Venice, Italian Venezia, city, major seaport, and capital of both the province of Venezia and the region of Veneto, northern Italy. An island city, it was once the centre of a maritime republic. It was the greatest seaport in late medieval Europe and the continent’s commercial and cultural link to Asia. Venice is unique environmentally, architecturally, and historically, and in its days as a republic the city was styled la serenissima (“the most serene” or “sublime”). It remains a major Italian port in the northern Adriatic Sea and is one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centres.