The city of Venice (Venezia in Italian) is built on 117 small islands in the Venetian Lagoon, in north-east Italy. The islands are separated by canals and linked by many small bridges. The population of Venice is about 270,000 people.
Most of the buildings in Venice are built on wooden piles that are hundreds of years old. People used to get water from wells in the lagoon but this was banned when it caused some buildings to subside or sink into the mud. The city is still threatened with knee-high floods every autumn called Acqua Alta or 'high water', although floating pontoons are being set up at the entrance to the lagoon to hopefully stop them.
In the old centre there are no roads so people have to travel around the canals on gondola boats or water busses (vaporetti).
The buildings in Venice are very old and attractive, and tourists come from all over the world to see them and the canals. This has made Venice one of the most famous cities in the world, with an average of 50,000 tourists a day visiting it. The most famous sights are:
the Piazza San Marco - a large public square;
St Mark's Basilica - a Roman Catholic church built in 1617;
the Rialto Bridge which crosses over the Grand Canal.
Venice is also famous for it's beautiful Venetian glass which is: ornate, colourful and skillfully made.
The Carnival of Venice takes places every year just before Lent. It is a big celebration in which people: feat, hold parades and like wearing fancy masks.