Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Canale Grande (Grand Canal) thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square), contains Basilica di San Marco (St. Mark’s Basilica), which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile di San Marco bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs. Only about 55,000 people live in the historic city of Venice, with about 260,000 in the greater Venice commune area.
“The Republic of Venice 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 a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. The city-state of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial center which gradually emerged from the 9th century to its peak in the 14th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. After the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Republic was annexed by the Austrian Empire, until it became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, following a referendum held as a result of the Third Italian War of Independence. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi. Venice has been ranked the most beautiful city in the world as of 2016. The city is facing some major challenges, however, including financial difficulties, 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.” – Wikipedia
A Gothic architectural masterpiece, the extravagant Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) housed Venice’s rulers for more than 1,000 years and was a popular gathering spot for Venetian dignitaries. Marble decorations, grand staircases, gilded ceilings, ornate sculptures by Jacopo Sansovino, and paintings from Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and other Venetian masters adorn the palace. The Museo dell’Opera exhibits original sculptures from the palace’s 14th-century arcade.
Little Known Fact: All gondolas are painted black, the result of a 17th-century law to eradicate the then-rising rivalry among noble families for the swankiest vessel. The ironwork design on the front of the gondola represents Venice’s six districts, the Ponte di Rialto and the Doge’s hat. There are more than 400 gondoliers in Venice; the first female did not appear until 2010.
Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.