist, and writer of the late Renaissance. He was a member of the Venetian School, and was perhaps more famous and influential as a performer than as a composer....

, to name but a few.

Interior design


It can be argued that Venice produced the most unique and refined Rococo designs. At the time, Venice was in a state of trouble. It had lost most of its maritime power, was lagging behind its rivals in political importance, and society had become decadent, with nobles wasting their money in gambling and partying. But Venice remained Italy's fashion capital, and was a serious contender to Paris in terms of wealth, architecture, luxury, taste, sophistication, trade, decoration, style, and design. Venetian Rococo was well known for being rich and luxurious, with usually very extravagant designs. Unique Venetian furniture, such as the divani da portego, or long Rococo couches and pozzetti, objects meant to be placed against the wall. Venetian bedrooms were usually sumptuous and grand, with rich damask, velvet, and silk drapery and curtains, a beautifully carved Rococo beds with statues of putti, flowers and angels. Venice was especially famous for its beautiful girandole mirrors, which remained among, if not the, finest in Europe. Chandeliers were usually very colourful, using Murano glass
Murano glass
Murano glass is a famous product of the Venetian island of Murano. Located off the shore of Venice, Italy, Murano has been a commercial port as far back as the 7th century. By the 10th century, the city had become well known for its glassmakers, who created unique Murano glass...

 to make them look more vibrant and stand out from others, and precious stones and materials from abroad were used, since Venice still held a vast trade empire. Lacquer was very common, and many items of furniture were covered with it, the most famous being lacca povera (poor lacuqer), in which allegories and images of social life were painted. Lacquerwork and Chinoiserie
Chinoiserie
Chinoiserie, a French term, signifying "Chinese-esque", and pronounced ) refers to a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflect Chinese artistic influences...

 were particularly common in bureau cabinets.

Fashion and shopping



In the 14th century, many young Venetian men began wearing tight-fitting multicoloured hose, the designs on which indicated the Compagnie della Calza ("Trouser Club") to which they belonged. The Venetian Senate passed sumptuary law
Sumptuary law
Sumptuary laws are laws that attempt to regulate habits of consumption. Black's Law Dictionary defines them as "Laws made for the purpose of restraining luxury or extravagance, particularly against inordinate expenditures in the matter of apparel, food, furniture, etc." Traditionally, they were...

s, but these merely resulted in changes in fashion in order to circumvent the law. Dull garments were worn over colourful ones, which then were cut to show the hidden colours resulting in the wide spread of men's "slashed" fashions in the 15th century.

Today, Venice is also a major fashion and shopping centre in Italy, not as important as Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, or Rome, but par to Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

, Vicenza
Vicenza
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...

, Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, and Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

. Roberta di Camerino is the only major Italian fashion brand to be based out of Venice. Founded in 1945, it is renowned for its innovative handbags featuring hardware by Venetian artisans and often covered in locally woven velvet, and has been credited with creating the concept of the easily recognisable status bag
It Bag
It Bag is a colloquial term from the fashion industry used in the 1990s and 2000s to describe a brand or type of high-priced designer handbag by makers such as Hermès or Fendi that becomes a popular best-seller.-History:...

. Many of the fashion boutiques and jewelry shops in the city are located in the Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It is the oldest bridge across the canal, and was the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo.- History :...

 and the Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco , is the principal public square of Venice, Italy, where it is generally known just as "the Piazza". All other urban spaces in the city are called "campi"...

. At the current time, there are Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton Malletier – commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton , or shortened to LV – is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The label is well known for its LV monogram, which is featured on most products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes,...

 and Ermenegildo Zegna
Ermenegildo Zegna
Ermenegildo Zegna is a leading Italian fashion house, specialing in men's clothing. Founded in 1910, it is now managed by the fourth generation of the Zegna family and remains in family ownership. As well as producing suits for its own labels, it manufactures suits for labels such as Gucci, Yves...

 flagship stores operating in the city.

Cuisine




Venetian cuisine is characterized by seafood, but also includes garden products from the islands of the lagoon, rice from the mainland, game, and polenta
Polenta
Polenta is a dish made from boiled cornmeal. The word "polenta" is borrowed from Italian.-Description:Polenta is made with ground yellow or white cornmeal , which can be ground coarsely or finely depending on the region and the texture desired.As it is known today, polenta derives from earlier...

. Venice combines local traditions with influences that are distant from millennial business contacts. These include sarde in saor, sardines marinated in order to preserve them for long voyages; risi e bisi, rice, peas and ham; fegato alla veneziana, Venetian-style liver; risotto with cuttlefish, blackened from the ink; cicchetti, refined and delicious tidbits (akin to tapas); antipasti, appetizers; and prosecco, an effervescent, mildly sweet wine.

In addition, Venice is famous for bisàto (marinated eel), for the golden, oval-shaped cookies called baicoli
Baicoli
Baicoli are an Italian biscuit, originating in Venice.Baicoli gain their name because their shape resemble that of sea bass, which in local dialect is called baicoli.These biscuits were created as a ship's biscuit, for long sea voyages by Venetian ships...

