ITALY : VENICE
Venice is the capital of the region of Veneto and of the province of
Venice in Italy. Its population is 271,663 (census estimate January 1,
2004). The city is included, with Padua (Padova), in the Padua-Venice
Metropolitan Area, population 1,600,000.
Although the climate is variable with influence
of the nearby Alps and warm winds sweeping in from North Africa, the
humidity remains high all year round. Because of the water that makes
Venice so unique, the cooler temperatures feel colder and the warmer
temperatures hotter. During the fall and winter months Venice can suffer
from flooding, that in November seems to occur on a regular basis. The
flooding of Venice is directly related to tides in the Venetian lagoon.
So high water "aqua alta", normally only lasts a few hours a day.
The Venetian Republic was a major sea power and a staging area for the
Crusades, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially the
spice trade) and art in the Renaissance.