Venice Travel Guide: The Queen of Adriatic Sea ( Part I )

ENG:  The Queen of Adriatic, will always remain the greatest pearl of Europe. Channels, streets, houses… The emotions you feel while you walk around Venice, make you feel magical and unreal. It feels like you are riding a time machine, and you decided to make a stop on the square of Venetian Republic. The historical center of the city is one of the best preserved and most authentic historical centers in the world.

Venice is settled in northern Italy, in Veneto region. The name of the city, and the name of the region,  were given after the tribe that lived here before this area was conquered by Romans. Venice was the most important trade center in Europe in the Middle Ages and today, this city is one of the most visited travel destinations in the world. Visiting this Italian city is definitely on the list of every tourist and traveler on this planet. More than 50 000 tourists visit Venice every day! The city of Venice, today have, around 270 000 residents. Highest percentage of Venetians, do not live in the historical center of the city.  There are six main districts in the city called “Sestieri” : Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce and San Marco. Other important parts of Venice are Isola Della Giudecca, Lido di Venezia, Murano, Torcello, San Francesco del Deserto, and Burano. Thanks to its beautiful architecture and turbulent and colorful history, the city of Venice is under protection of UNESCO as one of the sites on World Heritage List.

In order to understand and start loving this city, you need to know a little bit more about its history. The architecture of Venice tells a lot about the days when Venice was one of the most important cities in the world. As I said, Venice was founded by Veneto tribe before the occurrence of Roman Empire. After this part of the Apennine peninsula had become the part of glorious Roman Empire, refugees from nearby towns were escaping from barbarians and moved into Venetian lagoon. This was the moment when the population of Venice significantly increased.

During the Middle Ages, Venice was part of Byzantine Empire.  The position of the city, on the crossroad between east and west, allowed Venice to become one of the most important trade centers and cities in the world. For few centuries, Venice was an independent city-state called Venetian Republic. During this period, Venice was center of the world, center of trade, art, science, center of civilization. Between 9th and 12th century, the city flourished. The most important buildings like Doge’s Palace, Saint Mark’s Basilica, the city arsenal, were built during this period. The city was ruled by aristocracy who elected supreme leader, the Doge.  This golden age of Venice lasted until the 16th and 17th century when plagues drastically reduced Venice’s population.  During 18th and 19th century, Venice changed its ruler many time. First in 1797, Venice was conquered by Napoleon. After this event, France and Austria frequently changed their places as rulers of Venice. Venice finally won back its freedom in 1866 when this city joined a newly united Italy.

The 20th century was one of the darkest periods in world’s history. The whole world, the whole Europe and Italy, of course, had hard time during the World Wars. During the WWII, Venice was under the rule of Mussolini. This period was one of the saddest for Venetians when almost entire Venice’s Jewish population was deported and murdered. One good thing that happened to Venice during the WWII, was that historical center of city wasn’t bombed. Therefore, today, we can all enjoy the magnificent architecture and art of Venice.

Venice represents the best of Europe. There are so many places to visit, to discover and things to do in Venice. Venetian history represents the history of Europe. Every palace, every street, every square has a unique story to tell. Even hotels in Venice look like museums. In today’s post, I wanted to tell you little bit more about Venetian history, but in the next post, I will write about the places you need to see while you are in Venice and all those fun things you can do there.

SRB: Kraljica Jadrana, će zauvek ostati najlepši biser Evrope. Kanali, ulice, kuće, palate… Osećanja koja vas obuzmu dok šetate ulicama Venecije, su potpuno magična i nestvarna. Imala sam osećaj kao da sam nekim vremeplovom doplovima natrg u doba Mletačke Republike. Istorijski centar Venecije je jedan od najbolje očuvanih i najautentičnijih na svetu.

