City Profile: Venice

By: VISIT FLORIDA staff

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Named after the Italian city, Venice has nature parks and beaches to enjoy.

One of the few cities on Florida's West Coast without a barrier island, Venice is instead bordered by the soft white-sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

Fourteen miles (22.5 km) of beaches from Casey Key to Manasota Key offer recreational opportunities including swimming, sunbathing, fishing and boating. Shelling is also a favorite pastime, and fossilized sharks teeth can be found in abundance by sifting through the sand. Golfers enjoy excellent courses in the greater Venice area.

Venice is a Florida Main Street City; its downtown is graced by northern Italian architecture and beautifully landscaped boulevards that date back to the original city plans of 1925. Venice was originally called "Horse and Chaise," suggested by a carriage-like tree formation along the coast. The settlement was named Venice after the canal city in Italy in 1888.

Just north in Osprey, visitors to Historic Spanish Point have the opportunity to explore 4,000 years of culture. Along the green waters of nearby Englewood, the community celebrates its heritage with Pioneer Days on Labor Day weekend (Sept. 3 in 2012).

Oscar Scherer State Park, located approximately two miles south of Osprey and five miles (8 km) north of Venice, comprises 1384 acres of pine and scrub flatwoods on the banks of South Creek, a small tidal creek that flows to the Gulf of Mexico. The park has streams for canoeing, a swimming lake (Lake Osprey), campgrounds, nature trails, bicycle paths and picnic areas. You will find that with its casual style, Venice is a pleasant getaway for the vacationer who wants to relax and enjoy the Florida sunshine.

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