Venice is unique.
No other city marries community and sea like this one. Originally these islands provided a refuge from the colapse of the Roman Empire as various bands of invaders swept through northern Italy. Eventually the natural channels between the land became the famous canals.
Venice prospered as a trading port where the goods of the East came to the West. The city benefited as republic. The citizens built exuberantly their homes, churches, and business.
Recent years have not been so kind to this community. Flooding has become more of a problem as building foundations sink. In the Twentieth Century the population has declined. All the same the majic is still there, and her charm still attracts world. Even the La Fenice opera house has been true to its name, The Phoenix, and has risen again from its disastrous 1996 fire.