Venecija se nalazi na severu Italije, u pokrajini Veneto. Grad, pa i sama pokrajina, dobili su ime po plemenu koje je naseljavalo ovu teritoriju pre dolaska Rimljana. Venecija je u srednjem veku bila najznačajniji trgovački centar sveta a danas je jedan od najposećenijih turističkih destinacija na svetu. Svakoga dana, više od 50 000 ljudi poseti Veneciju. Venecija danas ima oko 270 000 stanovnika, a najveći procenat njih ne živi u turističkom i istorijskom jezgru već u okolnim delovima grada. Venecija se sastoji od 6 oblasti koje se nazivaju ” Sestieri” i to su: Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce i San Marco. Pored ovih najvećih oblasti, poznate su još i Isola Della Giudecca, Lido di Venezia, Murano, Torcello, San Francesco del Deserto i Burano. Zahvaljujući prelepoj arhtekturi i neverovatnoj istoriji, Venecija se nalazi pod zaštitom UNESCO.

Kako bi zavoleli i razumeli ovaj grad, morate poznavati njegovu istoriju. Arhitektura samog grada, govori mnogo o njegovoj burnoj istoriji i zašto je Venecija bila jedan od najbitnijih gradova sveta. Kao što sam već napomenula, Veneciju je osnovalo pleme Veneto koje je živelo na ovim prostorima pre nego što ga je osvojilo Rimsko carstvo. Nakon što je i ovaj deo Apeninskog poluostrva pripao Rimu, izbeglice iz okolnih gradova krenule su da beže od varvara u Venecijansku lagunu. Tada je broj stanovnika Venecije naglo porastao i ovoga trenutka je započeo pravi razvoj ovog grada.

Tokom srednjeg veka, Venecija je bila deo Vizantijskog carstva. Pozicija grada, na raskrsnici puteva, omogućila je Veneciji da postane najznačajniji trgovački centar Evrope pa i sveta. Nekoliko vekova, Venecija je bila samostalna država, Mletačka republika. U ovom periodu, Venecija nije bila samo trgovački centar, već i centar umetnosti, kulture, muzike, nauke, centar Evrope i civilizovanog sveta uopšte.  Republikom je vladala aristokratija, koja je birala vrhovnog vladara, Dužda. Zlatno doba Venecije trajalo je do 16-tog i 17-tog veka, kada je usled kuge veliki broj stanovnika Venecije stradao. Tokom 18-tog i 19-tog veka, Venecija je često menjala svog vladara. Prvo je 1797. godine osvojio Napoleon, koji je brzo prepustio na upravu Austriji. Nakon ovog događaja, Francuska i Austrija su se često menjale na mestu vladara Venecije, dok Venecija nije napokon ponovo dobila svoju slobodu, 1866, nakon ujedinjenja Italije.

Dvadeseti vek je bio najmračniji period čovečanstva. Ceo svet, cela Evropa, pa i Venecija, propatili su mnogo tokom dva svetska rata. Tokom II svetskog rata, Venecija je bila u sklopu fašističke Italije, pod vođstvom Musolinija. Ovaj period je jedan od najtužnijih u Venecijanskog istoriji, jer je tokom drugog svetskog rata, gotovo čitava Jevrejska populacija Venecije proterana ili ubijena. Jedina lepa stvar koja je dogodila ovom gradu tokom II svetskog rata, jeste ta da istorijski centar Venecije nije bombardovan, pa je zahvaljujući ovom događaju sačuvano umetničko i arhitektonsko blago Venecije ali i Evrope. Zbog toga danas, mi u potpunosti možemo  da uživamo lepoti ovog Italijanskog grada.

Venecija predstavlja najbolje što Evropa da ponudi. U ovom gradu postoji toliko istorijskih mesta, muzeja, turističkih atrakcija koje treba posetiti tokom vaše posete Veneciji. Čak i hoteli u Veneciji izgledaju kao muzeji. U današnjem postu želela sam da vam kažem nešto više o istoriji ovog grada, a u sledećem postu otkriću vam moja omiljena mesta i aktivnosti u ovom gradu.

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