BELLEZZE D’ITALIA: VENEZIA

Venice: a great classic to visit. I’ve been in Venice several times, with my parents, with schoolmates, and also by myself. Venice is a charming city. I agree that it’s unique in the world, with its mill runs and bridges. I understand that it’s also reproduced abroad.Venice has been several times also the setting or chosen location of numerous films, novels, poems and other cultural references.

cupola

Venice is a city in NorthEastern Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals (177) and linked by bridges (409!-sources from Wikipedia). It is located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline, between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. The city in its entirety is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon.

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Venice is the capital of the Veneto region.The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC.The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, as well as a very important center of commerce.Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Venice always traded extensively with the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim world. By the late 13th century, Venice was the most prosperous city in all of Europe. 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. 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.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 Turks (1453). After Constantinople fell to Sultan Mehmet II, he declared war on Venice. The war lasted thirty years and cost Venice much of its eastern Mediterranean possessions. Venice began to lose its position as a center of international trade during the later part of the Renaissance as Portugal became Europe’s principal intermediary in the trade with the East, striking at the very foundation of Venice’s great wealth.

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The buildings of Venice are constructed on closely spaced wooden piles. Most of these piles are still intact after centuries of submersion. The foundations rest on the piles, and buildings of brick or stone sit above these footings. The piles penetrate a softer layer of sand and mud until they reach a much harder layer of compressed clay. Submerged by water, in oxygen-poor conditions, wood does not decay as rapidly as on the surface. Most of these piles were made from trunks of alder trees,a wood noted for its water resistance.
Tourism has been a major sector of Venetian industry since the 18th century, thanks 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. It continued being a fashionable city in vogue right into the early 20th century. In the 1980s, the Carnival of Venice was revived and the city has become a major centre of international conferences and festivals, such as the prestigious Venice Biennale and the Venice Film Festival, which attract visitors from all over the world.
If you take a tour in the city center, there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark’s Basilica, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco. The Lido di Venezia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics and celebrities.

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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”.Unlike most other places in Western Europe, and the world, Venice has become widely known for its element of elegant decay.

gondola

gondola royal

As you surely can imagine, in the old centre, the canals serve the function of roads, and almost every form of transport is on water or on foot.The classical Venetian boat is the gondola, although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings,or other ceremonies, or as ‘traghetti’ to cross the Canale Grande in the absence of a nearby bridge. Many gondolas are lushly appointed with crushed velvet seats and Persian rugs. For everyday transfers, people use to take the “vaporetto” (steamboat).

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4 thoughts on “BELLEZZE D’ITALIA: VENEZIA

  1. I went to Venice in March of 1989. There weren’t many tourists at all, but it still seemed touristy. I enjoyed it anyway. The late winter gloom gave the narrow streets and canals an eerie, beautiful atmosphere. Thanks for the history lesson. Very interesting!

    • Hello!I agree, Venice is special also in winter, in a bad weather day .. The Laguna often is bound in a blanket of mist, it’s really suggestive…
      Oh no! I didn’t mean to make an history lesson! but i like to report something about the history of the cities I visit, to understand better the modernity of them. And also because historical sources are the first that I forget, while the years pass… See you soon! Happy week!Cris

    • Hello dear, I know, I know, you must be tired. Thanks for the appreciation for my shots, I’m glad you liked them. 🙂 European cities have just beautiful monuments and buildings.. it’s true that they seem movies locations! Happy Wednesday!Kisses – Cris

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