, and for different types of sweets such as: pan del pescatore (bread of the fisherman); cookies with almonds and pistachio nuts; cookies with fried Venetian cream or the bussolai (butter biscuits and shortbread
Shortbread
Shortbread is a type of unleavened biscuit which is traditionally made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts oatmeal flour. The use of plain white flour is common today, and other ingredients like ground rice or cornflour are sometimes added to alter the texture...

 made in the shape of an "S" or ring) from the island of Burano; the crostoli also known as the chatter, lies, or galani; the fregolotta (a crumbly cake with almonds); milk pudding called rosada; and cookies of yellow semolina called zaléti.

Language



Venetian
Venetian language
Venetian or Venetan is a Romance language spoken as a native language by over two million people, mostly in the Veneto region of Italy, where of five million inhabitants almost all can understand it. It is sometimes spoken and often well understood outside Veneto, in Trentino, Friuli, Venezia...

 or the regional form Venetan is a Romance language
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

 spoken as a native language by over two million people, mostly in Venice, but also the Veneto
Veneto
Veneto is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about 5 million, ranking 5th in Italy.Veneto had been for more than a millennium an independent state, the Republic of Venice, until it was eventually annexed by Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule...

 region of Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, where of five million inhabitants almost all can understand it. It is sometimes spoken and often well understood outside Veneto, in Trentino, Friuli
Friuli
Friuli is an area of northeastern Italy with its own particular cultural and historical identity. It comprises the major part of the autonomous region Friuli-Venezia Giulia, i.e. the province of Udine, Pordenone, Gorizia, excluding Trieste...

, Venezia Giulia, Istria
Istria
Istria , formerly Histria , is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner...

, and some towns of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

, an area of six to seven million people. The language enjoyed substantial prestige in the days of the Venetian Republic, when it attained the status of a lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 in the Mediterranean.

Literature



Venice has long been a source of inspiration for authors, poets and playwrights as well as being at the forefront of the technical developing of printing and publishing.

Two of the most famous Venetian writers were Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

 in the Middle Ages and later Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie , is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century...

. Polo (1254–1324) was a merchant who voyaged to the Orient
The Orient
The Orient means "the East." It is a traditional designation for anything that belongs to the Eastern world or the Far East, in relation to Europe. In English it is a metonym that means various parts of Asia.- Derivation :...

. His series of books, co-written by Rustichello da Pisa
Rustichello da Pisa
Rustichello da Pisa, also known as Rusticiano and Rustigielo , was an Italian romance writer best known for cowriting Marco Polo's autobiography while they were in prison together in Genoa. A native Pisan, he may have been captured by the Genoese at the Battle of Meloria in 1284, amid a conflict...

, titled Il Milione
The Travels of Marco Polo
Books of the Marvels of the World or Description of the World , also nicknamed Il Milione or Oriente Poliano and commonly called The Travels of Marco Polo, is a 13th-century travelogue written down by Rustichello da Pisa from stories told by Marco Polo, describing the...

provided important knowledge of the lands east of Europe, from the Middle East, to China, Japan and Russia. Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie , is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century...

 (1725–1798) was a prolific writer and famous adventurer best remembered for his autobiography, Histoire De Ma Vie (Story of My Life), which links his colourful lifestyle to the city of Venice.

Venetian playwrights followed the old Italian theatre tradition of Commedia dell'Arte
Commedia dell'arte
Commedia dell'arte is a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century, and was responsible for the advent of the actress and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. The closest translation of the name is "comedy of craft"; it is shortened...

. Ruzante
Angelo Beolco
Angelo Beolco , better known by the nickname Il Ruzzante or el Ruzante, was a Venetian actor and playwright.He is known by his rustic comedies in the Venetian language of Padua, featuring a peasant called "Ruzzante"...

 (1502–1542) and Carlo Goldoni
Carlo Goldoni
Carlo Osvaldo Goldoni was an Italian playwright and librettist from the Republic of Venice. His works include some of Italy's most famous and best-loved plays. Audiences have admired the plays of Goldoni for their ingenious mix of wit and honesty...

 (1707–1793) used the Venetian dialect extensively in their comedies.
Venice has also inspired writers from abroad. Shakespeare set Othello
Othello
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565...

 and The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice is a tragic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic...

 in the city. Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...

 authored the novel Death in Venice
Death in Venice
The novella Death in Venice was written by the German author Thomas Mann, and was first published in 1913 as Der Tod in Venedig. The plot of the work presents a great writer suffering writer's block who visits Venice and is liberated and uplifted, then increasingly obsessed, by the sight of a...

, published in 1912. Venice inspired the poetry of Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was an American expatriate poet and critic and a major figure in the early modernist movement in poetry...

, who wrote his first literary work in the city. Pound died in 1972 and his remains are buried in Venice's cemetery island of San Michele
Isola di San Michele
San Michele is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy.Originally a prison island, Napoleon's occupying forces decreed that Venetians could not bury their deceased on any of the main Venetians islands, but only on San Michele...

