Venice, known also as the “City of Canals,” “The Floating City,” and “Serenissima,” is arguably one of Italy’s most picturesque cities. With its winding canals, striking architecture, and beautiful bridges, Venice is a popular destination for travel.

Here are 10 facts about Venice you probably didn’t know.

  • Venice is known for its bridges. There are 417 bridges in Venice, and 72 of those are private.
  • Houses in Venice are numbered according to districts, not streets, making it difficult to find addresses, even for postmen. The rule of thumb is to look for a monument, shop, or landmark in close proximity.
  • There are about 350 gondolas and 400 gondolieri in Venice. On average, gondolas are 11 meters long and weigh around 600 kilos.
  • In 1608, the Council of Ten approved wearing masks only during the carnival. Those who broke the law were heavily punished. Punishments ranged from two years in prison to public beating and binding to the pillar of shame.
  • There are 177 canals in Venice. The S-shaped Grand Canal is the biggest and splits the city in two.
  • The San Marco bell tower, or campanile, was built in the 12th century and collapsed in 1902. The tower was rebuilt to be exactly the same as the previous one. It is 98.6 metres tall, making it the fifth tallest bell tower in Italy.
  • Venice is sinking at the rate of 1-2 millimeters a year.
  • The population of Venice has decreased from 120,000 to 60,000 in the last 50 years. Some experts believe Venice could be a ghost town by 2030 with only tourists visiting by day.
  • The first woman in the world that graduated was born in Venice in 1646.
  • The first public casino in the world was opened in Venice in 1638.

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