Venice By Gondola...
Is there a city more legendary, more spun by the dreams of artists and engineers, than Venice? The city of endless canals, of singing gondoliers and of elegant bridges, buildings, churches and cathedrals, built with incredible patience and skill. Every part of this city has been painstakingly built and decorated to become a work of art.
Let me take you on a gondola ride in this jewel of a city. Remember, it is sinking, so you should go see it while you still can!
The name Venice is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC. The city historically was the capital of the Republic of Venice.
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 described it in The New York Times as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man".
The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) 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.
While Some sources state that the city is no longer sinking, but this is not yet certain; therefore, a state of alert has not been revoked. In May 2003, the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi inaugurated a project to evaluate the performance of hollow floatable gates; the idea is to fix a series of 78 hollow pontoons to the sea bed across the three entrances to the lagoon. When tides are predicted to rise above 110 centimetres, the pontoons will be filled with air, causing them to float and block the incoming water from the Adriatic Sea. This engineering work is due to be completed by 2016.
The historical city is divided into six areas or "sestiere" . These are Cannaregio, San Polo, Dorsoduro , Santa Croce, San Marco and Castello . Each sestiere was administered by a procurator and his staff. Nowadays each sestiere is a statistic and historical area without any degree of autonomy.
Each sestiere has its own house numbering system. Each house has a unique number in the district, from one to several thousand, generally numbered from one corner of the area to another, but not usually in a readily understandable manner, to the bane of some tourists.
The city is even more beautiful at night, the water returning the warm colors spilling from the street lights.
Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe's most romantic cities. It's not hard to see why.
Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world for its celebrated art and architecture.x 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. It is regarded as one of the world's most beautiful cities.