. The French writer Philippe Sollers
Philippe Sollers
Philippe Sollers is a French writer and critic. In 1960 he founded the avant garde journal Tel Quel , published by Seuil, which ran until 1982...

 spent most of his life in Venice and published A Dictionary For Lovers Of Venice in 2004. Ugo Foscolo
Ugo Foscolo
Ugo Foscolo , born Niccolò Foscolo, was an Italian writer, revolutionary and poet.-Biography:Foscolo was born on the Ionian island of Zakynthos...

 (1778–1827) born in Zante
Zakynthos
Zakynthos , also Zante, the other form often used in English and in Italian , is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. It is also a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. It covers an area of ...

, an island that at the time belonged to the Republic of Venice, was also a famous poet and revolutionary
Revolutionary
A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

 who wanted to see a free republic established in Venice following the fall to Napoleon. The city features prominently in Henry James' The Wings of the Dove
The Wings of the Dove
The Wings of the Dove is a 1902 novel by Henry James. This novel tells the story of Milly Theale, an American heiress stricken with a serious disease, and her impact on the people around her...

 and is also visited in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited
Brideshead Revisited
Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder is a novel by English writer Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1945. Waugh wrote that the novel "deals with what is theologically termed 'the operation of Grace', that is to say, the unmerited and unilateral act of love by...

 and Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time
In Search of Lost Time
In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past is a novel in seven volumes by Marcel Proust. His most prominent work, it is popularly known for its considerable length and the notion of involuntary memory, the most famous example being the "episode of the madeleine." The novel is widely...

.

Venice is also linked to the technical aspects of writing. The city was the location for one of Italy's earliest printing presses, established by Aldus Manutius
Aldus Manutius
Aldus Pius Manutius , the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes...

 (1449–1515). From this beginning Venice developed as an important typographic center and even as late as the 18th century was responsible for printing half of Italy's published books.

Art and printing



Venice, especially during the Middle-Ages, Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

, was a major centre of art and developed a unique style known as the Venetian School
Venetian school (art)
-Context:In the 15th century Venetian painting developed through influences from the Paduan School and Antonello da Messina, who introduced the oil painting technique of Early Netherlandish painting. It is typified by a warm colour scale and a picturesque use of colour...

. In the Middle-Ages and the Renaissance, Venice, along with Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 and Rome, became one of the most important centres of art in Europe, and numerous wealthy Venetians became patrons of the arts. Venice at the time was a rich and prosperous Maritime Republic, which controlled a vast sea and trade empire.

By the end of the 15th century, Venice had become the European capital of printing, being one of the first cities in Italy (after Subiaco and Rome) to have a printing press after those established in Germany, having 417 printers by 1500. The most important printing office was the Aldine Press
Aldine Press
Aldine Press was the printing office started by Aldus Manutius in 1494 in Venice, from which were issued the celebrated Aldine editions of the classics . The Aldine Press is famous in the history of typography, among other things, for the introduction of italics...

 of Aldus Manutius
Aldus Manutius
Aldus Pius Manutius , the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes...

, which in 1499 printed the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili , called in English Poliphilo's Strife of Love in a Dream, is a romance said to be by Francesco Colonna and a famous example of early printing...

, considered the most beautiful book of Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, and established modern punctuation
Punctuation
Punctuation marks are symbols that indicate the structure and organization of written language, as well as intonation and pauses to be observed when reading aloud.In written English, punctuation is vital to disambiguate the meaning of sentences...

, the page format and italic type
Italic type
In typography, italic type is a cursive typeface based on a stylized form of calligraphic handwriting. Owing to the influence from calligraphy, such typefaces often slant slightly to the right. Different glyph shapes from roman type are also usually used—another influence from calligraphy...

, and the first printed work of Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

.

In the sixteenth century Venetian painting was developed through influences from the Paduan School and Antonello da Messina
Antonello da Messina
Antonello da Messina, properly Antonello di Giovanni di Antonio was an Italian painter from Messina, Sicily, active during the Italian Renaissance...

, who introduced the oil painting technique of the van Eyck brothers. It is signified by a warm colour scale and a picturesque use of colour. Early masters where the Bellini and Vivarini families, followed by Giorgione
Giorgione
Giorgione was a Venetian painter of the High Renaissance in Venice, whose career was cut off by his death at a little over thirty. Giorgione is known for the elusive poetic quality of his work, though only about six surviving paintings are acknowledged for certain to be his work...

 and Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

, then Tintoretto
Tintoretto
Tintoretto , real name Jacopo Comin, was a Venetian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso...

 and Veronese
Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi...

. In the early 16th century, also, there was rivalry between whether Venetian painting should use disegno or colorito.

Canvas
Canvas
Canvas is an extremely heavy-duty plain-woven fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, backpacks, and other items for which sturdiness is required. It is also popularly used by artists as a painting surface, typically stretched across a wooden frame...

es (the common painting surface) originated in Venice during the early renaissance. These early canvases were generally rough.

