Venice is the capital of the Veneto province. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list and is considered to be one of the most awesome and unique cities of the world. The historical center called sestieri is comprised of islands that are connected with each other by bridges. (Sestieri means “6 districts”. They are as follows: San Marco, San Polo, Dorsoduro, Cannaregio, Castello and Santa Croce) Other islands that also stand out as quite important and interesting are Murano, Torcello, Burano and San Francesco del Deserto.
More than 20 million of tourists come to Venice annually in order to see the canals, the elegant architecture of the buildings and bridges, enjoy a gondola ride while listening to the gondoliers singing, have a walk along the St. Mark’s Square, try meals of the cuisine and feel the Venetian atmosphere.
What is it that makes the atmosphere of the city so peculiar? To a larger extent the uniqueness of the atmosphere has to do with the fact that the majority of the heritage assets was built during the period from the 12th to the 16th century.
It’s impossible to say when exactly the city of Venice was founded. It’s believed that at the times of the Roman Empire there were people living on the islands. The first dodge was chosen in 697. By that time Venice was already under the control of the abovementioned Empire. The residence of the dodge was located on the Lido island. During the course of the reign, he aimed to unite people living on the many islands of Venice.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the need to find a safer place for living arose. Therefore, the locals moved to the islands of Torcello, Murano and Lido. Soon after that the residence of the dodge on the Lido island was destroyed and the building of the city on the central islands began. In other words, that was the birth of the Venice that we have now.
Locals literally lived on water. They used boats on a daily basis to get to other islands. The fact clearly explains why they were skillful and experienced sailors. They earned a living by either fishing or salt production.
In 812 Venice became a province of the Byzantine Empire, under the protection of which the city continued to grow and develop. The rapid process of ports’ development allowed the city to thrive whereas the merchants (who were talented in terms of trading) managed to turn the city into the biggest financial center of Europe.
Step by step Venice managed to successfully expand its territory, establishing control over Istria, Friuli and Dalmatia. The capture of Constantinople in 1204 resulted in the power of the Venice Republic being spread over the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. In 1381 Venice inflicted a defeat on its main enemy – Genoa. It became sort of a turning point in its history thanks to which the Venetian Republic was given the name “The queen of the Adriatic”. The queen that played the most significant role in the trading processes in the Mediterranean region. The capture of the Cyprus marked the peak of its power, worldwide leadership and success.
Everything changed in 1453 when the army of the Osman Empire won and captured Constantinople. Besides, the discovery of America led to the shift of the commercial activity center to the Atlantics.
By the end of the 18th century the cultural life of Venice was thriving. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said about its position on the political arena. Up until 1866 the city was under the control of Austrians. Later on, it became part of the united Italy. Decadence is the term to perfectly describe the condition of the city at that time. Different types of industry started to appear and develop only after the 1st World War. As for the tourism, the beginning of its development started in the end of the 20th century.
Despite all the troubles and challenges, the city survived. It has something special to offer to anyone. Let’s see what it is…
Interesting Facts About Venice
Floods are not a rare case in Venice. As a rule, they happen in November and December. Floods are the very reason for why the city was completely reconstructed several times.
It is predicted that Venice will sink and disappear by 2028, an unfortunate fact about Venice.
2. Stunning places of interest
St. Mark’s Square (the heart of Venice), St. Mark’s Campanille (the tallest building of the city) and the Dodge’s Palace (the symbol of San Marco) are several of the must-visit places when in Venice.
3. Grand canal
It is the most significant water corridor dividing the city in 2 halves. The canal is almost 4 km long, an interesting fact about Venice. It started to play a big role in the lifestyle and commercial life of Venice back in the Medieval Age.
4. The city of gondoliers
The number of gondoliers working in the city always stays unchangeable. In total, there are 425 gondoliers.
5. The Rialto bridge
The bridge is one of the most recognizable symbols of Venice as well as one of its oldest bridges. This top tourist attraction is 72 feet wide and 157 feet long.
6. A symbol of St. Mark
On the majority of old buildings in the city one can see a symbol of St. Mark – a lion holding a book). If the book is open, then the structure was built in the peaceful period of time. If the book is closed, then the structure was built during the wartime.
As you can see, there is a lot to see and do in this charming city. Do not miss out on the opportunity to visit it.
I hope that this article on Venice facts was helpful! If you are interested, visit the City Facts Page!