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Where is Venice?

Venice is universally considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world and ranks, together with its lagoon, among the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO; also has been for more than a millennium the capital of the Republic of Venice (also known as the Serenissima) that has long dominated economically and militarily the Mediterranean becoming extremely rich and prosperous thanks to the trade with the East. These two factors have helped make it one of world destinations with the highest flow of tourists.

The city of Venice is the capital of the homonym province and of Veneto region and includes both island areas and mainland territories: the water zone is articulated around the real heart of Venice, at the center of its Laguna, while the terrestrial zone is developed around Mestre. The two areas are connected to each other by the Liberty Bridge that crosses the Venetian lagoon connecting the city center to the mainland and allowing vehicular traffic up to Piazzale Roma, the main car/bus terminal of Venice, after which you can continue toward the city center only by foot or by boat. Piazzale Roma is the fundamental interchange point between public transport by road (bus, taxi and limo) and the one by water (waterbuses and watertaxi). In addition, the Terminal is connected by the Bridge of the Constitution (or Calatrava Bridge) to the adjacent railway station of Venice Santa Lucia and, thanks to the brand new "People Mover", one can easily reach Tronchetto Island (the terminal from which the ferries leave toward Lido di Venezia) and the Port of Venice (Cruises Terminal) too.

The historic center of Venice is situated in the middle of the lagoon on a total of 118 small islands, some of which are collected in groups while others are more dispersed. The 118 islands are separated by canals and connected by bridges to pedestrian use only.
The historical part of the city is traditionally divided into six "Sestrieri" (districts): Dorsoduro, Santa Croce, San Polo, San Marco, Cannaregio and Castello. The districts of the old city are structured around the Grand Canal, the main waterway from which an extensive network of smaller channels borns.
In the lagoon around the old town there are numerous islands (some now uninhabited). Among the major islands one can name Murano and Burano - famous respectively for glass processing and laces - Torcello, Erasmo, Pellestrina and the long thin island of Lido, famous for its beaches and for the Venice Film Festival, that is organized every year here.

Due to its shape, Venice has 435 bridges connecting the 118 islands that form this city, through 176 channels. Most of them are made of stone, other common materials are wood and iron. The longest one is the Liberty Bridge that crosses the Venetian lagoon, connecting the downtown with the mainland. The main channel that cuts through the city, the Grand Canal, is crossed by four bridges: the Rialto Bridge is the oldest and is one of the most famous symbols of the city (built around the sixteenth century by Antonio da Ponte, it was the only way to cross the Grand Canal until 1854); the Bridge of the Academy; the Scalzi Bridge - the latter built under the Hapsburg domination and rebuilt in the twentieth century - and finally the Bridge of the Constitution, put in place in 2008 by architect Santiago Calatrava, which connects Piazzale Roma with the train station of Venice Santa Lucia.

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