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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Venice Italy

Venice is built on one hundred and seventeen small islands, and holds one hundred and fifty canals, connected by an amazing four hundred and nine bridges, of which only three cross the main canal. The area it covers is a mere 458 kilometers. Although the city appears small, it is really quite extensive for its size. While most tour guides don’t recommend getting lost in the majority of cities, Venice is the place to get hopelessly lost for a day; it is certainly more advisable than getting lost in a shopping centre and hiding out in the frozen foods section. Venice isn’t all cities and crowded streets: through the mysterious alleyways leading off from the city, endless mazes of backstreets and deserted squares, the ‘real’ Venice. And a perfect place to walk for hours on end, pretending to know where you areProbably the only ways of getting around Venice are walking and paying up for the 'expensive-but-worth-it' gondola, water bus/taxi or a regular taxi is officially banned in the lagoon city – a bicycle won’t help you much.
The islands of the Venetian lagoon were first settled during the barbarian invasions of the 5th and 6th centuries AD, when the people of the Veneto mainland sought refuge in the marshy region.
The refugees built the now-famous watery villages on rafts of wooden posts driven into the soil, laying the foundations for the floating palaces of today. The traditional date of Venice 's birth is given as 25 March 421, but there is little evidence to support this belief. The population is roughly 63, 000 people, but there is belief that Venice will, over time, lose most of its population and become merely a large theme park, purely for the entertainment of camera-clad tourists.