With its meandering canals, the dizzying labyrinth of small streets, regal gondolas, and unbelievable existence perched on a sequence of islands, Venice has lengthy captivated vacationers as a beautiful place that is stuffed with stories — and a few secrets. Curious to be taught extra in regards to the mysterious island metropolis? These enjoyable details about Venice will assist.
It is a visitor publish that was written for GetYourGuide by one in all our favourite journey blogs, Our Escape Clause. (Thanks, Kate!)
1. Town rests on 118 islands separated by 150 canals
Most of the islands are knitted along with a sequence of 400 footbridges, however some, like well-known Burano, Murano, and Torcello, are set additional out within the lagoon and are solely accessible by boat or water taxi.
2. There aren’t any automobiles in Venice
When you attain the town heart, you received’t spot any automobiles: boats primarily take the place of automobiles in central Venice, and canals take the place of roads.
3. Venice is thought for its lace and glass
Particularly, Venice’s most well-known hand-crafted lace comes from the outlying island of Burano, whereas the perfect of its iconic glass is made on the outlying island of Murano. You possibly can visit both islands immediately. All through the centuries, these artisanal merchandise have discovered their way around the world, together with into the palms of a number of monarchs (together with Henry VIII) and even a handful of popes!
4. Solely 4 bridges cross the Grand Canal
They embody the wood Ponte dell’Accademia close to the Gallerie dell’Accademia, the Ponte degli Scalzi close to the practice station, the fashionable Ponte di Calatrava a Venezia that opened in 2008, and naturally the oldest, grandest, and most well-known of all of them — the Rialto Bridge, which was constructed within the late 16th century. In the event you’re fortunate sufficient to be spending a couple of days in Venice, contemplate making a degree of crossing all 4!
5. Venice was as soon as an impartial empire…
The impartial Republic of Venice lasted from 697 AD all the way in which till 1797 AD–greater than a thousand years in whole! At its top through the 14th century, Venice dominated all the way in which to Crete and alongside a lot of the Balkan shoreline, controlling ports in locations like modern-day Zadar, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro.
6. … and it was extraordinarily rich
Venice was as soon as the situation of the center of commerce between Europe, Central Asia, and the Center East, and it turned extremely wealthy within the course of, at one time commanding respect because the wealthiest metropolis in Europe.
The republic was dominated by a Doge (the top of state, who was elected for all times) and a sequence of councils. The Doge’s Palace is likely one of the best places to tour in Venice immediately, and was not solely the home of the Doge, but additionally acted as the house of the councils, the jail, and the final heart of presidency.
7. Venetian masks aren’t simply touristy souvenirs
As soon as used as a part of each day life to hide the wearer’s id throughout less-than-savory actions (particularly by the requirements of the Church within the Center Ages), Venice’s masks are intertwined with the culture of the city itself. So whereas immediately, they’re largely related to the Venetian Carnival, however masks have a greater than 1000-year-old historical past within the metropolis. They make pretty souvenirs for each finances, from 3€ for small, mass-produced masks to 1000’s for hand-crafted artistic endeavors.
8. Marco Polo was a Venetian
Born in 1254 to a rich service provider household, the well-known explorer Marco Polo initially hailed from the island-state. Throughout his lifetime, he spent roughly 24 years dwelling overseas, interacting with the Mongol Empire, and touring alongside what’s now generally known as the Silk Highway. Ultimately, he was captured by Genoa, then the arch-rival of Venice, and whereas imprisoned wrote “The Travels of Marco Polo”, or just “The Travels”. Immediately, when you can’t go inside, you’ll be able to take a tour which takes you previous his dwelling!
9. Round 400 gondolas float by means of the town’s canals immediately
Seem to be so much? At one time limit, round 10,000 gondolas populated the town’s canals! In earlier centuries, rich Venetians would use a gondola the identical approach that their counterparts in Rome or Paris would possibly use a horse and carriage, all the time having one (full with a driver) on the prepared. Gondolas additionally was once used for transporting numerous items and for public transportation, however fashionable motorboats have taken over these duties now.
Immediately, just about all the 400 remaining gondolas in Venice are used for tourism functions. Having fun with a Venetian gondola ride is likely one of the hottest issues to do within the metropolis, and a good way to take pleasure in among the best views of Venice.
10. The Rialto Market is sort of 1000 years previous!
The Rialto Market, situated simply steps from the well-known Rialto Bridge, was based in 1097 and has been an vital a part of the cultural landscape of Venice ever since. In the course of the Venetian Empire, the Rialto Market was one of many largest and strongest on the earth. Spices, jewels, food, material, and animals each the east and the west have been bought to consumers from throughout Europe and past.
11. The well-known Horses of St. Mark’s Basilica aren’t really Venetian
Whereas the Horses of St. Mark are related to Venice — they stood on high of St. Mark’s Basilica for lots of of years — they’re not unique to Venice. Town acquired them in 1254 after they took them from then-Constantinople within the aftermath of the Fourth Campaign. And their precise origin? Their historical past predates even Constantinople. Theories recommend they date to the 4th century BCE and will have originated in Egypt or Rome.
You possibly can go to the horses on the inside of the second flooring of the St Mark’s Basilica. Within the 1980s, the horses have been moved inside to guard them from the weather, and replicas overlook Piazza San Marco of their place.
Kate has spent greater than Three years touring the world full-time and documenting all of it on her web site, Our Escape Clause. When she’s not writing, you’ll be able to usually discover her on a hike someplace wandering round a metropolis, studying an excellent ebook, or planning one of many subsequent thousand journeys she plans to take.