20 Surprising Facts About Venice Florida

Venice is tucked away 23 miles south of Sarasota in Southwest Florida. Voted one of the Top 10 Happiest Seaside Towns 2015 by Coastal Living, it has much to recommend it. See how many facts you know about this Gulf-front city. We think there are a few things that will surprise even life-long residents! 20 Surprising Facts About Venice Florida Check your local knowledge of Venice, Florida. #VeniceFlorida

  1. Taking its name from its more famous Italian namesake, Venice Florida is a city on water. Separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway, this coastal city has several bridges and is often called “Venice Island”.
  2. The VMA (Venice Museum and Archives) has over 30,000 photographs, exhibits, and archives housed in the Triangle Inn, built in 1927.
  3. Settled in 1870s, the City of Venice was incorporated in 1927. Homes and businesses featured Italian-style architecture to create a charming model community.
  4. Venice is one of just three cities in Florida that is on the water but does not have any barrier islands.
  5. Calusa Indians were probably the first residents in the Venice area. These Native Americans lived in Florida over 12,000 years ago. Their shell middens provide important historical evidence for archaeologists. In the 16th century, Florida was occupied by the Spanish, although much of the southwest coast was an unchartered, mosquito-infested wilderness.
  6. Frank Higel is considered the “Father of Venice”. He suggested the name Venice as the area has a striking likeness to the famous canal city in Italy. The area was previously called “Horse and Chaise” due to a tree formation that resembled a horsedrawn carriage.
  7. Roberts Bay is named after Richard Roberts who established a homestead in the area in the 1870s.
  8. Venice is the home of the only professional School for Clowns in the world!
  9. During World War II, the 27th Service Group relocated from Tampa and established the Venice Army Air Base in 1942. After the war, the air base was acquired by the city.
  10. Don’t miss a visit to the Venice Centre Mall which has a fascinating past. It was once a classroom for the Kentucky Military (around 1932) and later operated as a hotel.
  11. Venice City covers 16.6 square miles of which 1.4 square miles (8%) is water.
The Venice Pier is 720 feet long, 22 feet wide, and 20 feet high. It stands in water up to 18 feet deep. | Photo by Chris L. Smith #VeniceFlorida

Photo credit Chris L. Smith

  1. The original Venice Pier was built in 1966 and was washed away in a nameless storm in July 1981. It was rebuilt from swamp timber in 1984 and was again rebuilt in 2004 using wood fiber composite. The pier is 720 feet long, 22 feet wide, and 20 feet high. It stands in water up to 18 feet deep.
Boardwalk to Nokomis Beach. Photo credit Jennifer Brinkman #VeniceFlorida

Boardwalk to Nokomis Beach. Photo credit Jennifer Brinkman

  1. Venice has four main beaches: Venice Municipal Beach (the most popular); Nokomis Beach (home of the Drum Circle at sunset on Wednesday and Saturday evenings); South Browhard Beach (22 acres including a dog park) and Caspersen Beach (the longest beach in Sarasota County and famous for its shark teeth).
Venice Beach and fishing pier over the Gulf of Mexico in Venice, Florida. Photo by Justin Fennell. Fun Venice Facts blog article. #VeniceFlorida

Venice Beach. Photo credit Justin Fennell

Brohard Paw Park and dog beach. Photo credit Justin Fennell

Brohard Beach. Photo credit Justin Fennell

  1. The population of Venice has grown from 309 in 1930 to an estimated 22,465 in 2016.
Thanks to Caspersen Beach, Venice is known as the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World”. Many fossilized shark teeth wash up on the coastline of Venice and can easily be found by sifting the sand along the water’s edge.

Photo credit Debi Pittman Wilkey

  1. Thanks to Caspersen Beach, Venice is known as the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World”. Many fossilized shark teeth wash up on the coastline of Venice and can easily be found by sifting the sand along the water’s edge.

    Thanks to Caspersen Beach, Venice is known as the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World”. Many fossilized shark teeth wash up on the coastline of Venice and can easily be found by sifting the sand along the water’s edge.

    Photo credit Debi Pittman Wilkey

  2. The city of Venice has 12 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These include Hotel Venice, Triangle Inn, Venice Depot, the Valencia Hotel and Arcade, and the Levillain-Letton House. It also has three listed historic districts: Venezia Park, Eagle Point, and Edgewood.

    20 Fun Venice, Florida Facts blog article. Historic Venice Train Depot Venice, Florida. Photo credit Justin Fennell.

    Venice Depot. Photo credit Justin Fennell

  3. Hotel Venice opened in 1926 and was the first hotel in the city.
  4. Venice Municipal Pier is a popular place for fishing. No license is required and there’s no admission fee. It’s open 24 hours a day and shark fishing is popular after dark.
Venice Municipal Pier is a popular place for fishing. No license is required and there’s no admission fee. It’s open 24 hours a day and shark fishing is popular after dark. #VeniceFlorida

Photo credit Chris L. Smith

  1. The Venice Theatre is the largest community theater per capita in the USA. It has been a non-profit organization since 1950 and has an operating budget of almost $3 million.
  2. Thanks to its historic preservation and the delightful palms, live oaks and trumpet trees gracing the downtown area, Venice has been designated a Florida Main Street City.

If you haven’t already visited Venice, go check out this unique and lovely city with its charming downtown architecture, cafés and shops. It’s a treat!

Discover more things to do on your visit to the Venice, Florida area at MustDo.com!

Related Posts:

Written by:

Nita Ettinger is the co-publisher for Siesta Publications and the Editor in Chief for Must Do Visitor Guides. Must Do Visitor Guides provides Southwest Florida visitor information through printed publications and the website MustDo.com. Must Do Visitor Guides are published bi-annually and are available at no cost in Sarasota, Lee, and Collier County chambers of commerce, visitor information centers, select Southwest Florida hotels, and wherever free publications are found.

[gravityform id="2"]

Newsletter Sign-up