( , , Venetian
) is a city in
, the capital
of the region Veneto
population of 271,367 (census estimate 1 January 2004).
with Padua, the city is
included in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area (population
The city historically was an independent
. Venice has been known as the "La Dominante",
"Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of
Water", "City of Bridges", and "The City of Light". Luigi Barzini
, writing in The New York Times
, described it as
"undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man". Venice has also
been described by the Times Online
one of Europe's most romantic cities.
stretches across 118 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon
stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and
the Piave (north)
Rivers. 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), mostly in the large frazione of Mestre and Marghera; and 31,000
live on other islands in the lagoon.
Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very
important center of commerce (especially silk,
grain and spice
trade) and art in the 13th century up to the
end of the 17th century.
Venice is also famous for its
musical, particularly operatic, history, and its most famous son in
this field is Antonio Vivaldi
there are no historical records that deal directly with the origins
of Venice, the available evidence has led several historians to
agree that the original population of Venice comprised refugees
from Roman cities such as Padua, Aquileia, Altino and
Concordia (modern Portogruaro) who were fleeing successive waves of Germanic invasions and Huns.
Some late Roman sources reveal the
existence of fishermen on the islands in the original marshy
lagoons. They were referred to as incolae lacunae
in 166-168, the Quadi and Marcomanni destroyed the main center in the area,
the current Oderzo.
Roman defences were again overthrown in the early 5th century by
and, some 50 years later, by
the Huns led by Attila
. The last and most
enduring irruption was that of the Lombards
in 568, leaving the Eastern Roman
a small strip of coast in the current Veneto, and the
main administrative and religious entities were therefore
transferred to this remaining dominion. New ports were built,
including those at Malamocco and Torcello in the Venetian
The Byzantine domination of central and northern Italy was
subsequently largely eliminated by the conquest of the Exarchate of Ravenna
in 751 by Aistulf.
During this period, the seat of the local Byzantine governor (the
"duke/dux", later "doge
situated in Malamocco. Settlement on the islands in the lagoon
probably increased in correspondence with the Lombard conquest of
the Byzantine territories.
In 775-776, the bishopric seat of Olivolo (Helipolis) was created.
During the reign of duke Agnello
(811-827) the ducal seat was moved from Malamocco to
the highly protected Rialto (Rivoalto, "High Shore") island, 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 in Venice
are a symbol for St. Mark
In 828, the new city's prestige was raised by the acquisition of
the claimed relics of St. Mark
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.
ninth to the twelfth century Venice developed into a city state (an Italian thalassocracy or Repubblica Marinara, the other
three being Genoa, Pisa, and
Its strategic position at the head of the
Adriatic made Venetian naval and commercial power almost
invulnerable. The city became a flourishing trade center between
Western Europe and the rest of the world (especially the Byzantine Empire
and the Islamic world
12th century the foundations of Venice's power were laid: the
Arsenal was under construction in 1104; the last autocratic
doge, Vitale Michiele, died in 1172.
Venice seized a number of locations 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 and Duke of Istria.
mainland possessions, which extended across Lake Garda as far west as the Adda River, were known as the "Terraferma", and were acquired
partly as a buffer against belligerent neighbours, partly to
guarantee Alpine 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, including Cyprus and Crete, and became
a major power-broker in the Near
East. By the standards of the time, Venice's
stewardship of its mainland territories was relatively enlightened
and the citizens of such towns as Bergamo, Brescia and Verona rallied to
the defence of Venetian sovereignty when it was threatened by
Venice remained closely associated with Constantinople, being twice
granted trading privileges in the Eastern Roman Empire, through the
so-called Golden Bulls
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
and the rise of Venice's
became an imperial power following the Fourth Crusade, which seized Constantinople in 1204, and established the Latin Empire.
In 1204 the Venetians
sacked the city and brought great quantities of booty back to
Venice. Following this, the former Roman Empire was partitioned
among the Latin crusaders and the Venetians. Venice subsequently
carved out a sphere of influence known as the Duchy of the
Archipelago, and seized Crete. This seizure of
Constantinople would ultimately prove as decisive a factor in
ending the Byzantine Empire as the
loss of the Anatolian themes after Manzikert.
