English project - Venice

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Venice, the capital of a province in Northern Italy, is formed of a group of 117 small islands joined together by 378 bridges mostly built of stone. These islands are partly natural, partly artificial, constructed by means of piles driven into the bottom of the shallow sea, as all the houses of the city are built upon a network of rows of piles. The islands are separated by a number of canals, three of which are larger than others; the Grand Canal, which traverses the city in the shape of a letter S, the Giudecca, and the S. Marco, which is the widest of all. The city is connected with the mainland by a railroad which crosses the lagoon on a bridge 2 miles 2555 feet in length. Transportation within the city is carried on by means of gondolas and also, on the three large canals, by small steamers. The lagoon of Venice is divided into the "dead" and the "living". The former (Laguna Morta) is a system of little salt lakes and marshes formed by the sedimentary deposits of the streams flowing down from the Alps, and extends from the mouth of the Po to that of the Isonzo; the latter (Laguna Viva) is a shallow body of salt water out of which rises a few small islands, among them the group which forms the city itself. The Laguna Viva is separated from the Adriatic by a narrow strip of land (the Lido) which extends from Chioggia to Cortellazzo at the mouth of the Piave. The strip of land is reinforced at many points with Istrian marble, and has a number of openings for the passage of ships, being thus broken up into the several Lidi of Pellestrina, Malmocco, and S. Erasmo. There is a tide in the "live" lagoon, rising atcertain times to a height of between 9 and 10 feet, when it floods the pavements of Venice. The city is a commercial and military port girdled by six forts distributed about the Laguna Viva.

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