VENICE, ITALY | Venice is one of Italy’s most famous attractions. Known for it’s romantic scenarios, historical architecture and world-renowned artwork, Venice, Italy is definitely one of the most desired travel cities. All for good reason. With a rich history and culture, and canals that run through the city like veins through a human body, Venice offers beautiful sights, fun experiences and amazing photo opportunities.
But there are some fun facts that make this city even more cool, unique and worthy of visiting! At least once! Or twice…
1. The first public casino was opened in Venice!
2. Not just anybody can become a gondolier.
3. Venice is a boats and feet only type of city.
4. Venezuela was named after Venice.
5. Ciao! originated in Venice.
Ciao, being probably the most known Italian word (like I remember people randomly saying it when I was growing up… in Poland. They weren’t Italian) derives from the word s-ciào su which literllay means “I’m your slave” or how you’d say in english “at you service”. But like all good things must come to an abbreviation, thus ciao was born and took over the world.
6. Once upon a time Venice was a republic!
The Republic of Venice existed from 697 AD – 1797 AD. That’s over a thousand years! That is until Napoleon showed up and took over.
8. The city of Canals, actually doesn’t have the most canals
9. Aperol Spritz is the signature drink of Venice
2 Parts Aperol, 3 parts prosecco, a splash of soda and slice of an orange. Delizioso!
10.”Quarantine” came from Venice
The word quarantine originates from the Venetian “quaranta“. This was the 40 day period, a ship that arrived in the Venetian port, had to be held in isolation before unloading its cargo or letting people into the city. This was done to prevent diseases spreading after the Black Death pandemic.
11. The first women to graduate college was from Venice.
Her name was Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia and she studied philosophy at the Padua University. She graduated with a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in 1678.
12. There are 500 gardens in Venice!
With 150 canals and 391 bridges, some how the gardens get overlooked!
13. Pink Floyd took down the Venetian government
I saved my favorite one for last.
When Pink Floyd showed up in Venice in 1989 to perform at a concert in St. Mark square, they attracted more visitors than lived within the city limits. Government officials labeled the concert as a barbaric invasion and attempted to cancel the concert in fear that the amplified sound would damage the mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilic and the whole plazza would sink, with so many people present!
To accommodate this Pink Floyd offered to perform on a floating stage 200 yards from the square. Even so they attracted so many fans, and broadcasted in 20 different countries with an audience of some 1oo million. Go Pink Floyd!!!
However, as epic as I’m sure their performance was, the concert left St Mark’s plaza so loaded with garbage and.. other unpleasantries (you know, the type of thing that happens when a city has no public bathrooms?) that the mayor and whole city council resigned! Yaicks!
So there are my venetian fun facts for ya! I certainly enjoyed strolling through the narrow, brick allies and, as with most places I visit, I look forward to returning and uncovering more secrets and history. Hope you get to do the same!