Venice travel guide

Venice in Italy

Venice is the main city of the region called Veneto in the north-eastern part of Italy. Nowadays, it counts almost 270 thousand inhabitants and it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world and listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO together with its lagoon.

The city is located in the well-known Venetian Lagoon stretching along the shoreline between the rivers Po and Piave, and it is built on an archipelago of 117 islands formed between 177 canals, connected by 409 bridges. It has been known as "la Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", and "City of Canals".
 

History

It seems that the city was founded at the time of the invasions of the Huns, when the invaded population of Aquileia, Concordia and Altino found shelter in the area surrounding the lagoon. Soon after the invasions, small towns began to grow, under the rule of the Eastern Empire, directly depending from Ravenna. At the end of the VII century the villages became autonomous and were ruled by the so-called "doge". The partnership with the Eastern Empire still perdured in the following century, when Venice, fighting the pirates and trading in the bordering regions, took the helm of the Adriatic Sea. With the IV Crusade, guided by Venice, which now is a powerful city, and with the sack of Byzantium and the consequent division of its Empire, Venice would rule several havens and coastal fortresses in the Aegean and Ionian Sea, starting its empire. It became together with, Pisa, Genoa and Amalfi, one of the "Repubbliche Marinare" Naval Republics and in the XIII century, Venice conquered Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Bergamo and Brescia. Being engaged in its expansion within the Italian peninsula, Venice lost its control of several maritime possessions to the Turks. Due to the requisition of Venetian ships by the Turks, Venice with the help of the Pope and the Habsburgs defeated the Turks in 1571 in the naval Battle of Lepanto (Greek: Ναύπακτος). After the Corfu war, the role of Venice as "ruler of the Adriatic" became only a memory and its fleet would not be able to protect the trading ships from the pirates anymore. In 1797 Napoleon's troops entered the city, which passed under the Austrian dominion and there it remained till the unification of Italy in 1866.
 

Tourism

Tourism has been the major sector of the Venetian industry since the eighteenth century's Grand Tour, with its beautiful cityscape, uniqueness, and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage. In the nineteenth century, it became a fashionable centre for the rich and famous and continued to be a fashionable city in vogue right up to the early twentieth century. 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.

The Lido di Venezia is a popular luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics, celebrities. The city also relies heavily on the cruise business, where the most popular attraction is the typical Venetian boat called "gondola". Today, there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as the Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark's Square) with Saint Mark's Basilica, the Grand Canal with its oldest bridge, the Rialto Bridge, and the beautiful palace Ca' d'Oro (Golden House), La Fenice Theatre, the Venetian Arsenal and finally the churches Santa Maria dei Miracoli and the Madonna della Salute.

 

Map of Venice with hotels

The blue pins with the letter H indicate the location of various hotels in Venice. Click on the blue pin for more information about a specific hotel.