Though the Byzantines recovered control of
the ravaged city a half century later, the Byzantine Empire was
greatly weakened, and existed as a ghost of its old self,
struggling on with the help, among other things, of loans from
Venice (never repaid) until Sultan Mehmet The Conqueror
the city in 1453. Considerable Byzantine plunder was brought back
to Venice, including the gilt
which were placed above the entrance to St Mark's
Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Venice always traded with the
and the Muslim world
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
within the city itself. The Cavalieri di San Marco
only order of chivalry
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
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
resign the office and retire into monastic
seclusion when they were felt to have been discredited by perceived
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
. This apparent lack
of zeal contributed to Venice's frequent conflicts with the
. Venice was threatened with the
number of occasions and twice suffered its imposition. The second,
most famous, occasion was on 27 April 1509, by order of Pope Julius II
(see League of Cambrai
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
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
, who invented the concept of
books that could be carried in a
saddlebag. His Aldine Editions
included translations of
nearly all the known Greek manuscripts of the era.
long decline started in the 15th century, when it first made an
unsuccessful attempt to hold Thessalonica against the Ottomans (1423-1430).
sent ships to help defend Constantinople against the besieging
Turks (1453). After the city fell to Sultan Mehmet II
he declared war on Venice.
lasted thirty years and cost Venice much of her eastern Mediterranean possessions.
Next, Christopher Columbus
discovered the New World. Then Portugal found a sea route to India,
destroying Venice’s land route monopoly. France, England and
Holland followed them. Venice’s oared galleys had no advantage when
it came to traversing the great oceans. She was left behind in the
race for colonies.
The Black Death
devastated Venice in
1348 and once again between 1575 and 1577. In three years the
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
the later part of the Renaissance
Portugal 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
over Italy in the Italian Wars
marginalising its political influence. However, the Venetian empire
was a major exporter of agricultural products and, until the
mid-18th century, a significant manufacturing
Military and naval affairs
By 1303, crossbow
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
and served aboard both war-galleys
and as armed merchantmen, with the privilege of sharing the
Though Venice was famous for its navy
was equally effective. In the 13th
century, most Italian city states already were hiring mercenaries
, but Venetian troops were still
recruited from the lagoon, plus feudal levies from Dalmatia
(the very famous Schiavoni
) 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 cavalrymen
the city's conscripts fought as infantry
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
) and armour
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.
not exist in medieval Venice, the oarsmen coming from the city
itself or from its possessions, especially Dalmatia
. 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. Debtors
generally worked off their obligations rowing
the galleys. Rowing skills were encouraged through races and
Early in the 15th century, as new mainland territories were
expanded, the first standing army was organized, consisting of
alliance with Florence in 1426, Venice agreed to supply 8,000 cavalry and
3,000 infantry in time of war, and 3,000 and 1,000 in
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.
Venice, by Bolognino Zaltieri,
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
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
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
A map of the sestiere of San
After 1,070 years, the Republic lost its independence when Napoleon Bonaparte
on 12 May 1797,
conquered Venice during the First
. The French conqueror brought to an end the most
fascinating century of its history: during the Settecento
(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 and ended
the restrictions on when and where Jews could live and travel in
Venice became Austrian territory when Napoleon signed the Treaty of Campo Formio
on 12 October
1797. The Austrians took control of the city on 18 January 1798. It
was taken from Austria by the Treaty
in 1805 and became part of Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy
, but was
returned to Austria following Napoleon's defeat in 1814, when it
became part of the Austrian-held Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia
1848-1849 a revolt briefly reestablished the Venetian Republic
under Daniele Manin
. In 1866, following the Third Italian War of
, Venice, along with the rest of the Veneto, became
part of the newly created Kingdom
During the Second World War, the city was largely free from attack,
the only aggressive effort of note being Operation Bowler
, a precision strike on the
German naval operations there in 1945. Venice was finally liberated
by New Zealand troops under Freyberg
on 29 April 1945.
[[File:Sestieri di Venezia.svg|thumb|Sestieri of Venice:
Croce]]The city is divided into six areas or "sestiere
". These are Cannaregio, San Polo, Dorsoduro (including the Giudecca and Isola Sacca Fisola), Santa
Croce, San Marco (including San Giorgio Maggiore) and Castello (including San Pietro di Castello and Sant'Elena).
Each sestiere was administered by a
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
islands of the Venetian
Lagoon do not form part of any of the sestieri, having
historically enjoyed a considerable degree of
Each sestiere has its own house
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
At the front of the Gondolas
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 which points backwards represents the Giudecca).
