Venice is such a spectacular city, making it one of the most ideal vacation destinations in the world. The small city lies in the Northwest of Italy, and it is famous for its uniqueness, beautiful canals, and historic beauty. Anyone who has been to the city can tell you that the city, instead of roads, uses water for transportation; this is one of the fascinating facts about Venice.
The city has a lot of history, and there are many interesting facts to learn about Venice. Whether you are planning to visit the city soon or want a deeper understanding of this amazing city, here are 30 interesting and fun facts about Venice you should know.
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General Facts About Venice
Venice has 118 islands
This Venice fact shouldn’t surprise you, given that the city is made up of more water than land. The city has various islands, each with unique characters and landmarks. 400 bridges and 170 waterways connect the islands.
They are nestled in a calm coastal lagoon, giving Venice its unique charm. Looking at the city, it may seem like one city’s land mass, so it is easy to forget they are separate islands.
Some of these islands offer a look into traditional trades since the old times, while others feature some of the nicest beaches in and around Venice.
There are 150 canals in Venice
Another interesting fact about Venice is that the city has about 150 canals. Therefore, the primary way to get around the city is either by foot or by boat using canals. Some surveys reveal there are as many as 177 canals.
The central canal is the Canal Grande, which divides Venice into two. Most of the canals are not that deep, but the two main canals, Canal Grande and Canale Della Giudecca are a bit deeper.
Taking a relaxing Gondola ride is one of the best ways to experience the Canals in Venice.
Venice is Built on Water Log
Venice is built on lots of petrified logs. The logs used were from trees in the forests of Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro. The logs were sunk underwater to create a basis for the city. Wooden platforms were built on the logs, and buildings were constructed on top of the platforms.
Venice has Many Names
The beautiful city of Venice is also called ‘City of Bridges,’ ‘City of Masks,’ ‘City of Water,’ ‘La Serenissima,’ ‘The Floating City,’ ‘La Dominante,’ and ‘Queen of the Adriatic.’
Historical Facts About Venice
Venice was an Independent Republic for More than 1,100 years
Venice, known as La Serenissima back then, was an independent republic between 697 and 1797. Napoleon conquered the city in 1797, and in the next century, France and Austria fought to have dominion over the city until it became part of Italy’s Kingdom in 1866.
The City of Venice was Founded in Early 421 AD
An interesting fact about Paris is that the history of Venice is not complete without the people of Celtic called ‘Veneti’ who dwelled along the coastline of modern-day Northeast Italy. They were Roman citizens from 49 BC until Attila the Hun invaded Italy in 453AD. Some Veneti fled to the lagoon island because they were terrorized. They built a village and created an independent federation.
Venice used to be the Capital of the Veneto Region
Another historical Venice fact is that the region was the Republic of Venice, a sovereign state in the past. It was also the republic of maritime in northeastern Italy. It is worth noting that it only existed from the 7th century until the 18th century.
In the 1720s, Venice was the Pleasure Capital of Europe
In the 1720s, the city was the pleasure capital of Europe because different kinds of vices easily entertain the city as long as they improved tourism. The city became a compulsory Grand Tour stop where English travelers, especially English men, visited. The main points of attractions to the city include the beautiful courtesans, gambling houses, and the world-renowned carnival.
The First Stone Bridge in Venice was Constructed in June 1337
The first stone bridge was constructed in 1337, centuries after the construction of the first wooden bridges in the Rialto area. The bridge was built next to San Barnaba Square.
Rialto is the oldest of the Four Bridges over the Grand Canal
One of the interesting facts about Venice is that the Grand Canal has four bridges spanning it. Rialto Bridge, also called the Italian Ponte di Rialto is the oldest and most famous stone-arch bridge in the heart of Venice. It links the opposite sides of the narrowest region of the canal. The bridge retained its initial designs from 1255 with recognition as an architectural and engineering masterpiece of the renaissance period.
Interesting Facts About Venice Gondoliers
Every Year there are only 3 or 4 New Gondoliers
One of the popular Venice facts is that Venice is famous for gondolas, but most people don’t know you need a professional license to become a gondolier. The profession is mainly handed down from father to son, but now there is a gondolier course.
However, only 3 or 4 new licenses are granted yearly. The course includes 400 hours of training to learn the skills required and training with a gondolier. Candidates also need to study and take an exam on Venetian history and landmarks.
Taking a relaxing Gondola ride is one of the top things to do in Venice.
The Law Enforced that Venetian Gondolas must be Black
One of the most interesting facts about Venice and its gondolas is that these renowned boats must be painted black completely. This law was created to reduce unfair competition between the city’s many gondoliers.
Gondoliers are One of the Most Well-paid Workers in Venice
A gondolier can earn almost €100,000 in a year. However, there are only around 400 gondoliers now in Venice compared to the 16th century when they had about 10,000 gondoliers.
There is Only One Female Gondolier
According to history, the first fully licenses female gondolier employed by the City of Venice was in 2010. She was Giorgia Boscolo. That said, the trade remains pretty much a male-dominated profession today.
Interesting Venice Facts
Venice Has One of the Narrowest Streets in the World
One of the interesting facts about Venice is that it is home to one of the narrowest streets in the world. And by narrow, I mean very narrow. Calle Varisco is a street named after the notable Varisco family, a group of silk workers in the 15th century, and it is about 53 cm.
Venice’s Carnival Started Back in the 12th century
Another interesting Venice fact is that Venice’s carnival started back in the 12th century. The festival is one of the most historic Italian celebrations, filled with a riot of colors, food, and entertainment.
