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Venice, or Venezia in Italiano, is an historic city in northeastern Italy that sits on a group of 118 small islands divided by canals and united by bridges. The city is situated on the Venetian Lagoon, which extends along the shoreline between the Piave and Po Rivers. Venice and its Lagoon are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The name Venice comes from the Veneti people who inhabited the area during the 10th century, BC. The Republic of Venice endured a prosperous history as a major maritime power throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, including its use as a staging area for the Crusades. It also became a central point of commerce for silk, grain, and spice markets, and an artistic capital between the 13th and 17th centuries. The city, which is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi, has played a pivotal role in the history of operatic and symphonic music.
Venice is most famous not only for its ubiquitous canals, but also its architecture. While Venice is home to an eclectic palate of architectural styles, the city is most famed for the Gothic style, which has come to be recognized as Venetian Gothic architecture. This specific style combines the Gothic lancet arch with Ottoman, Byzantine, and Phoenician architecture influences. The architectural style originated in the 14th century, during which time Byzantine style from Constantinople collided with Arab influence from Moorish Spain. Some of the most iconic structures emblematic of the Venetian Gothic style in Venice are the Doge’s Palace and the Ca’ d’Oro.
If you want to visit Venice, you better get there quickly! The city is indeed sinking at a rate of about .03 to .04 inches per year. The sinking will undoubtedly increase flooding, which already results from high tides about four times a year.