Venice, a merchant town, was one of many city-states of the Holy Roman Empire. It became a city of great art, and merchant trade. After the fall of the Byzantine, Venice became the richest and most powerful empire in the Mediterranean. Even more, local wars with surrounding city states soon fell to Venice, proving them to also be a formidable maritime force.
During the Renaissance, Venice was a leading source of culture. Venice could boast such painters as Titian, and Bellini, and architectural feats such as Piazza of San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, and St. Marks. Perhaps the most important feature of Venice is the Grand Canal which thousands of Venetians boated along in Gondolas.
Venice rose in power until the 1500's when the Ottoman Turk's began their invasion. The decline in power caused by these clashes soon saw an end to the illustrious period of Venetian grandeur.
Now, in the modern era, Venice has begun to reconstruct itself. Because of its weak foundation, the soil Venice sits on is steadily becoming unstable. If Venice does not provide itself with underground support, it will soon sink into the water. The city is currently spending billions of dollars to build underground structures for Venice to sit upon to impede its descent into the sea.