Venice (Italian: Venezia) is one of the most interesting and lovely places in the world.
This sanctuary on a lagoon is virtually the same as it was six hundred years ago, which adds to the fascinating character. Venice has decayed since its heyday and is heavily touristed (there are 56000 residents and 20 million tourists per year), but the romantic charm remains.
This place may not seem huge, but it is, and is made up of different boroughs.
The most famous is the area comprising the 118 islands in the main districts that are called "Sestieri": Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce and San Marco, where the main monuments and sights are located. Other main districts are Isola Della Giudecca and Lido di Venezia. Some of the more important islands in the lagoon include Murano, Torcello, San Francesco del Deserto, and Burano.
Venice and St. Mark's Square from the Campanile
While the Veneti had long inhabited northeastern Italy and a small population of fishermen known as "lagooners" had long lived on the islands of modern Venice, the city's true beginning point came when refugees fled from to the marshlands from the surrounding Roman cities to escape marauding barbarians. The first wave of immigrants fled the Quadi and Marcomanni in the 160's A.D. In the 5th Century, more came to escape the Visigoths and the Hun, and in the 6th Century, yet more arrived seeking safe haven from the Lombards.