Venice, in Italy, is considered the dream destination for travelers. With its endless canals, winding waterways, and ornately-dressed gondoliers; it often seems like a dream come true, a real heaven on earth. And thanks to the many movies, videos, and images that have captured its beauty with all its essence, this floating city continues to attract millions of tourists and visitors every year.
Venice, as an international destination, grew in prominence and power through its trade with the Far East. Besides being able to control the seas around the Italian coast, this city also became popular for its artistic glassware! Little wonder then that this “Bride of the Mediterranean” was bedecked with some of the best glasswork!
It is common knowledge that the waterway is the major means of transport in Venice. In fact, it has about 150 canals inter-connecting the various parts of the city. So, don’t be surprised if you don’t find any cars to drive you around. If you decide to skip the gondoliers, then the best way to move around is to use the 400+ footbridges built for pedestrians or to use their “streets”.
The streets of Venice are actually the spaces that appeared around buildings!! Venice did not plan for or design streets, thanks to its efficient waterway system. Therefore, don’t be surprised to see narrow passageways described as streets and taking you nowhere! In fact, the narrowest street is only 53 cm wide and goes by the name Calletta or Ramo Varisco!
Venice is a city made up of 115 little floating islands. For administrative purposes, it has been divided into six districts, also known as the sestieri. Since streets are practically irrelevant, houses are numbers based on their district. So, if you are new to Venice, you would have to depend on a popular building or monument to find your way around!
Venice is not just popular for its canals but also for its churches. In fact, it is believed that this city was home to over 200 churches by the 18th century. Not surprising considering the fact that churches were not just a place of religious congregation but also served as lighthouses! Moreover, many of these towers also served as fire guard stations.
Venice is home to over 450 palaces, besides several other prominent buildings and monuments. The landscape of Venice speaks of different architectural styles including Byzantine, Gothic, and Baroque. But don’t be surprised to find crooked buildings and towers – Venice does not have much solid land!
Historians believe that this city is sinking over the years. In fact, studies have shown a drowning rate of 1 to 2 millimeters every year! So, if you are yet to visit Venice, plan for it in this century.
The gondoliers of Venice are an inadvertent part of their landscape. But did you know that Venice got its first woman gondolier only in 2010!
Whether you are new here or have visited Venice a few times, there is always a good chance you would get lost in this city. In fact, it is estimated that you could easily get lost a thousand times in this maze of canals and calles. Understanding this predicament, the municipality has made the city’s map easily accessible through its web page. Something every tourist should consider accessing to reduce the number of times they would get lost!!
Venice boasts of a lot of places to visit and the proof lies in its number of annual visitors – 15 million to be precise. Besides its major bridges, churches, canals, palaces, and narrow unending streets; this city claims to offer several new things to discover and do even if you visit this city a ten thousand times!