Although Venice is composed of islands and canals, the Grand Canal is the only really large one. It's shaped like a backwards letter S, and is approximately two miles long. At its widest point, at the Salute/San Marco (southern) end, it is roughly 350 feet wide; the normal width is about half that. The Grand Canal was traditionally the high-rent district in Venice; houses were larger, and decoration was on a much grander scale. This makes sense when you consider that the Canal offers much greater opportunities for everyone to see the buildings facing it. Further, the Grand Canal, affording easier transport and access to shipping, tended to favor the kind of residents who were large-scale merchants--the very ones likely to have more money. For more information, please visit www.bellereti.com/jzimm/Venice/Gcanal.html
Venice (Italian: Venezia [veˈnɛttsja] ( listen), Venetian: Venexia [veˈnɛsja]) is a city in northeast Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region. In 2009, there were 270,098 people residing in Venice's comune (the population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; around 60,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large frazioni of Mestre and Marghera; 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon). Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE) (population 1,600,000).
The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century B.C. The city historically was the capital of the Venetian Republic. Venice has been known as the "La Dominante", "Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", and "City of Canals". Luigi Barzini described it in The New York Times as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man". Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe's most romantic cities.
The city stretches across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and the Piave (north) Rivers.
The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.
Please visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice for further information...