Venetian Lagoon

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The Venetian Lagoon

The Venetian Lagoon is a lagoon off the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated.

The Venetian Lagoon has a surface area of around 550kmē. It is around 8% land, including Venice itself and many smaller islands. About 11% is permanently water, or canal as the dredged channels are called, while around 80% is mud flats and salt marshes.

It is connected to the Adriatic Sea by three inlets: Lido Inlet, Malamocco Inlet and Chioggia Inlet. Being at the end of a closed sea, the Lagoon is subject to high variations in water level, the most extreme being the spring tides known as the acque alte (Italian for "high waters"), which regularly flood much of Venice.

The Lagoon originally provided the security for Romanised people fleeing invaders from the sixth century and the conditions for the growth of the Venetian Republic and its maritime empire. It still provides a base for a seaport, the Venetian Arsenal and for fishing, as well as a limited amount of hunting and the newer industry of fish farming.

Originally many of the Lagoon’s islands were marshy, but a gradual programme of drainage rendered them habitable. Many of the smaller islands are entirely artificial, while some areas around the seaport of the Mestre are also reclaimed islands. The remaining islands are essentially dunes, including those of the coastal strip (Lido, Pellestrina and Treporti).

Largest islands by area (excluding coastal reclaimed land and the coastal strip):

Other islands include:

External link

Lagoon of Venice information (http://www.salve.it/uk/eco/destra/ecobase.htm)

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