They were refugees who settled on the marshy lagoon islands in the 5th and 6th centuries. The difficult conditions found there required a community based on cooperation and creative solutions for life in the sea. Thus, an oligarchy with an elected head developed. Venice had its greatest importance at the beginning of the 15th century. With the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by the Ottoman Sultan, a powerful competitor in the Mediterranean grew stronger. The discovery of America in 1492 and of the sea route to India a little later cut Venice off from world trade. Political and economic decline are thus sealed. What remains is a dream of art, culture and lavish splendour.
Late afternoon at the Canal Grande (Fondamenta Cavalli) with the Rialto Bridge in the last light of the sun. The position of the panorama is a jetty between Palazzo Corner Martinengo (right of the jetty, 16th century) and the Palazzo Ca' Farsetti (left, 13th century).