The city of Venice was born out of necessity.
As Germanic groups invaded and destroyed the Roman Empire in the 400s, refugees fled to the outskirts of the Italian peninsula out of a desire for safety. These refugees fled to the marshes of the Veneto region in northeastern Italy.
A getaway from the dangers of the post-Roman world, the “Floating City” was home to one of the world’s earliest democratic systems. Through the selection of the Doge, quite literally the elder statesman of the city, Venetians were able to actively participate in their own government which prompted John Adams, second President of the United States, to look at Venice as a model during the development of our nation’s political system.
Venice was also one of the most prominent port cities in the world through the 1700s, which brought merchants from all over the world to the city. In fact, the great traveler and writer Marco Polo called Venice his home.
The city was at the focal point of the 4th Crusade, has history through the Renaissance, and was a major naval power up until the late 18th century. These stories generally don’t get covered in a typical world history class, but create a rich history of such an incredible set of islands.
The deeper that you dive into the city, the more likely you are to find little pieces of history that will astound you.