Sinking of Venice
The buildings of Venice are constructed on closely spaced wood piles
, which were
imported from the mainland. (Under water, in the absence of oxygen,
wood does not decay
. 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.) The piles
penetrate a softer layer of sand
until they reach the much harder layer of compressed
. Wood for piles was cut in the most western
part of today's Slovenia, resulting in the barren land in a region today
called Kras, and in two regions of Croatia,
Lika and Gorski kotar
(resulting in the barren slopes of Velebit).
Most of these piles are still intact after
centuries of submersion. The foundations rest on the piles, and
buildings of brick or stone
these footings. The buildings are often threatened by flood
tides pushing in from the Adriatic 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
During the 20th century, when many artesian wells
were sunk into the periphery
of the lagoon to draw water for local industry, Venice began to
. It was realized that extraction
of the aquifer
was the cause. This sinking
process 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 by people 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
Elettromeccanico), an experimental model for evaluating the
performance of inflatable gates; the idea is to lay a series of 79
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.
Some experts say that the best way to protect Venice is to
physically lift the City to a greater height above sea level, by
pumping water into the soil underneath the city. This way, some
hope, it could rise above sea levels, protecting it for hundreds of
years, and eventually the MOSE project may not be necessary (it
will, controversially, alter the tidal patterns in the lagoon,
damaging some wildlife). A further point about the "lifting" system
would be that it would be permanent; the MOSE Project is, by its
very nature, a temporary system: it is expected to protect Venice
for only 100 years.
In 1604, to defray the cost of flood relief Venice introduced what
could be considered the first example of what became elsewhere a
'. 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'. Initially this was to be a temporary
tax but in fact remained in effect to the fall of the Republic in
1797. Shortly after the introduction of the tax Spain produced
similar paper for more general taxation purposes and the practice
spread to other countries.
Venice's economy has greatly changed throughout history, and has
evolved greatly. In the Middle-Ages
, 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 and Porto
Marghera, services, trade and industrial
exports. Murano glass
production in Murano and lace
production in Burano is also
highly important to the economy.
Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the
world, due to the city 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 centre for the grand tour, 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
. It continued being a
fashionable city in vogue right into the early 20th century In the
1980s the Carnival of Venice
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 for their theatrical, cultural,
cinematic, artistic and musical productions
there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark's
Basilica, the Grand Canal, and
the Piazza San
Marco, 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.
Aerial view of Venice including the
bridge to the mainland
Venice is world-famous for its canals
. It is
built on an archipelago
of 118 islands
formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon
islands on which the city is built are connected by about 400
bridges. In the old centre, the canals serve the function of roads,
and every form of transport
is on water or
on foot. In the 19th century a causeway to the
mainland brought a railway station to Venice, and an automobile causeway and parking lot was added in
the 20th century.
Beyond these 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
, unique in Europe in remaining a sizable functioning city
in the 21st century entirely without motorcars or trucks.
The classical Venetian boat is the gondola
although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings,
funerals, or other ceremonies. Most Venetians now travel by
) which ply regular routes along the
major canals and between the city's islands. Many gondolas are
lushly appointed with crushed velvet seats and Persian rugs.
Gondoliers typically charge between 80 and 100 euros for a 35
minute "giro" or excursion around some canals. The city also has
many private boats. The only gondolas still in common use by
Venetians are the traghetti, foot passenger ferries crossing the Grand Canal at certain points without bridges.
can also take the watertaxis between areas of the city.
Azienda Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano (ACTV) is the name of the
public transport system in Venice. It combines both land
transportation, with buses, and canal travel, with water buses
(vaporetti). In total, there are 25
routes which connect the city. A one way pass good for one hour
costs 6.50 €; longer term passes for 12 to 72 hours are available,
costing 14 to 31 €. An even better deal is the "Venice Card" for 7
days, starting at 47.50 €, which includes unlimited vaporetto
Venice also has water taxis, which are fast but quite
served by the newly rebuilt Marco Polo
International Airport, or Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo, named in honor of its famous
The airport is on the mainland and was rebuilt away
from the coast; however, the water taxis or Alilaguna waterbuses to
Venice are only a seven-minute walk from the terminals.
airlines market Treviso
Airport in Treviso, 20 km from Venice, as a Venice
Some simply advertise flights to "Venice" without
naming the actual airport except in the small print.
