Venice, Florida

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Venice, Florida
Venice's Beachfront from Humphris Park
Venice's Beachfront from Humphris Park
Official seal of Venice, Florida
Shark Tooth Capital of the World[1]
"City on the Gulf"[2]
Location in Sarasota County and the state of Florida
Location in Sarasota County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 27°6′N 82°26′W / 27.100°N 82.433°W / 27.100; -82.433Coordinates: 27°6′N 82°26′W / 27.100°N 82.433°W / 27.100; -82.433
CountryUnited States
Horse and Chaise1800s
IncorporatedMay 9, 1927, by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
 • Total16.70 sq mi (43.25 km2)
 • Land15.07 sq mi (39.04 km2)
 • Water1.63 sq mi (4.21 km2)
10 ft (3 m)
 • Total20,748
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,591.04/sq mi (614.31/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
34284, 34285, 34292, 34293
Area code(s)941
FIPS code12-73900[5]
GNIS feature ID0292749[6]

Venice is a city in Sarasota County, Florida, United States. The city includes what locals call "Venice Island", a portion of the mainland that is accessed via bridges over the artificially created Intracoastal Waterway. The city is located south of Nokomis and north of Englewood. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 20,746.[7] It is noted for its large snowbird population and was voted as a top 10 Happiest Seaside Towns by Coastal Living.[8] Venice is part of the North PortSarasotaBradenton metropolitan statistical area.


The area of Venice was originally the home of native people who lived more than 12,000 years ago.[9] The 1800s is when the area saw the first wave of settlers. Venice was first known as Horse and Chaise because of a carriage-like tree formation that marked the spot for fisherman. In the 1870s, Robert Rickford Roberts established a homestead near a bay that bears his name today, Roberts Bay.[10] Frank Higel arrived in Venice in 1883 with his wife and six sons. He purchased land in the Roberts' homestead for $2,500, equivalent to $69,000 in 2019[11], to set up his own homestead. Higel established a citrus operation involving the production of several lines of canned citrus items, such as jams, pickled orange peel, lemon juice, and orange wine.[12] Higel established a post office in 1888 with the name Venice because of its likeness to the canal city in Italy where he spent his childhood.[13]

During the Florida land boom of the 1920s, Fred H. Albee, an orthopedic surgeon renowned for his bone-grafting operations, bought 112 acres (45 ha) from Bertha Palmer to develop Venice.[10] He hired John Nolen to plan the city and create a master plan for the streets. Albee sold the land to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and retained Nolen as city planner. The first portions of the city and infrastructure were constructed in 1925–26.[14]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43.1 km2), of which 15.3 square miles (39.5 km2) is land and 1.4 square miles (3.5 km2), or 8.19%, is water.[7] The climate of Venice is Humid Subtropical, bordering very closely on a Tropical Savanna climate and features pronounced wet and dry seasons.



Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)23,985[4]15.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 17,764 people, 9,680 households, and 5,362 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,948.8 inhabitants per square mile (752.1/km2). There were 13,516 housing units at an average density of 1,482.8 per square mile (572.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.14% White, 0.55% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.10% of the population.

There were 9,680 households, out of which 7.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.6% were non-families. 40.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 30.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.76 and the average family size was 2.25.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 6.9% under the age of 18, 2.3% from 18 to 24, 10.2% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 57.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 69 years. For every 100 females, there were 76.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,536, and the median income for a family was $46,898. Males had a median income of $35,271 versus $26,132 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,220. About 3.7% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 3.7% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[edit]

Annual cultural events[edit]

Venice Avenue
The Venice Jetty

Venice has been listed in several publications as being the "Shark's Tooth Capital of the World".[17] It hosts the Shark's Tooth Festival every year to celebrate the abundance of fossilized shark's teeth that can be found on its coastal shores.

Museums and other points of interest[edit]

The following structures and areas are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

Theatre and music[edit]

  • Venice Theatre – The Venice Theatre is the largest per-capita community theater in the United States with an operating budget of almost three million dollars[18]
  • Venice Symphony


Venice's newspaper is the Venice Gondolier Sun. It is published twice each week, and has a circulation of 13,500 copies.[19][20]

Tampa Bay's Univision affiliate WVEA-TV is licensed to Venice, though it is based in Tampa and broadcasts from Riverview.



Venice is served by U.S. Highway 41, which runs north–south on the western side of Florida; Interstate 75 is a short distance east of Venice.

Passenger railroad service, served by the Seaboard Coast Line, last ran to the station in 1971, immediately prior to the Amtrak assumption of passenger rail operation.[21] Previously Venice was one of the Florida destinations of the Orange Blossom Special.[22]

Venice Municipal Airport is a city managed public-use airport located two miles (3.2 km) south of the central business district.

Law enforcement[edit]

Venice is patrolled by the Venice Police Department, Tom Mattmuller is the current Chief of Police. The small department has special units for bike patrols, traffic patrols, and boat patrols, amongst the normal police services provided. There are a total of 47 sworn officers that protect the citizens of Venice. [23]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Authentic Florida: Venice, "Shark Tooth Capital of the World"". Visit Sarasota. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  2. ^ "Official Website of City of Venice, Florida". Official Website of City of Venice, Florida. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  3. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Venice city, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  8. ^ "America's Happiest Seaside Towns 2015". Coastal Living. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  9. ^ "The History of Venice". Venice MainStreet. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  10. ^ a b Angermann, Chris (February 16, 2013). "In Venice, an island of history and charm". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  11. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  12. ^ "Early History". Venice, Florida. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  13. ^ "Frank Higel was Entrepreneur and Pioneer". Sarasota History Alive!. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  14. ^ "The History of Venice, Fl: Preserving the Past". Visit Sarasota. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  15. ^ "NOWData – NOAA Online Weather Data". NOAA. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  16. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  17. ^ "Profile for Venice, Florida, FL". ePodunk. Archived from the original on November 3, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  18. ^ "Venice Theatre History | Venice Theatre". Venice Theatre. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  19. ^ "Venice Gondolier Sun". Venice Gondolier Sun. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  20. ^ "Venice Gondolier Sun". Mondo Times. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ Bowen, Eric H. "The Orange Blossom Special – December, 1941 – Streamliner Schedules". Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  23. ^ "City of Venice". Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  24. ^ Palattella, Henry. "What the hell happened to Dri Archer?". Medium. Retrieved January 4, 2021.

External links[edit]

Official website