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Venice

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Venice
Venezia (Italian)
Venesia (Venetian)
Comune di Venezia
A collage of Venice: at the top left is the Piazza San Marco, followed by a view of the city, then the Grand Canal and interior of La Fenice, as well as the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
A collage of Venice: at the top left is the Piazza San Marco, followed by a view of the city, then the Grand Canal and interior of La Fenice, as well as the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Coat of arms of Venice
Location of Venice
Map
Venice is located in Italy
Venice
Venice
Location of Venice in Veneto
Venice is located in Veneto
Venice
Venice
Venice (Veneto)
Coordinates: 45°26′15″N 12°20′9″E / 45.43750°N 12.33583°E / 45.43750; 12.33583Coordinates: 45°26′15″N 12°20′9″E / 45.43750°N 12.33583°E / 45.43750; 12.33583
CountryItaly
RegionVeneto
Metropolitan cityVenice (VE)
FrazioniChirignago, Favaro Veneto, Mestre, Marghera, Murano, Burano, Giudecca, Lido, Zelarino
Government
 • MayorLuigi Brugnaro (CI)
Area
 • Total414.57 km2 (160.07 sq mi)
Elevation
1 m (3 ft)
Population
 (2020)[2]
 • Total258,685
 • Density620/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Veneziano
Venetian (English)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
30100
Dialing code041
ISTAT code027042
Patron saintSt. Mark the Evangelist
Saint day25 April
WebsiteOfficial website
Venice

Venice (/ˈvɛnɪs/ VEH-niss; Italian: Venezia [veˈnɛttsja] (listen); Venetian: Venesia or Venexia [veˈnɛsja]) is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is built on a group of 118 small islands[3] that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges.[3][4] The islands are in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay lying between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers (more exactly between the Brenta and the Sile). In 2020, around 258,685 people resided in greater Venice or the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical island city of Venice (centro storico) and the rest on the mainland (terraferma). Together with the cities of Padua and Treviso, Venice is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE), which is considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million.[5]

The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC.[6][7] The city was historically the capital of the Republic of Venice for over a millennium, from 697 to 1797. It was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as an important centre of commerce—especially silk, grain, and spice, and of art from the 13th century to the end of the 17th. The city-state of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial centre, emerging in the 9th century and reaching its greatest prominence in the 14th century.[8] This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history.[9] For centuries Venice possessed numerous territories along the Adriatic Sea and within the Italian peninsula, leaving a significant impact on the architecture and culture that can still be seen today.[10][11] The sovereignty of Venice came to an end in 1797, at the hands of Napoleon. Subsequently, in 1866, the city became part of the Kingdom of Italy.[12]

Venice has been known as "La Dominante", "La Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", and "City of Canals". The lagoon and the historic parts of the city within the lagoon were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, covering an area of 70,176.4 ha.[13] In view of the fact that Venice and its lagoon are under constant threat in terms of their ecology and the safeguarding of the cultural heritage, Venice's UNESCO listing has been under constant examination by UNESCO.[14] Parts of Venice are renowned for the beauty of their settings, their architecture, and artwork.[3] Venice is known for several important artistic movements—especially during the Renaissance period—and has played an important role in the history of instrumental and operatic music, and is the birthplace of Baroque composers Tomaso Albinoni and Antonio Vivaldi.[15]

Although the city is facing some challenges (including an excessive number of tourists and problems caused by pollution, tide peaks and cruise ships sailing too close to buildings),[16][17][18] Venice remains a very popular tourist destination, a major cultural centre, and has been ranked many times the most beautiful city in the world.[19][20] It has been described by The Times as one of Europe's most romantic cities[21] and by The New York Times as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man".[22]

Discover more about Venice related topics

Italian language

Italian language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family that evolved from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire. Together with Sardinian, Italian is the least divergent language from Latin. Spoken by about 85 million people (2022), Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, and Vatican City. It has official minority status in Croatia and in some areas of Slovenian Istria.

Italy

Italy

Italy, officially the Italian Republic or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it consists of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands; its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical region. Italy shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. It has a territorial exclave in Switzerland, Campione. Italy covers an area of 301,230 km2 (116,310 sq mi), with a population of about 60 million. It is the third-most populous member state of the European Union, the sixth-most populous country in Europe, and the tenth-largest country in the continent by land area. Italy's capital and largest city is Rome.

Brenta (river)

Brenta (river)

The Brenta is an Italian river that runs from Trentino to the Adriatic Sea just south of the Venetian lagoon in the Veneto region, in the north-east of Italy.

Comune

Comune

A comune is the third-level administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. It is the third-level administrative division of Italy, after regions (regioni) and provinces (province). The comune can also have the title of città ('city').

Adriatic Veneti

Adriatic Veneti

The Veneti were an Indo-European people who inhabited northeastern Italy, in an area corresponding to the modern-day region of Veneto, from the middle of the 2nd millennium BC and developing their own original civilization along the 1st millennium BC.

Crusades

Crusades

The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The best known of these military expeditions are those to the Holy Land in the period between 1095 and 1291 that were intended to conquer Jerusalem and its surrounding area from Muslim rule. Beginning with the First Crusade, which resulted in the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099, dozens of military campaigns were organised, providing a focal point of European history for centuries. Crusading declined rapidly after the 15th century.

City-state

City-state

A city-state is an independent sovereign city which serves as the center of political, economic, and cultural life over its contiguous territory. They have existed in many parts of the world since the dawn of history, including ancient poleis such as Athens, Sparta, Carthage and Rome, the atlepeme of pre-Columbian Mexico and the Italian city-states during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, such as Florence, Venice, Genoa and Milan.

Adriatic Sea

Adriatic Sea

The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan Peninsula. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto to the northwest and the Po Valley. The countries with coasts on the Adriatic are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, and Slovenia.

Architecture

Architecture

Architecture is the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. It is both the process and the product of sketching, conceiving, planning, designing, and constructing buildings or other structures. The term comes from Latin architectura; from Ancient Greek ἀρχιτέκτων (arkhitéktōn) 'architect'; from ἀρχι- (arkhi-) 'chief', and τέκτων (téktōn) 'creator'. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.

Italian Renaissance

Italian Renaissance

The Italian Renaissance was a period in Italian history covering the 15th and 16th centuries. The period is known for the initial development of the broader Renaissance culture that spread across Western Europe and marked the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. Proponents of a "long Renaissance" argue that it started around the year 1300 and lasted until about 1600. In some fields, a Proto-Renaissance, beginning around 1250, is typically accepted. The French word renaissance means "rebirth", and defines the period as one of cultural revival and renewed interest in Classical antiquity after the centuries during what Renaissance humanists labelled as the "Dark Ages". The Italian Renaissance historian Giorgio Vasari used the term rinascita ("rebirth") in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects in 1550, but the concept became widespread only in the 19th century, after the work of scholars such as Jules Michelet and Jacob Burckhardt.

Baroque music

Baroque music

Baroque music refers to the period or dominant style of Western classical music composed from about 1600 to 1750. The Baroque style followed the Renaissance period, and was followed in turn by the Classical period after a short transition, the galant style. The Baroque period is divided into three major phases: early, middle, and late. Overlapping in time, they are conventionally dated from 1580 to 1650, from 1630 to 1700, and from 1680 to 1750. Baroque music forms a major portion of the "classical music" canon, and is now widely studied, performed, and listened to. The term "baroque" comes from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning "misshapen pearl". The works of George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach are considered the pinnacle of the Baroque period. Other key composers of the Baroque era include Claudio Monteverdi, Domenico Scarlatti, Alessandro Scarlatti, Alessandro Stradella, Antonio Vivaldi, Tomaso Albinoni, Johann Pachelbel, Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Arcangelo Corelli, François Couperin, Johann Hermann Schein, Heinrich Schütz, Samuel Scheidt, Dieterich Buxtehude, and others.

Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was a Venetian composer, virtuoso violinist and impresario of Baroque music. Along with Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Frideric Handel, Vivaldi is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe, giving origin to many imitators and admirers. He pioneered many developments in orchestration, violin technique and programmatic music. He consolidated the emerging concerto form into a widely accepted and followed idiom, which was paramount in the development of Johann Sebastian Bach's instrumental music.

History

Origins

Timeline of Venice
Historical affiliations

 Western Roman Empire, 421–476
 Kingdom of Odoacer, 476–493
 Ostrogothic Kingdom, 493–553
 Eastern Roman Empire, 553–584
 Byzantine Empire (Exarchate of Ravenna), 584–697
Republic of Venice, 697–1797
Habsburg monarchy, 1797–1805
Kingdom of Italy, 1805–1814
Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, 1815–1848
Republic of San Marco, 1848–1849
Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, 1849–1866
Kingdom of Italy, 1866–1943
 Italian Social Republic, 1943–1945
 Italy, 1946–present

Although no surviving historical records deal directly with the founding of Venice,[23] tradition and the available evidence have led several historians to agree that the original population of Venice consisted of refugees—from nearby Roman cities such as Padua, Aquileia, Treviso, Altino, and Concordia (modern Portogruaro), as well as from the undefended countryside—who were fleeing successive waves of Germanic and Hun invasions.[24] This is further supported by the documentation on the so-called "apostolic families", the twelve founding families of Venice who elected the first doge, who in most cases trace their lineage back to Roman families.[25][26] Some late Roman sources reveal the existence of fishermen, on the islands in the original marshy lagoons, who were referred to as incolae lacunae ("lagoon dwellers"). The traditional founding is identified with the dedication of the first church, that of San Giacomo on the islet of Rialto (Rivoalto, "High Shore")—said to have taken place at the stroke of noon on 25 March 421 (the Feast of the Annunciation).[27][28][29]

Beginning as early as AD 166–168, the Quadi and Marcomanni destroyed the main Roman town in the area, present-day Oderzo. This part of Roman Italy was again overrun in the early 5th century by the Visigoths and, some 50 years later, by the Huns led by Attila. The last and most enduring immigration into the north of the Italian peninsula, that of the Lombards in 568, left the Eastern Roman Empire only a small strip of coastline in the current Veneto, including Venice. The Roman/Byzantine territory was organized as the Exarchate of Ravenna, administered from that ancient port and overseen by a viceroy (the Exarch) appointed by the Emperor in Constantinople. Ravenna and Venice were connected only by sea routes, and with the Venetians' isolation came increasing autonomy. New ports were built, including those at Malamocco and Torcello in the Venetian lagoon. The tribuni maiores formed the earliest central standing governing committee of the islands in the lagoon, dating from c. 568.[30]

The Doge's Palace, the former residence of the Doge of Venice
The Doge's Palace, the former residence of the Doge of Venice

The traditional first doge of Venice, Paolo Lucio Anafesto (Anafestus Paulicius), was elected in 697, as written in the oldest chronicle by John, deacon of Venice c. 1008. Some modern historians claim Paolo Lucio Anafesto was actually the Exarch Paul, and Paul's successor, Marcello Tegalliano, was Paul's magister militum (or "general"), literally "master of soldiers". In 726 the soldiers and citizens of the exarchate rose in a rebellion over the iconoclastic controversy, at the urging of Pope Gregory II. The exarch, held responsible for the acts of his master, Byzantine Emperor Leo III, was murdered, and many officials were put to flight in the chaos. At about this time, the people of the lagoon elected their own independent leader for the first time, although the relationship of this to the uprisings is not clear. Ursus was the first of 117 "doges" (doge is the Venetian dialectal equivalent of the Latin dux ("leader"); the corresponding word in English is duke, in standard Italian duca. (See also "duce".) Whatever his original views, Ursus supported Emperor Leo III's successful military expedition to recover Ravenna, sending both men and ships. In recognition of this, Venice was "granted numerous privileges and concessions" and Ursus, who had personally taken the field, was confirmed by Leo as dux.[31] and given the added title of hypatus (from the Greek for "consul").[32]

In 751, the Lombard King Aistulf conquered most of the Exarchate of Ravenna, leaving Venice a lonely and increasingly autonomous Byzantine outpost. During this period, the seat of the local Byzantine governor (the "duke/dux", later "doge"), was at Malamocco. Settlement on the islands in the lagoon probably increased with the Lombard conquest of other Byzantine territories, as refugees sought asylum in the area. In 775/6, the episcopal seat of Olivolo (San Pietro di Castello, namely Helipolis) was created. During the reign of duke Agnello Particiaco (811–827) the ducal seat moved from Malamocco to the more protected Rialto, within present-day 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.

Charlemagne sought to subdue the city to his rule. He ordered the pope to expel the Venetians from the Pentapolis along the Adriatic coast;[33] Charlemagne's own son Pepin of Italy, king of the Lombards, under the authority of his father, embarked on a siege of Venice itself. This, however, proved a costly failure. The siege lasted six months, with Pepin's army ravaged by the diseases of the local swamps and eventually forced to withdraw in 810. A few months later, Pepin himself died, apparently as a result of a disease contracted there. In the aftermath, an agreement between Charlemagne and the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus in 814 recognized Venice as Byzantine territory, and granted the city trading rights along the Adriatic coast.

