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Venice, Italy

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Venice, Italy

The city of Venice was built on the water; therefore the canals of Venice have always been an important part of the life of Venetians. Venice is a city of 120 small islands with over 400 bridges linking them. The more than 150 canals serve as streets of the city, making it unlike any other city (Kertzer). It is connected to the mainland, which is two and a half miles away by both rail and highway bridge ( Venice?s history as well as its state in the present revolves around the water and the canals that serve the city.

A Brief History
The first settlers to Venice were refuges fleeing the Visigoth and Hun invaders after the fall of Rome (Steves). At this time the islands were uninhibited, muddy, and very small. (Steves) They expanded the tiny islands by creating platforms by shoving pylons into the sea floor and topping them with stone (Simonis). The little streams that the inhabitants kept from silting became the canals that exist today. The first settlers harvested fish and salt, but soon trading began up the river. When Ravenna, the leading trade city, fell the Venetians became the connection between the East and the West. Venice regulated trading between Constantinople (now Istabul), other Italian cities, and northern Africa (Kertzer). These goods included silk, ceramics, and carpets exported from Asia to Europe and iron and wood exported from Europe to Asia (

In the sixth century the Lombards attacked and with them came noble families. During this time organization began among the islands with shops, clergy, noble, and a ruler called the Doge. Eventually, all of the island communities decided to merge by building bridges. They also had to shorten the canals and ...

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...s, 2001

Kerper, Barrie. "Venice: The Art, Mass Tourism and High Water."
Venice. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2002. Rpt. in

Kertzer, David I. "Venice." World Book Encyclopedia. 1993 ed.
Vol. 20. 306-308.

"The Silk Road: Connecting Cultures, Creating Trust." 36th annual
Smithsonain Folklife Festival. Silk Road Project Inc.. 27
Nov. 2003.

Simonis, Damien. Venice. Victoria, Australia: Lonely Planet
Publications, 2002.

Steves, Rick. Venice 2004. Emeryville, CA: Avalon Travel
Publishing, 2003.

Venice. 2003. Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia . 27 Nov. 2003

"Venice- History." Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2003. 27 Nov.

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