Last weekend it was finally time for the annual citytrip with my BFF. Since I was invited by Maura from Wanderjack, we went to Venice this time. My last trip was more than 10 years ago, so I was very excited to return. Before I leave, I like to read some background information about the place I visit. I hereby provide you with a summary.
A brief history
- Venetie has almost 300,000 inhabitants, of whom only 60,000 live in Venice. The rest live on the other islands or on the mainland.
- Since 1987, Venice is on the list of Unesco World Heritage.
- Venice had been inhabited for centuries, but the first major settlements were created when the population from the surrounding cities fled for Atilla.
- In the 7th century, the area gained its own leader, the so-called 'Doge'.
- In the 9th century, the Venetians defended Byzantine interests at sea. As a result, she gained more independence and could grow trade.
- In the 12th century, the city of Venice became so powerful that they even dominated the Byzantine empire.
- Venice reached its peak during the 14th century. Then they lost their power to the Turks.
- In the 18th century, Venice became the most elegant city of Europe through art. All the riches of the earth passed here.
- In 1797 Napoleon conquered the city. At first Venice was part of Austria but eventually became Italian territory in 1866.
In Venice Lagoon, several islands are located next to Venice itself.
- Murano: especially known for its glass blowers.
- Burana: famous for its colorful houses.
- Lido: especially popular because of the beautiful beaches.
- Torcello: has an old cathedral.
- San Giorgio Maggiore
They can all be reached by boat from Venice. If you have enough time, the first three are especially worth a visit.
The city is divided into sestieres (6 districts):
- Santa Croce: access to the city. At the edge of the Piazzale Roma you can take a taxi or continue to the train and bus stops.
- San Polo: one of the oldest city districts, east of the Grand Canal. At the most eastern tip is the famous Rialto bridge which connects with the San Marco district.
- Cannaregio: the largest city area with most inhabitants. It also does not have as many interesting things to see.
- Dorsoduro: linked by the beautiful wooden bridge 'Ponte dell'Accademia' to the San Marco district.
- Castello: received its name thanks to the castle that stood here. It is also the place where the first shipyards originated.
- San Marco: is the heart of the city and also the most touristy part.
In Venice it is always busy, but at the Carnival of Venice it reaches its peak. Also in September, prices go up because of the annual Filmfestival at the Lido.
Venice counted many world famous painters. Think of Titian and Tintoretto. Also the cradle of explorer Marco Polo stood here. The composer Vivaldi was born here, and Casanova became a womanizer over here. Monet found inspiration here for some of his famous paintings.
On the one hand Venice thanks its charm and its power from the past to the water. But on the other hand, water is also a big threat. In November 1966, there was a great flood that caused damage to unique buildings and art treasures. In the 20th century, a lot of groundwater under the city was pumped away by the chemical industry. This caused the city to sink and increased the water level in 100 years by 23 cm. In 1960, therefore, it was forbidden to pump more water away. They also started to build a storm flood to close the lagoon at high water.
The center of Venice is car-free. You can leave your car at Tronchetto or at the Piazzale Roma. From there you can take the vaporetto (water bus). A private water taxi is also an option. From the airport it will cost you about 120 euros to bring you to your hotel (or as close as possible). The gondola is perfect for a short tour of the canals.
To be continued with more info about my latest trip to Venice. Do you have some tips & trick? Please share them below.
Like to read some more about Venice? Here are some nice travelguides.