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Venice is a city in northern Italy, the capital of the region Venet, with a population of 271,367 (census estimate 1 January 2004). Together with Padua, the city is included in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area (population 1,600,000). The city historically was the capital of an independent nation. Venice has been known as the "La Dominante", "Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Bridges" and "City of Canals". Luigi Barzini, writing in The New York Times, described it as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man". Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe's most romantic cities.

The city stretches across 118 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and the Piave (north) Rivers. The population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; around 60,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large frazione of Mestre and Marghera; and 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon.

The Republic of Venice was a major 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 center of commerce (especially silk, grain and spice trade) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. Venice is also famous for its musical, particularly operatic, history, and its most famous son in this field is Antonio Vivaldi.

Official site: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/394

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review by . February 17, 2010
Romancing the Grand Canal
Venice! Romantic! Exotic! Exquisite! Splendid! Trendy! All these & yet I could still not describe the ambience of this amazing gem of Europe!       Ok, may be switch on the CD & particularly the song Santa Lucia, that'll help a little...      & then there's the ice-cream, the 13th century architecture, the gondolas, the canals, the masks, the art pieces ... Oh, forget it, just fly there ;-) !      The Grand …
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
If not for the fact that I've only seen Venice in the evening, I probably would have given it the maximum rating. I'm convinced that the city loses absolutely none of its charm, romanticism & beauty after nightfall. A boat ride through the Grand Canal is essential, but don't forget to traverse on foot to Piazza San Marco and revel in its (literally) golden opulence.
Quick Tip by . April 23, 2010
Beautiful, romantic city to visit at least once in your life. Not a huge fan of the food there, but amazing ambiance. Take a gondola ride!
Quick Tip by . February 17, 2010
For me, it's the most romantic city in Europe as a tourist destination. Out of the 4 Italian cities I've been to, this city is my favorite!
Quick Tip by . February 06, 2010
I loved Venice and walked all the way to St. Mark's through the twisting alleyways. It was a long, interesting walk.
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