Venice: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Venice.

  • Venice is located in the north-east of Italy, on the Adriatic Sea. The city is built on 118 islands in a lagoon and has a population of over 250,000.
  • The city was founded in the 5th century and was a powerful trading city by the 12th century. It has been called the ‘Floating City’, the ‘City of Canals’, and ‘Queen of the Adriatic’.

  • Venice has featured in many books including those by Hemingway and Charles Dickens, and the plays of William Shakespeare. It has featured in many films, including Moonraker, Death in Venice and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
  • Venice has over 170 canals and about 400 bridges. The most famous canal is the S-shaped Grand Canal, and the most famous bridge is the 16th century Rialto Bridge.
  • There are about 450 gondolas in Venice, and they are made from several different types of wood. Official gondoliers must know the city landmarks and must be able to speak another language.
  • Gondolas were first built in Venice in the 12th century. They have always been painted black, so that rich people were not able to choose the most brightly coloured boat.
  • Venice attracts over 18 million people each year.
  • High tides  in November and December can damage the historic buildings.
  • Almost all of Venice’s buildings are built on huge wooden poles which rest on the mud. The city is sinking at the rate of several mm each year.
  • Some famous people born in Venice include Vivaldi, Casanova and Marco Polo. The city’s main airport is named after the famous explorer, Marco Polo, one of the first Europeans to reach China.
  • Venice’s famous carnival dates from the 12th century. There are different types of carnival masks, one of which was first used to stop the spreading of germs and disease.