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Lost In Venice

Four days of crowded streets & four nights of spiritual bliss

Foreword

According to tradition Venice was founded in 421 AD. At that time a Celtic people called the Veneti lived along the coast of what is now Northeast Italy. Since 49 BC they had been Roman citizens. However in 453 Attila the Hun invaded Italy. In terror some Veneti fled to islands in the lagoon & built a village there. They soon formed a loose federation. Then in 568 a people called the Lombards invaded the mainland & many Veneti fled to the islands swelling the population.

At first Venice was controlled by the Byzantine Empire (the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, which survived the fall of Rome). However in 726 the Venetians partly gained their independence & elected Orso Ipato as doge (their word for duke).

In 810 the Franks tried but failed to conquer the Venetians. Meanwhile Venice flourished as a trading center & ships sailed to & from its ports. Its population grew steadily. In 828 the body of St Mark was smuggled from Egypt to Venice. St Mark then became the patron saint of the city.

In the Middle Ages Venice continued to flourish as a port & trading center. Meanwhile in 1199 a fourth crusade was proposed. The Venetians agreed to build a fleet of ships to ferry the Crusaders. However when the Crusader army assembled they were unable to pay for the ships. So the Venetians persuaded them to join an expedition to raid Constantinople.

Venetians & Crusaders captured the city in 1204 & they looted it. Venice was also involved in other wars at that time. The Italian city of Genoa was a powerful rival to Venice & during the 13th & 14th centuries the Genoese & Venetians fought 5 wars. Furthermore in 1348 the Black Death devastated the population of Venice. Therefore in 1403 Venice introduced quarantine. Ships arriving from infected areas had to stop at an island called Lazaretto & the passengers had to wait for 40 days before they were permitted to enter the city.

In the 15th century Venice faced a new threat – the Turks. In 1453 they captured Constantinople & afterwards they advanced into Southeast Europe. In 1489 Venice came to rule Cyprus. However in 1571 the Turks conquered the island.

Furthermore in 1508 several European countries formed the League of Cambrai & went to war against Venice. However after 8 years of war the map was largely unchanged.

More serious for Venice was the discovery of North & South America. The result was that trade shifted away from the Mediterranean. Furthermore in 1630 Venice was struck by plague again.

During the 17th century Venice gradually lost power & influence. In the 18th century Venice was politically unimportant although the arts such as opera flourished. Then in 1797 Napoleon dissolved the Republic of Venice. However after his fall in 1815 Venice was handed to Austria.

The railway reached Venice in 1846. However Venice did not prosper under Austrian rule. In 1848 revolutions swept Europe & Venice rose in rebellion against the Austrians. For a short period Daniele Manin became president of an independent Venice. However Austrian forces bombarded the city & Venice was forced to surrender in August 1849. Yet in 1866 the Austrians were defeated by the Prussians & Venice was allowed to join the new nation of Italy.

In the late 19th century Venice flourished as a port & a manufacturing center. Then in 1933 Mussolini built a road from the mainland to Venice. During the Second World War Venice was undamaged by fighting but the Jewish population was deported.

In 1966 Venice suffered a severe flood but the city soon recovered. Today tourism is the mainstay of Venice. However the population of Venice has fallen sharply since the mid 19th century. Today the population of Venice is estimated at around 270,000.

Highlights Of My Trip

Piazza San Marco

Destination No.1 for everyone that visits Venice is of course the Piazza San Marco, a massive square surrounded by long arcades built in the mid 1600’s for the Procurators of St. Mark, high ranking officers of state in the days of the republic of Venice. At the west end of the Piazza is a continued part of the arcade added around 1810 by Napoleon & is thus known as the Ala Napoleonica (Napoleonic Wing). The highlights though are at the east end where the Basilica & Campanile are to be admired. St. Marks Basilica dates back as far as 828 as does the original Campanile. Unfortunately though the original bell tower collapsed in 1902 luckily without casualties other than the caretakers cat.

Murano

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Grand Canal

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Night Tour

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Piazza San Marco

Murano

Grand Canal

Rialto Bridge

Certosa

Rialto Bridge

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Certosa

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo. Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt. Cras dapibus. Vivamus elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae, eleifend ac, enim. Aliquam lorem ante, dapibus in, viverra quis, feugiat a, tellus.

Summary

  • Photographic Interest 100%
  • Weather 100%
  • Sightseeing 100%
  • Fun Factor 80%
  • Repeat Visit 100%

LAGOON CITY VENICE

Visit my portfolio of images that I collected over 4 days & nights of arduous effort due to high temperatures, humidity, overcrowded streets & a backpack with over 8kg of equipment.

 

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Did You Know?

Venice has one of the narrowest streets in the world. Ramo Varisco street, better known as Calleta is only 53 cm in width. Canals were the main transport & communication routes meaning that the main entrances to buildings were always on the canal side. The Venetians weren’t so concerned about the lack of space between buildings at the rear or to the sides, that’s why Venetian streets are often so narrow & often built without concept.

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