In the eighteenth century Venetian painting had a renaissance because of Tiepolo
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo , also known as Gianbattista or Giambattista Tiepolo, was an Italian painter and printmaker from the Republic of Venice...

's decorative painting and Canaletto
Canaletto
Giovanni Antonio Canal better known as Canaletto , was a Venetian painter famous for his landscapes, or vedute, of Venice. He was also an important printmaker in etching.- Early career :...

's and Guardi's panoramic views.

Glass



Venice is famous for its ornate glass-work, known as Venetian glass
Venetian glass
Venetian glass is a type of glass object made in Venice, Italy, primarily on the island of Murano. It is world-renowned for being colourful, elaborate, and skillfully made....

. It is world-renowned for being colourful, elaborate, and skilfully made.

Many of the important characteristics of these objects had been developed by the thirteenth century. Toward the end of that century, the center of the Venetian glass industry moved to Murano
Murano
Murano is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It lies about 1.5 km north of Venice and measures about across with a population of just over 5,000 . It is famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking...

.

Byzantine craftsmen played an important role in the development of Venetian glass, an art form for which the city is well-known. When Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 was sacked by the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
The Fourth Crusade was originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, in April 1204, the Crusaders of Western Europe invaded and conquered the Christian city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire...

 in 1204, some fleeing artisans came to Venice. This happened again when the Ottomans took Constantinople in 1453, supplying Venice with still more glassworkers. By the sixteenth century, Venetian artisans had gained even greater control over the color and transparency of their glass, and had mastered a variety of decorative techniques.
Despite efforts to keep Venetian glassmaking techniques within Venice, they became known elsewhere, and Venetian-style glassware was produced in other Italian cities and other countries of Europe.

Some of the most important brands of glass in the world today are still produced in the historical glass factories on Murano. They are: Venini
Venini
Venini were a British guitar band formed in late 1998. They were formed by guitarist and violinist Russell Senior after his departure from Pulp, and also featured Debbie Lime , Nick Eastwood , Rob Barton , as well as help from Danny Hunt . Charlie Collins of Clock DVA was a part time member on...

, Barovier & Toso, Pauly
Pauly & C. - Compagnia Venezia Murano
Pauly & C. - Compagnia Venezia Murano is a Venetian company that produces glass art, most notably Roman murrine, mosaics and chandeliers.The company was formed in 1919 by a merger of Pauly & C and the Compagnia di Venezia e Murano...

, Millevetri, Seguso. Barovier & Toso is considered one of the 100 oldest companies in the world, formed in 1295.

One of the most renowned types of Venetian glass
Venetian glass
Venetian glass is a type of glass object made in Venice, Italy, primarily on the island of Murano. It is world-renowned for being colourful, elaborate, and skillfully made....

es are made in Murano
Murano
Murano is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It lies about 1.5 km north of Venice and measures about across with a population of just over 5,000 . It is famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking...

, known as Murano glass
Murano glass
Murano glass is a famous product of the Venetian island of Murano. Located off the shore of Venice, Italy, Murano has been a commercial port as far back as the 7th century. By the 10th century, the city had become well known for its glassmakers, who created unique Murano glass...

, which has been a famous product of the Venetian island of Murano for centuries. Located off the shore of Venice, Italy, Murano was a commercial port as far back as the 7th century. By the 10th century it had become a well-known city of trade. Today Murano remains a destination for tourists and art and jewellery lovers alike.

Festivals



The Carnival of Venice
Carnival of Venice
The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival starts 40 days before easter and ends on Shrove Tuesday , the day before Ash Wednesday.-History:...

 is held annually in the city, starting around two weeks before Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter...

 and ends on Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday is a term used in English-speaking countries, especially in Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Germany, and parts of the United States for the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of fasting and prayer called Lent.The...

. The carnival is closely associated with Venetian mask
Venetian mask
Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition of Venice, Italy. The masks are typically worn during the Carnevale , but have been used on many other occasions in the past, usually as a device for hiding the wearer's identity and social status.The mask would permit the wearer to act more freely in...

s.

The Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale
The Venice Biennale is a major contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years in Venice, Italy. The Venice Film Festival is part of it. So too is the Venice Biennale of Architecture, which is held in even years...

 is one of the most important events in the arts calendar. During 1893 headed by the mayor of Venice, Riccardo Selvatico, the Venetian City Council passed a resolution on 19 April to set up an Esposizione biennale artistica nazionale (biennial exhibition of Italian art), to be inaugurated on 22 April 1895. Following the outbreak of hostilities during the Second World War, the activities of the Biennale were interrupted in September 1942, but resumed in 1948.

The Festa del Redentore
Festa del Redentore
The Festa del Redentore is an event held in Venice in July where the fireworks play an important role.. In 2012, it will be the 14th and 15th.The Redentore began as a feast to give thanks for the end of the terrible plague of 1576, which killed 50,000 people, including the great painter Tiziano...

 is held in mid July. It began as a feast to give thanks for the end of the terrible plague of 1576. A bridge of barges is built connecting Giudecca to the rest of Venice, and fireworks play an important role.

The Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi in 1932 as the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica", the festival has since taken place every year in late August or early September on the island of the...

  is the oldest film festival in the world. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata in 1932 as the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica", the festival has since taken place every year in late August or early September on the island of the Lido, Venice, Italy. Screenings take place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi. It is one of the world's most prestigious film festivals and is part of the Venice Biennale.

Foreign words of Venetian origin


Words with a Venetian etymology include arsenal, ciao, ghetto, gondola, imbroglio, lagoon, lazaret, lido, Montenegro, quarantine, regatta.
The name of Venezuela is a Spanish diminutive of Venice. Many other places around the world are named after Venice, e.g. Venice Beach.

Notable people


For people from Venice, see People from Venice.
Others closely associated with the city include:
  • Enrico Dandolo
    Enrico Dandolo
    Enrico Dandolo — anglicised as Henry Dandolo and Latinized as Henricus Dandulus — was the 41st Doge of Venice from 1195 until his death...

     (c. 1107, 1205), Doge of Venice
    Doge of Venice
    The Doge of Venice , often mistranslated Duke was the chief magistrate and leader of the Most Serene Republic of Venice for over a thousand years. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. Commonly the person selected as Doge was the shrewdest elder in the city...

     from 1192 to his death. He played a direct role in the Sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade
    Fourth Crusade
    The Fourth Crusade was originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, in April 1204, the Crusaders of Western Europe invaded and conquered the Christian city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire...

    .
  • Marco Polo
    Marco Polo
    Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

     (15 September 1254 – 8 January 1324), trader and explorer
    Exploration
    Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

    , one of the first Westerners to travel the Silk Road
    Silk Road
    The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

     to China. While a prisoner in Genoa, he dictated in the tale of his travels known as Il Milione (The Travels of Marco Polo
    The Travels of Marco Polo
    Books of the Marvels of the World or Description of the World , also nicknamed Il Milione or Oriente Poliano and commonly called The Travels of Marco Polo, is a 13th-century travelogue written down by Rustichello da Pisa from stories told by Marco Polo, describing the...

    ).
  • Giovanni Bellini
    Giovanni Bellini
    Giovanni Bellini was an Italian Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the Bellini family of Venetian painters. His father was Jacopo Bellini, his brother was Gentile Bellini, and his brother-in-law was Andrea Mantegna. He is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it...

     (c. 1430–1516), a Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the Bellini family of painters.
  • Aldus Manutius
    Aldus Manutius
    Aldus Pius Manutius , the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes...

     (1449–1515), one of the most important printers in history.
  • Pietro Bembo
    Pietro Bembo
    Pietro Bembo was an Italian scholar, poet, literary theorist, and cardinal. He was an influential figure in the development of the Italian language, specifically Tuscan, as a literary medium, and his writings assisted in the 16th-century revival of interest in the works of Petrarch...

     (20 May 1470 – 18 January 1547), cardinal and scholar.
  • Lorenzo Lotto
    Lorenzo Lotto
    Lorenzo Lotto was a Northern Italian painter draughtsman and illustrator, traditionally placed in the Venetian school. He painted mainly altarpieces, religious subjects and portraits...

     (c.1480 – Loreto, 1556), painter, draughtsman, and illustrator, traditionally placed in the Venetian school
    Venetian school (art)
    -Context:In the 15th century Venetian painting developed through influences from the Paduan School and Antonello da Messina, who introduced the oil painting technique of Early Netherlandish painting. It is typified by a warm colour scale and a picturesque use of colour...

    .
  • Sebastian Cabot
    Sebastian Cabot (explorer)
    Sebastian Cabot was an explorer, born in the Venetian Republic.-Origins:...

     (c. 1484–1557, or soon after), explorer.
  • Pellegrino Ernetti
    Pellegrino Ernetti
    Father Marcello Pellegrino Ernetti was an Italian Roman Catholic Benedictine priest and is the most famous exorcist who worked in the Venice area.- Early life :...

    , Catholic priest and exorcist
  • Titian
    Titian
    Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

     (c. 1488–90 – 27 August 1576), leader of the 16th century Venetian school of the Italian Renaissance
    Italian Renaissance
    The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

     (he was born in Pieve di Cadore
    Cadore
    Cadore is a "comunità montana" in the Italian region of Veneto, in the northernmost part of the province of Belluno bordering on Austria, the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. It is watered by the Piave River poured forth from the Carnic Alps...

    ).
  • Sebastiano Venier
    Sebastiano Venier
    Sebastiano Venier was Doge of Venice from June 11, 1577 to March 3, 1578.-Biography:Venier was born in Venice around 1496. He was a son of Moisè Venier and Elena Donà, and a nephew of Zuan Francesco Venier, Co-Lord of Cerigo. He was a paternal grandson of Moisé Venier...

