VENICE, ITALY: Historical Economical Development From A Mud Flat To Renown Tourist Destination

Check our Latest products!

To gain insight as to how Venice became an economic power, being the center of trade and commerce in Europe from the Middle Ages (until the Renaissance era), and to one of the top tourist destinations of the world today, one must look at its beginning.

Venice was built by refugees from Northern Italy that escaped the wars and invasions in the fifth century. Back in those days Venice was just a mudflat in a lagoon that was formed by the estuaries of three rivers in Northern Italy. Sand and mud were washed up by the Adriatic Sea creating long and thin islands, which protected the lagoon. The refugees built houses made of daub and wattle, with the posts driven into the mud and anchored with woven tree branches to protect their houses from the motion of the waves. Most of these refugees became fishermen and engaged in trading and drying sea water to make salt. They grew prosperous from this trade.

By 548 AD the former refugees already had full control of the trade on the Adriatic Sea. While Venice did not have its own natural resources, being located in a lagoon, their very location became their most important advantage. They were protected and made secure by their strategic position from attackers. They learned how to move merchandise and handle ships; they had become trading experts. The city was right in the middle of trading between Europe and the Orient, with Marco Polo playing a major role in the opening of trade routes, particularly to China.

In a short time, Venice became one of the wealthiest cities in Europe and was a dominant influence in the Mediterranean. By the ninth century, Venice was already a city-state and was one of the Maritime Republics in Europe. The others were Amalfi, Pisa, Ragusa and Genoa. These city-states were the main controllers of trade between the world and Western Europe.

The Venice Arsenal (Porta Magna) was established in 1104 AD. It was a state-owned complex of armories and shipyards, located in the district of Castello. This was the proof of Venice’s naval power and was considered one of history’s earliest industrial enterprises on a larger scale. After the Fourth Crusade, during the 13th century, Venice was hailed as an imperial power, employing 36,000 sailors, owned 3,300 ships and was in control of trade and commerce in the Mediterranean.

Due to its maritime prowess, Venice was involved in the Crusades. It was one of the richest and largest cities in the west by 1095 AD. It had received protection from the king of the Kingdom of Jerusalem by 1125 AD and had direct control of the city of Tyre in Lebanon.

During the 12th century Venice had acquired several locations on the Adriatic, on the route to Constantinople and the Holy Land, especially Crete. The Arsenal became very useful for the Venetians as it was a convenient departure point. The city gained from the use of its ships and its soldiers during the Crusades, the expeditions that were part political, religious social and economic in nature, and was a way to gain more territories.

The Venetian sailors supplied armies, fought in battles against the Egyptians while the Venetian diplomats worked on having their trading interests furthered and protected.

Venice became heavily involved during the Fourth Crusade in the War of St. Sabas (Venetian-Genoese Wars), although it was mainly concerned with the protection of its trading rights.

Tourism is one of the major income generators of Venice today, along with shipbuilding, which is located in Porto Marghera and Mestre. The ancient Venice Arsenal is still used by the Italian Army although parts of it are allocated for art, cultural and theater productions.

The city of Venice also gets its revenue from industrial exports, trade and services. Exquisite items made of glass, intricate and delicate lace materials are major exports that are produced in Murano and Burano, respectively.

Architecture and the arts are major tourist draws. Its’ artistic and musical heritage is quite unique. The city itself is like one giant postcard, with luxurious 19th century establishments like Caffè Florian and the Danieli Hotel. Venice has been a center of international festivals and conferences since the 1980s, with events such as the Venice Film Festival and the Venice Biennale. The city has numerous attractions that will definitely beckon a visitor to come back again and again.

Top of a visitors’ list should include Piazza San Marco, the large public square near St. Mark’s Basilica, built during the 9th century. The majestic St. Mark’s Basilica that dominates the square was constructed in 828 A.D. and houses the relics of St. Mark the Evangelist.

Venice is a city well-loved by its visitors. In a day, the city can receive about 50,000 tourists, according to 2007 statistics. Another major attraction of the city, which should not be missed, is the Grand Canal, the city’s ancient waterway that measures 2.36 miles or 3,800 meters.

One should not miss riding in one of the city’s famous gondolas and view the beautiful examples of Venetian architecture, all 170 of them as you glide on the water amid the modern-day vaporeti (water buses), private boats and water taxis.

Stroll around the city and see some charming bridges: the Calatrava, Ponte dell’Accademia, Ponte Degli Scalzi and the Rialto Bridge. The city also has several palaces, museums and art galleries that all require closer attention.

The historical development of Venice has been a hard and painful journey. However, the fruits of that journey is a truly great and beautiful city that beckons worldwide visitors to come and experience its awesomeness.

A visit to this historically rich and beautiful city would truly be a memory of a lifetime!

Write by spiderman hoodie

Leave a Reply