Italy is Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, covers an area of 301,338 km2 and with 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state. Italy was home to many well-known and influential civilizations, including the Etruscans, Samnites and the Romans, while also hosting colonies from important foreign civilizations like the Phoenicians and Greeks, whose influence and culture had a large impact through the peninsula. The Renaissance (14th-17th century) began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration and art. As a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 53 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country.
Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. Venice is actually a group of 118 fascinating small islands, separated by canals and linked by bridges, where art and history combine with old trades and the beauty of the sea. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Out of the 270,000 inhabitants, about 62,000 live in the historical center, or city of Venice, about 176,000 live in the mainland or "Terraferma", behind the lagoon, in locations like Mestre and Marghera, and all others live on islands throughout the lagoon. The lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a World Heritage sites. Also known as a famous place for sweethearts, lovers, artists and poets, Venice is a magical city, often referred to as the city of "gondola", which are the means of transportation used to cross the numerous canals passing through the city
Venice is known for its ornate glass-work, known as Venetian glass. It is world-renowned for being colorful, elaborate, and skillfully made. Many of the important characteristics of these objects had been developed by the 13th century. Toward the end of that century, the center of the Venetian glass industry moved to Murano, an offshore island in Venice. The glass made there is known as Murano glass.
The Art Biennale a contemporary visual art exhibition, is the principal exposition of the Biennale Foundation, an arts organization based in Venice founded in 1895. It is so called as it is held biennially, in odd-numbered years. It is the original biennale on which others elsewhere in the world are modeled. The Venice Film Festival or Venice International Film Festival, founded in 1932, is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the "Big Three" film festivals alongside the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival. The film festival has since taken place in late August or early September on the island of the Lido, Venice, Italy. The film festival is part of the Venice Biennale.
The Carnival is an annual festival held in Venice starting with the festival of Santo Stefano (St. Stephen's Day, December 26) and ending with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday (Martedì Grasso or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday. The festival is world famous for its elaborate masks. Venetian masks can be made of leather, porcelain or using the original glass technique. The original masks were rather simple in design, decoration, and often had a symbolic and practical function.
Venetian cuisine is characterized by seafood, but also includes garden products from the islands of the lagoon, rice from the mainland, game, and polenta. Venice is not known for a peculiar cuisine of its own: it combines local traditions with influences stemming from age-old contacts with distant countries. These include sarde in saór (sardines marinated to preserve them for long voyages); bacalà mantecato (a recipe based on Norwegian stockfish and extra-virgin olive oil); bisàto (marinated eel); risi e bisi, rice, peas and (not smoked) bacon; fegato alla veneziana, Venetian-style veal liver; risòto col néro de sépe (risotto with cuttlefish, blackened by their ink); cichéti, refined and delicious tidbits (akin to tapas); antipasti (appetizers); and prosecco, an effervescent, mildly sweet wine