    , (c. 1496 – 3 March 1578), Doge of Venice
    Doge of Venice
    The Doge of Venice , often mistranslated Duke was the chief magistrate and leader of the Most Serene Republic of Venice for over a thousand years. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. Commonly the person selected as Doge was the shrewdest elder in the city...

     from 11 June 1577 to 1578.
  • Andrea Gabrieli
    Andrea Gabrieli
    Andrea Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist of the late Renaissance. The uncle of the somewhat more famous Giovanni Gabrieli, he was the first internationally renowned member of the Venetian School of composers, and was extremely influential in spreading the Venetian style in Italy as...

     (c.1510–1586), Italian composer and organist at St Mark's Basilica
  • Tintoretto
    Tintoretto
    Tintoretto , real name Jacopo Comin, was a Venetian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso...

     (1518 – 31 May 1594), probably the last great painter of Italian Renaissance.
  • Veronica Franco
    Veronica Franco
    Veronica Franco was an Italian poet and courtesan in 16th century Venice.- Life as a courtesan :Renaissance Venetian society recognized two different classes of courtesans: the cortigiana onesta, the intellectual courtesan, and the cortigiana di lume, lower-class prostitutes who tended to live and...

     (1546–1591), poet and courtesan during the Renaissance
  • Giovanni Gabrieli
    Giovanni Gabrieli
    Giovanni Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist. He was one of the most influential musicians of his time, and represents the culmination of the style of the Venetian School, at the time of the shift from Renaissance to Baroque idioms.-Biography:Gabrieli was born in Venice...

     (between 1554 and 1557–1612), composer and organist at St Mark's Basilica
  • Claudio Monteverdi
    Claudio Monteverdi
    Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi – 29 November 1643) was an Italian composer, gambist, and singer.Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the transition from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two individual styles of composition – the...

     (1567–1643), composer and director of music at San Marco
    San Marco
    San Marco is one of the six sestieri of Venice, lying in the heart of the city. San Marco also includes the island of San Giorgio Maggiore...

  • Leon Modena (1571–1648) preacher, author, poet, active in the Venetian ghetto and beyond
  • Marco Antonio Bragadin
    Marco Antonio Bragadin
    Marco Antonio Bragadin, also Marcantonio Bragadin was an Italian lawyer and military officer of the Republic of Venice....

     (d.1571), general, flayed alive by the Turks
    Ottoman Empire
    The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

     after a fierce resistance during the siege of Famagusta
    Famagusta
    Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...

  • Baldassare Longhena (1598 – 18 February 1682), one of the greatest exponents of Baroque architecture.
  • Francesco Cavalli
    Francesco Cavalli
    Francesco Cavalli was an Italian composer of the early Baroque period. His real name was Pietro Francesco Caletti-Bruni, but he is better known by that of Cavalli, the name of his patron Federico Cavalli, a Venetian nobleman.-Life:Cavalli was born at Crema, Lombardy...

     (14 February 1602 – 14 January 1676), a baroque
    Baroque music
    Baroque music describes a style of Western Classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1760. This era follows the Renaissance and was followed in turn by the Classical era...

     composer
  • Pietro Cesare Alberti
    Pietro Cesare Alberti
    Pietro Cesare Alberti was a Venetian immigrant to Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, commonly regarded as the first Italian American.-Background:...

     (1608–1655), considered the first Italian-American, arriving in New Amsterdam in 1635.
  • Tomaso Albinoni
    Tomaso Albinoni
    Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni was an Italian Baroque composer. While famous in his day as an opera composer, he is mainly remembered today for his instrumental music, such as the concertos, some of which are regularly recorded.-Biography:Born in Venice, Republic of Venice, to Antonio Albinoni, a...

     (8 June 1671 – 17 January 1751), a baroque
    Baroque music
    Baroque music describes a style of Western Classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1760. This era follows the Renaissance and was followed in turn by the Classical era...

     composer
  • Rosalba Carriera
    Rosalba Carriera
    Rosalba Carriera was a Venetian Rococo painter. In her younger years, she specialized in portrait miniatures...

     (7 October 1675 – 15 April 1757), known for her pastel works.
  • Antonio Vivaldi
    Antonio Vivaldi
    Antonio Lucio Vivaldi , nicknamed because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe...

     (4 March 1678, 28 July (or 27), 1741, Vienna
    Vienna
    Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

    ), famous composer and violinist of the Baroque Era
  • Pietro Guarneri
    Pietro Guarneri
    Pietro Guarneri was an Italian luthier. Sometimes referred to as Pietro da Venezia, he was the son of Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Guarneri, filius Andreae, and the last of the Guarneri house of violin-makers...

     (14 April 1695 – 7 April 1762) left Cremona in 1718, settled in Venice. "Peter of Venice" from the family of great luthiers.
  • Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
    Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
    Giovanni Battista Tiepolo , also known as Gianbattista or Giambattista Tiepolo, was an Italian painter and printmaker from the Republic of Venice...

