History & Culture in Venice

The history behind the evolution of a floating city is intriguing and often mysterious. The truth is that people fled Italian cities to escape barbaric invasions around the 5th century, finding refuge in midlands of lagoons that were sparsely inhabited by fishing folks. Rivo Alto was the most important of early settlements created by the migrants, becoming the heart of Venice. Necessity became the mother of invention, leading people to build canal network and bridges and utilities. After several glorious centuries, the Republic of Venice was conquered by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797 and became Austrian territory when Napoleon signed the Treaty of Campo Formio. Following the Seven Weeks War in 1866, Venice along with the rest of Venetia, became part of Italy. During the 16th century, Venice became a significant musical center in Europe with stalwarts like Giovanni Gabrieli popularizing the colossal Venetian style of music. Interestingly, the use of canvases for painting also originated in Venice during the early Renaissance. The countryside Venetian villas, the grand palaces on the larger canals and the marbled and frescoed churches are breath-taking. Today, rising water levels and flooding are threatening the existing layout of Venice, disturbing the balance between all natural and man-made systems. As more and more people leave the core sea city for better amenities, the distinct Venetian way of life becomes more historical heritage and less living heritage. Conserving the city in its present form is a national mission and tourism rules align with this pressing need. Venice’s splendor and sublimity need to be experienced in order to be believed!

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