Venice is one of those cities laureled for its beauty. Almost anyone that’s been there will attest it’s a beautiful city, and if they haven’t been they’ll wish to go there one day. There are countless facts about Venice that make it an extremely fascinating place to visit: there are no real “streets” in Venice, people get around the city by riding in boats and the city is actually many small islands. The following list expands on those, giving some eye-popping insight to the city “City of Water”.
1. Venice is made up of 118 islands
The city of Venice is comprised of 118-small islands. Some of these islands are man made, and all of these individual islands are connected by the many pedestrian bridges that have been built over the years. The creation of and the process of connecting these islands by bridges, created the canals that the city is famous for.
2. There are 177 canals in Venice
One of the main components of Venice, are all of its canals. In total there are over 177 canals in Venice. Some canals are very small, while some are quite large. The largest canal is the Grand Canal. This “s”-shaped canal is two and a half miles long, sixteen feet deep, and ranges from ninety – three hundred feet wide.
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3. Venice is a gondola oriented city
There are no streets in the traditional sense that most people think of, paved roads that cars drive on. The streets of Venice are the canals and the cars are gondolas. There are about 350 gondolas in Venice. Gondolas are a huge part of the draw of the city, all visitors to Venice want to take at least one ride in a gondola.
4. There are more than 400-pedestrian bridges
The main way to get around the city of Venice is to navigate the canals by gondola. But, in some areas you can walk from island to island using the pedestrian bridges. A small number of these bridges are private bridges, but the rest are open for visitors to use.
5. Venice has one of the narrowest streets in the world
The sizes of streets worldwide can vary, but most people now expect streets to be able to allow at least one car to go down them. Venice is home to one of the narrowest streets in the world, a street named Calletta. Calletta is just 53-centimeters wide.
© Ib Aarmo
6. Venice is an ancient refuge
The city of Venice was made with a specific purpose. The people who created Venice were escaping a barbarian invasion. Since Venice is an archipelago, or group of islands, this would make it much harder for possible invaders to take over.
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7. Venice used to be its own country
During the seventh century up until 1797 Venice was its own country, the Republic of Venice. It was a very wealthy country, mainly based on its trade and negotiations. The rise of Napoleon though signaled the fall of the Republic of Venice. Venice was significantly weakened by fighting with the Ottoman Turks, so Napoleon swooped in and was the end of the Republic of Venice.
8. The houses in Venice are numbered by districts
In Venice, the houses aren’t numbered by the street like in most places around the world. Instead they are numbered by district. This system even confuses the people delivering mail. It is very difficult to find an address, most people look for some form of landmark close to the location instead of a specific address.
9. Venice is sinking by 1-2 millimeters each year
Venice frequently floods, there are movable walkways that are put up so that people do not have to walk through the water. One cause of the flooding is the rising sea level. But the other reason is that Venice is slowly sinking. Because of how the city was built and how water was brought to the people living there, the city has been sinking about one-to-two millimeters each year.
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10. There are over 15 millions visitors to Venice each year
Even though the number of people living in Venice is slowly decreasing, there are over 15-million visitors who come every year. From the canals, to the beautifully crafted gondolas, to the gorgeous buildings and views, there is so much to be seen in Venice.
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Cover photo © Albert de Bruijn
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