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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.


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