Theme Week Venice, Queen of the Adriatic Sea

Saturday, 30 July 2011 - 03:21 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Architecture, European Union, Bon voyage, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Venice Collage © DaniDF1995

Venice Collage © DaniDF1995

Venice is a city in northern Italy known both for tourism and for industry, and is the capital of the region Veneto, with a population of about 270,660 (census estimate 30 April 2009). Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE) (population 1,600,000).

The name is derived from the ancient people of Veneti that inhabited the region as of 10th century B.C. The city historically was the capital of the Venetian Republic. Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”. Luigi Barzini, writing in The New York Times, described it as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man”. Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe’s most romantic cities.

The city stretches across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and the Piave (north) Rivers. The population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; around 60,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large frazioni of Mestre and Marghera; and 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon.

The Republic of Venice was a major 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 trade) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th 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. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.

Zecca - Library Marciana © Nino Barbieri View from St Mark's Campanile © Dgt84 The Ponte dei Sospiri - The Bridge of Sighs © Herbert Sponner Teatro La Fenice © Pavel Krok Santa Maria della Salute © Pascalniff San Giorgio Maggiore © Blorg Riva del Ferro © Nino Barbieri Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal © W Lloyd MacKenzie Punta della Dogana © tiseb Peggy Guggenheim Collection © TheRunnerUp Giudecca Canal and Saint Mark's Basin Panorama © Tango7174 Aerial view © Unofeld781 et al The baroque Ca' Rezzonico © G Lanting San Marco Square © Radomil Venice Collage © DaniDF1995
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The Ponte dei Sospiri - The Bridge of Sighs © Herbert Sponner
Venetian cuisine is characterized by seafood, but also includes garden products from the islands of the lagoon, rice from the mainland, game, and polenta. Venice combines local traditions with influences that are distant from millennial business contacts. These include sarde in saor, sardines marinated in order to preserve them for long voyages; risi e bisi, rice and peas; fegato alla veneziana, Venetian-style liver; risotto with cuttlefish, blackened from the ink; cicchetti, refined and delicious tidbits (akin to tapas); antipasti, appetizers; and prosecco, an effervescent, mildly sweet wine.

Venice has a rich and diverse architectural style, the most famous of which is the Gothic style. Venetian Gothic architecture is a term given to a Venetian building style combining use of the Gothic lancet arch with Byzantine and Arab influences. The style originated in 14th-century Venice, where the confluence of Byzantine style from Constantinople met Arab influence from Moorish Spain. Chief examples of the style are the Doge’s Palace and the Ca’ d’Oro in the city. The city also has several Renaissance and Baroque buildings, including the Ca’ Pesaro and the Ca’ Rezzonico.

Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world, due to the city’s being one of the world’s greatest and most beautiful cities of art. The city has an average of 50,000 tourists a day (2007 estimate). In 2006, it was the world’s 28th most internationally visited city, with 2.927 million international arrivals that year. Tourism has been a major sector of Venetian industry since the 18th century, when it was a major center for the grand tour, due to its beautiful cityscape, uniqueness, and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage. In the 19th century, it became a fashionable centre for the rich and famous, often staying or dining at luxury establishments such as the Danieli Hotel and the Caffè Florian. It continued being a fashionable city in vogue right into the early 20th 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.

Today, there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark’s Basilica, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco, to name a few. The Lido di Venezia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics, celebrities, and mainly people in the cinematic industry. The city also relies heavily on the cruise business. However, Venice’s popularity as a major worldwide tourist destination has caused several problems, including the fact that the city can be very overcrowded at some points of the year. It is regarded by some as a tourist trap, and by others as a “living museum”. The cruise ships that use the Giudecca Canal send a large wake toward the city, that slowly causes the city to sink. Unlike most other places in Western Europe, and the world, Venice has become widely known for its element of elegant decay. The competition for foreigners to buy homes in Venice has made prices rise so highly that numerous inhabitants are forced to move to more affordable areas of Veneto and Italy, the most notable being Mestre.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on City of Venice, VisitVenezia.eu, BBC, 1 August 2023: Unesco recommends adding Venice to endangered list, The New York Times, 1 August 2023: Venice Faces an Unwelcome Honor: Joining the Endangered Places List, Wikitravel Venice and Wikipedia Venice. Learn more about the use of photos . To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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