Venice is an interesting and important city that is located off the coast of Italy. This city is built on 118 small, swampy, malaria-infested islands. How could people survive here? How could such a thriving and wonderful city such as Venice is today, rise from bogs?

Before Venice was created, there was war in Europe. Some people, presumably Italians, fled to the swamps and bogs south of Italy, where they felt safe from pursuit. Because the ground was muddy and soggy, the only way the refugees had to build houses was to drive millions of wooden logs into the ground, and lay their foundations on top of them. It became an official city in 421 when the first church was built.

It became a busy, thriving city. Charlemagne, the famous Frankish emperor, wanted its glory to be added to his huge empire. So he sent his son Pepin to conquer it. Pepin came back defeated.

Venice became an official Byzantine territory in 814 and was given trading rights.

It became a major hub for music, art and culture. It was Marco Polo’s home. It also housed Antonio Vivaldi, the red-haired, baroque composer and priest under its roofs.

Because Venice was built on islands there are waterways and canals instead of streets. The only way to get around is by boat. There are ‘bus-boats’ and motorboats, but the most common is the gondola. The gondola is a sort of flat-bottomed canoe which is handled by a man named a gondolier. They are the ‘taxies’ of Venice.

The Venetians developed their own kind of architecture called the Venetian Gothic Architecture. It was made of a combination of Byzantine, Ottoman and general European architecture.

Another famous aspect is the mask festival, held every year since the 12th century. There everyone is required to wear a mask. There is a prize at the end of this carnival for the best and prettiest mask.

Venice was and still is a highly cultural city. Its waterways and canals make it different and more special than other cities. A common place for tourists, it holds the wealth and knowledge of the ages.




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