Venice, in the way which it was built, makes it one of the most unique cities in the world. Built on over 100 small islets, it lies just 4 km away from the mainland and 2 km from the Adriatic sea.
The whole historical town, crossed by 118 canals and linked by over 400 hundred bridges, is a treasure from the artistic and architectural point of view.
The town has an exceptional atmosphere from November to April, during the high water phenomenon, when the high tide exceeds the normal level and floods the street and the main squares of Venice.
Venice itself, is made up of about 60,000 residents, and is the main city of the district and the Veneto region.
At the fall of the Roman empire, barbarian hordes coming from the north of Europe invaded Italy bringing death and destruction. The inhabitants of the Venetiae cities, in order to run away from the cruelty of the Huns and vandals, took shelter on the islands of the Adriatic lagoon. Around 450 B.C. Venice was born, a “town of islands” under the Byzantine influence and ruled by a duke, or doge, appointed by a popular assembly.
The wise use of its arms and diplomacy led Venice to be the win the Istria, Dalmatia and Puglia coastline and become a real power, less subordinate from Byzantium. The splendour of what was called the Serenissima Republic began in 1202 when the doge Henry Dandolo provided decisive help to the knights of the fourth crusade in the conquest of Constantinople.
The Serenissima Republic gained immense richness from the partition of the Byzantine properties which allowed her to broaden her own commercial horizons; her ships ruled the Mediterranean sea to the middle east and returned to the lagoon full of precious goods, which were not yet to be found in the rest of Europe.
Venice reached the top of its power at the beginning of the fifteen century, after having defeated the Duke of Milan and having conquered many cities in the north east beginning with Milan and Florence, one of the main powers of the Italian peninsula. Since then, a slow but inexorable descending parable of the Serenissima started; beginning from 1415 the Turks conquered Venetian colonies of the middle east, while towards the end of the century the Portuguese circumnavigating the Cape of Good Hope, opened a new way towards the Indies taking away the Venetian commercial supremacy in those areas.
The last blazing military victory was that of Lepanto, in 1571 against the Turkish fleet. In 1797 Venice lost its independence, conquered by Napoleon Bonaparte that subsequently handed it over to the Austrians. The Serenissima Republic no longer existed, and after 70 years, in 1866 the Venetian territories became member of the rising Italian kingdom.