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Venice Italy
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Venice, Italy

January 16, 2006
Eighteen years separate these two Landsat thematic mapper images of Venice, Italy.

Venice, the city of canals, is the capital of the region of Veneto. The city stretches across a number of small islands in a marshy lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon runs along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (South) and the Piave (North) Rivers.

The lagoon has a surface area of around 550km². It is around 8% land and about 11% is permanently water 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. The Lido Inlet represents the main entrance from the sea and is clearly visible in the two images as the funnel-shaped channel to the East of the city. 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, which are better known as the acqua alta (high water), regularly flooding much of Venice.

Venice lies at the center of the two images, right in the middle of the lagoon, with the Canal Grande (Grand Canal), the city's largest water way, cutting through it from North West to East. Its banks are lined with some of the most beautiful buildings in the city: amongst the many palazzos and churches are the Ca' Rezzonico, Ca' d'Oro, Ca' Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo and the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Due to the fact that most of the city's traffic goes along the Canal rather than across it, there are only three bridges, the most famous of which is the covered Rialto Bridge.

The Canale della Giudecca canal is also visible in the images, separating the city of Venice from the island of Giudecca to the South. Murano, famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking, is the small white island a mile north of Venice. The 5 km long Ponte della Liberta bridge joins Venice to the city of Mestre, on the mainland.

Technical Information:
  • Satellite: Landsat
  • Instrument: Thematic Mapper
  • Acquisition: 23-Sep-1985
  • Center coordinates: lat. 45.43, lon. 12.33