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The Venetian Lagoon ( it, Laguna di Venezia; vec, Łaguna de Venesia) is an enclosed bay of the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest ...

Adriatic Sea
, in northern Italy, in which the city of
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...

Venice
is situated. Its name in the
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the people of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps ...

Italian
and Venetian languages, '—cognate of Latin ', "lake"—has provided the English name for an enclosed, shallow
embayment A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean, a lake, or another bay. A large bay is usually called a Gulf (geography), gulf, sea, sound (geography), sound, or bight (geogr ...
of salt water, a
lagoon A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform, such as reefs, barrier islands, barrier peninsulas, or isthmuses. Lagoons are commonly divided into ''coastal lagoons'' and ''atoll lagoons''. They ...

lagoon
.


Location

The Venetian Lagoon stretches from the
River Sile The Sile ( Venetian: ''Sil'') is a 95 km river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the e ...
in the north to the Brenta in the south, with a surface area of around . It is around 8% land, including Venice itself and many smaller islands. About 11% is permanently covered by open water, or
canal Canals are waterways channels Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of the outline (banks) of the path of a narrow body of water. Australia * ...

canal
, as the network of dredged channels are called, while around 80% consists of
mud flat Mudflats or mud flats, also known as tidal flats or, in Ireland, slob or slobs, are coastal wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. The primary ...
s, tidal shallows and
salt marsh A salt marsh or saltmarsh, also known as a coastal salt marsh or a tidal marsh A tidal marsh (also known as a type of "tidal wetland") is a marsh found along rivers, coasts and estuary, estuaries which floods and drains by the tide, tidal move ...

salt marsh
es. The lagoon is the largest
wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles ...

wetland
in the
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
. It is connected to the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest ...

Adriatic Sea
by three
inlet An inlet is an indentation of a shoreline, usually long and narrow, such as a small bay or arm, that often leads to an enclosed body of water, body of salt water, such as a Sound (geography), sound, bay, lagoon, or marsh. Overview In sea coasts, ...

inlet
s:
Lido In British English, a lido ( , ) is a public outdoor swimming pool and surrounding facilities, or part of a beach where people can swim, Sunbathing, lie in the sun, or participate in water sports. On a cruise ship or ocean liner, the lido d ...
,
Malamocco Malamocco ( vec, Małamoco) was the first, and for a long time, the only settlement on the Lido of Venice barrier island Barrier islands are coastal landforms and a type of dune system that are exceptionally flat or lumpy areas of sand tha ...
and
Chioggia Chioggia (; vec, Cióxa , locally ; la, Clodia) is a coastal town and ''comune'' of the Metropolitan City of Venice in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Geography The town is situated on a small island at the southern entrance to the Lag ...

Chioggia
. Sited at the end of a largely enclosed sea, the lagoon is subject to high variations in water level, the most extreme being the
spring tide Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravity, gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun, and the Earth's rotation, rotation of the Earth. Tide tables can be used for any given locale to ...
s known as the ' (Italian for "high water"), which regularly flood much of Venice. The nearby
Marano-Grado Lagoon Marano Lagoon is a huge lagoon in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alp ...
, with a surface area of around , is the northernmost lagoon in the Adriatic Sea and is called sometimes the "twin sister of the Venice lagoon".


Development

The Lagoon of Venice is the most important survivor of a system of
estuarine An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water Brackish water, also sometimes termed brack water, is water occurring in a natural environment having more salinity File:IAPSO Standard Seawater.jpg, upInternational Associatio ...

estuarine
lagoons that in Roman times extended from
Ravenna Ravenna ( , , also ; rgn, Ravèna) is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna The province of Ravenna ( it, provincia di Ravenna; ) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, admin ...

Ravenna
north to
Trieste Trieste ( , ; sl, Trst ; german: Triest ) is a city and seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (wher ...

Trieste
. In the sixth century, the Lagoon gave security to Romanised people fleeing invaders (mostly the
Huns The Huns were a nomadic people A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation which regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherers, pastoral ...