In 828 the new city's prestige increased with the acquisition, from Alexandria, of relics claimed to be of St Mark the Evangelist; these were placed in the new basilica. Winged lions—visible throughout Venice—are the emblem of St Mark. The patriarchal seat was also moved to Rialto. As the community continued to develop, and as Byzantine power waned, its own autonomy grew, leading to eventual independence.[34]

Expansion

The Republic of Venice and its colonial empire Stato da Màr
The Republic of Venice and its colonial empire Stato da Màr

From the 9th to the 12th centuries, Venice developed into a powerful maritime empire (an Italian thalassocracy known also as repubblica marinara). In addition to Venice there were seven others: the most important ones were Genoa, Pisa, and Amalfi; and the lesser known were Ragusa, Ancona, Gaeta and Noli. Its own strategic position at the head of the Adriatic made Venetian naval and commercial power almost invulnerable.[35] With the elimination of pirates along the Dalmatian coast, the city became a flourishing trade centre between Western Europe and the rest of the world, especially with the Byzantine Empire and Asia, where its navy protected sea routes against piracy.[36]

The Republic of Venice seized a number of places 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 possessed the titles of Duke of Dalmatia and Duke of Istria. Later mainland possessions, which extended across Lake Garda as far west as the Adda River, were known as the Terraferma; they 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, Venice dominated the trade in salt,[37] acquired control of most of the islands in the Aegean, including Crete, and Cyprus in the Mediterranean, 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 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.[38]

Venice became an imperial power following the Fourth Crusade, which, having veered off course, culminated in 1204 by capturing and sacking Constantinople and establishing the Latin Empire. As a result of this conquest, considerable Byzantine plunder was brought back to Venice. This plunder included the gilt bronze horses from the Hippodrome of Constantinople, which were originally placed above the entrance to the cathedral of Venice, St Mark's Basilica (The originals have been replaced with replicas, and are now stored within the basilica.) After the fall of Constantinople, the former Eastern Roman Empire was partitioned among the Latin crusaders and the Venetians. Venice subsequently carved out a sphere of influence in the Mediterranean known as the Duchy of the Archipelago, and captured Crete.[39]

View of San Giorgio Maggiore Island from St Mark's Campanile
View of San Giorgio Maggiore Island from St Mark's Campanile

The seizure of Constantinople proved as decisive a factor in ending the Byzantine Empire as the loss of the Anatolian themes, after Manzikert. Although the Byzantines recovered control of the ravaged city a half-century later, the Byzantine Empire was terminally weakened, and existed as a ghost of its old self, until Sultan Mehmet The Conqueror took the city in 1453.

Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Venice had always traded extensively with the Byzantine Empire and the Middle East. By the late 13th 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. Venice's leading families vied with each other to build the grandest palaces and to 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, to be the chief executive; he would usually hold the title until his death, although several Doges were forced, by pressure from their oligarchical peers, to resign and retire into monastic seclusion, when they were felt to have been discredited by political failure.

Monument to Bartolomeo Colleoni (1400–1475), captain-general of the Republic of Venice from 1455 to 1475
Monument to Bartolomeo Colleoni (1400–1475), captain-general of the Republic of Venice from 1455 to 1475

The Venetian governmental structure was similar in some ways to the republican system of ancient Rome, with an elected chief executive (the doge), a senator-like assembly of nobles, and the general citizenry with limited political power, who originally had the power to grant or withhold their approval of each newly elected doge. Church and various private property was tied to military service, although 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. Therefore, the city's early employment of large numbers of mercenaries for service elsewhere, and later its reliance on foreign mercenaries when the ruling class was preoccupied with commerce.

The Fra Mauro Map of the world. The map was made around 1450 and depicts Asia, Africa and Europe.
The Fra Mauro Map of the world. The map was made around 1450 and depicts Asia, Africa and Europe.
View of San Marco basin in 1697
View of San Marco basin in 1697

Although the people of Venice generally remained orthodox Roman Catholics, the state of Venice was notable for its freedom from religious fanaticism, and executed nobody for religious heresy during the Counter-Reformation. This apparent lack of zeal contributed to Venice's frequent conflicts with the papacy. In this context, the writings of the Anglican divine William Bedell are particularly illuminating. Venice was threatened with the interdict on a number of occasions and twice suffered its imposition. The second, most noted, occasion was in 1606, by order of Pope Paul V.

The newly invented German printing press spread rapidly throughout Europe in the 15th century, and Venice was quick to adopt it. By 1482, Venice was the printing capital of the world; the leading printer was Aldus Manutius, who invented paperback books that could be carried in a saddlebag.[40] His Aldine Editions included translations of nearly all the known Greek manuscripts of the era.[41]

Decline

Venice's long decline started in the 15th century. Venice confronted the Ottoman Empire in the Siege of Thessalonica (1422–1430) and sent ships to help defend Constantinople against the besieging Turks in 1453. After the Fall of Constantinople, Sultan Mehmed II declared the first of a series of Ottoman-Venetian wars that cost Venice much of its eastern Mediterranean possessions. Vasco da Gama's 1497–1499 voyage opened a sea route to India around the Cape of Good Hope and destroyed Venice's monopoly. Venice's oared vessels were at a disadvantage when it came to traversing oceans, therefore Venice was left behind in the race for colonies.

The Black Death devastated Venice in 1348 and struck again between 1575 and 1577.[42] In three years, the plague killed some 50,000 people.[43] In 1630, the Italian plague of 1629–31 killed a third of Venice's 150,000 citizens.[44]

Venice began to lose its position as a centre 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. France and Spain fought for hegemony over Italy in the Italian Wars, marginalising its political influence. However, Venice remained a major exporter of agricultural products and until the mid-18th century, a significant manufacturing centre.

Modern age

1870s panoramic view of Venice
1870s panoramic view of Venice

The Republic of Venice lost its independence when Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Venice on 12 May 1797 during the War of the First Coalition. Napoleon was seen as something of a liberator by the city's Jewish population. He removed the gates of the Ghetto 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. Venice was taken from Austria by the Treaty of Pressburg in 1805 and became part of Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy. It was returned to Austria following Napoleon's defeat in 1814, when it became part of the Austrian-held Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia. In 1848 a revolt briefly re-established the Venetian republic under Daniele Manin, but this was crushed in 1849. In 1866, after the Third Italian War of Independence, Venice, along with the rest of the Veneto, became part of the newly created Kingdom of Italy.

From the middle of the 18th century, Trieste and papal Ancona, both of which became free ports, competed with Venice more and more economically. Habsburg Trieste in particular boomed and increasingly served trade via the Suez Canal, which opened in 1869, between Asia and Central Europe, while Venice very quickly lost its competitive edge and commercial strength.[45]

During the Second World War, the historic city was largely free from attack, the only aggressive effort of note being Operation Bowler, a successful Royal Air Force precision strike on the German naval operations in the city in March 1945. The targets were destroyed with virtually no architectural damage inflicted on the city itself.[46] However, the industrial areas in Mestre and Marghera and the railway lines to Padua, Trieste, and Trento were repeatedly bombed.[47] On 29 April 1945, a force of British and New Zealand troops of the British Eighth Army, under Lieutenant General Freyberg, liberated Venice, which had been a hotbed of anti-Mussolini Italian partisan activity.[48][49]

Discover more about History related topics

History of the Republic of Venice

History of the Republic of Venice

The Republic of Venice was a sovereign state and maritime republic in Northeast Italy, which existed for a millennium between the 8th century and 1797.

Odoacer

Odoacer

Odoacer, also spelled Odovacer or Odovacar, was a Germanic soldier and statesman of barbarian background, who deposed the Western Roman child emperor Romulus Augustulus and became Rex/Dux of Italy (476–493). Odoacer's overthrow of Romulus Augustulus is traditionally seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire as well as Ancient Rome.

Byzantine Empire

Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire primarily in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire remained the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. The terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" were coined after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire as the Roman Empire, and to themselves as Romans—a term which Greeks continued to use for themselves into Ottoman times. Although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians prefer to differentiate the Byzantine Empire from Ancient Rome as it was centred on Constantinople instead of Rome, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, and characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Exarchate of Ravenna

Exarchate of Ravenna

The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy was a lordship of the Eastern Roman Empire in Italy, from 584 to 751, when the last exarch was put to death by the Lombards. It was one of two exarchates established following the western reconquests under Emperor Justinian to more effectively administer the territories, along with the Exarchate of Africa.

Habsburg monarchy

Habsburg monarchy

The Habsburg monarchy, also known as the Danubian monarchy, or Habsburg Empire, was the collection of empires, kingdoms, duchies, counties and other polities that were ruled by the House of Habsburg, especially the dynasty's Austrian branch.

Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic)

Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic)

The Kingdom of Italy was a kingdom in Northern Italy in personal union with Napoleon I's French Empire. It was fully influenced by revolutionary France and ended with Napoleon's defeat and fall. Its government was assumed by Napoleon as King of Italy and the viceroyalty delegated to his stepson Eugène de Beauharnais. It covered some of Piedmont and the modern regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino, South Tyrol, and Marche. Napoleon I also ruled the rest of northern and central Italy in the form of Nice, Aosta, Piedmont, Liguria, Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio, but directly as part of the French Empire, rather than as part of a vassal state.

Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia

Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia

The Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, commonly called the "Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom", was a constituent land of the Austrian Empire from 1815 to 1866. It was created in 1815 by resolution of the Congress of Vienna in recognition of the Austrian House of Habsburg-Lorraine's rights to the former Duchy of Milan and the former Republic of Venice after the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed in 1805, had collapsed.

Fascist Italy (1922–1943)

Fascist Italy (1922–1943)

The Kingdom of Italy was governed by the National Fascist Party from 1922 to 1943 with Benito Mussolini as prime minister. The Italian Fascists imposed authoritarian rule and crushed political and intellectual opposition, while promoting economic modernization, traditional social values and a rapprochement with the Roman Catholic Church.

Italian Social Republic

Italian Social Republic

The Italian Social Republic, known prior to December 1943 as the National Republican State of Italy, but more popularly known as the Republic of Salò, was a Nazi-German puppet state with limited diplomatic recognition which was created during the later part of World War II, that existed from the beginning of the German occupation of Italy in September 1943 until the surrender of German troops in Italy in May 1945. The German occupation triggered widespread national resistance against it and the Italian Social Republic, leading to the Italian Civil War.

Italy

Italy

Italy, officially the Italian Republic or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it consists of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands; its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical region. Italy shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. It has a territorial exclave in Switzerland, Campione. Italy covers an area of 301,230 km2 (116,310 sq mi), with a population of about 60 million. It is the third-most populous member state of the European Union, the sixth-most populous country in Europe, and the tenth-largest country in the continent by land area. Italy's capital and largest city is Rome.

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome

In modern historiography, Ancient Rome refers to Roman civilisation from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. It encompasses the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire.

Aquileia

Aquileia

Aquileia is an ancient Roman city in Italy, at the head of the Adriatic at the edge of the lagoons, about 10 kilometres (6 mi) from the sea, on the river Natiso, the course of which has changed somewhat since Roman times. Today, the city is small, but it was large and prominent in classical antiquity as one of the world's largest cities with a population of 100,000 in the 2nd century AD and is one of the main archaeological sites of northern Italy. In late antiquity the city was the first city in the Italian Peninsula to be sacked by Attila the Hun.

Geography

Venice viewed from the International Space Station
Venice viewed from the International Space Station
Venice and surroundings in false colour, from Terra. The picture is oriented with North at the top.
Venice and surroundings in false colour, from Terra. The picture is oriented with North at the top.

Venice sits atop alluvial silt washed into the sea by the rivers flowing eastward from the alps across the Veneto plain, with the silt being stretched into long banks, or lidi, by the action of the current flowing around the head of the Adriatic Sea from east to west.[50]

Subsidence

Piazza San Marco under water in 2007
Piazza San Marco under water in 2007
Acqua alta ("high water") in Venice, 2008
Acqua alta ("high water") in Venice, 2008

Subsidence, the gradual lowering of the surface of Venice, has contributed—along with other factors—to the seasonal Acqua alta ("high water") when much of the city's surface is occasionally covered at high tide.

Building foundations

Those fleeing barbarian invasions who found refuge on the sandy islands of Torcello, Iesolo, and Malamocco, in this coastal lagoon, learned to build by driving closely spaced piles consisting of the trunks of alder trees, a wood noted for its water resistance, into the mud and sand,[51][52] until they reached a much harder layer of compressed clay. Building foundations rested on plates of Istrian limestone placed on top of the piles.[53]

Flooding

Between autumn and early spring, the city is often threatened by flood tides pushing in from the Adriatic. 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.[54] This created an ever-deeper lagoon environment. Additionally, the lowest part of Venice, St. Mark's Basilica, is only 64 centimetres (25 in) above sea level, and one of the most flood-prone parts of the city.[55]

In 1604, to defray the cost of flood relief, Venice introduced what could be considered the first example of a "stamp tax".[56] 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". At first, this was to be a temporary tax, but it remained in effect until the fall of the Republic in 1797. Shortly after the introduction of the tax, Spain produced similar paper for general taxation purposes, and the practice spread to other countries.

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 water from the aquifer was the cause. The sinking has slowed markedly since artesian wells were banned in the 1960s. However, the city is still threatened by more frequent low-level floods—the Acqua alta, that rise to a height of several centimetres over its quays—regularly following certain tides. In many old houses, staircases once used to unload goods are now flooded, rendering the former ground floor uninhabitable.