Venice is serviced by regional and national trains. One of the
easiest ways to travel from Rome or other large Italian cities is
to use the train. Rome is only slightly over four hours away; Milan
is slightly over two and a half hours away. Treviso is thirty-five
minutes away. Florence and Padua are two of the stops between Rome
and Venice. The St. Lucia
station is a few steps away from a vaporetti
Venice is a no car zone, being built on the water. Cars can reach
the car/bus terminal via the bridge (Ponte della Liberta) (SR11).
It comes in from the West from Mestre. There are two parking lots
which serve the city: Tronchetto and Piazzale Roma. Cars can be
parked there anytime for around €30 per day. A ferry to Lido leaves
from the parking lot in Tronchetto and it is served by vaporetti
and buses of the public transportation.
A small canal in Venice (Rio della
Piazzas and campi
Palaces and palazzi
Facade of St Mark's Basilica.
Two gondolas in a narrow Venetian
Florians coffee bar in St. Mark's
Square, a famous landmark in Venice.
Venice waterfront facing the
The villas of the Veneto, rural residences for nobles during the
Republic, are one of the most interesting aspects of Venetian
countryside. They are surrounded by elegant gardens, suitable for
fashionable parties of high society. Most of these villas
were designed by Palladio, and are now a
UNESCO World Heritage Site.
the architects, water around the villas was a very important
architectural element because it added more brilliance to the
façade and allowed Venetian nobles to reach them by boat.
In 2007, there were 268,993 people residing in Venice, of whom
47.5% were male and 52.5% 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.
As of 2006, 93.70% of the population was Italian
. The largest immigrant group comes
from other European nations (Romanians
the largest group: 3.26%, South Asia
1.26%, and East Asia
: 0.9%). Venice is
predominantly Roman Catholic
because of the long standing relationship with Constantinople there
is also a perceptible Orthodox presence, and due to immigration she
now has some Muslim
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
, 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.
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
's Merchant of Venice
, Ben Jonson
's autobiographical History of
, Anne Rice
's Cry to Heaven
, and Philippe Sollers
' Watteau in Venice
, to name but a few.
The city has also been a setting for numerous films and music
videos, such as the James Bond
From Russia with
, Death in Venice
, Fellini's Casanova
, Indiana Jones and the Last
, A Little
, The Italian
, and Lara
Croft: Tomb Raider
, and Madonna
Like a Virgin
adiition to that, numerous video games
such as Tomb Raider 2
, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Assassin's Creed II
feature Venice in their games.
Music and the Performing Arts
The city of Venice in Italy has played an important role in the
development of the music of Italy
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 1600s is said to have remarked that "In
every home, someone is playing a musical instrument or singing.
There is music everywhere."
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 under
composers such as Adrian Willaert,
who worked at San Marco.
Venice was the early center of music
printing; Ottaviano Petrucci
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
. By the end of the century, Venice was
famous for the splendor of its music, as exemplified in the
"colossal style" of Andrea
, which used
multiple choruses and instrumental groups.also home to Lord Byron
(George Gordon) for a number of years.Venice is known for hosting
some of the greatest musicians and composers of all time, espcially
during the baroque period
, such as
, Ippolito Ciera
, Giovanni Picchi
, Nicola Vicentino
and Girolamo Dalla Casa
, to name but a
Art and Printing
Venice, especially during the Middle-Ages
was a major centre of art
and developed a unique
style known as the Venetian
. In the Middle-Ages and the Renaissance,
Venice, along with Florence and Rome, became one of the most important centres
of art in Europe, and numerous wealthy Venetians became patrons of
Venice at the time was a rich and prosperous
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
, which in 1499 printed
, considered the most beautiful book of Renaissance
, and established modern punctuation
, the page format and italic type
, and the first printed work of
In the sixteenth century Venetian painting was developed through
influences from the Paduan School and Antonello da Messina
, 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
, then Tintoretto
. In the early 1500s, also, there
was rivalry between whether Venetian painting should use
(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
's decorative painting and
's and Guardi
's panoramic views.
Venice is famous for its ornate glass-work, known as Venetian glass
. 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
Byzantine craftsmen played an important role in the development of
Venetian glass, an art form for which the city is well-known.
Constantinople was sacked by the Fourth
Crusade in 1204, some fleeing artisans came to Venice.
This happened again when the Ottomans
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
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
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
, Barovier & Toso, Pauly
Seguso. Barovier & Toso is considered one of the 100 oldest companies
in the world,
formed in 1295.
the most renowned types of Venetian
glasses are made in Murano, known as
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.