Huns
). Later, it provided naturally protected conditions for the growth of the
Venetian Republic The Republic of Venice ( it, Repubblica di Venezia; vec, Repùblega de Venèsia) or Venetian Republic ( it, Repubblica Veneta; vec, Repùblega Vèneta), traditionally known as La Serenissima ( en, Most Serene Republic Most Serene Republic ( ...
and its maritime empire. It still provides a base for a
seaport A port is a maritime Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes, the Canadian provinces of ...
, the
Venetian Arsenal The Venetian Arsenal ( it, Arsenale di Venezia) is a complex of former shipyards and Armory (military), armories clustered together in the city of Venice in northern Italy. Owned by the state, the Arsenal was responsible for the bulk of the Repu ...
, and for
fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish Fish are , , -bearing animals that lack with . Included in this definition are the living , s, and and as well as various extinct related groups. Around 99% of living fish species are ...

fishing
, as well as a limited amount of
hunting Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism ...

hunting
and the newer industry of
fish farming upright=1.3, Salmon farming in the sea (mariculture) at Loch Ainort, Isle of Skye">mariculture.html" ;"title="Salmon farming in the sea (mariculture">Salmon farming in the sea (mariculture) at Loch Ainort, Isle of Skye, Scotland Fish farming or ...

fish farming
. The Lagoon was formed about six to seven thousand years ago, when the marine transgression following the
Ice Age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents an ...

Ice Age
flooded the upper Adriatic coastal plain. Deposition of river sediments compensated for the sinking coastal plain, and coastwise drift from the mouth of the Po tended to close tidal inlets with sand bars. The present aspect of the Lagoon is due to human intervention. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Venetian hydraulic projects to prevent the lagoon from turning into a marsh reversed the natural evolution of the Lagoon. Pumping of
aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital ...

aquifer
s since the nineteenth century has increased
subsidence Subsidence is a general term for downward vertical movement of the Earth's surface, which can be caused by both natural processes and human activities. Subsidence involves little or no horizontal movement, which distinguishes it from slope movem ...
. 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 Mestre () is the most populated borough of the comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides ess ...

Mestre
are also reclaimed islands. The remaining islands are essentially
dune A dune is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the ...

dune
s, including those of the coastal strip (
Lido In British English, a lido ( , ) is a public outdoor swimming pool and surrounding facilities, or part of a beach where people can swim, Sunbathing, lie in the sun, or participate in water sports. On a cruise ship or ocean liner, the lido d ...
,
Pellestrina Pellestrina is an island in northern Italy, forming a barrier between the southern Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, lying south west of the Lido di Venezia, Lido. The island is long and has since the eighteenth century been bounded to its ...

Pellestrina
and Treporti). Venice Lagoon was inhabited from the most ancient times, but it was only during and after the
fall of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Ro ...
that many people, coming from the
Venetian mainland
Venetian mainland
, settled in a number large enough to found the city of
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...

Venice
. Today, the main cities inside the lagoon are Venice (at the centre of it) and
Chioggia Chioggia (; vec, Cióxa , locally ; la, Clodia) is a coastal town and ''comune'' of the Metropolitan City of Venice in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Geography The town is situated on a small island at the southern entrance to the Lag ...

Chioggia
(at the southern inlet);
Lido di Venezia The Lido, or Venice Lido ( it, Lido di Venezia), is an barrier island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy; it is home to about 20,400 residents. The Venice Film Festival takes place at the Lido late August/early September. Geography The ...
and
Pellestrina Pellestrina is an island in northern Italy, forming a barrier between the southern Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, lying south west of the Lido di Venezia, Lido. The island is long and has since the eighteenth century been bounded to its ...

Pellestrina
are inhabited as well, but they are part of Venice. However, the most part of the inhabitants of Venice, as well as its economic core, its airport and its harbor, stand on the western border of the lagoon, around the former towns of
Mestre Mestre () is the most populated borough of the comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides ess ...

Mestre
and
Marghera Marghera is a ''municipalità'' (borough) of the ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides esse ...
. At the northern end of the lagoon, there is the town of
Jesolo Jesolo or Iesolo (; vec, Gèxoło) is a seaside resort town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function T ...
, a famous sea resort; and the town of
Cavallino-Treporti Cavallino-Treporti is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public se ...
.


