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Venice – The Romantic Italian City of Water, Gondolas and Art
Venice is also known as Venezia. This famous city is centrally located in the Veneto region in Italy.
The city is mainly composed of 117 small islands. The saltwater Venetian lagoon surrounds it.
This wealthy city dates its origins as early as 421 AD. The most notable parts of its history as a city can be found in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The origin of the city date began with the dedication of the first church on Rialto Island. Lombards were the first to arrive on the Island. The Byzantine Empire later occupied the city. The office of the duke or doge of Venice was established around 700 AD. Ursus became the first doge of the city.
The ducal seat was first set at Malamocco. It was then transferred to Rialto in 775 AD. The first ducal palace was built there. Historical monuments were also made in this period. Some of these were the monastery of St. Zachary, and the basilica of St. Mark.
The city was then recognized as a Byzantine territory in 810 AD. The relics of St. Mark the Evangelist were moved to the new basilica by 828 AD. The patriarchal seat was also relocated to Rialto in this period. The city later became a maritime commercial empire in the 9th to 12th century.
The fourth crusade in 1204 was financed by Venice. The crusade led to the fall of Constantinople and the establishment of the Latin Empire. Various monuments from the crusade were returned to Venice. One of them was the Triumphal Quadriga or Horses of St. Mark.
The city later grew to become most prosperous city in Europe in the thirteenth century.
The Great council governed the Republic city. The doge played as chief executive of the council in this period. The doge also had the ceremonial head role of the city. One of the Great council members were elected for the title. There was an assembly of nobles. Some citizens also had political power.
The city became the capital of publishers in the world in 1482 AD. Venice started to decline by the 15 century. The Black Death plague overwhelmed the city in 1348, 1575 and 1577. However the city still played a major role even with its decline. They became the main exporter of agricultural products.
Military power in the city grew in the 15th century. Their land military became the most effective in Italy. The Republic city lost its independence in 1797. Napoleon Bonaparte conquered the city in the 18th century. It became a city of art, literature and architecture in this period. The city finally became a part of Italy in 1866.
The city began to sink in the 20th century. Efforts were made to further prevent this. Artesian wells were prohibited. Inflatable pontoons are now under construction. They are expected to be completed by 2011. Venice is now one of the most beloved cities in the world.
You will find a lot of tourist attractions and events within this magical city such as:
The Grand Canal
The 3.8 km canal forms an s-shaped corridor across the city. The width of the canal can vary from 30 to 90 m. The canal can also go as deep as 16.5 ft.
The Grand Canal is the most famous landmark of the city. You will find people and tourists on gondolas throughout the canal. They use them as public transportation in the city. You can even explore the city with a ride on a gondola through the canal.
St. Mark's Basilica
This famous basilica is a cathedral church. It is currently located at Piazza San Marco.
The church features Byzantine and Gothic architecture. Outside you will see replicas of the Horses of Saint Mark. You will also find mosaics about the relic stories of Saint Mark inside and outside the basilica.
Inside the basilica you will find mosaics on the ceilings and walls. You will also see bronze statues of the Evangelists inside. The St. Clement Chapel and the Holy Host altar can also be found inside.
Piazza San Marco
The piazza is considered as the main square of Venice.
You will find St. Mark's Basilica on the eastern side. A Clocktower can be seen on the north side of the piazza. You will also see the Piazetta on the southern side.
The piazza currently serves as a public area. Here you will find tourists and photographers from various places.
The city also hosts various popular events such as the:
Venice Biennale and Venice Film Festival
Venice Biennale is an art exhibition held every two years.
The Venice Film Festival is also held with the exhibition.
Carnival of Venice
This famous event is held every year within the city.
It usually starts two days before Ash Wednesday. It then ends before Ash Wednesday.
You will see people wear various kinds of masks on the festival. These masks can differ from Bauta (whole face mask), Moretta (oval mask), or Volto (common face mask).
So enjoy these events if you visit Venice. And be sure to visit the tourist spots.
You will need more than a day to visit all the tourist spots. So be sure to plan ahead on your stay at Venice. Search for hotels, apartments or guesthouse accommodations that suit your needs. You will find various luxury and cheap hotel accommodations within the city.
You will find five star to three star hotels in the city. They will offer you with single room, double room and suite accommodations. Some of them even have great facilities. You can enjoy their Italian cuisine at the hotel restaurant and bar. Some hotels also offer laundry services for your clothes. You can even stay connected online with internet connection in the hotel.
You may also find guesthouse accommodations in other hotels in the city. Some of them may have a garden. Others may even have playground equipment for children. You can find various accommodations for your needs in the city.
Transport & Security
A trip to the city is mainly through airplanes or by trains.
There are two airports to travel to Venice. One is the Marco Polo International Airport. You can visit the city from here with water taxis or waterbuses to Venice. The other is the Treviso Airport. This airport is 30 km from the city. You can travel from here to Venice through the bus by ATVO. You can also travel by train to the city. Just take Venice Simplon Orient express.
Travel within the city is mainly through the canals. There are over 177 canals in the city. 455 bridges connect the islands of the city. The public transport system in the city is called Azienda Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano (ACTV). You can travel through the waterways by gondolas (classical Venetian boat), and waterbuses. Traghetti and foot passenger ferries are the commonly used gondolas in the city. You can also travel through water taxis.
Do you know that Venice is considered as one of the most romantic cities in Europe?
Do you also know that Venice has a lot of names?
Some of these names are:
• City of Water
• City of Bridges
• City of Canals
• City of Masks
Did you know? Gondolas are not only used for transportation. They are also used for weddings and funerals.
You will discover a well preserved culture within the city. The art and architecture are also sights to see. Venice is more than just a city surrounded by water. This romantic city offers more. So visit Venice. Find out why the city is so well known around the world.