Venezia (IPA: / venɛtʦ ja ː / , Venexia / venɛsja / in Venetian) is an Italian town of 270,957 inhabitants, capital of the province and the Veneto region.

It is the first municipality in the region by population and area.

The city of Venice has been for more than a millennium capital of the Republic of Venice in this regard and known as the " Serenissima ", the Ruling and "Queen of the Adriatic". These names were opposed to the " Superba "or" the Ruling of the Seas ", referring to the maritime republic of Genoa, the main competitor and rival of Venice.

For the peculiarities of urban planning and for its artistic heritage, Venice is universally considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world and ranks, along with its lagoon, between the UNESCO World Heritage UNESCO ': this factor has contributed to make them second Italian city after Rome with the highest influx of tourists, mostly from abroad.

The municipal area extends over most of the lagoon of Venice, but also on the surrounding land, including the metropolitan area whose center Mestre.


Venice rises above sea level, in the middle of the lagoon of the same name on a consolidated total of 118 islands with a covered stone piles and that has allowed urbanization. Some of these islands are grouped into sets organic to each other while others are rather more dispersed.

The historic part of town, placed at the center of the lagoon, is traditionally divided into six districts: Dorsoduro, Santa Croce, San Polo, San Marco, Cannaregio and Castello. The districts of the ancient city are built around the double bend of the Canal Grande, the main waterway which runs a network of about 150 smaller canals.

Among the major islands that surround the historic core and which are also part of the town, remember Murano, Burano, famous for its glass, respectively, and laces, Torcello and the long thin island of Lido with its beach resorts.

As regards the seismic risk, Venice is classified in zone 4, or in very low seismicity.

The ' high water

The term high water are shown in the lagoon of Venice is particularly pronounced tidal surges, which cause flooding in the urban area. The phenomenon is particularly frequent in autumn and spring, when high tide comes to flood most of the city making it difficult to move through the streets and fields.

The phenomenon of high water is generated by the combination of two main factors: the regular alternation of the tides and cause weather, the wave of the storm, made from a combination of wind and atmospheric pressure on the mass marine high tide alone does not generate the high water, is the wave of storm, combined with the astronomical tide brings the water level to rise above normal levels and so much less predictable. The rise of water beyond the tide level is a normal phenomenon in a closed basin such as the Adriatic sea and the wind favors him is not so common in Venice, but the Bora Scirocco acting in the longitudinal direction of the whole mass of ' water of the Adriatic. The opening of inlets, channels, increasing the water exchange between lagoon and sea, has amplified the phenomenon in the past was an extraordinary event for the city. Numerous works of burial of parts of the lagoon (eg for the realization of Porto Marghera, or the Island of Tronchetto) reduced the volume of water invasabile and then changed the behavior of the tides.

In order to address the problem of high water, since 2003 is in progress the project that Moses Consite in a series of movable barriers consist of a variable number of gates anchored to the bottom of the inlets of the lagoon.

Monuments and places of interest

The heart of the city of Venice is Piazza San Marco, the only one in the center to be characterized by the name "square" the other squares are in fact called "fields" or "squares". The Basilica of San Marco is located in the center of the square, colored gold and covered with mosaics that tell the story of Venice, together with reliefs depicting the months of the year. Above the main door, the four bronze horses that were transported to Constantinople to Venice after the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The Greek cross is surmounted by five domes. The current factory is the third dedicated to St. Mark's Basilica, which stands in this place: the first two were destroyed. It seems that this version was inspired by the Church of Holy Apostles in Constantinople. The interior is covered with mosaics on a gold background depicting allegorical and biblical passages. Initially, it was the chapel of the Doges of the Republic of Venice.

The Palazzo Ducale stands next to the Church: to unite them, the door of the Charter , by Bartolomeo Bon, who today is the output of the Museum of Palazzo Ducale. The main entrance is on the side facing the lagoon. Seat of Government of Venice, was built in the fifteenth century with Istrian marble. Here stood a castle, then set on fire to get out Peter IV Candiano who had found refuge during a riot. Now the palace is a museum, with works by the best Venetian artists: the Sansovino Library, located inside houses temporary exhibitions. To see the Hall of Great Council, which for centuries was the largest seat of government of the world, the Bridge of Sighs and the Prisons and Leads.

Opposite the Palazzo Ducale is the bell tower of San Marco, built in 1173 as a beacon for sailors, was restored by Bartolomeo Bon in the fifteenth century. Collapsed July 14, 1902 and was rebuilt. The red Verona marble loggia is a work of Jacopo Sansovino, and on it are the bas-reliefs depicting allegories with companies from the Republic of the Lion.

Another symbol of the city is the Rialto Bridge: by> Antonio Da Ponte, was built in 1591. Was the only way to cross the Grand Canal on foot: in fact, remained the only bridge until 1854, when the Accademia Bridge was built (which were added after the Scalzi Bridge and the bridge of the Constitution). On the sides of the central body are luxury shops and at the end of the bridge in San Polo district, the picturesque fish market and the church of San Giacomo di Rialto.

Other important monuments are the Venetian Arsenal, the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, the basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the synagogues of the Ghetto.

Venice is also famous for the historic cafes. Imported from the Ottoman Empire about 1615, starting from 1683 motlissime cafes spread throughout the city. On December 29, 1720 was opened the famous Caffè Florian, still active in Piazza San Marco, under the New Magistrates in 1775 was the time instead of the equally famous Caffè Quadri.


