History Of Venice In Italy
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Venice is one of the most unique and beautiful cities in the world and the history of Venice in Italy dates back to around the 7th century when local people sought protection from the barbarian tribes of the area. The settlement was established on several islands in the lagoon, which were eventually linked by bridges. From its earliest beginnings, Venice depended heavily on the sea for its ability to trade successfully with other powers and a 1,000-year-old tradition is still carried out today, when the Doge, or head of the city, ceremoniously throws a ring into the sea, to symbolize the connection between the city and the water.

DSCN1488 Over the next few centuries, Venice developed as a powerful trading centre and established itself as an independent state. Its famous winged lion symbol, which dates from around this time, can still be seen all over the city. The city’s high point came during the 15th century when Venice annexed nearby cities such as Verona and Padua and by this time, the famous Venetian carnival, complete with decorative colored masks, had been firmly established as part of the city’s social calendar.

One of the city’s most famous citizens was Marco Polo, who made his legendary journey from Venice to China in around 1260. Polo helped to inspire later explorers and travelers, such as Columbus and today if you fly into Venice, you will be landing at the Marco Polo airport. He was reputedly buried in the 9th century San Lorenzo church in Venice.

DSCN1652 The end of the Venetian Republic came in the late 18th century, when Napoleon invaded the city and the city became part of France; it would also be Austrian for a short time, as the result of a pact. In the 1860s, Venice officially became part of Italy and around this time was also connected by rail to the mainland for the first time, resulting in a new invasion of tourists. Many of them were from England and included the city in their Grand Tour itinerary, a sort of rite of passage for those well off.

Today, Venice history is everywhere in the narrow streets, grand squares and canals of this unique city and a visit here is the chance to experience what was once one of the world’s great trading powers.

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