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The Intracoastal Waterway makes the historic part of Venice Florida an island, and these features gave the city its name. 




Venice Florida takes its name from the fact that the historic part of the city is separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway, and is thus an island reached by three drawbridges.

When you hear a Venetian refer to "the island," they're talking about the area west of the Intracoastal Waterway to Venice Beach.

The Tamiami Trail (US Route 41) divides as it passes through Venice (map).

To the west, US 41 Business crosses the drawbridges and takes you across the island through the city center.

US 41 By-pass takes you around to the east of the Intracoastal Waterway, not touching the island—or having to cross its drawbridges.

For much of its history, the small bridges were sufficient for Venice's vehicular traffic, but by the 1980s, as the city grew—and so did the number of boat-owners—Venetians in cars had to become accustomed to waiting in long lines behind raised drawbridges.

More recently, the original low drawbridges have been replaced by higher modern drawbridges that allow many more boats to pass beneath without raising the drawbridge, so traffic stops are less frequent.

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Drawbridge over Intracoastal Waterway, Venice Florida

The Venice Avenue drawbridge over the Intracoastal Waterway in Venice Florida.