The celebration started as part of a celebration to prepare for the long fasting period during Lent. The festival was first held in 1162 to celebrate the victory of the Venetian Republic over Ulrich II Von Treven, the Patriarch of Aquileia.
It is a very popular and famous event to attend in Venice in February. If some hands on activities in Venice, it is fun to make your own iconic carnival mask! Serves as a representing and memorable souvenir as well.
The World’s First Public Casino was in Venice
It is widely believed that Casino di Venezia is the oldest casino in the world, dating back to 1638. It has been a place of entertainment for many rich and famous visitors to the city for centuries. The casino is now located in a 1930s building, and its original location is the final resting home of the German composer Richard Wagner.
The Largest Square in Venice
The largest square in Venice is St. Mark’s Square, which is also known as the Square or La Piazza. The ultimate public square has exquisite uniform architecture on three of its sides. Rumor has it that Napoleon also referred to Piazza San Marco as the ‘the drawing room of Europe.’
St. Mark’s Square is one of the most prominent landmarks in Venice.
The Main Method of Transportation in Venice is the Vaporetto Boat
The Vaporetto boat is public water transport that moves on the Grand Canal and could take passengers to the different islands and districts such as Murano, Lido, Burano, and Torcello. Specifically, the Vaporetto line 1 is ideal for exploring the city because it stops at every station of the Grand Canal.
If you are spending a few days in Venice, definitely get a waterbus and bus pass that provides you with convenient and cost-effective access to several public transportation lines in the city.
The Honored Venice Film Festival is the oldest in the World
Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata founded the Venice Film festival in 1932. The Venice Film festival is one of the popular facts about Venice that you probably already know. However, you may not be aware that it is also the oldest film festival in the world.
Venice Holds a Masquerade Ball every Year called Ballo Del Doge
The Ballo del Doge is an exclusive masquerade ball held yearly during the Venice carnival. Guest show up dressed in historical costumes, surrounded by art, history, and fantasy.
Each year the party has a theme, and the setting, artists, performances, and costumes change to suit the theme.
Fun Facts About Venice
The Word ‘Ciao’ Started in Venice
One of the most fun facts about Venice is that the famous Italian greeting actually started in Venice. The word originated from ‘s-ciavo vostro,’ a Venetian greeting that meant ‘your slave’ or ’at your service.’ This was later shortened until it formed the word ‘Ciao.’
The Most Famous Church in Venice is St. Marks Basilica or Basilica di San Marco
The Basilica that is known today was completed in 1701. However, many other art pieces and artifacts including sculptures, beautiful mosaics, and other ceremonial objects have been added to the church throughout the centuries.
It is one of the top sites in Venice, get a ticket online before visiting to skip the queue line.
The Renowned San Marco Bell Tower is also in Venice
This bell tower was initially constructed in the 1100s but was rebuilt in the 1900s after its collapse due to a neglected crack in its north wall. Most people believe that the tower holds the best view of the city of Venice.
It’s a pity that we will never know now, but there are many places in Venice where you can get a good view of the city and surroundings.
Venice has Over 200 Palaces
This is one of the facts about Venice most people don’t know because Venice is known for the main palace in town, the Doge’s Palace, also known as Palazzo Ducale. However, this is not the only palace in Venice.
According to a recent survey, there are about 237 palaces in the city. Doge’s Palace is one of the most popular attractions in Venice, and you should get a ticket in advance if you plan on visiting to save time.
Other Facts About Venice
There are About 500 Hidden Gardens in Venice
This is one of Venice’s facts that most people don’t know, but there are quite a lot of gardens in Venice.
The majority of the gardens are private, hidden from sight behind walls and facades; however, some are public, and you can visit them when you go to Venice. The Giardini Reali di Venezia is one of the famous main public gardens, and it is sited right next to the main square but with a secret entrance.
There is a Cursed Palace in Venice
This is one of the weird facts about Venice. The Ca’Dario, or Palazzo, is a palace sited along the Grand Canal in Venice. It is known as the Cursed Palace mainly because of its dark history. It is believed that anyone who stays in the palace will die or go bankrupt.
The curse can be traced back to the construction of the palace in 1487 and 2002 when John Entwistle, bassist of the rock band “The Who,” died when renting the Ca’Dario.
Bikes are Not Allowed in Venice
You need to know this is Venice if you’re planning on visiting the city. This is one of the facts about Venice that’s not that known by people. Boat rides and walking are the only modes of transportation allowed in Venice; therefore, bikes, skateboards, or roller skates are not allowed. You attract a fine if you’re caught.
Venice is Home to One of the Most Sought Wines in the World
This is one of Venice’s Facts that most people don’t know. The Canal city is home to one of the most sought-after wines in the world, Venissa. It is made from Darona grapes and a unique production process, on a “Vigna Murata,” which dates back to 1100. VinePair named Venissa “the best wine in the world” in 2016.
There are many interesting wine tasting trips you can take to understand more about the vineyards and wine production in the region.
In addition, don’t forget about the multiple dishes and cicchetti that pairs prefectly with wine. Hop on one of special Venice food tours and dive into the renowned culinary scene!
Handmade Venetian Glass is World Famous
The city is famous for its blown glass, from jewelry to sculptures, glasses, and elegant glass chandeliers. If you want to learn more about glass making and get some nice glass souvenirs, you should definitely take a trip to Murano.
Discovering More Fun Facts About Venice
These are just some of the Interesting and fun facts about Venice. It barely scratches the surface as there are many things to discover about this city with historical attractions and canals. When you’re planning a trip, consider Venice for a sweet vacation to have a first-hand experience of the beautiful city.