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Note: Venice is a tourist, commercial, and industrial center and one of Italy's major ports.
Note: Venice was governed as a republic for hundreds of years and long dominated trade between Europe and the Middle East.
Note: Instead of streets, Venice has canals, the Grand Canal serving as its main canal. People use gondolas and other boats to move about the city.
Note: Some of the city's landmarks are Saint Mark's Square, on which sits the Basilica of Saint Mark, the Bell Tower, the Palace of the Doges (the former rulers of the city), and the Academy of Fine Arts.
Note: The city houses the famous paintings of such Venetian masters as Titian, Tintoretto, and Paolo Veronese.
Note: Venice was sinking an average of one-fifth of an inch yearly until the middle 1970s, when the government restricted use of water from the city's underground wells.