Studies indicate that the city continues sinking at a relatively slow rate of 1–2 mm per annum;[57][58] therefore, the state of alert has not been revoked.

In May 2003, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi inaugurated the MOSE Project (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico), an experimental model for evaluating the performance of hollow floatable gates, expected to be completed in late 2023;[59] the idea is to fix a series of 78 hollow pontoons to the sea bed across the three entrances to the lagoon. When tides are predicted to rise above 110 cm, the pontoons will be filled with air, causing them to float on lagoon side while hinged at sea floor on seaside, thus blocking the incoming water from the Adriatic Sea.[60] This engineering work was due to be completed by 2018.[61] A Reuters report stated that the MOSE Project attributed the delay to "corruption scandals".[62] The project is not guaranteed to be successful and the cost has been very high, with as much as approximately €2 billion of the cost lost to corruption.[16]

According to a spokesman for the FAI:

Mose is a pharaonic project that should have cost €800m [£675m] but will cost at least €7bn [£6bn]. If the barriers are closed at only 90 cm of high water, most of St Mark's will be flooded anyway; but if closed at very high levels only, then people will wonder at the logic of spending such sums on something that didn't solve the problem. And pressure will come from the cruise ships to keep the gates open.[63]

On 13 November 2019, Venice was flooded when waters peaked at 1.87 m (6 ft), the highest tide since 1966 (1.94 m).[64] More than 80% of the city was covered by water, which damaged cultural heritage sites, including more than 50 churches, leading to tourists cancelling their visits.[65][66] The planned flood barrier would have prevented this incident according to various sources, including Marco Piana, the head of conservation at St Mark's Basilica.[67] The mayor promised that work on the flood barrier would continue,[68][67] and the Prime Minister announced that the government would be accelerating the project.[65]

The city's mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, blamed the floods on climate change. The chambers of the Regional Council of Veneto began to be flooded around 10 pm, two minutes after the council rejected a plan to combat global warming.[69] One of the effects of climate change is sea level rise which causes an increase in frequency and magnitude of floodings in the city.[70][71] A Washington Post report provided a more thorough analysis:[72]

"The sea level has been rising even more rapidly in Venice than in other parts of the world. At the same time, the city is sinking, the result of tectonic plates shifting below the Italian coast. Those factors together, along with the more frequent extreme weather events associated with climate change, contribute to floods."

Henk Ovink, an expert on flooding, told CNN that, while environmental factors are part of the problem, "historic floods in Venice are not only a result of the climate crisis but poor infrastructure and mismanagement".[73]

The government of Italy committed to providing 20 million euros in funding to help the city repair the most urgent aspects although Brugnaro's estimate of the total damage was "hundreds of millions"[74] to at least 1 billion euros.[75]

On 3 October 2020, the MOSE was activated for the first time in response to a predicted high tide event, preventing some of the low-lying parts of the city (in particular the Piazza San Marco) from being flooded.[76]

Climate

According to the Köppen climate classification, Venice has a mid-latitude, four season humid subtropical climate (Cfa), with cool, damp winters and warm, humid summers. The 24-hour average temperature in January is 3.3 °C (37.9 °F), and for July this figure is 23.0 °C (73.4 °F). Precipitation is spread relatively evenly throughout the year, and averages 748 millimetres (29.4 in); snow isn't a rarity between late November and early March. During the most severe winters, the canals and parts of the lagoon can freeze, but with the warming trend of the past 30–40 years, the occurrence has become rarer.[77]

Climate data for Venice (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.6
(43.9)
8.6
(47.5)
12.5
(54.5)
16.1
(61.0)
21.5
(70.7)
24.9
(76.8)
27.7
(81.9)
27.5
(81.5)
23.5
(74.3)
18.0
(64.4)
11.6
(52.9)
7.4
(45.3)
17.2
(63.0)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.3
(37.9)
4.7
(40.5)
8.3
(46.9)
12.0
(53.6)
17.1
(62.8)
20.5
(68.9)
23.0
(73.4)
22.6
(72.7)
18.9
(66.0)
13.8
(56.8)
7.8
(46.0)
4.0
(39.2)
13.0
(55.4)
Average low °C (°F) −0.1
(31.8)
0.8
(33.4)
4.1
(39.4)
7.8
(46.0)
12.7
(54.9)
16.1
(61.0)
18.3
(64.9)
17.7
(63.9)
14.3
(57.7)
9.6
(49.3)
4.0
(39.2)
0.6
(33.1)
8.8
(47.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 47.0
(1.85)
48.3
(1.90)
48.8
(1.92)
70.0
(2.76)
66.0
(2.60)
78.0
(3.07)
63.9
(2.52)
64.8
(2.55)
72.0
(2.83)
73.5
(2.89)
65.5
(2.58)
50.6
(1.99)
748.4
(29.46)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 6.0 5.2 5.7 8.3 8.2 8.6 5.9 6.1 5.9 6.7 5.8 5.9 78.3
Average relative humidity (%) 81 77 75 75 73 74 71 72 75 77 79 81 75.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 80.6 107.4 142.6 174.0 229.4 243.0 288.3 257.3 198.0 151.9 87.0 77.5 2,037
Percent possible sunshine 29 38 38 41 49 51 62 59 51 45 29 28 43
Source 1: MeteoAM (sun and humidity 1961–1990)[78][79]
Source 2: Weather Atlas[80]
Climate data for Venice
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average sea temperature °C (°F) 9.9
(49.8)
8.7
(47.7)
9.9
(49.8)
13.4
(56.1)
18.6
(65.5)
23.4
(74.1)
25.4
(77.7)
25.4
(77.7)
23.6
(74.5)
19.3
(66.7)
16.0
(60.8)
13.2
(55.8)
17.2
(63.0)
Mean daily daylight hours 9.0 10.0 12.0 14.0 15.0 16.0 15.0 14.0 13.0 11.0 10.0 9.0 12.3
Average Ultraviolet index 1 2 3 5 7 8 8 7 5 3 2 1 4.3
Source #1: seatemperature.org (avg. sea temperature)[81]
Source #2: Weather Atlas[80]

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International Space Station

International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest modular space station in low Earth orbit. The project involves five space agencies: the United States' NASA, Russia's Roscosmos, Japan's JAXA, Europe's ESA, and Canada's CSA. The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. The station serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which scientific research is conducted in astrobiology, astronomy, meteorology, physics, and other fields. The ISS is suited for testing the spacecraft systems and equipment required for possible future long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars.

Terra (satellite)

Terra (satellite)

Terra is a multi-national, NASA scientific research satellite in a Sun-synchronous orbit around the Earth that takes simultaneous measurements of Earth's atmosphere, land, and water to understand how Earth is changing and to identify the consequences for life on Earth. It is the flagship of the Earth Observing System (EOS) and the first satellite of the system which was followed by Aqua and Aura. Terra was launched in 1999.

Adriatic Sea

Adriatic Sea

The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan Peninsula. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto to the northwest and the Po Valley. The countries with coasts on the Adriatic are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, and Slovenia.

Acqua alta

Acqua alta

An acqua alta is an exceptional tide peak that occurs periodically in the northern Adriatic Sea. The term is applied to such tides in the Italian region of Veneto. The peaks reach their maximum in the Venetian Lagoon, where they cause partial flooding of Venice and Chioggia; flooding also occurs elsewhere around the northern Adriatic, for instance at Grado and Trieste, but much less often and to a lesser degree.

Subsidence

Subsidence

Subsidence is a general term for downward vertical movement of the Earth's surface, which can be caused by both natural processes and human activities. Subsidence involves little or no horizontal movement, which distinguishes it from slope movement.

Deep foundation

Deep foundation

A deep foundation is a type of foundation that transfers building loads to the earth farther down from the surface than a shallow foundation does to a subsurface layer or a range of depths. A pile or piling is a vertical structural element of a deep foundation, driven or drilled deep into the ground at the building site.

Alder

Alder

Alders are trees comprising the genus Alnus in the birch family Betulaceae. The genus comprises about 35 species of monoecious trees and shrubs, a few reaching a large size, distributed throughout the north temperate zone with a few species extending into Central America, as well as the northern and southern Andes.

Clay

Clay

Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil material containing clay minerals (hydrous aluminium phyllosilicates, e.g. kaolin, Al2Si2O5(OH)4).

Istrian stone

Istrian stone

Istrian stone, pietra d'Istria, the characteristic group of building stones in the architecture of Venice, Istria and Dalmatia, is a dense type of impermeable limestones that was quarried in Istria, nowadays Croatia; between Portorož and Pula. Limestone is a biogenetic stone composed of calcium carbonate from the tests and shells of marine creatures laid down over eons. Istrian stone approaches the compressive strength and density of marble, which is metamorphosed limestone. It is often loosely referred to as "marble", which is not strictly correct.

St Mark's Basilica

St Mark's Basilica

The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, commonly known as St Mark's Basilica, is the cathedral church of the Catholic Patriarchate of Venice; it became the episcopal seat of the Patriarch of Venice in 1807, replacing the earlier cathedral of San Pietro di Castello. It is dedicated to and holds the relics of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of the city.

Aquifer

Aquifer

An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing, permeable rock, rock fractures, or unconsolidated materials. Groundwater from aquifers can be extracted using a water well. Aquifers vary greatly in their characteristics. The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called hydrogeology. Related terms include aquitard, which is a bed of low permeability along an aquifer, and aquiclude, which is a solid, impermeable area underlying or overlying an aquifer, the pressure of which could create a confined aquifer. The classification of aquifers is as follows: Saturated versus unsaturated; aquifers versus aquitards; confined versus unconfined; isotropic versus anisotropic; porous, karst, or fractured; transboundary aquifer.

Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi is an Italian media tycoon and politician who served as Prime Minister of Italy in four governments from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006 and 2008 to 2011. He was a member of the Chamber of Deputies from 1994 to 2013, and has served as a member of the Senate of the Republic since 2022, and previously from March to November 2013, and as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) since 2019, and previously from 1999 to 2001.

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1000 60,000—    
1200 80,000+33.3%
1300 180,000+125.0%
1400 110,000−38.9%
1423 150,000+36.4%
1500 100,000−33.3%
1560 170,000+70.0%
1600 200,000+17.6%
1700 140,000−30.0%
1800 140,000+0.0%

The city was one of the largest in Europe in the High Middle Ages, with a population of 60,000 in AD 1000; 80,000 in 1200; and rising up to 110,000–180,000 in 1300. In the mid-1500s the city's population was 170,000, and by 1600 it approached 200,000.[82][83][84][85][86]

In 2021, there were 254,850 people residing in the Comune of Venice (the population figure includes 50,434 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico), 177,621 in Terraferma (the mainland); and 26,795 on other islands in the lagoon).[87] 47.8% of the population in 2021 were male and 52.2% were female; minors (ages 18 and younger) were 14.7% of the population compared to elderly people (ages 65 and older) who numbered 27.9%. This compared with the Italian average of 16.7% and 23.5%, respectively. The average age of Venice residents was 48.6 compared to the Italian average of 45.9. In the five years between 2016 and 2021, the population of Venice declined by 2.7%, while Italy as a whole declined by 2.2%.[88] The population in the historic old city declined much faster: from about 120,000 in 1980 to about 60,000 in 2009,[89] and to 50,000 in 2021.[87] As of 2021, 84.2% of the population was Italian. The largest immigrant groups include: 7,814 (3.1%) Bangladeshis, 6,258 (2.5%) Romanians, 4,054 (1.6%) Moldovans, 4,014 (1.6%) Chinese, and 2,514 (1%) Ukrainians.[90]

Venice is predominantly Roman Catholic (85.0% of the resident population in the area of the Patriarchate of Venice in 2018[91]), but because of the long-standing relationship with Constantinople, there is also a noticeable Orthodox presence; and as a result of immigration, there is now a large Muslim community (about 25,000 or 9.5% of city population in 2018[92]) and some Hindu, and Buddhist inhabitants.

Since 1991, the Church of San Giorgio dei Greci in Venice has become the see of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy and Malta and Exarchate of Southern Europe, a Byzantine-rite diocese under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[93]

There is also a historic Jewish community in Venice. The Venetian Ghetto was the area in which Jews were compelled to live under the Venetian Republic. The word ghetto (ghèto), originally Venetian, is now found in many languages. Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice, written in the late 16th century, features Shylock, a Venetian Jew. The first complete and uncensored printed edition of the Talmud was printed in Venice by Daniel Bomberg in 1523. During World War II, Jews were rounded up in Venice and deported to extermination camps. Since the end of the war, the Jewish population of Venice has declined from 1500 to about 500.[94] Only around 30 Jews live in the former ghetto, which houses the city's major Jewish institutions.[95] In modern times, Venice has an eruv,[96] used by the Jewish community.

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High Middle Ages

High Middle Ages

The High Middle Ages, or high medieval period, was the period of European history that lasted from AD 1000 to 1300. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended around AD 1500.

Bangladeshis

Bangladeshis

Bangladeshis are the citizens of Bangladesh, a South Asian country centered on the transnational historical region of Bengal along the eponymous bay.

Chinese people

Chinese people

The Chinese people or simply Chinese, are people or ethnic groups identified with China, usually through ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, or other affiliation.

