Venice is a ‘romantic’ city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated across a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. In 2016, it was ranked as the most beautiful city in the world.
The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BCE. The city was historically the capital of the Republic of Venice. Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals.”
The Republic of Venice was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important centre of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. The city-state of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial centre which gradually emerged from the 9th century to its peak in the 14th century.
White swan of cities, slumbering in thy nest
So wonderfully built among the reeds
Of the lagoon, that fences thee and feeds,
As sayeth thy old historian and thy guest!
White water-lily, cradled and caressed
By ocean streams, and from the silt and weeds
Lifting thy golden filaments and seeds,
Thy sun-illumined spires, thy crown and crest!
White phantom city, whose untrodden streets
Are rivers, and whose pavements are the shifting
Shadows of palaces and strips of sky;
I wait to see thee vanish like the fleets
Seen in mirage, or towers of cloud uplifting
In air their unsubstantial masonry.
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