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Size: 3" x 5"
Copyrighted: 1891
Lithographer: Joseph P. Knapp

Venice, Italy - Gondolas; Bridge of Sighs
Illustrations: View of Venice; In Gondolas; Bridge of Sighs; A Gondolier; Italian Peasant

Reverse - Text
Right section:
The permanent settlement of this "Queen of the Adriatic" on its present site of 72 islands, cannot be traced with certainty farther back than the beginning of the ninth century. It stands on a bay near the Gulf of Venice. Its growth from most unfavorable physical conditions at outset, to its present height of maritime ascendency, is striking proof of the energy and commercial genius of its people. Its numerous canals are the thoroughfares of the city, the streets being too narrow for anything but foot-passage, with the exception of the Merceria, in the centre of the town. This principal business street is from 12 to 20 feet wide and bordered with handsome stores. The Grand Canal has a winding course through the city and is intersected by 146 smaller canals crossed by 306 bridges, which being very steep, and intended only for foot passengers, are provided with steps on either side. This canal is crossed by the famous bridge built of marble by Antonio da Ponte in 1591, the Rialto, (Rivo Alto,) the view from which is remarkably fine.
The gondolas, the only means of conveyance from point to point, are very swift and elegantly fitted up. The method of rowing, with one oar at the stern, is the same as in the fourteenth century, and probably much earlier.
The number of pretentious houses is large, but their style is a mixture of Eastern, Roman and Gothic architecture and not pleasing to a critical eye.
Piazza San Marco, 600 by 300 feet, is the only open space of any magnitude, and with the piazzetta leading to it, forms the state entrance to Venice from the sea.
The principal manufactures are the same as in the middle ages, being articles in gold, silver, glass, velvet, silk, etc. In commercial importance, Venice is second only to Trieste.
Population 1880, 129,445.