Catholic Church

Catholic Church

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide as of 2019. It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilization. The church consists of 24 sui iuris churches, including the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, which comprise almost 3,500 dioceses and eparchies located around the world. The pope, who is the bishop of Rome, is the chief pastor of the church. The bishopric of Rome, known as the Holy See, is the central governing authority of the church. The administrative body of the Holy See, the Roman Curia, has its principal offices in Vatican City, a small enclave of the Italian city of Rome, of which the pope is head of state.

Constantinople

Constantinople

Constantinople became the de facto capital of the Roman Empire upon its founding in 330, and became the de jure capital in AD 476 after the fall of Ravenna and the Western Roman Empire. It remained the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). Following the Turkish War of Independence, the Turkish capital then moved to Ankara. Officially renamed Istanbul in 1930, the city is today the largest city and financial centre of the Republic of Turkey (1923–present). It is also the largest city in Europe.

Eastern Orthodox Church

Eastern Orthodox Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops via local synods. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the head of the Catholic Church—the pope—but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognized by them as primus inter pares. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe. The Eastern Orthodox Church officially calls itself the Orthodox Catholic Church.

Islam

Islam

Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centered around the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad. Adherents of Islam, called Muslims, number approximately 1.9 billion globally and are the world's second-largest religious population after Christians.

Buddhism

Buddhism

Buddhism, also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya, is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha. It originated in present-day North India as a śramaṇa–movement in the 5th century BCE, and gradually spread throughout much of Asia via the Silk Road. It is the world's fourth-largest religion, with over 520 million followers (Buddhists) who comprise seven percent of the global population.

Episcopal see

Episcopal see

An episcopal see is, in a practical use of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

Byzantine Rite

Byzantine Rite

The Byzantine Rite, also known as the Greek Rite or the Rite of Constantinople, is a liturgical rite that is identified with the wide range of cultural, devotional, and canonical practices that developed in the Eastern Christian Church of Constantinople.

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the fifteen to seventeen autocephalous churches that together compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, currently Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople.

History of the Jews in Venice

History of the Jews in Venice

The history of the Jewish Community of Venice, which is the capital of the Veneto region of Italy has been well known since the medieval era.

Government

Local and regional government

The legislative body of the Comune is the City Council (Consiglio Comunale), which is composed of 36 councillors elected every five years with a proportional system, contextually to the mayoral elections. The executive body is the City Administration (Giunta Comunale), composed of 12 assessors nominated and presided over by a directly elected Mayor.

Venice was governed by centre-left parties from the early 1990s until the 2010s, when the Mayor started to be elected directly. Its region, Veneto, has long been a conservative stronghold, with the coalition between the regionalist Lega Nord and the centre-right Forza Italia winning absolute majorities of the electorate in many elections at local, national, and regional levels.

The current Mayor of Venice is Luigi Brugnaro, a centre-right independent businessman who is currently serving his second term in office.

The municipality of Venice is also subdivided into six administrative boroughs (municipalità). Each borough is governed by a council (Consiglio) and a president, elected every five years. The urban organization is dictated by Article 114 of the Italian Constitution. The boroughs have the power to advise the Mayor with nonbinding opinions on a large spectrum of topics (environment, construction, public health, local markets) and exercise the functions delegated to them by the City Council; in addition, they are supplied with autonomous funding to finance local activities.

The boroughs are:

Borough Population President Party Term MunicipalitaVCE.png
Lagoon area
1 Venezia (Historic city)–MuranoBurano 69,136 Marco Borghi PD 2020–2025
2 LidoPellestrina 21,664 Emilio Guberti Ind 2020–2025
Mainland (terraferma)[a]
3 Favaro Veneto 23,615 Marco Bellato Ind 2020–2025
4 Mestre–Carpenedo 88,592 Raffaele Pasqualetto LN 2020–2025
5 Chirignago–Zelarino 38,179 Francesco Tagliapietra Ind 2020–2025
6 Marghera 28,466 Teodoro Marolo Ind 2020–2025
Notes
  1. ^ Annexed with a Royal Decree to the municipality of Venice in 1926.

Sestieri

The historic city of Venice is divided into six areas called sestieri:

Sestiere Abbrev. Area
(ha)
Population
2011-10-09
Density Number
of
islands
Color
Cannaregio CN 121.36 16.950 13.967 33  
Castello CS 173.97 14.813 8.514 26  
San Marco SM 54.48 4.145 7.552 16  
Dorsoduro DD 161.32 13.398 8.305 30  
San Polo SP 46,70 9.183 19.665 7  
Santa Croce SC 88.57 2.257 2.548 14  
Historic centre   646.80 60.746 9.392 126  
Sestieri
Sestieri

Each sestiere is now a statistical and historical area without any degree of autonomy.

The six fingers or phalanges of the ferro on the bow of a gondola represent the six sestieri.

The sestieri are divided into parishes – initially 70 in 1033, but reduced under Napoleon, and now numbering just 38. These parishes predate the sestieri, which were created in about 1170. Each parish exhibited unique characteristics but also belonged to an integrated network. Each community chose its own patron saint, staged its own festivals, congregated around its own market centre, constructed its own bell towers, and developed its own customs.[97]

Other islands of the Venetian Lagoon 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.

Discover more about Government related topics

Mayor of Venice

Mayor of Venice

The mayor of Venice is an elected politician who, along with the Venice City Council of 36 members, is accountable for the strategic government of the municipality of Venice, Veneto, Italy.

Metropolitan City of Venice

Metropolitan City of Venice

The Metropolitan City of Venice is a metropolitan city in the Veneto region, Italy, one of ten Metropolitan cities in Italy. Its capital is the city of Venice. It replaced the Province of Venice in 2015 and includes the city of Venice and 43 other municipalities (comuni). It was first created by the reform of local authorities and then established by the Law 56/2014. The Metropolitan City of Venice is headed by the Metropolitan Mayor and by the Metropolitan Council. Since 15 June 2015, as new mayor of the capital city, Luigi Brugnaro is the first mayor of the Metropolitan City.

Assessor (Italy)

Assessor (Italy)

In Italy an assessor is a member of a Giunta, the executive body in all levels of local government: regions, provinces and comunes.

Centre-left coalition (Italy)

Centre-left coalition (Italy)

The centre-left coalition is an alliance of political parties in Italy active, under several forms and names, since 1995 when The Olive Tree was formed under the leadership of Romano Prodi. The centre-left coalition has ruled the country for more than 15 years between 1996 and 2022.

Lega Nord

Lega Nord

Lega Nord, whose complete name is Lega Nord per l'Indipendenza della Padania, is a right-wing, federalist, populist and conservative political party in Italy. In the run-up of the 2018 general election, the party was rebranded as Lega (transl. League), without changing its official name. The party was nonetheless frequently referred to only as "Lega" even before the rebranding, and informally as the Carroccio. The party's latest elected leader was Matteo Salvini.

Centre-right coalition (Italy)

Centre-right coalition (Italy)

The centre-right coalition is an alliance of political parties in Italy, active—under several forms and names—since 1994, when Silvio Berlusconi entered politics and formed his Forza Italia party. Despite its name, the alliance mostly falls on the right-wing of the political spectrum.

Forza Italia (2013)

Forza Italia (2013)

Forza Italia is a centre-right political party in Italy, whose ideology includes elements of liberal conservatism, Christian democracy, liberalism and populism. FI is a member of the European People's Party. Silvio Berlusconi is the party's leader and president, while Antonio Tajani functions as vice president and national coordinator. Other leading members include Elisabetta Casellati.

Luigi Brugnaro

Luigi Brugnaro

Luigi Brugnaro is an Italian conservative politician and entrepreneur who has been the Mayor of Venice, since taking office on 15 June 2015. Since July 2021, he is also president of Coraggio Italia (CI), a centrist political party affiliated with the centre-right coalition.

Constitution of Italy

Constitution of Italy

The Constitution of the Italian Republic was enacted by the Constituent Assembly on 22 December 1947, with 453 votes in favour and 62 against. The text, which has since been amended sixteen times, was promulgated in an extraordinary edition of Gazzetta Ufficiale on 27 December 1947. The Constituent Assembly was elected by universal suffrage on 2 June 1946, on the same day as the referendum on the abolition of the monarchy was held, and it was formed by the representatives of all the anti-fascist forces that contributed to the defeat of Nazi and Fascist forces during the Italian Civil War. The election was held in all Italian provinces. The Constitution was drafted in 1946 and came into force on 1 January 1948, one century after the Constitution of the Kingdom of Italy, the Statuto Albertino, had been enacted.

Burano

Burano

Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy, near Torcello at the northern end of the lagoon, known for its lace work and brightly coloured homes. The primary economy is tourism.

Democratic Party (Italy)

Democratic Party (Italy)

The Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in Italy. The party's secretary is Elly Schlein, elected in the 2023 leadership election, while the party's president is Stefano Bonaccini.

Lido di Venezia

Lido di Venezia

The Lido, or Venice Lido, is an 11-kilometre-long (7-mile) barrier island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy; it is home to about 20,400 residents. The Venice Film Festival takes place at the Lido late August/early September.

Economy

Venice's economy has changed throughout history. Although there is little specific information about the earliest years, it is likely that an important source of the city's prosperity was the trade in slaves, captured in central Europe and sold to North Africa and the Levant. Venice's location at the head of the Adriatic, and directly south of the terminus of the Brenner Pass over the Alps, would have given it a distinct advantage as a middleman in this important trade. 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 and a leader in political and economic affairs.[98] From the 11th century until the 15th century, pilgrimages to the Holy Land were offered in Venice. Other ports such as Genoa, Pisa, Marseille, Ancona, and Dubrovnik were hardly able to compete with the well organized transportation of pilgrims from Venice.[99][100]

Like Murano, Burano, is also a tourist destination, usually reached via vaporetto.
Like Murano, Burano, is also a tourist destination, usually reached via vaporetto.
The beach of Lido di Venezia
The beach of Lido di Venezia
Bridge of Sighs, one of the most visited sites in the city
Bridge of Sighs, one of the most visited sites in the city

Armenian merchants from Julfa were the leading traders in Venice, especially the Sceriman family in the 17th century. They were specialized in the gems and diamonds business.[101] The trade volume reached millions of tons, which was exceptional for 17th century.[102] This all changed by the 17th century, when Venice's trade empire was taken over by countries such as Portugal, and its importance as a naval power was reduced. In the 18th century, 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 as spaces for art).[103] Since World War II, many Venetians have moved to the neighboring cities of Mestre and Porto Marghera, seeking employment as well as affordable housing.[104]

Today, Venice's economy is mainly based on tourism, shipbuilding (mainly in Mestre and Porto Marghera), services, trade, and industrial exports.[98] Murano glass production in Murano and lace production in Burano are also highly important to the economy.[98]

The city is facing financial challenges. In late 2016, it had a major deficit in its budget and debts in excess of €400 million. "In effect, the place is bankrupt", according to a report by The Guardian.[105] Many locals are leaving the historic centre due to rapidly increasing rents. The declining native population affects the character of the city, as an October 2016 National Geographic article pointed out in its subtitle: "Residents are abandoning the city, which is in danger of becoming an overpriced theme park".[16] The city is also facing other challenges, including erosion, pollution, subsidence, an excessive number of tourists in peak periods, and problems caused by oversized cruise ships sailing close to the banks of the historical city.[16]

In June 2017, Italy was required to bail out two Venetian banks—the Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca—to prevent their bankruptcies.[106] Both banks would be wound down and their assets that have value taken over by another Italian bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, which would receive €5.2 billion as compensation. The Italian government would be responsible for losses from any uncollectible loans from the closed banks. The cost would be €5.2 billion, with further guarantees to cover bad loans totaling €12 billion.[107]

Tourism

Piazzetta San Marco with Doge's Palace on the left, and the columns of the Lion of Venice and St. Theodore in the centre
Piazzetta San Marco with Doge's Palace on the left, and the columns of the Lion of Venice and St. Theodore in the centre
Gondolas share the waterway with other types of craft (including the vaporetti).
Gondolas share the waterway with other types of craft (including the vaporetti).