Ecosystem

Occasionally,
bottlenose dolphin Bottlenose dolphins are in the genus ''Tursiops.'' They are the most common members of the family Delphinidae, the family of oceanic dolphin, dolphins. molecular biology, Molecular studies show the genus contains three species: the common bott ...

bottlenose dolphin
s enter the lagoon, possibly for feeding. The level of pollution in the lagoon has long been a concern The large
phytoplankton Phytoplankton () are the autotrophic An autotroph or primary producer is an organism that produces complex organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compoun ...

phytoplankton
and
macroalgae Seaweed, or macroalgae, refers to thousands of species of macroscopic The macroscopic scale is the length scale In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physi ...
blooms of the late 1980s proved particularly devastating. Researchers have identified the lagoon as one of the primary areas where non-indigenous species are introduced into the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
. Negative effects to the environment such as air pollution, loss of landscape, surface water pollution, erosion, and decreasing water quality have occurred due to the emission and impacts of cruise ships transiting into the Venetian Lagoon. From 1987 to 2003, the Venice Lagoon was interested by a relevant reduction of the nutrient inputs and of the macroalgal biomasses due to
climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...
; of the concentrations distributions of total
nitrogen Nitrogen is the chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science ...

nitrogen
, organic
phosphorus Phosphorus is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical el ...

phosphorus
and
organic carbon Total organic carbon (TOC) is the amount of carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a with the C and 6. It is lic and —making four s available to form s. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Carbon makes up only about 0.0 ...
in the upper sediments. Meanwhile, the
seagrass Seagrasses are the only flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anyt ...

seagrass
es started a natural process of recolonization, restoration the pristine conditions of the marine ecosystem.


Islands

The Venice Lagoon is mostly included in the
Metropolitan City of Venice The Metropolitan City of Venice ( it, Città Metropolitana di Venezia) is a Metropolitan cities of Italy, metropolitan city in the Veneto region, Italy. Its capital is the city of Venice. It replaced the Province of Venice and includes the city of ...
, but the south-western area is part of the
Province of Padua The Province of Padua (''Provincia di Padova'') is a Provinces of Italy, province in the Veneto region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Padua. Geography It has an area of 2,142 km2, and a total population of 936,492 (2016) making it th ...
. The largest islands or archipelagos by area, excluding coastal reclaimed land and the coastal
barrier beach Barrier islands are coastal landforms and a type of dune system that are exceptionally flat or lumpy areas of sand that form by wave and tidal action parallel to the mainland coast. They usually occur in chains, consisting of anything from a f ...
es: *
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...

Venice
5.17 km *
Sant'Erasmo Sant'Erasmo is an island in the Venetian Lagoon lying north-east of the Lido di Venezia, Lido island and east of Venice, Italy. History The island was a port attached to Murano in the 8th century, but is now known for market gardening. Ruine ...
3.26 km *
Murano Murano is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon The Venetian Lagoon ( it, Laguna di Venezia; vec, Łaguna de Venesia) is an enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea, in northern Italy, in which the city of Venice is situate ...

Murano
1.17 km *
Chioggia Chioggia (; vec, Cióxa , locally ; la, Clodia) is a coastal town and ''comune'' of the Metropolitan City of Venice in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Geography The town is situated on a small island at the southern entrance to the Lag ...

Chioggia
0.67 km *
Giudecca Giudecca (; vec, Zueca) is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, in northern Italy. It is part of the ''sestiere (Venice), sestiere'' of Dorsoduro and is a locality of the ''comune'' of Venice. Geography Giudecca lies immediately south of the centr ...

Giudecca
0.59 km *
Mazzorbo Mazzorbo is one of various islands in the northern part of the Lagoon of Venice The Venetian Lagoon ( it, Laguna di Venezia; vec, Łaguna de Venesia) is an enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating th ...
0.52 km *
Torcello Torcello ( la, Torcellum; vec, Torceło) is a sparsely populated island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent lan ...

Torcello
0.44 km *
Sant'Elena Sant'Elena may refer to: * Sant'Elena (island), an island of Venice, Italy * Sant'Elena, Rome, a church in Rome, Italy * Sant'Elena, Venice, a Gothic-style, Roman Catholic church in Venice, Italy. * Sant'Elena, Veneto, a comune in the Province of ...
0.34 km *
La Certosa La Certosa (Italian: ''Isola della Certosa'') is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It is located north-east of Venice, fewer than from San Pietro di Castello and little more than from the Lido di Venezia, Venice Lido. A channel ...
0.24 km *
Burano Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy, near Torcello at the northern end of the lagoon, known for its lace work and brightly coloured homes. The primary economy is tourism. Geography Burano is from Venice, a 45-minute tri ...

Burano
0.21 km *
Tronchetto Tronchetto (also known as ''Isola nuova'', meaning "New island") is an artificial island An artificial island or man-made island is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatical ...