The Carnival of Venice
annually in the city, starting around two weeks before Ash Wednesday
and ends on Shrove Tuesday
. The carnival is closely
associated with Venetian masks
The Venice Biennale
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 Venice Film Festival
oldest film festival
in the world.
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,
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
For people from Venice, see People from
Others closely associated with the city include:
- Enrico Dandolo (c. 1107,
1205), Doge of Venice from 1192 to
his death. He played a direct role in the Sack of Constantinople during the
- Marco Polo (15 September 1254 - 8
January 1324), trader and explorer, one
of the first Westerners to travel the Silk
Road to China. While a prisoner in Genoa, he dictated in the
tale of his travels known as Il Milione (The Travels of Marco
- Giovanni Bellini (c.
1430-1516), a Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the
Bellini family of painters.
- Aldus Manutius (1449-1515), one
of the most important printers in history.
- Pietro Bembo (20 May 1470 - 18
January 1547), cardinal and
- Lorenzo Lotto (c.1480 - Loreto,
1556), painter, draughtsman, and
illustrator, traditionally placed in the Venetian school.
- Sebastian Cabot (c.
1484 – 1557, or soon after), explorer.
- Pellegrino Ernetti, Catholic
priest and exorcist
- Titian (c. 1488-90 – 27 August
1576), leader of the 16th century Venetian school of the Italian Renaissance (he was born in
Pieve di Cadore).
- Sebastiano Venier, (c. 1496 -
3 March 1578), Doge of Venice from 11
June 1577 to 1578.
- Andrea Gabrieli (c.1510–1586),
Italian composer and organist at San Marco di Venezia
- Tintoretto (1518 - 31 May 1594),
probably the last great painter of Italian Renaissance.
- Veronica Franco (1546-1591),
poet and courtesan during the Renaissance
- Giovanni Gabrieli (between
1554 and 1557–1612), composer and organist at San Marco di
Monteverdi (1567-1643), composer and director of music at
- Leon Modena (1571-1648) preacher,
author, poet, active in the Venetian ghetto and beyond
Antonio Bragadin (d.1571), general, flayed alive by the
Turks after a fierce resistance
during the siege of Famagusta
- Baldassare Longhena (1598 -
18 February 1682), one of the greatest exponents of Baroque
- Tomaso Albinoni (8 June 1671 -
17 January 1751), a baroque composer
- Rosalba Carriera (7 October
1675 – 15 April 1757), known for her pastel works.
Vivaldi (4 March 1678, 28 July (or 27), 1741, Vienna), famous
composer and violinist of the Baroque Era
- Pietro Guarneri (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 (5 March 1696 - 27 March 1770), the last "Grand Manner"
fresco painter from the Venetian Republic.
- Canaletto (28 October 1697 - 19 April
1768), famous for his landscapes or vedute of Venice, but not only.
- Carlo Goldoni (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 (13 December 1720 – 4
April 1806), an excellent dramatist of 18th century.
Casanova (1725 - 1798), in Dux, Bohemia, (now Duchcov, Czech Republic), a famous Venetian adventurer,
writer and womanizer.
- Virgilio Ranzato (7 May 1883 –
20 April 1937), Composer.
- Carlo Scarpa (2 June 1906 - 1978,
Sendai, Japan), an architect with a profound understanding of
- Emilio Vedova (9 August 1919 - 25
October 2006), one of the most important modern painters of
- Elena Lucrezia
Cornaro Piscopia (5 June 1646 - 26 July 1684), the first woman
in the world to receive a doctorate degree.
- Bruno Maderna (21 April 1920 - 13
November 1973), an Italian-German orchestra director and 20th
century music composer.
- Luigi Nono (29 January 1924 - 8 May
1990), a leading composer of instrumental and electronic
- Ludovico de luigi (November
1933), Venetian Surrealistic artist.
- Giuseppe Sinopoli (2 November
1946 – 20 April 2001), conductor and composer.
- Romano Scarpa (27 September 1927,
Venice - 23 April 2005, Málaga), was one of the most famous Italian
creators of Disney comics.
