A look into several interesting facts about Venice Italy, including its geography, famous people who’ve lived here, and why Venice was build into a lagoon.
One of the most interesting details about Venice is that it is a kind of a “floating city”, build on top of wood piling within a total of 118 island in the Adriatic Sea.
The wood pilings were a necessity, as the lagoon islands could not support traditional building on top of them.
Initial buildings in Venice were build to house mainland population, which came here to escape a barbarian invasion, as the archipelago’s landscape made the city much harder to overtake.
In addition to the unique building style, there are many unique architectural styles associated with the city, including the popularity of small chimneys, of which there are about 7,000 chimneys, in 10 different traditional styles and shapes.
Venice is also famous for bell towers, of which there are a total of 170 of them. In the city’s culture, bell towers were at one time a very important form of communication, with the San Marco bell tower, at 275 feet being one of the tallest.
San Marco bell tower has collapsed once during its history, in 1902. Today’s version of the tower was rebuilt to look exactly like it did when first constructed.
To access from one Venetian island to another, the city has over 400 bridges crossing over 170 canals, which make the city navigable with a boat.
The most famous boats used to tour the city are the Venetian gondolas, of which there are over 350 in operation still today, operated by over 400 gondoliers.
Only about 4 new gondolier licenses are issued annually by the city, and to qualify for a license, the applicant must pass intensive training and an exam.
Interesting fact about Venice Italy is that Grand Canal, a gondolier favorite, is the region’s largest canal. It features a S-shape, which splits Venice into two sections and six districts, called ‘sestiere’ in Italian.
The city has three famous bridges: Rialto, Accademia and Scalzi (also known as Ferrovia bridge).
The newest bridge in Venice is Calatrava bridge, crossing the Grand Canal.
Over time, many famous people have lived in Venice, including Giacomo Casanova, explorer Marco Polo, and Antonio Vivaldi, a composer.
Venice was first inhabited in the mid 400s, but it was only after separation from Byzantine empire, that the city-state started gaining importance in European scale.
Venetian Republic’s power was at its peak from the 1300s until the 1500s, when it was considered the most powerful force in the Mediterranean. During that period, Venice controlled large areas of land, from Italian mainland to Dalmatia, and island and territories especially within the eastern sections of the Mediterranean Sea.
That glorious history of the independent nationstate came abruptly to an end in 1797, however, when the Republic was conquered by Napoleon’s forces.
Today, modern Venice receives over 18 million tourists annually, and at peak period in the summertime, there are about 50,000 visitors each day, almost equal to the number of people living in Venice (about 60,000).
Interesting fact about Venice Italy is also that the Venetian term for flooding, which happens about four times annually during the winter term, is ‘acqua alta’, literally ‘high water’ in English. Most active periods for acqua alta are November and December.