Tronchetto
0.18 km *
Sacca Fisola
Sacca Fisola
0.18 km *
San Michele
San Michele
0.16 km *
Sacca Sessola
Sacca Sessola
0.16 km * Santa Cristina 0.13 km Other inhabited islands include: * Cavallino * Lazzaretto Nuovo * Lazzaretto Vecchio *
Lido In British English, a lido ( , ) is a public outdoor swimming pool and surrounding facilities, or part of a beach where people can swim, Sunbathing, lie in the sun, or participate in water sports. On a cruise ship or ocean liner, the lido d ...
*
Pellestrina Pellestrina is an island in northern Italy, forming a barrier between the southern Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, lying south west of the Lido di Venezia, Lido. The island is long and has since the eighteenth century been bounded to its ...

Pellestrina
*
Poveglia Poveglia ( ; ) is a small island located between Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is ...
*
San Clemente San Clemente (; Spanish language, Spanish for "Pope Clement I, St. Clement") is a coastal city in Orange County, California, Orange County, California, United States. The population was 63,522 in at the 2010 census. Located on the California Coas ...
*
San Francesco del Deserto San Francesco del Desertohttp://www.isola-sanfrancescodeldeserto.it/ is an island in the Venetian Lagoon in Véneto, Italy, with a surface of some 4 ha. It is located between Sant'Erasmo and Burano. It houses a minorites convent. History The isla ...
*
San Giorgio in Alga San Giorgio in Alga (English: "St. George in the seaweed") is an island of the Venetian lagoon, northern Italy, lying between the Giudecca and Fusina (a ''frazione'' of Venice on the coast, near Marghera). History After a Benedictine monastery wa ...
*
San Giorgio Maggiore San Giorgio Maggiore ( vec, San Zorzi Mazor) is one of the islands of Venice, northern Italy, lying east of the Giudecca and south of the main island group. The island, or more specifically its Palladian church, is an important landmark. It ha ...

San Giorgio Maggiore
*
San Lazzaro degli Armeni San Lazzaro degli Armeni (, "Saint Lazarus of the Armenians"; called Saint Lazarus Island in English sources; hy, Սուրբ Ղազար, Surb Ghazar) is a small island in the Venetian Lagoon The Venetian Lagoon ( it, Laguna di Venezia; vec, ...
*
Santa Maria della Grazia Santa Maria della Grazia or La Grazia is an artificial island of the Venetian lagoon, northern Italy, which lies between the Giudecca and San Clemente (VN), San Clemente. In 2016 the island was sold to a private company from Treviso, Giesse Investi ...

Santa Maria della Grazia
* San Pietro di Castello *
San Servolo San Servolo is an Italy, Italian island in the Venetian Lagoon, to the southeast of San Giorgio Maggiore. Earlier housing a monastery of Benedictine monks, later an asylum for the insane, the island is now home to a museum, Venice International Uni ...

San Servolo
* Santo Spirito *
Sottomarina Sottomarina is a small town on a peninsula which has the same name. It is a ''frazione A ''frazione'' (plural: ) is a type of subdivision of a ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of It ...
*
Vignole Vignole (also Le Vignole) is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy, with a surface of some 69.20 ha. It is located north-east of Venice, between the islands of Sant'Erasmo and La Certosa. Location Vignole is actually made up of two di ...

Vignole


See also

*
List of islands of Italy This is a list of islands of Italy. There are over 400 islands in Italy, including islands in the Mediterranean Sea (including the marginal seas: Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea, Libyan Sea, Ligurian Sea, Sea of Sardinia, Tyrrhenian Sea, and inland isl ...
* Magistrato alle Acque *
MOSE Project Mose, Mosè, or Mosé is a given name, and may refer to: In religion *Moses Moses he, מֹשֶׁה, ''Mōše''; also known as Moshe Rabbenu ( he, מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ "Moshe our Teacher"); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, ''Mūše''; ar, موسى ' ...


Notes


References


Further reading

* Additional editions printed in 1900, 1904, & 1909; paperback in 2008.


External links


Atlas of the Lagoon - 103 thematic maps and associated explanations grouped in five sections: Geosphere, Biosphere, Anthroposphere, Protected Environments and Integrated AnalysisSIL – Sistema Informativo della Laguna di VeneziaSatellite image from Google MapsMILVa – Interactive Map of Venice LagoonComune di Venezia, Servizio Mobilità Acquea, Thematic cartography of Venice LagoonPhoto gallery
by about Venice's lagoon small islands, night life {{Authority control Geography of Venice Chioggia World Heritage Sites in Italy Bays of Italy Bays of the Adriatic Sea Ramsar sites in Italy Lagoons of Italy 7 Most Endangered Programme