Venice was founded in the fifth century by a people called the Veneti, who lived on the coast in what would become northeast Italy (geography.howstuffworks 4, Lambert np). When the land inhabited by the Veneti was invaded by the Lombards, the Veneti fled to the nearby islands in the lagoon, and formed a village built on mud flats. This village was the beginning of Venice. Venice was originally a part of the Byzantine Empire, but it gained its independence in the ninth century. During the Middle ages, Venice became a major trade center due to the trading introduced by the Crusades. In 828 A.D., Venice gained its patron saint, Saint Mark, when his body was smuggled into the city. Venice continued as a successful trading port, but its population was severely diminished in 1348 by the Black Plague. The discovery of the Americas prompted the decline of Venice, as it shifted trade away from the city. Then in 1630, Venice suffered from another plague. Venice was conquered by Napoleon, but was given to Austria in 1815. Venice regained its independence for about a year, but was recaptured by Austria. Austria was defeated in 1866, and Venice became a part of Italy (Lambert, np). During World War I, Venice was damaged by aerial bombing, but it went through World War II relatively unscathed. Due to its location, the city suffered from various water related problems, and was found to be sinking in the 1950s through the 1970s. Wells throughout the city were capped, and the sinking was stopped. During the 1970s and the 1980s, Venice was restored as work was done to repair many of its famous buildings (geography.howstuffworks, 4).
Venice is composed of a hundred and eighteen islands in a lagoon near the Adriatic sea, and is built on top of wooden pilings. The city has plenty of walkways, but no streets. Replacing streets are the nearly 160 canals, and the 400 bridges that span them. Gondolas are one of the most popular means of transport, but people also use personal boats and water taxis (geography.howstuffworks, 1).
Venice is currently home to around 60,000 residents. The major ethnicity is Italian, and the main religion is Roman Catholic. The official language is Italian and the official currency used is the Euro, which compares to about a dollar and thirty-six cents in American money (worldstatesmen.org np, money.cnn.com np). Venice’s economy is centered around tourism, and the city is visited by more than 60,000 tourists daily. Venice is also known for handmade products such as art and jewelry (geography.howstuffworks, 2). Venice is especially famous for its glass blowers, located on the island of Murano (tours-italy.com, np).
One of the most famous events in Venice is the Carnival. The Venice Carnival dates back all the way to the 400’s. Clubs were created to plan parties and shows in the cities, and the people started wearing masks to disguise themselves. The masks grew more elaborate, and masks complete with historical...