"Venice - The City of Lovers" Venice by nicolaitan
Venice Travel Guide: 8,263 reviews and 21,914 photos
Today's Venice is a city of over 270000 people, with over 60000 living in the central historic center. It is built on an archipeligo of 118 islands separated by 150 canals in a shallow lagoon at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea. It is Europe's largest urban car free district, with canal transport and walking as the major modes of transportation. It is connected to the mainland by 2 causeways (train - 19th Century and auto - 20th Century. Today Venice is a city of Art and Architecture with major museum. cathedrals, and palaces. It is called the city of lovers for the romance of its canals (and the absence of motorised vehicles favoring long walks along the water).
The islands and swamps of the shallow lagoon on which Venice is built were first settled in the 5th and 6th Centuries by those fleeing the Lombards and other invaders following the fall of the Roman Empire. The growing city was annexed to the Byzantine Empire, but functioned independently electing a governing duke, or Doge. Given its location, it became a major trade and commercial city by the 9th Century. As the staging site for the 4th Crusade very early in the 13th Century, Venice received the spoils of war as well and became a wealthy powerful city with a large empire covering much of surrounding Central Europe, the Balkans, and most of the Mediterranean Sea. The city also controlled much of what is today northeastern Italy including Padua, Verona, and Bergamo. Between the 14th and 17th Century, following repeated wars first with Genoa and then with multiple Italian cities, Venice's political and economic might slowly diminished. Conquered by Napoleon in 1767 and then ceded to Austria, Venice regained its independence in the mid-19th Century quickly joining the new Kingdom of Italy (1866).
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