Venice is an important destination for tourists who want to see its celebrated art and architecture.[108] The city hosts up to 60,000 tourists per day (2017 estimate). Estimates of the annual number of tourists vary from 22 million to 30 million.[109][110][111] This "overtourism" creates overcrowding and environmental problems for Venice's ecosystem. By 2017, UNESCO was considering the addition of Venice to its "In-Danger" list, which includes historical ruins in war-torn countries. To reduce the number of visitors, who are causing irreversible changes in Venice, the agency supports limiting the number of cruise ships[112][113] as well as implementing a strategy for more sustainable tourism.[114]

Tourism has been a major part of the Venetian economy since the 18th century, when Venice—with its beautiful cityscape, uniqueness, and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage—was a stop on the Grand Tour. In the 19th century, Venice became a fashionable centre for the "rich and famous", who often stayed and dined at luxury establishments such as the Danieli Hotel and the Caffè Florian, and continued to be a fashionable city into the early 20th century.[108] 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.[108]

Today, there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco. The Lido di Venezia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics, celebrities, and others in the cinematic industry. The city also relies heavily on the cruise business.[108] The Cruise Venice Committee has estimated that cruise ship passengers spend more than 150 million euros (US$193 million) annually in the city, according to a 2015 report.[115] Other reports, however, point out that such day-trippers spend relatively little in the few hours of their visits to the city.[105]

Venice is regarded by some as a tourist trap, and by others as a "living museum".[108]

Mitigating the effects of tourism

The need to protect the city's historic environment and fragile canals, in the face of a possible loss of jobs produced by cruise tourism, has seen the Italian Transport Ministry attempt to introduce a ban on large cruise ships visiting the city. A 2013 ban would have allowed only cruise ships smaller than 40,000-gross tons to enter the Giudecca Canal and St Mark's basin.[116] In January 2015, a regional court scrapped the ban, but some global cruise lines indicated that they would continue to respect it until a long-term solution for the protection of Venice is found.[117]

Cleaning of canals in the late 1990s
Cleaning of canals in the late 1990s

P&O Cruises removed Venice from its summer schedule; Holland America moved one of its ships from this area to Alaska; and Cunard reduced (in 2017 and further in 2018) the number of visits by its ships. As a result, the Venice Port Authority estimated an 11.4 per cent drop in cruise ships arriving in 2017 versus 2016, leading to a similar reduction in income for Venice.[118]

Gondoliers on the Grand Canal
Gondoliers on the Grand Canal

Having failed in its 2013 bid to ban oversized cruise ships from the Giudecca Canal, the city switched to a new strategy in mid-2017, banning the creation of any additional hotels. Currently, there are over 24,000 hotel rooms. The ban does not affect short-term rentals in the historic centre which are causing an increase in the cost of living for the native residents of Venice.[105] The city had already banned any additional fast food "take-away" outlets, to retain the historic character of the city, which was another reason for freezing the number of hotel rooms.[119] Fewer than half of the millions of annual visitors stay overnight, however.[109][110]

The city also considered a ban on wheeled suitcases, but settled for banning hard plastic wheels for transporting cargo from May 2015.[120]

In addition to accelerating erosion of the ancient city's foundations and creating some pollution in the lagoon,[16][121] cruise ships dropping an excessive number of day trippers can make St. Marks Square and other popular attractions too crowded to walk through during the peak season. Government officials see little value to the economy from the "eat and flee" tourists who stay for less than a day, which is typical of those from cruise ships.[122]

Some locals continued to aggressively lobby for new methods that would reduce the number of cruise ship passengers; their estimate indicated that there are up to 30,000 such sightseers per day at peak periods,[111] while others concentrate their effort on promoting a more responsible way of visiting the city.[123] An unofficial referendum to ban large cruise ships was held in June 2017. More than 18,000 people voted at 60 polling booths set up by activists, and 17,874 favored banning large ships from the lagoon. The population of Venice at the time was about 50,000.[122] The organizers of the referendum backed a plan to build a new cruise ship terminal at one of the three entrances to the Venetian Lagoon. Passengers would be transferred to the historic area in smaller boats.[124][125]

On 28 February 2019, the Venice City Council voted in favour of a new municipal regulation requiring day-trippers visiting the historic centre, and the islands in the lagoon, to pay a new access fee. The extra revenue from the fee would be used for cleaning, maintaining security, reducing the financial burden on residents of Venice, and to "allow Venetians to live with more decorum". The new tax would be between €3 and €10 per person, depending on the expected tourist flow into the old city. The fee could be waived for certain types of travelers: including students, children under the age of 6, voluntary workers, residents of the Veneto region, and participants in sporting events.[126] Overnight visitors, who already pay a "stay" tax and account for around 40% of Venice's yearly total of 28 million visitors,[127] would also be exempted. The access fee was expected to come into effect in September 2019; but it was postponed, firstly, until 1 January 2020, and then, again, due to the coronavirus pandemic.[128] The new charges would be imposed on those tourists who were not staying overnight and is expected to come into force on 1 January 2022.[129]

Diverting cruise ships

Cruise ships access the port of Venice through the Giudecca Canal.

Having failed in its 2013 bid to ban oversized cruise ships from the Giudecca Canal, the Italian inter-ministerial Comitatone overseeing Venice's lagoon released an official directive in November 2017 to keep the largest cruise ships away from the Piazza San Marco and the entrance to the Grand Canal.[130][131][132] Ships over 55,000 tons will be required to follow a specific route through the Vittorio Emmanuele III Canal to reach Marghera, an industrial area of the mainland, where a passenger terminal would be built.[133]

Cruise ship and gondolas in the Bacino San Marco
Cruise ship and gondolas in the Bacino San Marco

In 2014, the United Nations warned the city that it may be placed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger sites unless cruise ships are banned from the canals near the historic centre.[134]

According to the officials, the plan to create an alternative route for ships would require extensive dredging of the canal and the building of a new port, which would take four years, in total, to complete. However, the activist group No Grandi Navi (No big Ships), argued that the effects of pollution caused by the ships would not be diminished by the re-routing plan.[135][136]

On 2 June 2019, the cruise ship MSC Opera rammed a tourist riverboat, the River Countess, which was docked on the Giudecca Canal, injuring five people, in addition to causing property damage. The incident immediately led to renewed demands to ban large cruise ships from the Giudecca Canal,[137] including a Twitter message to that effect posted by the environment minister. The city's mayor urged authorities to accelerate the steps required for cruise ships to begin using the alternate Vittorio Emanuele canal.[138] Italy's transport minister spoke of a "solution to protect both the lagoon and tourism ... after many years of inertia" but specifics were not reported.[139][140] As of June 2019, the 2017 plan to establish an alternative route for large ships, preventing them from coming near the historic area of the city, has not yet been approved.[136]

Nonetheless, the Italian government released an announcement on 7 August 2019 that it would begin rerouting cruise ships larger than 1000 tonnes away from the historic city's Giudecca Canal. For the last four months of 2019, all heavy vessels will dock at the Fusina and Lombardia terminals which are still on the lagoon but away from the central islands. By 2020, one-third of all cruise ships will be rerouted, according to Danilo Toninelli, the minister for Venice. Preparation work for the Vittorio Emanuele Canal needed to begin soon for a long-term solution, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.[141][142] In the long-term, space for ships would be provided at new terminals, perhaps at Chioggia or Lido San Nicolo. That plan was not imminent however, since public consultations had not yet begun. Over 1.5 million people per year arrive in Venice on cruise ships.[143] The Italian government decided to divert large cruise ships beginning August 2021.[144]

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Economic history of Venice

Economic history of Venice

Venice, which is situated at the north end of the Adriatic Sea, was for hundreds of years the richest and most powerful centre of Europe, the reason being that it gained large-scale profits from the adjacent middle European markets. Venice was the major centre of trade with the Arabs and indirectly the Indians during the Middle Ages. It also served as origin of the economic development and integration of the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages.

Brenner Pass

Brenner Pass

The Brenner Pass is a mountain pass through the Alps which forms the border between Italy and Austria. It is one of the principal passes of the Eastern Alpine range and has the lowest altitude among Alpine passes of the area.

Middle Ages

Middle Ages

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Holy Land

Holy Land

The Holy Land is an area roughly located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River, traditionally synonymous both with the biblical Land of Israel and with the region of Palestine. The term "Holy Land" usually refers to a territory roughly corresponding to the modern State of Israel and the Palestinian territories. Jews, Christians, and Muslims regard it as holy.

Genoa

Genoa

Genoa is a city in and the capital of the Italian region of Liguria, and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of the 2011 Italian census, the Province of Genoa, which in 2015 became the Metropolitan City of Genoa, had 855,834 resident persons. Over 1.5 million people live in the wider metropolitan area stretching along the Italian Riviera.

Marseille

Marseille

Marseille is the prefecture of the French department of Bouches-du-Rhône and capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Situated in the Provence region of southern France, it is located on the coast of the Gulf of Lion, part of the Mediterranean Sea, near the mouth of the Rhône river. Its inhabitants are called Marseillais.

Ancona

Ancona

Ancona is a city and a seaport in the Marche region in central Italy, with a population of around 101,997 as of 2015. Ancona is the capital of the province of Ancona and of the region. The city is located 280 km (170 mi) northeast of Rome, on the Adriatic Sea, between the slopes of the two extremities of the promontory of Monte Conero, Monte Astagno and Monte Guasco.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, historically known as Ragusa, is a city in southern Dalmatia, Croatia, by the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, a seaport and the centre of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Its total population is 42,615. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in recognition of its outstanding medieval architecture and fortified old town.

Lido di Venezia

Lido di Venezia

The Lido, or Venice Lido, is an 11-kilometre-long (7-mile) barrier island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy; it is home to about 20,400 residents. The Venice Film Festival takes place at the Lido late August/early September.

Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs is a bridge in Venice, Italy. The enclosed bridge is made of white limestone, has windows with stone bars, passes over the Rio di Palazzo, and connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace. It was designed by Antonio Contino, whose uncle Antonio da Ponte designed the Rialto Bridge. It was built in 1600.

Armenia

Armenia

Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a landlocked country in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region and is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the Lachin corridor and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. Yerevan is the capital, largest city and financial center.

Mestre

Mestre

Mestre is a borough of the comune (municipality) of Venice, on the mainland opposite the historical island city in the region of Veneto, Italy.

Transport

In the historic centre

Aerial view of Venice including the Ponte della Libertà bridge to the mainland
Aerial view of Venice including the Ponte della Libertà bridge to the mainland
Sandolo in a picture of Paolo Monti of 1965. Fondo Paolo Monti, BEIC.
Sandolo in a picture of Paolo Monti of 1965. Fondo Paolo Monti, BEIC.
P & O steamer, circa 1870
P & O steamer, circa 1870

Venice is built on an archipelago of 118 islands[3] in a shallow, 550 km2 (212 sq mi) lagoon,[145] connected by 400 bridges[146] over 177 canals. In the 19th century, a causeway to the mainland brought the railroad to Venice. The adjoining Ponte della Libertà road causeway and terminal parking facilities in Tronchetto island and Piazzale Roma were built during the 20th century. Beyond these rail and road terminals on the northern edge of the city, transportation within the city's historic centre remains, as it was in centuries past, entirely on water or on foot. Venice is Europe's largest urban car-free area and is unique in Europe in having remained a sizable functioning city in the 21st century entirely without motorcars or trucks.

The classic Venetian boat is the gondola, (plural: gondole) although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies, or as traghetti (sing.: traghetto) to cross the Grand Canal in lieu of a nearby bridge. The traghetti are operated by two oarsmen.[147] For some years there were seven such boats; but by 2017, only three remained.

There are approximately 400 licensed gondoliers in Venice, in their distinctive livery, and a similar number of boats, down from 10,000 two centuries ago.[148][149] Many gondolas are lushly appointed with crushed velvet seats and Persian rugs. At the front of each gondola that works in the city, there is a large piece of metal called the fèro (iron). Its shape has evolved through the centuries, as documented in many well-known paintings. Its form, topped by a likeness of the Doge's hat, became gradually standardized, and was then fixed by local law. It consists of six bars pointing forward representing the sestieri of the city, and one that points backwards representing the Giudecca.[149][150] A lesser-known boat is the smaller, simpler, but similar, sandolo.

Waterways

Venice's small islands were enhanced during the Middle Ages by the dredging of soil to raise the marshy ground above the tides. The resulting canals encouraged the flourishing of a nautical culture which proved central to the economy of the city. Today those canals still provide the means for transport of goods and people within the city.

The maze of canals threading through the city requires more than 400 bridges to permit the flow of foot traffic. In 2011, the city opened the Ponte della Costituzione, the fourth bridge across the Grand Canal, which connects the Piazzale Roma bus-terminal area with the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station. The other bridges are the original Ponte di Rialto, the Ponte dell'Accademia, and the Ponte degli Scalzi.

Public transport

Azienda del Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano (ACTV) is a public company responsible for public transportation in Venice.

Lagoon area

Vaporetti on the Grand Canal
Vaporetti on the Grand Canal

The main means of public transportation consists of motorised waterbuses (vaporetti) which ply regular routes along the Grand Canal and between the city's islands. Private motorised water taxis are also active. The only gondole still in common use by Venetians are the traghetti, foot passenger ferries crossing the Grand Canal at certain points where there are no convenient bridges. Other gondole are rented by tourists on an hourly basis.[149]

The Venice People Mover is an elevated shuttle train public transit system connecting Tronchetto island with its car parking facility with Piazzale Roma where visitors arrive in the city by bus, taxi, or automobile. The train makes a stop at the Marittima cruise terminal at the Port of Venice.[151]

Lido and Pellestrina islands

Lido and Pellestrina are two islands forming a barrier between the southern Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea. On those islands, road traffic, including bus service, is allowed. Vaporetti link them with other islands (Venice, Murano, Burano) and with the peninsula of Cavallino-Treporti.

Mainland

The mainland of Venice is composed of 5 boroughs: Mestre-Carpenedo, Marghera, Chirignago-Zelarino, and Favaro Veneto. Mestre is the centre and the most populous urban area of the mainland. There are several bus routes and two Translohr tramway lines. Several bus routes and one of the tramway lines link the mainland with Piazzale Roma, the main bus station in Venice, via Ponte della Libertà, the road bridge connecting the mainland with the group of islands that comprise the historic centre of Venice.

