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Venice ( , , Venetian: Venesia) is a city in northern Italy, the capital of the region Veneto, a population of 271,367 (census estimate 1 January 2004). Together with Paduamarker, the city is included in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area (population 1,600,000). The city historically was an independent nation. Venice has been known as the "La Dominante", "Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriaticmarker", "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 as being one of Europe's most romantic cities.

The city stretches across 118 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoonmarker along the Adriatic Seamarker in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Pomarker (south) and the Piavemarker (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 Mestremarker and Margheramarker; and 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon.

The Republic of Venicemarker 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.

History

Origins

While 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 Paduamarker, Aquileiamarker, Altinomarker and Concordia (modern Portogruaromarker) 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 (lagoon dwellers).

Beginning in 166-168, the Quadi and Marcomanni destroyed the main center in the area, the current Oderzomarker. The Roman defences were again overthrown in the early 5th century by the Visigoths 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 Empire 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 lagoon.

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") was 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 Particiaco (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 the Evangelist 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.



Expansion

From the ninth to the twelfth century Venice developed into a city state (an Italian thalassocracy or Repubblica Marinara, the other three being Genoamarker, Pisamarker, and Amalfimarker). 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).

In the 12th century the foundations of Venice's power were laid: the Venetian Arsenalmarker was under construction in 1104; the last autocratic doge, Vitale Michiele, died in 1172.

The Republic of Venicemarker 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 Istriamarker. Later mainland possessions, which extended across Lake Gardamarker as far west as the Adda Rivermarker, 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 Aegeanmarker, including Cyprusmarker and Cretemarker, 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 Bergamomarker, Bresciamarker and Veronamarker rallied to the defence of Venetian sovereignty when it was threatened by invaders.

Venice remained closely associated with Constantinople, being twice granted trading privileges in the Eastern Roman Empire, through the so-called Golden Bulls or 'chrysobulls' 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 of Byzantium and the rise of Venice's power.

Venice became an imperial power following the Fourth Crusade, which seized Constantinoplemarker 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 Archipelagomarker, and seized Crete. This seizure of Constantinoplemarker would ultimately prove as decisive a factor in ending the Byzantine Empire as the loss of the Anatolianmarker themes after Manzikertmarker. 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 took the city in 1453. Considerable Byzantine plunder was brought back to Venice, including the gilt bronze horses which were placed above the entrance to St Mark's cathedral.

Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Venice always traded with the Byzantine Empire 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 tenure within the city itself. The Cavalieri di San Marco was the 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 commerce).

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 peers to resign the office and retire into monastic seclusion when they were felt to have been discredited by perceived political failure.

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 Papacy. Venice was threatened with the interdict on a 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 press 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 paperback books that could be carried in a saddlebag. His Aldine Editions included translations of nearly all the known Greek manuscripts of the era.

Decline

Venice’s long decline started in the 15th century, when it first made an unsuccessful attempt to hold Thessalonicamarker against the Ottomans (1423-1430). She also sent ships to help defend Constantinople against the besieging Turks (1453). After the city fell to Sultan Mehmet II he declared war on Venice. The war lasted thirty years and cost Venice much of her eastern Mediterraneanmarker 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 plague 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 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, 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 center.

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 captain's cabin.

Though Venice was famous for its navy, its army 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 or Oltremarini) 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 while 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 javelins) 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 Arsenalmarker. Galley slaves did 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 regattas.

Early in the 15th century, as new mainland territories were expanded, the first standing army was organized, consisting of condottieri on contract. In its alliance with Florencemarker in 1426, Venice agreed to supply 8,000 cavalry and 3,000 infantry in time of war, and 3,000 and 1,000 in peacetime. 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, 1565.
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 glory.

Modern era

A map of the sestiere of San Marco.
After 1,070 years, the Republic lost its independence when Napoleon Bonaparte on 12 May 1797, conquered Venice during the First Coalition. 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 Ghettomarker and ended the restrictions on when and where Jews could live and travel in the city.

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 of Pressburg 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. In 1848-1849 a revolt briefly reestablished the Venetian Republic under Daniele Manin. In 1866, following the Third Italian War of Independence, Venice, along with the rest of the Veneto, became part of the newly created Kingdom of Italy.

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.

Geography

[[File:Sestieri di Venezia.svg|thumb|Sestieri of Venice:
    Cannaregio
    Castello



    Dorsoduro

    San Marco

    San Polo

    Santa Croce]]The city is divided into six areas or "sestiere". These are Cannaregiomarker, San Polo, Dorsoduromarker (including the Giudeccamarker and Isola Sacca Fisolamarker), Santa Crocemarker, San Marcomarker (including San Giorgio Maggioremarker) and Castellomarker (including San Pietro di Castellomarker and Sant'Elenamarker). Each sestiere was administered by a procurator 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 1170.

Other islands of the Venetian Lagoonmarker do not form part of any of the sestieri, having historically enjoyed a considerable degree of autonomy.

Each sestiere has its own house numbering 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 understandable manner.

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 Giudeccamarker).

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 and mud until they reach the much harder layer of compressed clay. Wood for piles was cut in the most western part of today's Sloveniamarker, resulting in the barren land in a region today called Kras, and in two regions of Croatia, Likamarker and Gorski kotar (resulting in the barren slopes of Velebitmarker). 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 buildings are often threatened by flood tides pushing in from the Adriaticmarker 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 environment.

