The history of Venice dates back to the mid 400s and surely, the most prominent period of its history is that of the Republic of Venice. The Venetian Republic gained control over the Aegean, Adriatic and Ionian Seas throughout its almost 10-century existence and turned into an economic and trade maritime force. Nowadays lots of places outside Venice have the typical atmosphere of the most romantic city in the world. A notable example is Dubrovnik which is still known as Ragusa in Italian (not to be mistaken with the town of Ragusa in Sicily) and other towns in Dalmatia, especially along the Croatian Adriatic coast. If one moves to the South to the Ionian island group, they could have the chance to enjoy a nice walk along tiny streets and alleys with no cars passing by like those in Venezia itself. Apart from all these instances (and many others), almost every continent has its own Venice (and even more than one) but of course none of them could reach the uniqueness of the “original” Venice that is built on 118 islets altogether connected to the mainland through canals and its structures being supported by a large range of wooden platforms placed deep in the sea in the Venetian lagoon. And here are a few humble examples of other VeniceS in the world.
Portugal has its Venice and it is the town of Aveiro. It is a very interesting city. Part of it is bathed through canals, bridges, and painted boats called moliceiros, similar to the gondolas of Venice. For this reason, the city is called the “Portuguese Venice“. The real charm of Aveiro lies in its coast, with its fantastic sandy beaches like São Jacinto, Barra and Costa Nova. This local coast is well known as the Silver Coast due to the beautiful and clean beaches.
“Little Venice” of South America
A whole country in Latin America is named after Venice and the single reason for that is that the stilt houses along the Lake Maracaibo reminded Amerigo Vespucci of Venice. He simply called that region Veneziola (or Small Venice) and the name acquired the Spanish suffix -uela due to the Spanish dominion there. Thus nowadays Venezuela is somehow connected through its name and landscape to some extent with today’s Venice.
The largest country and the only Portuguese-speaking one in Latin America has a city similar to Venice. It is Recife – the capital and the largest city of the state of Pernambuco. It has a population of 1 555 000 residents. The city is the major industrial zone of the state. The most typical products for the town are those that are derived from cane. Very often the city of Recife is well-known and called “Venezia brasileira” (or Brazilian Venice) because of the canals and bridges that can be found throughout the city. Also like Venice, holiday-makers here enjoy good infrastructure and a variety accommodation, restaurants, bars and services.
Venice of America
Fort Lauderdale (the “Venice of America”) is an amazing place with 23 miles of golden sand beautiful palm trees and calm beaches in the state of Florida. There are plenty of attractions in the city – you can dive beneath the surface to meet-and-greet the local sea life. Shopping and dining on Las Olas Boulevard is one of Fort Lauderdale’s greatest pleasures thanks to adorable shops and fine restaurants.
Venice Canal Historic District
Los Angelis (California) has its Venetian pride. In the distant 1905 the great developer and dreamer, Abbot Kinney, started his glamorous project to re-create a Venetian mecca with the true atmosphere and the feeling of Venice. About 6 man-made canals were built. Unfortunately, Kinney’s idea was not warmly welcome by locals and tourists alike and after about two decades some of the canals were transformed into roads.
The Venetian Las Vegas
Well, there is no doubt you all have heard about the luxurious Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. The design of the hotel has been inspired by original Venice itself and lots of its amazing landmarks (including La piazza San Marco and the Columns of the Venetian Lion and that of San Thoedore and of course, St. Mark’s Campanile and the Rialto Bridge) have been artificially recreated and built there. Thus nowadays one can take a gondola ride (but the gondola is motorized) beyond the ocean.
Venice of Australia
The Venice of Australia is the town of Woy Woy that is situated only around 79 km far away from Sydney. It’s a popular site among holiday-makers and a magnet for young people from Sydney. Of course, its charm is doubled by the surrounding waterways that give the city the atmosphere of Venice (but to some extent).
Venice of Asia
It’s assumed to be Bangkok (Thailand) due to its numerous canals. Actually the Chao Phraya River and its canals carry the city’s popular Floating market that is extremely rich and extraordinary and is situated some 110km away from Bangkok. Why is it so? Because thousands of small boats “anchor” there every morning to sell out various items starting from vegetables and fruit to fish and flowers.
Finally, Makoko (Nigeria) is supposed to be the “Venice of Africa”. It’s a water-world at the age of 200 hundred years. The only similarity with Venice is the surrounding water. Otherwise, it is an enormous slum where hovels are built upon thousands of wooden stilts.