Venice, Florida is famous for its world-class beaches and stunning natural beauty. However, this Gulf Coast city isn't only known for its 14 miles of beach: it's also a fascinating town with a rich history and culture. Let's take a closer look at 10 interesting Facts about Venice, Florida.
1. Original Home to the Calusas
In the sixteenth century, the area now known as Venice, Florida, was occupied by the Spanish. It wasn't until the 1800's that settlers began to move into the area in earnest, and the city didn't get its current name until 1888.
However, long before European settlers, the Venice area was the home to the Calusa Native Americans. With a history in the area dating back 12,000 years, the Calusa Culture was known for its impressive architecture, canal networks, trade routes, and military prowess.
2. Shark Tooth Capital of the World
There's a reason why Venice is known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World. For millions of years, various species of shark (including the prehistoric Megalodon) have made the coastal waters of Venice their home.
Now, visitors to Venice's beaches -- and in particular Caspersen Beach -- can find and collect shark's teeth with ease. Every year, Venice celebrates its Shark Tooth Festival in honor of its interesting archaeological history.
3. Home to Many Historic Buildings
Those who are fascinated by architecture and historic buildings love to explore Venice, Florida, since it's home to several sites on the National Register of Historic Places. One of these is the Venice Train Depot, built in 1927. Another is the Valencia Hotel and Arcade, a historic hotel that showcases Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. Incredibly the entire city plan is on the National Register since it was designed by the famous city planner John Nolen in 1926.
4. Original Name: Horse and Chaise
In 1888, the settler Frank Higel named this city Venice because it reminded him so strongly of the waterways in his family home in Venice, Italy. But before the city got its current name, it was known as Horse and Chaise thanks to a well-known fishing landmark that had a tree formation shaped like a carriage.
5. 8% of Venice is Water
It makes sense that Frank Higel was reminded so strongly of the Italian City of Canals when he named Venice. Though the city is made up of 16.6 square miles, a whopping 1.4 square miles is water. This means that Venice, Florida, is more than 8% water!
6. A City of Parks & Wildlife
If you're a nature lover, then you'll definitely enjoy exploring Venice. This coastal city boasts more than 30 parks, where walkways, boardwalks, and forest paths allow you to enjoy access to South Florida's natural coastal environment. When exploring Venice, you'll see various species of rare birds and exotic animals.
7. Tarzan's Revenge was Filmed Here
On the bank of the Myakka River sits the Snook Haven restaurant. Surrounded by nature, including stunning oak trees covered in Spanish moss, this restaurant has been the site of several dramatic events. Notably, the 1938 film Tarzan's Revenge was filmed here.
8. More Sunny Days Than Average
Venice, FL, is known for its desirable climate and weather. Classified as having a humid subtropical climate, Venice is enjoyable year-round. In fact, Venice boasts far more sunny days than the national average according to Sperling's Best Places.
9. Clowns & Circuses
Interestingly, Venice and the surrounding area has a long history involving circus acts and clowns. It all started in the 1920's, when John Ringling made Sarasota County the winter headquarters for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In the 1960's, facing a shortage of clowns, the then-owner of the circus helped establish a clown school in Venice. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College was open until 1997.
10. Top 10 Happiest Seaside Town
The coastal appeal of Venice delights its visitors and residents alike. In fact, Coastal Living has named Venice as one of the top 10 happiest seaside towns, by virtue of its "big heart" and "pearly-white beaches."
Venice, Florida, is Full of Surprises
Venice, Florida is a fascinating city with a rich cultural history. Whether you love strolling the beach looking for Venice's famous shark teeth, checking out the fascinating architecture and history of the city, or simply enjoying the sunny weather, it's an amazing place to live and retire.