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 subside. 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 Silvio Berlusconi inaugurated the MOSE project (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico), an experimental model for evaluating the performance of inflatable gates; the idea is to lay a series of 79 inflatable pontoons 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 'stamp tax'. 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.

Climate

Economy

Venice's economy has greatly changed throughout history, and has evolved greatly. In the Middle-Ages and the Renaissance, 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 Arsenalmarker, 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 Mestremarker and Porto Margheramarker, services, trade and industrial exports. Murano glass production in Muranomarker and lace production in Buranomarker is also highly important to the economy.

Tourism

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 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 for their theatrical, cultural, cinematic, artistic and musical productions

Today there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark's Basilicamarker, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marcomarker, to name a few. The Lido di Veneziamarker is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics, celebrities and mainly people in the cinematic industry.

Transportation

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. The 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 stationmarker 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 area, unique in Europe in remaining a sizable functioning city in the 21st century entirely without motorcars or trucks.

Waterways

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 motorised waterbuses (vaporetti) 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 Canalmarker at certain points without bridges.Visitors can also take the watertaxis between areas of the city.

Public transportation

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 travel.

Venice also has water taxis, which are fast but quite expensive.

Airports

Venice is served by the newly rebuilt Marco Polo International Airportmarker, or Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo, named in honor of its famous citizen. 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.

Some airlines market Treviso Airportmarker in Trevisomarker, 20 km from Venice, as a Venice gateway. Some simply advertise flights to "Venice" without naming the actual airport except in the small print.

Trains

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 stationmarker is a few steps away from a vaporetti stop.

Car

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.



Main sights

A small canal in Venice (Rio della Verona).


Museums



Piazzas and campi



Palaces and palazzi



Churches

Facade of St Mark's Basilica.
Two gondolas in a narrow Venetian canal.
Florians coffee bar in St. Mark's Square, a famous landmark in Venice.
Venice waterfront facing the lagoon


Other buildings



Bridges

Surroundings



Venetian Villas

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 UNESCOmarker World Heritage Site. According to 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.

Demographics

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, but because of the long standing relationship with Constantinople there is also a perceptible Orthodox presence, and due to immigration she now has some Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist inhabitants.

Culture



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 laws, 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 include Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and Othello, Ben Jonson's Volpone, Voltaire's Candide, Casanova's autobiographical History of My Life, 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 series From Russia with Love, Moonraker and Casino Royale, Death in Venice, Fellini's Casanova, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, A Little Romance, The Italian Job, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Madonna's Like a Virgin . On adiition to that, numerous video games such as Tomb Raider 2, , Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 and 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."

During 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 Marcomarker. 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 and Giovanni Gabrieli, 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 Antonio Vivaldi, Ippolito Ciera, Giovanni Picchi, Nicola Vicentino and Girolamo Dalla Casa, to name but a few.

Art and Printing

Venice, especially during the Middle-Ages, Renaissance and Baroque, was a major centre of art and developed a unique style known as the Venetian School. In the Middle-Ages and the Renaissance, Venice, along with Florencemarker and Rome, became one of the most important centres of art in Europe, and numerous wealthy Venetians became patrons of the arts. Venice at the time was a rich and prosperous Maritime Republic, which 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 of Aldus Manutius, which in 1499 printed the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, considered the most beautiful book of Renaissance, and established modern punctuation, the page format and italic type, and the first printed work of Aristotle.

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 Giorgione and Titian, then Tintoretto and Veronese. In the early 1500s, also, there was rivalry between whether Venetian painting should use disegno or colorito.

Canvases (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 Canaletto's and Guardi's panoramic views.

Glass



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 Muranomarker.

Byzantine craftsmen played an important role in the development of Venetian glass, an art form for which the city is well-known. When Constantinoplemarker was sacked by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, some fleeing artisans came to Venice. This happened again when the Ottomans took 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 techniques.

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 Europe.

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, Millevetri, Seguso. Barovier & Toso is considered one of the 100 oldest companies in the world, formed in 1295.

One of the most renowned types of Venetian glasses are made in Muranomarker, 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.

Festivals

The Carnival of Venice is held 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 is the oldest film festival in the world. Founded 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 Lidomarker, Venice, Italy. 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



Notable people

For people from Venice, see People from Venice.Others closely associated with the city include:

Sister cities



Cooperation agreements

Venice has cooperation agreements with the Greek city of Thessalonikimarker, the German city of Nurembergmarker, signed on 25 September 1999, and the Turkish city of Istanbulmarker, signed on 4 March 1993, within the framework of the 1991 Istanbul Declaration. It is also a Science and Technology Partnership City with Qingdaomarker, 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 safeguard.

Etymology

The name is connected with the people known as the Veneti, perhaps the same as the Eneti (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 colonymarker, there is some speculation that the name 'Venice' has its roots in the name of the Phoenician empire.

See also



Several cities have been compared to Venice: The Breton city Nantesmarker has been called The Venice of the West, Suzhoumarker has been named Venice of the East, Basramarker 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 Amsterdammarker, Birminghammarker, Bornholmmarker, Brugesmarker, Haapsalumarker, Maryhillmarker, Saint Petersburgmarker and Stockholmmarker.

References

Bibliography

Academic


  • 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 Venice.
  • 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.


Popular


  • 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 illustrated.
  • 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 Fardin).


Notes

External links




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