A Trip to Venice
Modern Venice
Culture and Economy
Climate and Geography
Places to See
Eating Well
Wine
The Arts in Venice
Shopping and Nightlife
Beyond Venice

Vacationing in Venice, Italy

Venice has long enjoyed a reputation as one of Italy’s foremost tourist destinations. Located in the region known as ”Veneto” the city’s geographical map of tight waterways is zipped together with puzzle-like lagoon islands that border the Adriatic Sea. Spread out over this lagoon area is the city of Venice. The low-lying area enjoys a climate that ranges from temperate in the spring and summer months to cold and uncomfortably damp in the winter. Tourist travel is brisk during the summer, so travel and sightseeing is easiest in either spring or fall.

Ancient Venice came under the supreme power of the Roman Empire. The Roman rule spread over the entire Mediterranean region from 700 BC until around 500 AD. Though the center of the Roman Empire eventually became Rome, and the capital of Italy, Roman Emporers nevertheless spent centuries developing this northeastern area of the country. The area’s coastal waterways and the large Po river--one of Italy’s largest-- were attractive to them for the potential they held as a major trade route into the East and Europe. The hilly, fertile region inland from Venice also made it possible to develop agriculturally. Instrumental in the development of wine-making, Ancient Romans saw to it that a wine culture developed and thrived. Today the region around Venice is one of Italy’s foremost wine regions. During the Renaissance, Venice became affluent in arts, culture and exotic trade goods.
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Because of Venice’s proximity to the Alps and the countries of France, Switzerland, and Austria, her political history has been colorful. The area was an active one during the Crusades. Venice has a long and unique Jewish history, and has fallen under the reign of both Napoleon and Austria before ultimately declaring itself the nation of Italy in the mid 1800’s. Venice has enjoyed the reputation for being relaxed in its attitudes towards religious tolerance and social diversity. Perhaps this is why it was a central city during the Renaissance, an era made famous for its cutting-edge philosophies, art works and political and social conventions that have gone on to shape most of Western civilization as we know it.

Today, Venice is the final destination for many and affords easy access to both the southeastern Alps and sandy Adriatic coastline. The city, famous for its romanticism, cuisine and characteristic gondolas and waterways, boasts a thriving economy. Boundless opportunities exist for enjoying local nightlife and exploring the variety of shopping venues and historic palaces that meander along the Grand Canal.