- Suzhou, China (since 1980)
- Tallinn, Estonia
- Istanbul, Turkey (since 1993)
- Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (since 1994)
- Nürnberg, Germany (since 1999)
- Qingdao, China (since 2001)
- Saint Petersburg, Russia (since 2002)
- Thessaloniki, Greece (since 2003)
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States (since 2007)
has cooperation agreements with the Greek city of Thessaloniki, the German city of Nuremberg, signed on 25 September 1999, and the Turkish city
of Istanbul, signed on 4 March 1993, within the framework of
the 1991 Istanbul Declaration. It is also a Science
and Technology Partnership City with Qingdao, China.
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
System to promote and realise European projects within
transnational cultural and tourist field, particularly referred to
the artistic and architectural heritage preservation and
The name is connected with the people known as the Veneti
, perhaps the same as the
(Ενετοί). The meaning of the word is uncertain.
Connections with the Latin verb 'venire' (to come) or (Slo)venia
are fanciful. A connection with the Latin word venetus, meaning
'sea-blue', is possible. Given that Venice was once a Phoenician colony, there is some speculation that the name 'Venice'
has its roots in the name of the Phoenician empire.
cities have been compared to Venice: The Breton city Nantes has been called The Venice of the West,
Suzhou has been named Venice of the East,
Basra was once known as the Venice of the Middle
East due to the numerous canals there, while the title The
Venice of the North has
been variously applied to Amsterdam, Birmingham, Bornholm, Bruges, Haapsalu, Maryhill, Saint
Petersburg and Stockholm.
- Chambers, D.S. (1970). The Imperial Age of Venice,
1380-1580. London: Thames & Hudson. The best brief
introduction in English, still completely reliable.
- Contarini, Gasparo (1599). The Commonwealth and Gouernment
of Venice. Lewes Lewkenor, trsl. London: "Imprinted by I.
Windet for E. Mattes." The most important contemporary account of
Venice's governance during the time of its blossoming. Also
available in various reprint editions.
- Drechsler, Wolfgang (2002). "Venice Misappropriated."
Trames 6(2), pp. 192-201. A scathing review of Martin
& Romano 2000; also a good summary on the most recent economic
and political thought on Venice.
- Garrett, Martin, "Venice: a Cultural History" (2006). Revised
edition of "Venice: a Cultural and Literary Companion" (2001).
- Grubb, James S. (1986). "When Myths Lose Power: Four Decades of
Venetian Historiography." Journal of Modern History 58,
pp. 43-94. The classic "muckraking" essay on the myths of
- Lane, Frederic Chapin. Venice: Maritime Republic
(1973) (ISBN 0801814456) standard scholarly history; emphasis on
economic, political and diplomatic history
- Laven, Mary, "Virgins of Venice: Enclosed Lives and Broken Vows
in the Renaissance Convent (2002). The most important study of the
life of Renaissance nuns, with much on aristocratic family networks
and the life of women more generally.
- Martin, John Jeffries and Dennis Romano (eds). Venice
Reconsidered. The History and Civilization of an Italian
City-State, 1297-1797. (2002) Johns Hopkins University
Press. The most recent collection on essays, many by prominent
scholars, on Venice.
- Muir, Edward (1981). Civic Ritual in Renaissance
Venice. Princeton UP. The classic of Venetian cultural
studies, highly sophisticated.
- Rösch, Gerhard (2000). Venedig. Geschichte einer
Seerepublik. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. In German, but the most
recent top-level brief history of Venice.
- Ackroyd, Peter. Venice: Pure
City. London, Chatto & Windus. 2009. ISBN 9780701184780
- Cole, Toby. Venice: A Portable Reader, Lawrence Hill, 1979. ISBN 0-88208-097-0
(hardcover); ISBN 0-88208-107-1 (softcover).
- Morris, Jan (1993), Venice.
3rd revised edition. Faber &
Faber, ISBN 0-571-16897-3. A subjective and passionate written
introduction to the city and some of its history. Not
- Ruskin, John . The Stones of
Venice. Abridged edition Links, JG (Ed), Penguin Books, 2001. ISBN 0-14-139065-4.
Seminal work on architecture and society
- di Robilant, Andrea (2004).
A Venetian Affair. Harper
Collins. ISBN 1-84115-542-X Biography of Venetian nobleman and
lover, from correspondence in the 1750s.
- Sethre, Janet. The Souls of Venice McFarland &
Company, Inc., 2003. ISBN 0-7864-1573-8 (softcover). This book
focuses on people who have been shaped by Venice and who have
shaped the city in their turn. Illustrated (photographs by Manuela