The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Venice, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 52 min. Only 12.2% of public transit riders ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 10 min, while 17.6% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 7 kilometres (4.3 mi), while 12% travel for over 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) in a single direction.[152]

Rail

Venice is serviced by regional and national trains, including trains to Florence (1h53), Milan (2h13), Turin (3h10), Rome (3h33), and Naples (4h50). In addition there are international day trains to Zurich, Innsbruck, Munich, and Vienna, plus overnight sleeper services, to Paris and Dijon on Thello trains, and to Munich and Vienna via ÖBB.

Both stations are managed by Grandi Stazioni; they are linked by the Ponte della Libertà (Liberty Bridge) between the mainland and the city centre.

Other stations in the municipality are Venezia Porto Marghera, Venezia Carpenedo, Venezia Mestre Ospedale, and Venezia Mestre Porta Ovest.

Ports

Cruise ships at the passenger terminal in the Port of Venice (Venezia Terminal Passeggeri)
Cruise ships at the passenger terminal in the Port of Venice (Venezia Terminal Passeggeri)

The Port of Venice (Italian: Porto di Venezia) is the eighth-busiest commercial port in Italy and was a major hub for the cruise sector in the Mediterranean, as since August 2021 ships of more 25,000 tons are forbidden to pass the Giudecca Canal. It is one of the major Italian ports and is included in the list of the leading European ports which are located on the strategic nodes of trans-European networks. In 2002, the port handled 262,337 containers. In 2006, 30,936,931 tonnes passed through the port, of which 14,541,961 was commercial traffic, and saw 1,453,513 passengers.[153]

Aviation

The Marco Polo International Airport (Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo) is named in honor of Marco Polo. The airport is on the mainland and was rebuilt away from the coast. Public transport from the airport takes one to:

  • Venice Piazzale Roma by ATVO (provincial company) buses[154] and by ACTV (city company) buses (route 5 aerobus);[155]
  • Venice, Lido, and Murano by Alilaguna (private company) motor boats;
  • Mestre, the mainland, where Venice Mestre railway station is convenient for connections to Milan, Padua, Trieste, Verona and the rest of Italy, and for ACTV (routes 15 and 45)[155] and ATVO buses and other transport;
  • Regional destinations, such as Treviso and Padua, by ATVO and Busitalia Sita Nord buses.[156]

Venice-Treviso Airport, about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Venice, is used mainly by low-cost airlines. There are public buses from this airport to Venice.[157] Venezia-Lido "Giovanni Nicelli",[158] a public airport suitable for smaller aircraft, is at the northeast end of Lido di Venezia. It has a 994-metre (3,261 ft) grass runway.

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Ponte della Libertà

Ponte della Libertà

The Ponte della Libertà is a road bridge connecting the islands that form the historical centre of the city of Venice to the mainland part of the city.

Giudecca Canal

Giudecca Canal

The Giudecca Canal is a body of water that flows into the San Marco basin in Venice, Italy.

Paolo Monti

Paolo Monti

Paolo Monti was an Italian photographer, known for his architectural photography.

Biblioteca europea di informazione e cultura

Biblioteca europea di informazione e cultura

The Biblioteca Europea di Informazione e Cultura is an ongoing project based in Milan, Italy for the realization of a new modern library. It began in the late 1990s, when Antonio Padoa-Schioppa submitted the idea for the first time to the City of Milan and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. The library is split in two main units: physical and virtual.

Archipelago

Archipelago

An archipelago, sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster, or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands.

Gondola

Gondola

The gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian lagoon. It is typically propelled by a gondolier, who uses a rowing oar, which is not fastened to the hull, in a sculling manner and also acts as the rudder. The uniqueness of the gondola includes its being asymmetrical along the length making the single-oar propulsion more efficient.

Giudecca

Giudecca

Giudecca is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, in northern Italy. It is part of the sestiere of Dorsoduro and is a locality of the comune of Venice.

Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. Connecting the sestieri (districts) of San Marco and San Polo, it has been rebuilt several times since its first construction as a pontoon bridge in 1173, and is now a significant tourist attraction in the city.

Dredging

Dredging

Dredging is the excavation of material from a water environment. Possible reasons for dredging include improving existing water features; reshaping land and water features to alter drainage, navigability, and commercial use; constructing dams, dikes, and other controls for streams and shorelines; and recovering valuable mineral deposits or marine life having commercial value. In all but a few situations the excavation is undertaken by a specialist floating plant, known as a dredger.

Ponte della Costituzione

Ponte della Costituzione

The Ponte della Costituzione is the fourth bridge over the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava, and was moved into place in 2007, amid protest by politicians and the general public. The bridge was installed in 2008 and opened to the public on the night of September 11, 2008. The bridge was known as Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande before the official name was adopted to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Italian constitution in 2008. Tourists and locals in Venice now refer to it as the Calatrava Bridge.

Piazzale Roma

Piazzale Roma

Piazzale Roma is a square in Venice, Italy, at the entrance of the city, at the end of the Ponte della Libertà. Piazzale Roma and nearby Tronchetto island are the only places in Venice's insular urban core accessible to ground motor vehicles, such as automobiles and buses.

Ponte dell'Accademia

Ponte dell'Accademia

The Ponte dell'Accademia is one of only four bridges to span the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It crosses near the southern end of the canal, and is named for the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, which from 1807 to 2004 was housed in the Scuola della Carità together with the Gallerie dell'Accademia, which is still there. The bridge links the sestieri of Dorsoduro and San Marco.

Sport

The most famous Venetian sport is probably Voga alla Veneta [it] ("Venetian-style rowing"), also commonly called voga veneta. A technique invented in the Venetian Lagoon, Venetian rowing is unusual in that the rower(s), one or more, row standing, looking forward. Today, Voga alla Veneta is not only the way the gondoliers row tourists around Venice but also the way Venetians row for pleasure and sport. Many races called regata(e) happen throughout the year.[159] The culminating event of the rowing season is the day of the "Regata Storica", which occurs on the first Sunday of September each year.[160]

The main football club in the city is Venezia F.C., founded in 1907, which currently plays in the Serie B. Their ground, the Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo, situated in Sant'Elena, is the second-oldest continually used stadium in Italy.

The local basketball club is Reyer Venezia, founded in 1872 as the gymnastics club Società Sportiva Costantino Reyer, and in 1907 as the basketball club. Reyer currently plays in the Lega Basket Serie A. The men's team were the Italian champions in 1942, 1943, and 2017. Their arena is the Palasport Giuseppe Taliercio, situated in Mestre. Luigi Brugnaro is both the president of the club and the mayor of the city.

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Venezia F.C.

Venezia F.C.

Venezia Football Club, commonly referred to as Venezia, is a professional football club based in Venice, Italy, that currently plays in Serie B.

Serie B

Serie B

The Serie B, currently named Serie BKT for sponsorship reasons, is the second-highest division in the Italian football league system after the Serie A. It has been operating for over ninety years since the 1929–30 season. It had been organized by Lega Calcio until 2010, when the Lega Serie B was created for the 2010–11 season. Common nicknames for the league are campionato cadetto and cadetteria, since cadetto is the Italian name for junior or cadet.

Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo

Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo

Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo is a multi-use stadium in Venice, Italy. It is the largest sports facility in Venice and the home ground of Venezia F.C. The stadium was first opened in 1913 and takes its name from World War I pilot Pier Luigi Penzo (1896–1928). It is the second-oldest continually used stadium in Italy.

Sant'Elena (island)

Sant'Elena (island)

Sant'Elena is an island of Venice. It lies at the eastern tip of the main island group and forms part of sestiere of Castello. The original island was separated by an arm of the Venetian Lagoon from Venice itself, and was centred on the Church of Sant'Elena and its monastery, originally built in the twelfth century and rebuilt in the 15th.

Reyer Venezia

Reyer Venezia

S.S.P. Reyer Venezia Mestre, commonly known as Reyer Venezia or simply Reyer, is an Italian professional basketball club that is based in Venice, Veneto. The club currently plays in the Lega Basket Serie A (LBA), the highest tier of basketball in Italy, as well as the EuroCup. Reyer operates both men's and women's professional teams, both playing in their respective first divisions as of the 2017–18 season. The men's team has been crowned the Italian champions four times, as they won the LBA in 1942, 1943, 2017 and 2019.

Lega Basket Serie A

Lega Basket Serie A

The Lega Basket Serie A (LBA) is a professional men's club basketball league that has been organised in Italy since 1920. Serie A is organised by Lega Basket, which is regulated by the Italian Basketball Federation (FIP). It is the highest-tier level of the Italian league system. The LBA plays under FIBA rules and currently consists of 16 teams, with the lowest-placed team relegated to the Serie A2 and replaced by the winner of the play-offs of that tier.

Palasport Giuseppe Taliercio

Palasport Giuseppe Taliercio

Palasport Giuseppe Taliercio is an indoor sporting arena that is located in Mestre, Venice, Italy. It is primarily used to host indoor sporting events, such as basketball games, concerts, and plays. The arena is named after Giuseppe Taliercio. The seating capacity of the arena is 3,509 spectators for basketball games.

Mestre

Mestre

Mestre is a borough of the comune (municipality) of Venice, on the mainland opposite the historical island city in the region of Veneto, Italy.

Luigi Brugnaro

Luigi Brugnaro

Luigi Brugnaro is an Italian conservative politician and entrepreneur who has been the Mayor of Venice, since taking office on 15 June 2015. Since July 2021, he is also president of Coraggio Italia (CI), a centrist political party affiliated with the centre-right coalition.

Education

Venice is a major international centre for higher education. The city hosts the Ca' Foscari University of Venice, founded in 1868; the Università Iuav di Venezia, founded in 1926; the Venice International University, founded in 1995 and located on the island of San Servolo and the EIUC-European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, located on the island of Lido di Venezia.

Other Venetian institutions of higher education are: the Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts), established in 1750, whose first chairman was Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, and the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory of Music, which was first established in 1876 as a high school and musical society, later (1915) became Liceo Musicale, and then, when its director was Gian Francesco Malipiero, the State Conservatory of Music (1940).[161]

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Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Ca' Foscari University of Venice is a public university in Venice, Italy. Since its foundation in 1868, it has been housed in the Venetian Gothic palace of Ca' Foscari, from which it takes its name. The palace stands on the Grand Canal, between the Rialto and San Marco, in the sestiere of Dorsoduro.

Università Iuav di Venezia

Università Iuav di Venezia

Iuav University of Venice is a university in Venice, Italy. It was founded in 1926 as the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia as one of the first Architecture schools in Italy. The university currently offers several undergraduate, graduate and higher education courses in Architecture, Urban Planning, Fashion, Arts, and Design.

Venice International University

Venice International University

Venice International University (VIU) is an international center for higher education and research located on the island of San Servolo, in Venice, Italy.

San Servolo

San Servolo

San Servolo is an Italian island in the Venetian Lagoon, to the southeast of San Giorgio Maggiore. Earlier housing a monastery of Benedictine monks, later an asylum for the insane, the island is now home to a museum, Venice International University, and the prestigious International College of Ca' Foscari University.

European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation

European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation

The European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) is an interdisciplinary centre covering the area of human rights education and research formed by 41 universities from all European Union member states. The EIUC's activities include interdisciplinary education of students worldwide; developing training for senior officials of international organisations, field personnel, and other human rights professionals; identifying means of transferring academic expertise to the public, such as using visual arts and mass media; creating an environment for research cooperation; representing a network of graduates of the European Master's Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation. The centre is housed in the Monastery of San Nicolò al Lido which has been made available to the EIUC by the Municipality of Venice, Italy.

Lido di Venezia

Lido di Venezia

The Lido, or Venice Lido, is an 11-kilometre-long (7-mile) barrier island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy; it is home to about 20,400 residents. The Venice Film Festival takes place at the Lido late August/early September.

Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia

Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia

The Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia is a public tertiary academy of art in Venice, Italy.

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta was an Italian Rococo painter of religious subjects and genre scenes.

Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia

Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia

The Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia is a conservatory in Venice, Italy named after composer Benedetto Marcello and established in 1876.

Gian Francesco Malipiero

Gian Francesco Malipiero

Gian Francesco Malipiero was an Italian composer, musicologist, music teacher and editor.

Culture

Literature

Venice has long been a source of inspiration for authors, playwrights, and poets, and at the forefront of the technological development of printing and publishing.

Two of the most noted Venetian writers were Marco Polo in the Middle Ages and, later, Giacomo Casanova. Polo (1254–1324) was a merchant who voyaged to the Orient. His series of books, co-written with Rustichello da Pisa and titled Il Milione provided important knowledge of the lands east of Europe, from the Middle East to China, Japan, and Russia. Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798) was a prolific writer and adventurer best remembered for his autobiography, Histoire De Ma Vie (Story of My Life), which links his colourful lifestyle to the city of Venice.

Venetian playwrights followed the old Italian theatre tradition of Commedia dell'arte. Ruzante (1502–1542), Carlo Goldoni (1707–1793), and Carlo Gozzi (1720–1806) used the Venetian dialect extensively in their comedies.

Venice has also inspired writers from abroad. Shakespeare set Othello and The Merchant of Venice in the city, as did Thomas Mann his novel, Death in Venice (1912). The French writer Philippe Sollers spent most of his life in Venice and published A Dictionary For Lovers of Venice in 2004.

