Venice has many faces, like a mirage emerging from the shining sea surface, its outlines change – either flashing in the sun with the multi-colored facades of ancient buildings, or disappearing in clouds of fog. The unbridled fun of the carnival and the colorful kaleidoscope of costumes and masks that reign in San Marco, Piazzetta and the Schiavoni embankment fall silent in the narrow streets in the depths of Venice. And then, only the echoes of rare steps and a dull splash of water in the canals immerse you in the mysterious and unreal world of this amazing city, covered with legends of bygone times. The names of many great creators are associated with Venice, including Casanova and Dante, Titian and Tintoretto, Vivaldi and Albinoni, Marco Polo and Byron, Shakespeare and Pushkin, Gogol and Tolstoy, Dumas and Hemingway. “I recognize, Venice, your genius, I find in everything a living object for new feelings and new thoughts… ”- Lord Byron wrote at the beginning of the 19th century. Centuries pass, epochs change, but the extraordinary aura of this magical city continues to amaze with the novelty of feelings, thoughts and sensations.
Geography and location
Venice is a unique city in northern Italy, in the Veneto region, and a port on the Adriatic Sea. The historical center of the city is located on 118 islands of the Venetian lagoon, separated by 150 canals and channels, through which about 400 bridges are thrown. The population of Venice is 279.4 thousand people, and the city is divided into 6 districts: San Marco, Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce
climate of Venice is mild, subtropical: cool in winter and very warm in summer. The average daily temperature in January is +2.5°C, and in July +22.7°C. At the same time, the air has high humidity, and there are often thunderstorms with heavy rains. During sea tides (here they are called “aqua alta” – “high water”), the lowest part of Venice, located in the area of Piazza San Marco, is covered with water.
The city got its name from the name of the ancient Veneti tribe, who inhabited the Northern Adriatic in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. e. They say that Venice appeared from the foam of the sea in 421, and exactly at noon. However, according to history, an urban settlement on the islands of the Venetian lagoon began to be created in the second half of the 6th century. Initially, the center of the settlement was on the islands of Malamocco and Torcello, but from the 8th century. moved to modern location. In 697, the power of a doge elected for life (head of state, from Italian doge) was established in Venice. In total, 120 doges were elected in the entire history of the city – the last, Lodovico Manin, abdicated in 1797 when Venice was conquered by Napoleon. In 1805, Venice passed into the Italian kingdom of Napoleon, and in 1815 became part of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, owned by Austria. In 1866, Austria ceded Veneto to France, which in turn annexed it to the new Italian kingdom. Today Venice is a unique monument of architecture, history, culture and art, and therefore the city and the Venetian Lagoon are included in the World Heritage List.
Venice Carnival (Carnevale di Venezia)
Every year, about two weeks before Ash Wednesday (the day of the beginning of Lent in the Catholic Church), a grandiose action begins in Venice, which attracts tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world – the annual Venice Festival. The roots of the Venetian carnival originate in the ancient Roman festivals in honor of the god Saturn – the annual Saturnalia, held annually after the harvest. During the celebrations, both slaves and masters mixed up in the crowd and general mass celebrations, and in order to hide belonging to different social classes, the participants in the celebrations put on masks.
The first mention of the Venetian carnival dates back to 1094 AD. e. Masks and costumes became the main attribute of the carnival, but masks were allowed to be worn only during the celebration, otherwise severe punishments were applied. At the beginning of the XIX century. interest in the carnival began to subside, but in the 1970s the Italian government decided to revive the tradition of the annual Venetian carnival. Today, the carnival has regained its former scope and brilliance. Carnival begins with an old feast in honor of the release of Venetian girls kidnapped by Spanish pirates. Comedy performances are staged in St. Mark’s Square, and then an impressive carnival procession follows. Throughout Venice, during the days of the carnival, concerts, performances in the style of commedia dell’arte, costume performances are held, and balls are held in magnificent palaces-palazzos.
Venice Film Festival
No less striking and world-famous annual event is the Venice Film Festival. One of the oldest in the world, founded in 1932 on the initiative of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the film festival has been held annually on the island of Lido since 1934. The main prize of the Venice Film Festival is the Golden Lion, and based on the results of all sections of the festival, the Luigi Di Prize is also awarded Laurentis. Among the numerous laureates of the Venice Film Festival there are many representatives of the cinema of our country. So, only in the new millennium, prizes were received by: the films “Return” by Andrei Zvyagintsev (“Golden Lion” 2003), “Paper Soldier” by Alexei German Jr. (“Silver Lion” 2008), “Clown” by Irina Evteeva and “Oil” by Rustam Ibragimbekov (“Silver Lion” 2002 and 2003),