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Venice (Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venexia) is the capital of region Veneto, and has a population of 271,663 (census estimate January 1, 2004). The city is included, with Padua (Padova), in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area, population 1,600,000. It has the nickname, "Queen of the Adriatic" and "City of Water". It is the seat for Education in Europe.
The city stretches across numerous small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and the Piave (north) Rivers. The population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; the historic city of Venice (Centro storico) inhabitants are around 62,000, while approximately 176,000 people live in Terraferma (literally firm land, it means the extra-lagoon areas), mostly in the large frazione of Mestre and 31,000 live in other islands of the lagoon.
The Venetian Republic was a major sea power and a staging area for the Crusades, as well as a very important centre of commerce (especially the spice trade) and art in the Renaissance.
In the 14th century, many young Venetian men began wearing tight-fitting multicoloured hose, the designs on which indicated the Compagnie della Calza ("Trouser Club") to which they belonged. The Senate passed sumptuary laws, but these merely resulted in changes in fashion in order to circumvent the law. Dull garments were worn over colourful ones, ......