     (5 March 1696 – 27 March 1770), the last "Grand Manner" fresco painter from the Venetian Republic.
  • Canaletto
    Canaletto
    Giovanni Antonio Canal better known as Canaletto , was a Venetian painter famous for his landscapes, or vedute, of Venice. He was also an important printmaker in etching.- Early career :...

     (28 October 1697 – 19 April 1768), famous for his landscapes or vedute
    Veduta
    A veduta is a highly detailed, usually large-scale painting of a cityscape or some other vista....

    of Venice, but not only.
  • Carlo Goldoni
    Carlo Goldoni
    Carlo Osvaldo Goldoni was an Italian playwright and librettist from the Republic of Venice. His works include some of Italy's most famous and best-loved plays. Audiences have admired the plays of Goldoni for their ingenious mix of wit and honesty...

     (25 February 1707 – 6 February 1793). Along with Pirandello, Goldoni is probably the most famous name in Italian theatre, in his country and abroad.
  • Carlo Gozzi
    Carlo Gozzi
    Carlo, Count Gozzi was an Italian playwright.Born in Venice, he came from an old Venetian family from the Republic of Ragusa...

     (13 December 1720 – 4 April 1806), an excellent dramatist of 18th century.
  • Giacomo Casanova
    Giacomo Casanova
    Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie , is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century...

     (1725–1798), in Dux
    Duchcov
    Duchcov is a town in the Teplice District in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic. It has a population exceeding 9,000 and is located at the foot of the Ore Mountains....

    , Bohemia
    Bohemia
    Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

    , (now Duchcov
    Duchcov
    Duchcov is a town in the Teplice District in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic. It has a population exceeding 9,000 and is located at the foot of the Ore Mountains....

    , Czech Republic), a famous Venetian adventurer, writer and womanizer.
  • Lorenzo Da Ponte
    Lorenzo Da Ponte
    Lorenzo Da Ponte was a Venetian opera librettist and poet. He wrote the librettos for 28 operas by 11 composers, including three of Mozart's greatest operas, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte....

     (1749–1838), opera librettist and poet. He wrote the librettos for 28 operas by 11 composers, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

    .
  • Virgilio Ranzato (7 May 1883 – 20 April 1937), Composer.
  • Carlo Scarpa
    Carlo Scarpa
    Carlo Scarpa , was an Italian architect, influenced by the materials, landscape, and the history of Venetian culture, and Japan. Scarpa was also a glass and furniture designer of note....

     (2 June 1906–1978, Sendai, Japan
    Sendai, Miyagi
    is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, and the largest city in the Tōhoku Region. In 2005, the city had a population of one million, and was one of Japan's 19 designated cities...

    ), an architect with a profound understanding of materials.
  • Emilio Vedova
    Emilio Vedova
    Emilio Vedova was an Italian modern painter, considered one of the most important to emerge in his country's artistic scene after World War II.Vedova was born in Venice into a working-class family...

     (9 August 1919 – 25 October 2006), one of the most important modern painters of Italy
  • Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia (5 June 1646 – 26 July 1684), the first woman in the world to receive a doctorate degree.
  • Bruno Maderna
    Bruno Maderna
    Bruno Maderna was an Italian conductor and composer. For the last ten years of his life he lived in Germany and eventually became a citizen of that country.-Biography:...

     (21 April 1920 – 13 November 1973), an Italian-German orchestra director and 20th century music composer.
  • Luigi Nono
    Luigi Nono
    Luigi Nono was an Italian avant-garde composer of classical music and remains one of the most prominent composers of the 20th century.- Early years :Born in Venice, he was a member of a wealthy artistic family, and his grandfather was a notable painter...

     (29 January 1924 – 8 May 1990), a leading composer of instrumental and electronic music.
  • Ludovico de Luigi
    Ludovico de luigi
    Ludovico de Luigi is a contemporary Italian sculptor and painter living in Venice.-Career:De Luigi first exhibition was in 1965 with his one-man show at the Gallery ‘Il Canale’ in Venice which included two large works, views of a decaying and monumental Venice invaded by waves of insects and other...

     (November 1933), Venetian Surrealistic artist.
  • Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Giuseppe Sinopoli
    -Biography:Sinopoli was born in Venice, Italy, and later studied at the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory in Venice under Ernesto Rubin de Cervin and at Darmstadt, including being mentored in composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen...

     (2 November 1946 – 20 April 2001), conductor and composer.
  • Romano Scarpa
    Romano Scarpa
    Romano Scarpa was one of the most famous Italian creators of Disney comics.-Biography:Growing up in Venice he developed a particular love for American cartoons and Disney comics, that, at the time, were published in the big format of the Topolino Giornale which was then printing now classic Floyd...

     (27 September 1927, Venice – 23 April 2005, Málaga), was one of the most famous Italian creators of Disney comics.

International relations


The City of Venice and the Central Association of Cities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) established, in January 2000, in pursuance of the EC Regulations n. 2137/85, the European Economic Interest Grouping (E.E.I.G.) Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

 System to promote and realise European projects within transnational cultural and tourist field, particularly referred to the artistic and architectural heritage preservation and safeguard.