The historic center of Venice is full of mansions that overlook the streets and rivers, ancient residences of the richest Venetian families of the golden city. Among the most famous course Palazzo Corner, designed by Jacopo Sansovino in the sixteenth century, Ca 'Rezzonico, Dorsoduro and the work of Longhena, the Palazzo Zen, the Ca' d'Oro in Cannaregio, the Palace and the Palazzo Grimani Loredan.

Apart from schools and government buildings (eg Palazzo Ducale), almost all buildings are identified with the name of the family who founded or that more has left its mark (eg Palazzo Dario, Palazzo Fortuny). Often in the name are mentioned two or more families (eg Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti), or specifies the branch of the family (eg, the Palazzo Morosini Pestrin).

Many private residences retain the traditional name of Ca ' , indicating the family together and the building (eg, Ca 'Foscari), and more recently the use of Italian House (eg House Venier). Some buildings are not large often referred to as Palace (Palace eg Stern).

Square and fields

The only square in Venice to call themselves as such, is Piazza San Marco, the other named fields or squares . Since the city was founded by a polycentric structure and divided on many islands, around the camps took place many aspects of social life, commercial and religious. They had, moreover, the important task of ensuring the water supply to the residents due to the presence of a well at their center.

Among the main Venetian squares, we can mention: Campo San Polo is the second largest open space in the city after San Marco square, Campo Santa Margherita in the Dorsoduro district, Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo in the vicinity of San Marco, Campo Santo Stefano not far from the Accademia bridge, Campo San Bartolomeo with the famous statue of Carlo Goldoni, Campo Sant'Angelo and Campo della Salute


For its compliance, Venice, has over 400 bridges between public and private that connect the 118 islands of which it is built, through 116 channels. Most of them are built of stone, some common materials are wood and iron.

The longer the Liberty Bridge that crosses the lagoon, connecting the city with the mainland and allowing vehicular traffic. The project of 1931, by engineer Eugenio Mozzi, while its inauguration occurred in 1933, with the name of Ponte Littorio.

The main channel that divides the city, the Grand Canal is crossed by four bridges: the Rialto Bridge is the oldest (built around the sixteenth century), the Accademia Bridge and the Scalzi bridge, built in the latter The Habsburg rule and rebuilt in the twentieth century, and finally the Bridge of the Constitution put in place in 2008 by architect Santiago Calatrava.

One of the most famous bridges in Venice is also the Bridge of Sighs. Built in Istria stone in the seventeenth century the architect Antonio Contin, connects the Palazzo Ducale with the new prisons.


Thanks to its environmental characteristics and its historical past, the city of Venice has been used as a backdrop for many films.

In Italian cinema, Venice was the setting for the story told in Venezia, the Moon and You (1958) by Dino Risi, Anonymous Venetian by Enrico Maria Salerno (1970), Forget Venice Franco Brusati (1979)

The city was the backdrop to tell, somewhere between history and fiction, the lives of people like Giordano Bruno Giuliano Montaldo (1973) and Casanova directed by Lasse Hallstrom and starring Heath Ledger (2005).

The city was the site of the works schakespeariane of ' Othello directed by Orson Welles (1952) and the Merchant of Venice by Michael Radford and starring Al Pacino (2004); Venzia was also the obvious choice for the background of the transposition of the novel Thomas Mann's Death in Venice , directed by Luchino Visconti (1971), and is a setting for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Stephen Norrington (2003), adapted from the comic by Alan Moore.

Hollywood has chosen the city as a theater for film sequences in between the thriller genre and 'action from Nikita (1990) by Luc Besson and through The Italian Job (2003) by F. Gary Gray Mark Wahlberg and The Tourist (2010), directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. The blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Steven Spielberg (1989) has several scenes set in the city, as well as the character of James Bond was passed in Venice for the film James Bond 007 - From Russia with Love by Terence Young ( 1963), James Bond 007 - Moonraker - Operation Space by Lewis Gilbert (1979) and James Bond 007 - Casino Royale by Martin Campbell (2006).


It is the city with the highest influx of tourists in Italy: 29,326,000 admissions in the province in 2002, compared to Rome (19486000) and Florence (9540000). In one city, there were 8,245,154 3,496,160 arrivals and presences, with a prevalence of Italian and foreign tourists on a sharp increase in tourism from Asian countries (for 2006). The flow is fairly constant, although peak periods are during the Carnival, and between May and October.

The port of Venice in Italy is the sixth largest port by volume of commercial traffic. The movement sees transit goods traffic on 6% of national total, with 29,000 thousand tons (data 2004). Relatively low passenger traffic, however: the overall movement between landings and shipments of 1,365,375 units representing 3.06% of national total (data 2005). It should be noted however that 70% of passenger traffic is given by the cruise industry: the more high value added. In addition, the growth of this sector has been rapid: in ten years has increased from less than half a million passengers to 1,453,513 (for 2006), making the first port of Venice Italian cruise and one of the first in the world: on a global fleet of 282 cruise ships, as many as 80 touch the Venetian port.

Ships entering the lagoon through the two "inlets" of the Lido and Malamocco. The piers and docks are spread over a large portion of land and subdivided by function:

  • on land, in Porto Marghera, focuses on commercial traffic, especially oil tankers and container vessels that feed the 'inland port and industrial area;
  • in the historical center, the Maritime Station, but the ferry dock for Greece and Turkey and the large cruise ships;
  • always in the historical center, mainly along the shore of the Seven Martyrs, are rather large private yacht mooring.
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