Venice Turist Information - Venice Hotel Start
Venice facts at a glanceCountry: Italy
Area: 7.6 sq km (3 sq mi)
Time: GMT/UTC +1
Telephone Area Code: 39-041
Getting ThereMost visitors flying into Venice land at Marco Polo airport, 12km (7.5mi) from Venice. A few charter flights land at Treviso's tiny airport, about 35km (21.5mi) north of Venice.
Direct trains call a halt at Venice's Stazione di Santa Lucia (known in Venice simply as the ferrovia) from Padua, Verona, Milan, Bologna, Switzerland and France; Paris-Venice takes 9.5 hours, including the change at Milan. If you're coming from the east (Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and beyond) you will need to change at Trieste. The legendary Orient Express runs between Venice and London via Verona, Zurich and Paris twice weekly from March to November. At the other end of the scale you can arrive in Venice by bus, deposited at Piazzale Roma. It's marginally cheaper than train, but being stuck on a bus for 30 hours from London doesn't sound like too much fun (unless it's a double-decker).
Driving into Italy, the main points of entry are the Mont Blanc tunnel from France at Chamonix, the Grand St Bernard tunnel from Switzerland and the Brenner Pass from Austria. Once in Italy, the A4 is the quickest way to reach Venice from east or west, connecting Turin with Trieste, and passing through Milan and Mestre. Once over the Ponte della Liberta from Mestre, cars must be left at one of the huge, hideously expensive car parks in Piazzale Roma or on the island of Tronchetto.
Information by : Things to do in Venice - www.thingstodo-venice.com
History of VeniceThe first settlers of Venice were the Ligurians who perhaps came first and established themselves on the Euganei hills arriving here from the sea and the land, the Trojans escaping from their town and the Venetians coming from the Slavonic countries. All these peoples who came to our region joined the inhabitants of the Euganei Hills to form a single people. Hypothesis on who really were the inhabitants of the lagoon in the pre-roman era are advanced. Sided by the toponymy we may argue that they seem to come from the inland with gallo-celtic and Greek inflexions. From this study we deduce the existence of human seltlements in the South Lagoon which was more exposed to the sea and which clearly was as healthy as the woody places. These peoples made contact with the Roman civilization without fighting, since it seems that they were submissive to the Romans, receiving in exchange some remarkable economic advantages. The Lagoon extended from Ravenna to the outlet of the Timavo River and Augustus exploited it as a commercial way connecting Ravenna, Altino and Acquileia. During the whole Roman Empire, the lagoon was little inhabited. It was a holiday resort for noblemen of that time. There were small ports for inland navigation and small settlements of fishermen.
During their restless peregrinations the fore-fathers of the present Venetians, landed at Rivoaltum on the banks of a River which crossed the Lagoon and flowed into the sea at the present-day harbour of San Nicolo.
The first Venetians arrived there in two separate moments.
First when Pipino the Frankish King tried to seize the rich islands for his tradings and second, after a terrible sea-quake which destroyed Medoaco, situated on the outlet of the Brenta River between Malamocco and the petroleum channel ( Canale dei petroli ). Today in Malamocco's Church there is a big picture showing Christ and the Madonna of Marina, both made of wood, which were found in the sea after the tragedy. The very picture reminds us of the sea-quake. It was at Rialto that the maritime tribunes or the oldest captains handed over command of the city to the first Doge, Paolo Luciano Anafesto. .
Little remains of early Venice, which was all made of wood - The early proof of this is the map called Temanza, This map was drawn by an anonymous before 1150. Temanza, while working for the Serenissima, found the map itself and by studyng it, he realized that the island of San Clemente had been named " cavana " while we know that a monastery and hospital had already been built in 1152.
By looking at the map we may understand that several rivers came through the Lagoon towards the Sea beyond the sandbank. From the 1st nucleus around Rialto the town stretched Eastwards with the district of Castello. It was chiefly inhabited by the workers of the Arsenale.They lived in poor woodenhunts, built ships and bred fish in the small lake of San Daniele. When Venice grew bigger and started to trade with the East, they stopped breeding fish and the lake became the dock of the " Arsenale ", where some thousands of workers prepared the Serenissima fleet. Here, at the Arsenale, the heavy cargo boats stopped in order not to ruin the town by their displacement of water. By looking at the map we my bee say that each tribe, after its arrival in the Lagoon, settled in one or more of the nearby small islands around its own church behind which the dead were buried.
Rialto was the first harbour of Venice. The barrels, boxes, spices, wine and oil perfumes which were unloaded on the bank of the GrandCanal were housed in the warehouses called " fondaci ". During the day the goods brought outdoors were sold on the stalls around the church of San Giovanni Elemosinaro. The market could be reached by an opening in the bridge called the monete which today can be seen only in a picture in the collection of the Academy of Fine Arts. The bridge, painted by Carpaccio was replaced with that planned by Antonio da Ponte, - built in stone on a single arch -, in the second half of a fifteenth century.
It was from Rialto that the steets started. The were all in beaten earth and covered with rubbish, since the Venetians had the bad habit of throwing it out of the windows. The streets used to became a real quagmire when it rained or when there were high hides. The only scavengers were the pigs which were abundantly bred because they destroyed a large quantity of rubbish by eating it. With streets such as these, men and women used shoes with very high leels to go out on foot. Since people went round on horses, the bridges were without steps in the early centuries. Venetian Women used usually to stay at home getting some air and sitting in the sun with the old people and children on the roof-terraces and the verandas called " liago ". It was a serious problem for the young women to find a husband. Yearly in spring all the girls and boys met with the Patriarc on the island of Olivolo ( San Pietro di Castello) were marriages were arranged under the olive-trees. One year, during the feast-day, some pirates attempted to rape the girls and to steal their dowries, but unfortunally for them, they failed. From then on during the following feasts some big dummies called " marione " were used instead of the girls.
The peoples who arrived on the sandbanks resorted to wells to solve the serious problem of the water-supply. The rain-water of the walls was gathered by the " pilele " after having run along the white stone stripes which can be seen also today in the small squares called " campi ". the rain water went in to the subterranean cisterns throug the " pilele ". When it rained little and water was not enough, the venetians went to take it to the Brenta river using some floatboats called " lintre ". The water lightered to Venice and thrown into the wells by buchet hygienically left much to be desired. The waterworks reached Venice only hundred years ago. It was inaugurated with a jet of water in St.Mark's square. From then on the wells in the " campi " are useless, but the beautiful engraved well-cunbs remain.
Information by : Doge of Venice - www.doge.it
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