It’s tough not to fall in love with Venice. Almost every person knows this is one of the most dazzling cities in the world. A place full of vibrant architecture, stunning waterways, and a glittering lagoon, Venice draws plenty of tourists in.

Facts about Venice

Facts of Venice
Image: Marco Secchi

There are also museums, galleries, and unforgettable sights that add to the charm of this European city. There’s much more to this magical city than just its touristy attractions, continue reading to explore further with us.

1. 10 million Underwater Logs hold Venice

If you’ve ever wondered how Venice was built. The answer comes from 402, when the settlers chopped trees from the forests of Croatia, Slovenia, and Montenegro, and carried them to Venice. 1,106,657 wooden stakes were made that measured 13 feet each.

The logs were then set to sink underwater so that a basis for the city could be formed. Wooden platforms were built on top of the logs and finally, buildings were constructed above the platforms. The complete process took 2 years in total, which is quite impressive when you think about it!

2. A UNESCO World Heritage Site

With its stunning monuments, Venice made it to the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1987. The list comprises the lagoon and some of the gorgeous monuments that can be found in the city center.

Saint Mark’s Basilica, located on the St Mark’s Square, Rialto Bridge which is the oldest bridge covering the Grand Canal, and The Doge’s Palace, which was constructed in 1424 and is the old residence of the Doge, Venice leader, are the main monuments in Venice.

3. 118 islands make a Venice

Contrary to what some might believe, Venice isn’t just one island. Instead, it is formed of 118 small islands that are all connected by bridges.

Several of the islands have a distinct feel, and the island of Lido in the south is well known for its long sandy beach.

4. More than 400 Bridges

Along with the canals and the gondolas, the bridges of Venice are also a symbol of the city. No one is certain of the exact number of bridges in the city, but according to a consensus, there are about 400 bridges which include private ones.

Most of the bridges, 300 to be exact, are constructed of stones, while about 60 of them are made of iron, and the rest are said to be wooden bridges. Initially built without steps, the bridges made it easy for the crossing of horses and carriages. Most bridges have steps at present.

5. Venice has no Roads

It might be surprising to some that there are no roads in this city. You definitely drive in Venice once you cross the Ponte Della Libertà.

But you’ll only be able to go as far as right after the bridge, and you’ll need to park at the entrance of the city in one of the few big parking lots.

To explore Venice and go to the rest of the city, you won’t be able to drive as Venice has no roads.

6. The city has 150 Canals

Walking, or using the canals for a boat ride are the main ways of getting around Venice. There are about 150 canals in total in the city, but some people believe there are as many as 177.

Canal Grande is the main canal that separates Venice in two. Most of the canals are about 6.5 feet and not quite deep. Canal Grande, which is 16 feet, and the Canale Della Giudecca being 49 feet are the two main canals in the city that are somewhat deeper.

7. Every year 1-2 millimeters of Venice is Sinking

Both man-made factors and natural causes can be blamed for this happening. The natural cause being the rising sea level.

While man-made causes touch on the 20th century when the industry made things worse by pumping out large amounts of groundwater.

Before the government put an end to the practice in the 1970s, they were pumping out groundwater from the aquifer under the lagoon for around 50 years.

8. Half of Venice’s Population have decreased in 50 years

About 174,000 people were residing in Venice in 1950. And only 53,000 remained in 2018. This huge migration is partly caused by over-tourism as crowds of visitors make it hard to reside in the city and all of the prices go up.

While the other reason is the constant floods that are happening more often in recent years.

9. The first Public Casino in the world opened in Venice

Venice might not be the city that comes to mind when you think of casinos but it should because in 1638, the first casino in the world opened here.

Initially known as Ca’Vendramin Calergi; The Casinò di Venezia was once a house for the Italian royalty, it later became a vacation home for famed composer Richard Wagner.

In 1946, the city of Venice finally purchased the building, and in 1959, it was opened again as a casino. At present, the World Poker Tour is hosted here.

10. Venice has about 400 Gondolas

A gondola is among the very first things you imagine when thinking of Venice. And there certainly are many of them in this city. There used to be about 10.000 gondolas in Venice in the 16th century.

This might be a huge amount, but it was the major form of transportation in the city, which explains their number. At present, gondolas are more of a tourist attraction, and there are only around 400 gondolas in this city.

11. Gondolier is a very Well-Paid Job

Previously, the profession of gondolier was passed from father to son. At present, a license is needed to be a gondolier.

There are certain procedures to be followed, the candidates have to pass examinations and practice for a certain time before they receive their license. Gondolier is among the best professions in Italy, and certainly one of the most well-paid jobs in Venice.

A gondolier earns up to $150,000 yearly, with gondola rides priced at a fare of 80€ fixed per 30 minutes.