The current capital of the Italian province of Venice and the region Veneto lies on about 120 small islands in the Laguna Veneta. It is built on stilts and has 160 canals with 400 bridges. Already in the 8th century Venice was a naval power. The independent city republic formed in the 11th century under the leadership of the Doge. Around 1000, Venice began to subjugate the coasts of Istria and Dalmatia (today's Croatia ) and during the Crusades, a colonial empire in the Balkans emerged as far as Asia Minor. In 1203 Constantinople was conquered and the Byzantine Empire destroyed. Among other things, came in temporary possession of the island Crete as well as today's Lebanon, For over 400 years, between 1386 and 1797, many became Ionian Islands dominated on the Greek west coast. Towards the end of the 15th century Cyprus which was part of Venice until 1571. Twice the loss of history was also the famous port city Monemvasia on the peninsula Peloponnese for a long time under the rule of the city-state.
In the 16th century, the production of products had started in Venice Glass developed into a true mastery. Many artfully crafted glassware including one among them wine glasses were exported to the whole world at the time. In the 15th century Venice had 200,000 inhabitants and had a huge trading and war fleet. After long struggles, however, it finally succumbed in the 17th century to the numerically far superior Turkish power. By French troops under Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821) the state of Venice was abolished in 1797. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815 he came to Austria (Lombard-Venetian Kingdom) and in 1866 to Italy. In the Middle Ages, Venice had no own vineyards or viticulture. The city was next to Genoa an important trading center for wine, by the Aegean islands. Crete (especially sweet wine), Tyros ( Lebanon ) and from different parts of Italy ( Lombardy. Brands ) and to Constantinople and Europe ( England, Flanders, Paris). See also below Italy,