Destination Italy
Italy Veneto 

A Guide to Venice

For centuries Venice was an incredibly powerful, rich and proud republic. It was known as la Serenissima: the most serene. Venice controlled trade routes in the Adriatic sea and won wars with rival states. The republic was ruled by a Doge whose powers were directed by a cabinet. Once a year the Doge would take part in a symbolic ceremony, the Marriage of the Sea, to celebrate Venice's mastery over the ocean. Venice’s glory days then diminished, La Serenissima lost her chattels in wars, and after the discovery of the New World, the city's trade routes declined in importance. By the eighteenth century, Venice was seeking wealth from the tourist trade, leasing fine palazzi to foreign travellers.

Venice is composed of more than a hundred tiny islets, packed closely together around canals, which one travels down, on the world famous gondolas. The city is in a lagoon, protected by the longer island of Venice Lido. Venice is famously sinking. Every year water levels rise, threatening the city’s beautiful artistic treasures. There is a long held fear that the magnificent city will one day sink completely. Many ideas (and funds) have been put forward to protect the endangered heritage site; current plans include a giant water-gate.

There is an enormous treasure chest of art and culture waiting to be discovered in this beautiful panoramic city, with an endless supply of historical buildings to be explored and a large variety of museums of great cultural importance. Piazza San Marco with its Basilica of St Marco and soaring Bell tower, is known throughout
the world.

Sights not to be missed include the Arsenal, the Fenice Theatre, Ca’ Corner della Regina, the Tre Archi Bridge and the Rialto Bridge, the most famous of the Venetian water crossings. Well worth visiting are the Lace Museum, the House of Carlo Goldoni, the Museum of 18th Century Venice, Palazzo Ducale, the Glass Museum, the Galleries of the Venice Academy, the Querini Stampalia Museum, the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, the Giorgio Fianchetti Gallery at the Ca’ d’Oro, Palazzo Mocenigo, the Fortuny Museum and the Scala Contarini del Bovolo. The Biennale di Venezia is the world famous international contemporary art exhibition held every other year in Venice.

Venice also hosts the International Cinema Festival and many other events connected to the arts, architecture, and the performing arts.
Activities & interests in Venice
Fine dining
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