The city features prominently in Henry James's The Aspern Papers and The Wings of the Dove. It is also visited in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited and Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. Perhaps the best-known children's book set in Venice is The Thief Lord, written by the German author Cornelia Funke.

The poet Ugo Foscolo (1778–1827), born in Zante, an island that at the time belonged to the Republic of Venice, was also a revolutionary who wanted to see a free republic established in Venice following its fall to Napoleon.

Venice also inspired the poetry of Ezra Pound, who wrote his first literary work in the city. Pound died in 1972, and his remains are buried in Venice's cemetery island of San Michele.

Venice is also linked to the technological aspects of writing. The city was the location of one of Italy's earliest printing presses called Aldine Press, established by Aldus Manutius in 1494.[162] From this beginning Venice developed as an important typographic centre. Around fifteen percent of all printing of the fifteenth century came from Venice,[163] and even as late as the 18th century was responsible for printing half of Italy's published books.

In literature and adapted works

The city is a particularly popular setting for essays, novels, and other works of fictional or non-fictional literature. Examples of these include:

Additionally, Thomas Mann's novella, Death in Venice (1912), was the basis for Benjamin Britten's eponymous opera (1973).

Foreign words of Venetian origin

Some words with a Venetian etymology include arsenal, ciao, ghetto, gondola, imbroglio, lagoon, lazaret, lido, Montenegro, and regatta.[164]

Printing

By the end of the 15th century, Venice had become the European capital of printing, having 417 printers by 1500, and being one of the first cities in Italy (after Subiaco and Rome) to have a printing press, after those established in Germany. The most important printing office was the Aldine Press of Aldus Manutius; which in 1497 issued the first printed work of Aristotle; in 1499 printed the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, considered the most beautiful book of the Renaissance; and established modern punctuation, page format, and italic type.

Painting

An 18th-century view of Venice by Venetian artist Canaletto
An 18th-century view of Venice by Venetian artist Canaletto

Venice, especially during the Renaissance, and Baroque periods, was a major centre of art and developed a unique style known as the Venetian painting. 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 the arts. Venice at the time was a rich and prosperous Maritime Republic, which controlled a vast sea and trade empire. [165]

In the 16th 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 were the Bellini and Vivarini families, followed by Giorgione and Titian, then Tintoretto and Veronese. In the early 16th century, there was rivalry in Venetian painting between the disegno and colorito techniques.[166]

Canvases (the common painting surface) originated in Venice during the early Renaissance. In the 18th century, Venetian painting had a revival with Tiepolo's decorative painting and Canaletto's and Guardi's panoramic views.

Venetian architecture

The Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti is an example of Venetian Gothic architecture alongside the Grand Canal.
The Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti is an example of Venetian Gothic architecture alongside the Grand Canal.

Venice is built on unstable mud-banks, and had a very crowded city centre by the Middle Ages. On the other hand, the city was largely safe from riot, civil feuds, and invasion much earlier than most European cities. These factors, with the canals and the great wealth of the city, made for unique building styles.

Venice has a rich and diverse architectural style, the most prominent of which is the Gothic style. Venetian Gothic architecture is a term given to a Venetian building style combining the use of the Gothic lancet arch with the curved ogee arch, due to Byzantine and Ottoman influences. The style originated in 14th-century Venice, with a confluence of Byzantine style from Constantinople, Islamic influences from Spain and Venice's eastern trading partners, and early Gothic forms from mainland Italy. Chief examples of the style are the Doge's Palace and the Ca' d'Oro in the city. The city also has several Renaissance and Baroque buildings, including the Ca' Pesaro and the Ca' Rezzonico.

Venetian taste was conservative and Renaissance architecture only really became popular in buildings from about the 1470s. More than in the rest of Italy, it kept much of the typical form of the Gothic palazzi, which had evolved to suit Venetian conditions. In turn the transition to Baroque architecture was also fairly gentle. This gives the crowded buildings on the Grand Canal and elsewhere an essential harmony, even where buildings from very different periods sit together. For example, round-topped arches are far more common in Renaissance buildings than elsewhere.

Rococo style

It can be argued that Venice produced the best and most refined Rococo designs. At the time, the Venetian economy was in decline. It had lost most of its maritime power, was lagging behind its rivals in political importance, and its society had become decadent, with tourism increasingly the mainstay of the economy. But Venice remained a centre of fashion.[167] Venetian rococo was well known as rich and luxurious, with usually very extravagant designs. Unique Venetian furniture types included the divani da portego, and long rococo couches and pozzetti, objects meant to be placed against the wall. Bedrooms of rich Venetians were usually sumptuous and grand, with rich damask, velvet, and silk drapery and curtains, and beautifully carved rococo beds with statues of putti, flowers, and angels.[167] Venice was especially known for its beautiful girandole mirrors, which remained among, if not the, finest in Europe. Chandeliers were usually very colourful, using Murano glass to make them look more vibrant and stand out from others; and precious stones and materials from abroad were used, since Venice still held a vast trade empire. Lacquer was very common, and many items of furniture were covered with it, the most noted being lacca povera (poor lacquer), in which allegories and images of social life were painted. Lacquerwork and Chinoiserie were particularly common in bureau cabinets.[168]

Glass

Venice is known for its ornate glass-work, known as Venetian glass, which is world-renowned for being colourful, elaborate, and skilfully made. Many of the important characteristics of these objects had been developed by the 13th century. Toward the end of that century, the centre of the Venetian glass industry moved to Murano, an offshore island in Venice. The glass made there is known as Murano glass.

Byzantine craftsmen played an important role in the development of Venetian glass. When Constantinople was sacked in the Fourth Crusade in 1204, some fleeing artisans came to Venice; when the Ottomans took Constantinople in 1453, still more glassworkers arrived. By the 16th century, Venetian artisans had gained even greater control over the colour 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, and Seguso.[169] Barovier & Toso is considered one of the 100 oldest companies in the world, formed in 1295.

In February 2021, the world learned that Venetian glass trade beads had been found at three prehistoric Eskimo sites in Alaska, including Punyik Point. Uninhabited today, and located 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Continental Divide in the Brooks Range, the area was on ancient trade routes from the Bering Sea to the Arctic Ocean. From their creation in Venice, researchers believe the likely route these artifacts traveled was across Europe, then Eurasia and finally over the Bering Strait, making this discovery "the first documented instance of the presence of indubitable European materials in prehistoric sites in the western hemisphere as the result of overland transport across the Eurasian continent." After radiocarbon dating materials found near the beads, archaeologists estimated their arrival on the continent to sometime between 1440 and 1480, predating Christopher Columbus.[170] The dating and provenance has been challenged by other researchers who point out that such beads were not made in Venice until the mid-16th century and that an early 17th century French origin is possible.[171][172]

Festivals

Typical masks worn during the Carnival of Venice
Typical masks worn during the Carnival of Venice
Typical masks worn during the Carnival of Venice

The Carnival of Venice is held annually in the city, It lasts for around two weeks and ends on Shrove Tuesday. Venetian masks are worn.

The Venice Biennale is one of the most important events in the arts calendar. In 1895 an Esposizione biennale artistica nazionale (biennial exhibition of Italian art) was inaugurated.[173] In September 1942, the activities of the Biennale were interrupted by the war, but resumed in 1948.[174]

The Festa del Redentore is held in mid-July. It began as a feast to give thanks for the end of the plague of 1576. A bridge of barges is built connecting Giudecca to the rest of Venice, and fireworks play an important role.

The Venice Film Festival (Italian: Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica di Venezia) is the oldest film festival in the world.[175] 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 Lido. 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.

Music

La Fenice opera house in the city
La Fenice opera house in the city

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 Republic of Venice – was often popularly called the "Republic of Music", and an anonymous Frenchman of the 17th century is said to have remarked that "In every home, someone is playing a musical instrument or singing. There is music everywhere."[176]

During the 16th century, Venice became one of the most important musical centres 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 St Mark's Basilica. Venice was the early centre 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 known for the splendor of its music, as exemplified in the "colossal style" of Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli, which used multiple choruses and instrumental groups. Venice was also the home of many noted composers during the baroque period, such as Antonio Vivaldi, Ippolito Ciera, Giovanni Picchi, and Girolamo Dalla Casa, to name but a few.

Orchestras

Venice is the home of numerous orchestras such as, the Orchestra della Fenice, Rondò Veneziano, Interpreti Veneziani, and Venice Baroque Orchestra.

Cinema, media, and popular culture

The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the most prestigious and publicized.[177][178]
The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the most prestigious and publicized.[177][178]

The city has been the setting or chosen location of numerous films, games, works of fine art and literature (including essays, fiction, non-fiction, and poems), music videos, television shows, and other cultural references.

Photography

Francesco Guardi's Regatta in Venice; Guardi was a member of the Venetian School.
Francesco Guardi's Regatta in Venice; Guardi was a member of the Venetian School.

Fulvio Roiter was the pioneer in artistic photography in Venice,[179] followed by a number of photographers whose works are often reproduced on postcards, thus reaching a widest international popular exposure. Luca Zordan, a New York City based photographer was born in Venice.[180]

Cuisine

The Morning Chocolate, by Pietro Longhi. Hot chocolate was a fashionable drink in Venice during the 1770s and 1780s.
The Morning Chocolate, by Pietro Longhi. Hot chocolate was a fashionable drink in Venice during the 1770s and 1780s.

Venetian cuisine is characterized by seafood, but also includes garden products from the islands of the lagoon, rice from the mainland, game, and polenta. Venice is not known for a peculiar cuisine of its own: it combines local traditions with influences stemming from age-old contacts with distant countries. These include sarde in saór (sardines marinated to preserve them for long voyages); bacalà mantecato (a recipe based on Norwegian stockfish and extra-virgin olive oil); bisàto (marinated eel); risi e bisi – rice, peas and (unsmoked) bacon;[181] fegato alla veneziana, Venetian-style veal liver; risòto col néro de sépe (risotto with cuttlefish, blackened by their own ink); cichéti, refined and delicious tidbits (akin to tapas); antipasti (appetizers); and prosecco, an effervescent, mildly sweet wine.

In addition, Venice is known for the golden, oval-shaped cookies called baìcoli, and for other types of sweets, such as: pan del pescaór (bread of the fisherman); cookies with almonds and pistachio nuts; cookies with fried Venetian cream, or the bussolài (butter biscuits and shortbread made in the shape of a ring or an "S") from the island of Burano; the galàni or cróstoli (angel wings);[182] the frìtole (fried spherical doughnuts); the fregolòtta (a crumbly cake with almonds); a milk pudding called rosàda; and cookies called zaléti, whose ingredients include yellow maize flour.[183]

The dessert tiramisù is generally thought to have been invented in Treviso in the 1970s,[184] and is popular in the Veneto area.

Fashion and shopping

Luxury shops and boutiques along the Rialto Bridge
Luxury shops and boutiques along the Rialto Bridge

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 spread of men's "slashed" fashions in the 15th century.

Today, Venice is a major fashion and shopping centre; not as important as Milan, Florence, and Rome, but on a par with Verona, Turin, Vicenza, Naples, and Genoa. Roberta di Camerino is the only major Italian fashion brand to be based in Venice. Founded in 1945, it is renowned for its innovative handbags made by Venetian artisans and often covered in locally woven velvet.[185]

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Marco Polo

Marco Polo

Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant, explorer and writer who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road between 1271 and 1295. His travels are recorded in The Travels of Marco Polo, a book that described to Europeans the then mysterious culture and inner workings of the Eastern world, including the wealth and great size of the Mongol Empire and China in the Yuan Dynasty, giving their first comprehensive look into China, Persia, India, Japan and other Asian cities and countries.

Giacomo Casanova

Giacomo Casanova

Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie, is regarded as one of the most authentic and provocative sources of information about the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century.

Rustichello da Pisa

Rustichello da Pisa

Rustichello da Pisa, also known as Rusticiano, was an Italian romance writer in Franco-Italian language. He is best known for co-writing Marco Polo's autobiography, The Travels of Marco Polo, while they were in prison together in Genoa. Earlier, he wrote the Roman de Roi Artus, also known as the Compilation, the earliest known Arthurian romance by an Italian author.

Santa Maria della Salute

Santa Maria della Salute

Santa Maria della Salute, commonly known simply as the Salute, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica located at Punta della Dogana in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the city of Venice, Italy.

Commedia dell'arte

Commedia dell'arte

Commedia dell'arte was an early form of professional theatre, originating from Italian theatre, that was popular throughout Europe between the 16th and 18th centuries. It was formerly called Italian comedy in English and is also known as commedia alla maschera, commedia improvviso, and commedia dell'arte all'improvviso. Characterized by masked "types", commedia was responsible for the rise of actresses such as Isabella Andreini and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. A commedia, such as The Tooth Puller, is both scripted and improvised. Characters' entrances and exits are scripted. A special characteristic of commedia is the lazzo, a joke or "something foolish or witty", usually well known to the performers and to some extent a scripted routine. Another characteristic of commedia is pantomime, which is mostly used by the character Arlecchino, now better known as Harlequin.

Angelo Beolco

Angelo Beolco

Angelo Beolco, better known by the nickname Ruzzante or Ruzante, was an Italian (Paduan) actor and playwright. He is famous for his rustic comedies, written mostly in the Paduan variety of the Venetan language, featuring a peasant called "Ruzzante". Those plays paint a vivid picture of Paduan country life in the 16th century.

