What Makes Venice So Unique
What Makes Venice So Unique
There are so many ways to describe Venice, Italy. As we said in our last post - it is a vibrant and active city. There’s plenty to see and do in Venice throughout the year.
There are so many ways to describe Venice, Italy. As we said in our last post - it is a vibrant and active city. There’s plenty to see and do in Venice throughout the year. But it is also a city that is one of a kind. Unique. We looked back on the conversations we’ve had with guests who’ve taken part in our tours and the comments they’ve made about their time in Venice. These are the reasons why they say this city is exceptional:
It is officially protected. Not many cities have this status. And it’s easy to see why.
Venice and its Lagoon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Her history and heritage is of huge value to the world. Many of us have been allowed to see it and experience it during an Italian holiday or tours in Italy, and so it needs to be protected for generations to come. As soon as people visit Venice, they completely understand why Venice is part of the exclusive set of cities that are protected in this way.
Venice represents ingenuity
In the 5th century, the people who later became Venetians sought refuge from barbarian raids. They fled to the islands of Torcello, Jesolo and Malamocco. These land-dwellers stayed and set up home. They were part of the force that built Venice into the maritime republic and major maritime power it later became. Venice is spread over 118 islands inside the lagoon and since it was founded in the 5th century, it had to regularly defend its trading routes in the lagoon from the Arabs, the Turks and the Genoese. But even though there were major challenges, including the challenges presented by the natural environment around them, Venice still grew to become one of the major cities of the medieval world.
Venice faced what to many would seem like huge barriers – like living within the lagoon itself. But they turned this into an opportunity. And they managed to build architectural masterpieces that adopted new building methods in order to work with their challenging surroundings – particularly the water. UNESCO notes that Venice has one of the highest concentrations of architectural achievement in the world. And it seems its mostly built on water. Ingenious.
Venice and the Venetians are wedded to the sea
So, it’s clear that the Venetians embraced the sea. Like many communities, or indeed nations, Venetians definitely respect the sea. There is an ancient ceremony where the Doge (an elected leader of Venice) became wedded to the sea each year – in order to protect Venice and her people who depended upon it.
The ceremony still takes place today each year, performed by the mayor of Venice aboard a small ceremonial barge. So the Venetians are still wedded to the sea. They negotiate it every day as they go about their daily business – which is quite novel to the visitor. Many of their livelihoods depend upon it. And of course Venice is famous for its seafood-based dishes – fresh from the lagoon.
Her colourful history - Venice helped develop the world and gave the world a timeless lesson.
Following its brush with the plague, and the sudden death (murder) of the Doge, the late 12th Century through to the 14th Century – saw Venice lead the way in a number of legal and financial developments that helped develop the world we know today. These included: deposit banking, double entry accountancy and currency conversion methods. Venetians were motivated to develop these as a result of their dependence on long distance trade and the risks it presented. As a result, Venice became a trade and finance world leader.
However, throughout this period, power was concentrated in the hands of several families and groups who were major merchants. Venetian society became far less open. People were promoted from small groups of influential people into positions they neither deserved or had the knowledge of – and as a result they eroded the position of the city as a financial power and as a naval power. This is why Venice taught the world an important lesson about the concentration of power and authority.
Venice’s influence on European Architecture, Art, Music and Literature.
Venice has always been an influential powerhouse when it came to art, music, literature and architecture. This is why one’s ‘what to see and do in Venice’ itinerary will always be spoiled for choice.
The Grand Canal is lined with Venice’s architectural masterpieces and when you visit Venice you’ll be bowled over by the sights of its infamous gothic architecture – a style which was influenced by Venice’s exposure to Byzantine and Ottoman influences.
Venice was also known as the ‘Republic of Music’ such was its influence as one of the most important European centres for music. It was famous for its choral style of music and advances in the printing of music as well as for the composers who called Venice home – including Vivaldi, Ciera and Picchi.
In the same way Venice also inspired many literary greats who left their mark on the city. The earliest were Marco Polo and Casanova. Shakespeare set Othello and the Merchant of Venice in the city. And the city was also the home of one of the earliest printing presses and became the capital of European printing in the 15th Century.
Venice is also a unique source of art today also. The works of the city’s famous sons Titian, Tintoretto and Tiepolo can still be seen in the city today. Venetian paintings also developed the concept of landscape painting. And we are grateful today that Venice supported its artists well enough so they were free to create these masterpieces we can view now.
All of these talking points combine to explain what makes Venice so unique. You will never be short of places to visit in Venice Italy.
If you are planning on visiting Venice Italy during your Italian vacations, Venice Events are experts in helping you make the most of everything Venice has to offer with our walks and tours. Whether by foot, by boat or by bike – we have Venice covered. We also offer family friendly options and even rainy day options.
Or take in Venice in a day, with our easy walking tour.
As you can see, if you are wondering what to see and do in Venice, then you are spoiled for choice – no matter the time of year or the weather!
Please do visit Venice Events at veniceevents.com for more information. With Venice Events – we have Venice covered.
Rialto Bridge Venice
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