Ven'ice (Ital. Venezia - Ven-etz'ya), the 'Pearl' or 'Queen' of the Adriatic. In the 5th c. the Veneti, expelled from the mainland by Lombards and Goths, found refuge in the islands of the lagoons. Tradition places the nucleus of Venice on the site of the Basilica of St Mark; now it covers more than seventy-two islets, or rather mud-banks, its foundations being piles (' time-petrified ') and stone. Through its two unequal portions winds for over two miles the Grand Canal, spanned by the Rialto Bridge (of stone) and two others (of iron), and into it flow 146 lesser canals, all bridged at frequent intervals. This vast network of waterway is patrolled by countless gondolas, while the pedestrian has his choice of innumerable lanes (calli). A railway viaduct (1845) 2 1/8 miles long connects Venice with the mainland, it being 165 miles E. of Milan and 181 NNE. of Florence. Its population, from well-nigh 200,000 in the 15th c, dwindled to 100,000 in the 18th, but has since increased to (1905) 153,500. Its industries are its famous glass manufacture; jewellery and embroidery in gold and silver; lace, velvets, and silks; candles, soap, sugar, and confectionery. Printing is reviving; while the shipbuilding now includes ironclads. Venice imports from Great Britain coal, iron, fish, and manufactured goods. The shallowing lagoon, which at low ebb looks like so many acres of mud, is connected with the sea by the Lido, Malamocco, and two other entrances. With the drinking-water now supplied from the mainland the health of the city is improving. The Piazza to the W. of St Mark's church is still the centre of civic and social life. Its north side is formed by the Procuratie Vecchie (1517), surmounting an arcade of fifty arches. The Procuratie Nuove, on the south side of the Piazza, now constitute a portion of the Palazzo Reale. Of this the library hall is a masterpiece of Sansovino, its ceiling decorated by the seven best Venetian artists of the time (1582), while Titian, Paul Veronese, Bassano, and Tintoretto contributed splendid work to other parts of the interior. The Campanile, begun 902, and completed by the belfry 1510, collapsed in July 1902, but was rebuilt in 1903-8. The clock-tower gives entrance to the Merceria or main business quarter. In front of St Mark's itself rise three red flagstaffs, from which once floated the silk and gold banners typifying Candia, Cyprus, and the Morea, the three possessions of the republic. The Doge's Palace, dating from the 10th and 11th centuries, has been extended, modified, and restored. It comprises the Sala del Maggior Consiglio, with paintings by Titian, Bassano, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, and Palma Giovane; the celebrated library, transferred (1817) from the Palazzo Reale, with 120,000 volumes and 10,000 MSS.; the Museo Archeologico; the Sotto Piombi ('under the leads') where Casanova and Silvio Pellico languished; the Pozzi ('wells') which shadow many a page of Venetian history; and the Bridge of Sighs, leading to the Carceri or public prisons. The Zecca or Mint (now the Bourse) and the granite columns, one bearing the Lion of St Mark, the other St Theodore, have infinitely less to detain us than the Basilica di S. Marco itself, placed by Canova above the cathedrals of Pisa and Sienna as, on the whole, the first of the three finest churches in Italy, whose external mosaics, bronze horses, interior (also ennobled by its mosaics), choir, sacristy, north transept, baptistery, treasury, and pavement have each their special votaries. Dwarfed by comparison, the remaining churches of Venice need be noticed only in groups, of which there are four - the first, Gothic in style, exemplified in the plain, massive, and solemn church of the Frari; the second, the so-called Lombard (really a revival of Romanesque), of which the church of the Miracoli is the type; the third, seen at its best in the Palladian Redentore; and the fourth, or modern Italian, ornate to excess, represented by the church of the Salute. Near SS. Giovanni e Paolo is the statue of Barto-lommeo Colleoni, general of the republic (1475), which, designed by Verocchio and cast by Leopardi, is reckoned the finest art-product of its kind in the world. The Scuola of the church of San Rocco is rich in magnificent Tintorettos. The Accademia delle Belle Arti has a wealth of Bellinis (Gentile and Giovanni), Carpaccios, Giorgiones, Palmas (Vecchio and Giovane), Paolo Veroneses, Tintorettos, and Titians; while the Museo Civico attracts the lover of majolicas, gems, carvings, autographs, and miniatures. Interest of a sterner kind clings to the arsenal, founded in 1104, now employing 2000 workmen as the third dockyard of Italy. Its museum forms a running commentary on Venetian history, containing the model of the Bucentaur from which the doge every Ascension Day solemnly espoused the Adriatic. On the Grand Canal, down to the Rialto, are the Palazzo Manzoni (15th c), Palazzo Corner (16th c), Palazzo Rez-zonico, Palazzo Foscari, Palazzo Pisani a S. Polo, Palazzo Contarini, three Mocenigo palaces, Palazzo Corner Spinelli, and Palazzo Grimani. The:Palazzo Moro is the traditional abode of Shakespeare's Othello. In theatres Venice is comparatively poor, La Fenice being the principal one; but in public gardens and islets adapted for holiday purposes it abounds. The Littorale di Mala-mocco, facing the city across the lagoon (the so-called 'Lido'), is an immensely popular resort. This and the islets Murano (renowned for its glass), Torcello, and Burano (employing 300 girls in the celebrated lace-industry) are easily accessible by steamers and steam-launches.

Venice rises to historic importance in 697 a.d., when the tribunes were superseded by a duke or doge, and gradually obtained a foothold on the mainland and increasing political influence. In the 9th c. Istria and Dalmatia were conquered, and Venice became a dominant power in the Levant, taking an active share in the Crusades; in the 12th it conquered Tyre, Rhodes, and many of the Cyclades, Sporades, and Ionian islands. The Doge Enrico Dandolo (1192-1205) brought about the partition of the empire, and secured for Venice a large slice of Greece and the Greek islands, part of the Balkan countries, and districts on the Hellespont and in Constantinople. Worsted and weakened by Genoa in the 13th c, in the 14th Venice crushed its rival for ever, and became supreme at sea in war and merchandise, commanding the bulk of trade with the East. Next Venice was triumphant on the Italian mainland, and in the 15th c. waged war with Turkey and with France. The Cape route to India and the discovery of America told injuriously on Venetian commerce, and constant wars exhausted the treasury. In the 17th c, however, the republic crushed the Turks in Candia (Crete) and the Morea, but lost both in the 18th. Its policy became utterly feeble, its commerce irretrievably decayed, and when in 1796 Napoleon invaded the republic, it was but the shadow of its former self. In 1798 Austria secured possession, confirmed in 1815. The revolt in 1848 led up to its final cession (1866) to Napoleon III., who handed it over to Victor Emmanuel to become a part of the kingdom of Italy. See books by Yriarte (1879), Daru (Paris, 1853), Horatio Brown (1887-1905), A. J. C. Hare (1884), Mrs Oliphant (1887), Wiel (1894), Mol-menti (Florence, 1897), Okey (1903), and Menpes (1904).