Carlo Goldoni

Carlo Goldoni

Carlo Osvaldo Goldoni was an Italian playwright and librettist from the Republic of Venice. His works include some of Italy's most famous and best-loved plays. Audiences have admired the plays of Goldoni for their ingenious mix of wit and honesty. His plays offered his contemporaries images of themselves, often dramatizing the lives, values, and conflicts of the emerging middle classes. Though he wrote in French and Italian, his plays make rich use of the Venetian language, regional vernacular, and colloquialisms. Goldoni also wrote under the pen name and title Polisseno Fegeio, Pastor Arcade, which he claimed in his memoirs the "Arcadians of Rome" bestowed on him.

Carlo Gozzi

Carlo Gozzi

Carlo, Count Gozzi was an Italian (Venetian) playwright and champion of Commedia dell'arte.

Othello

Othello

Othello is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, probably in 1603. The story revolves around two characters, Othello and Iago.

Death in Venice

Death in Venice

Death in Venice (German: Der Tod in Venedig) is a novella by German author Thomas Mann, published in 1912. It presents an ennobled writer who visits Venice and is liberated, uplifted, and then increasingly obsessed by the sight of a boy in a family of Polish tourists—Tadzio, so nicknamed for Tadeusz. Tadzio was based on a real boy named Władzio whom Mann had observed during his 1911 visit to the city, but the story itself is fiction.

Philippe Sollers

Philippe Sollers

Philippe Sollers is a French writer and critic. In 1960 he founded the avant garde literary journal Tel Quel, which was published by Le Seuil and ran until 1982. Sollers then created the journal L'Infini, published first by Denoel, then by Gallimard with Sollers remaining as sole editor.

Henry James

Henry James

Henry James was an American-British author. He is regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism, and is considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English language. He was the son of Henry James Sr. and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James.

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

Venice is twinned with:[186]

In 2013, Venice announced that it wants to end the sister city relationship with St. Petersburg in opposition to laws Russia had passed against homosexuals and those who support gay rights.[187]

Cooperation agreements

In January 2000, the City of Venice and the Central Association of Cities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) established, in pursuance to EC Regulation No. 2137/85, the Marco Polo System European Economic Interest Grouping (E.E.I.G.), to promote and realise European projects within transnational cultural and tourist fields, particularly in reference to the preservation and safeguarding of artistic and architectural heritage.[186]

In April 2001, the city signed an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs's office of cultural promotion and cooperation, to coordinate efforts at promoting Italian culture abroad.[186]

Venice also has cooperation agreements with:[186]

Places named after Venice

The name "Venezuela" is a Spanish diminutive of Venice (Veneziola).[188]
Many additional places around the world are named after Venice: e.g.

Venice, Los Angeles, home of Venice Beach
Venice, Alberta, in Canada
Venice, Florida, city in Sarasota County
Venice, New York
Venice, Louisiana

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List of twin towns and sister cities in Italy

List of twin towns and sister cities in Italy

This is a list of municipalities in Italy which have standing links to local communities in other countries known as "town twinning" or "sister cities".

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, historically known as Ragusa, is a city in southern Dalmatia, Croatia, by the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, a seaport and the centre of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Its total population is 42,615. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in recognition of its outstanding medieval architecture and fortified old town.

Istanbul

Istanbul

Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, is the largest city in Turkey, serving as the country's economic, cultural and historic hub. The city straddles the Bosporus strait, lying in both Europe and Asia, and has a population of over 15 million residents, comprising 19% of the population of Turkey. Istanbul is the most populous European city, and the world's 15th-largest city.

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg, formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), is the second-largest city in Russia. It is situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city had a population of roughly 5.4 million residents as of 2020. Saint Petersburg is the fourth-most populous city in Europe, the most populous city on the Baltic Sea, and the world's northernmost city of more than 1 million residents. As Russia's Imperial capital, and a historically strategic port, it is governed as a federal city.

Sarajevo

Sarajevo

Sarajevo is the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a population of 275,524 in its administrative limits. The Sarajevo metropolitan area including Sarajevo Canton, East Sarajevo and nearby municipalities is home to 555,210 inhabitants. Located within the greater Sarajevo valley of Bosnia, it is surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of the Balkans, a region of Southern Europe.

Odesa

Odesa

Odesa is the third most populous city and municipality in Ukraine and a major seaport and transport hub located in the south-west of the country, on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. The city is also the administrative centre of the Odesa Raion and Odesa Oblast, as well as a multiethnic cultural centre. As of January 2021, Odesa's population was approximately 1,010,537. On January 25, 2023, its historic city centre was declared a World Heritage Site and added to the List of World Heritage in Danger by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in recognition of its influence on cinema, literature, and the arts. The declaration was made in response to the bombing of Odesa during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has damaged or destroyed buildings across the city.

Regulation (European Union)

Regulation (European Union)

A regulation is a legal act of the European Union which becomes immediately enforceable as law in all member states simultaneously. Regulations can be distinguished from directives which, at least in principle, need to be transposed into national law. Regulations can be adopted by means of a variety of legislative procedures depending on their subject matter.

European economic interest grouping

European economic interest grouping

A European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) is a type of legal entity of the European corporate law created on 1985-07-25 under European Community (EC) Council Regulation 2137/85. It is designed to make it easier for companies in different countries to do business together, or to form consortia to take part in EU programmes.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Italy)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Italy)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is the foreign ministry of the government of the Italian Republic. It is also known as the Farnesina as a metonym from its headquarters, the Palazzo della Farnesina in Rome. The current Minister of Foreign Affairs is Antonio Tajani.

Nuremberg

Nuremberg

Nürnberg is the second-largest city of the German state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 518,370 (2019) inhabitants make it the 14th-largest city in Germany. On the Pegnitz River and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it lies in the Bavarian administrative region of Middle Franconia, and is the largest city and the unofficial capital of Franconia. Nuremberg forms with the neighbouring cities of Fürth, Erlangen and Schwabach a continuous conurbation with a total population of 800,376 (2019), which is the heart of the urban area region with around 1.4 million inhabitants, while the larger Nuremberg Metropolitan Region has approximately 3.6 million inhabitants. The city lies about 170 kilometres (110 mi) north of Munich. It is the largest city in the East Franconian dialect area.

Qingdao

Qingdao

Qingdao is a major city in eastern Shandong Province. The city's name in Chinese characters literally means "azure island". Located on China's Yellow Sea coast, it is a major nodal city of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that connects Asia with Europe. It has the highest GDP of any city in the province. Administered at the sub-provincial level, Qingdao has jurisdiction over seven districts and three county-level cities. As of the 2020 census, Qingdao built-up area made of the 7 urban Districts was home to 7,172,451 inhabitants making it the 15th largest city in China by population. Lying across the Shandong Peninsula and looking out to the Yellow Sea, it borders the prefecture-level cities of Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west and Rizhao to the southwest.

Miami

Miami

Miami, officially the City of Miami, is a coastal metropolis and the seat of Miami-Dade County in South Florida. With a population of 442,241 as of the 2020 census, it is the second-most populous city in the state of Florida after Jacksonville. It is the core of the much larger Miami metropolitan area, which, with a population of 6.138 million, is the third-largest metro in the Southeast and ninth-largest in the United States. The city has the third largest skyline in the U.S. with over 300 high-rises, 58 of which exceed 491 ft (150 m).

Notable people

Others closely associated with the city include:

Music

Tintoretto, self portrait, 1588
Tintoretto, self portrait, 1588

Painting

Writing

Carlo Goldoni, notable name in Italian theatre
Carlo Goldoni, notable name in Italian theatre

Doges & public servants

The Doge Andrea Gritti, portrait by Titian
The Doge Andrea Gritti, portrait by Titian
Engraving of Sebastian Cabot by Hans Holbein, 1824
Engraving of Sebastian Cabot by Hans Holbein, 1824

Explorers

Architects

Entertainers

Sport

Dorina Vaccaroni, 1986
Dorina Vaccaroni, 1986

Discover more about Notable people related topics

Claudio Monteverdi

Claudio Monteverdi

Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi was an Italian composer, choirmaster and string player. A composer of both secular and sacred music, and a pioneer in the development of opera, he is considered a crucial transitional figure between the Renaissance and Baroque periods of music history.

Andrea Gabrieli

Andrea Gabrieli

Andrea Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist of the late Renaissance. The uncle of the somewhat more famous Giovanni Gabrieli, he was the first internationally renowned member of the Venetian School of composers, and was extremely influential in spreading the Venetian style in Italy as well as in Germany.

Giovanni Gabrieli

Giovanni Gabrieli

Giovanni Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist. He was one of the most influential musicians of his time, and represents the culmination of the style of the Venetian School, at the time of the shift from Renaissance to Baroque idioms.

Francesco Cavalli

Francesco Cavalli

Francesco Cavalli was a Venetian composer, organist and singer of the early Baroque period. He succeeded his teacher Claudio Monteverdi as the dominant and leading opera composer of the mid 17th-century. A central figure of Venetian musical life, Cavalli wrote more than forty operas, almost all of which premiered in the city's theaters. His best known works include Ormindo (1644), Giasone (1649) and La Calisto (1651).

Baroque music

Baroque music

Baroque music refers to the period or dominant style of Western classical music composed from about 1600 to 1750. The Baroque style followed the Renaissance period, and was followed in turn by the Classical period after a short transition, the galant style. The Baroque period is divided into three major phases: early, middle, and late. Overlapping in time, they are conventionally dated from 1580 to 1650, from 1630 to 1700, and from 1680 to 1750. Baroque music forms a major portion of the "classical music" canon, and is now widely studied, performed, and listened to. The term "baroque" comes from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning "misshapen pearl". The works of George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach are considered the pinnacle of the Baroque period. Other key composers of the Baroque era include Claudio Monteverdi, Domenico Scarlatti, Alessandro Scarlatti, Alessandro Stradella, Antonio Vivaldi, Tomaso Albinoni, Johann Pachelbel, Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Arcangelo Corelli, François Couperin, Johann Hermann Schein, Heinrich Schütz, Samuel Scheidt, Dieterich Buxtehude, and others.

Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was a Venetian composer, virtuoso violinist and impresario of Baroque music. Along with Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Frideric Handel, Vivaldi is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe, giving origin to many imitators and admirers. He pioneered many developments in orchestration, violin technique and programmatic music. He consolidated the emerging concerto form into a widely accepted and followed idiom, which was paramount in the development of Johann Sebastian Bach's instrumental music.

Domenico Montagnana

Domenico Montagnana

Domenico Montagnana was an Italian master luthier based in Venice, Italy. He is regarded as one of the finest violin and cello makers of his time.

Luthier

Luthier

A luthier is a craftsperson who builds or repairs string instruments that have a neck and a sound box. The word "luthier" is originally French and comes from the French word for lute. The term was originally used for makers of lutes, but it came to be used already in French for makers of most bowed and plucked stringed instruments such as members of the violin family and guitars. Luthiers, however, do not make harps or pianos; these require different skills and construction methods because their strings are secured to a frame.

Cello

Cello

The cello ( CHEL-oh; plural celli or cellos) or violoncello ( VY-ə-lən-CHEL-oh; Italian pronunciation: [vjolonˈtʃɛllo]) is a bowed (sometimes plucked and occasionally hit) string instrument of the violin family. Its four strings are usually tuned in perfect fifths: from low to high, C2, G2, D3 and A3. The viola's four strings are each an octave higher. Music for the cello is generally written in the bass clef, with tenor clef, and treble clef used for higher-range passages.

Lorenzo Da Ponte

Lorenzo Da Ponte

Lorenzo Da Ponte was an Italian, later American, opera librettist, poet and Roman Catholic priest. He wrote the libretti for 28 operas by 11 composers, including three of Mozart's most celebrated operas: The Marriage of Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), and Così fan tutte (1790). He was the first professor of Italian literature at Columbia University.

Domenico Dragonetti

Domenico Dragonetti

Domenico Carlo Maria Dragonetti was an Italian double bass virtuoso and composer with a 3 string double bass. He stayed for thirty years in his hometown of Venice, Italy and worked at the Opera Buffa, at the Chapel of San Marco and at the Grand Opera in Vicenza. By that time he had become notable throughout Europe and had turned down several opportunities, including offers from the Tsar of Russia. In 1794, he finally moved to London to play in the orchestra of the King's Theatre, and settled there for the remainder of his life. In fifty years, he became a prominent figure in the musical events of the English capital, performing at the concerts of the Philharmonic Society of London as well as in more private events, where he would meet the most influential persons in the country, like the Prince Consort and the Duke of Leinster. He was acquainted with composers Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven, whom he visited on several occasions in Vienna, and to whom he showed the possibilities of the double bass as a solo instrument. His ability on the instrument also demonstrated the relevance of writing scores for the double bass in the orchestra separate from that of the cello, which was the common rule at the time. He is also remembered today for the Dragonetti bow, which he developed throughout his life.

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari was an Italian composer and teacher. He is best known for his comic operas such as Il segreto di Susanna (1909). A number of his works were based on plays by Carlo Goldoni, including Le donne curiose (1903), I quatro rusteghi (1906) and Il campiello (1936).

Source: "Venice", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 20th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice.

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