Twin towns – sister cities



Venice is twinned with:
Esfahan, Iran Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, Pakistan, since 1960 Palembang
Palembang
Palembang is the capital city of the South Sumatra province in Indonesia. Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, and has a history of being a capital of a maritime empire. Located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra island, it has an area of 400.61 square...

, Indonesia. Suzhou
Suzhou
Suzhou , previously transliterated as Su-chou, Suchow, and Soochow, is a major city located in the southeast of Jiangsu Province in Eastern China, located adjacent to Shanghai Municipality. The city is situated on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and on the shores of Taihu Lake and is a part...

, China, since 1980
Tallinn
Tallinn
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It occupies an area of with a population of 414,940. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is in the list...

, Estonia Pereira
Pereira, Colombia
Pereira is the capital city of the Colombian department of Risaralda. It stands in the center of the western region of the country, located in a small valley that descends from a part of the western Andes mountain chain. Its strategic location in the coffee producing area makes the city an urban...

, Colombia Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, Turkey, since 1993 Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

, Bosnia and Herzegovina, since 1994
Aveiro, Portugal, since 1998 Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

, Germany, since 1999 Qingdao
Qingdao
' also known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city with a population of over 8.715 million in eastern Shandong province, Eastern China. Its built up area, made of 7 urban districts plus Jimo city, is home to about 4,346,000 inhabitants in 2010.It borders Yantai to the...

, China, since 2001 Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia, since 2002
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

, Greece, since 2003 Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, on the Atlantic coast. It is the county seat of Broward County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 165,521. It is a principal city of the South Florida metropolitan area, which was home to 5,564,635 people at the 2010...

, United States, since 2007 Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. For Eurostat purposes Walsall and Wolverhampton is a NUTS 3 region and is one of five boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "West Midlands" NUTS 2 region...

, United Kingdom Most
Most
Most is the capital city of the Most District, situated between the Czech Central Mountains and the Ore Mountains, approximately northwest of Prague along the Bílina River and southwest of Ústí nad Labem.-Etymology:...

, Czech Republic

Cooperation agreements


Venice has cooperation agreements with the Greek city of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

, the German city of Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

, signed on 25 September 1999, and the Turkish city of Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, signed on 4 March 1993, within the framework of the 1991 Istanbul Declaration. It is also a Science and Technology Partnership City with Qingdao
Qingdao
' also known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city with a population of over 8.715 million in eastern Shandong province, Eastern China. Its built up area, made of 7 urban districts plus Jimo city, is home to about 4,346,000 inhabitants in 2010.It borders Yantai to the...

, China.

Etymology


The name is connected with the people known as the Veneti
Adriatic Veneti
The Veneti were an ancient people who inhabited north-eastern Italy, in an area corresponding to the modern-day region of the Veneto....

, perhaps the same as the Eneti (Ενετοί). The meaning of the word is uncertain. Connections with the Latin verb 'venire' (to come) or venia are fanciful. A connection with the Latin word venetus, meaning 'sea-blue', is possible.

See also


  • Outline of Italy
  • List of architecture monuments of Venice
  • List of painters and architects of Venice
  • Venetian Ghetto
    Venetian Ghetto
    The Venetian Ghetto was the area of Venice in which Jews were compelled to live under the Venetian Republic. It is from its name in Italian , that the English word "ghetto" is derived: in the Venetian language it was named "ghèto".-Etymology:...

  • Jewish Community of Venice
  • Su e zo per i ponti
    Su e zo per i ponti
    The Su e zo per i ponti is a non-competitive run held in Venice in April. The run starts in the Piazza San Marco, in front of the Doge's Palace. Runners follow a route characteristic of the city, which leads them through calli , campi and ponti...

  • Veneti
    Adriatic Veneti
    The Veneti were an ancient people who inhabited north-eastern Italy, in an area corresponding to the modern-day region of the Veneto....

     and Venetic language
    Venetic language
    Venetic is an extinct Indo-European language that was spoken in ancient times in the North East of Italy and part of modern Slovenia, between the Po River delta and the southern fringe of the Alps....

     (the ancient spoken language of the region)
  • S.S.C. Venezia
  • Venetian Blinds
  • Venetian language
    Venetian language
    Venetian or Venetan is a Romance language spoken as a native language by over two million people, mostly in the Veneto region of Italy, where of five million inhabitants almost all can understand it. It is sometimes spoken and often well understood outside Veneto, in Trentino, Friuli, Venezia...

     (the modern spoken vernacular of the region)
  • Venezia Mestre Rugby FC – rugby team


Several cities have been compared to Venice: The city of Nantes
Nantes
Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast. The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants....

, France, has been called The Venice of the West, many places have been named Venice of the East, while equally as many have been called Venice of the North
Venice of the North
The term Venice of the North refers to various cities in northern Europe that contain canals, comparing them to Venice, Italy, which is renowned for its canals .* Saint Petersburg* Amsterdam* Bruges* Stockholm* Copenhagen* Hamburg...

.

External links