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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
"City on the Gulf"
Location in Sarasota County and the state of Florida
Location in Sarasota County and the state of Florida
Country United States
State Florida
County Sarasota
Horse and Chaise 1800s
Venice 1888
Incorporated May 9, 1927, by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
 • Total 17.78 sq mi (46.05 km2)
 • Land 16.13 sq mi (41.77 km2)
 • Water 1.65 sq mi (4.28 km2)
10 ft (3 m)
 • Total 25,463
 • Density 1,578.71/sq mi (609.54/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
34284, 34285, 34292, 34293
Area code(s) 941
FIPS code 12-73900
GNIS feature ID 0292749

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 in Southwest Florida. As of the 2020 Census, the city had a population of 25,463. Venice is part of the North PortSarasotaBradenton metropolitan statistical area.


In the 1870s, Richard Roberts established a homestead near Roberts Bay. In 1884, he sold a portion of his holdings to Frank Higel. Higel established a citrus operation involving the production of several lines of canned citrus items, and for the next 30 years the Higel family members were boat builders, fishermen, grove caretakers and contractors. Darwin Curry was the first postmaster. The Higel and Curry families chose the name "Venice" for their community post office, located south of Shakett Creek on what is now Portia Street in the unincorporated community of Nokomis.

The first railroad to Venice was built in 1911, paving the way for new development and expansion. Development in Venice occurred slowly, and it remained a small fishing town and farming community through the first part of the 1920s. In 1925, Dr. Fred H. Albee, a well-known orthopedic surgeon, purchased 2,916 acres (11.80 km2) of land from the Venice-Sarasota Company. Albee had previously developed Nokomis and built its first luxury hotel, known as the Pollyanna Inn. Albee retained John Nolen, a world-renowned city planner, to design a city on his land. Fred Albee, however, did not have a chance to implement his city plan before he was approached with a proposal from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers to purchase his land in October 1925. The purchase was motivated by a desire by the BLE to increase the union's assets and holdings in the area.

The BLE Realty Corporation was organized to develop the area, and the Venice Company was created to market property. The company retained planner John Nolen to complete a city plan in 1926. The BLE Realty Company selected George A. Fuller as the contractor; the New York architectural firm of Walker & Gillette, as supervising architects; and Prentiss French as landscape architect. Finally on June 10, 1926, the first street in Venice opened to traffic. Nassau Street ran from its terminus at the Tamiami Trail through Venezia Park and again into the Trail. By mid-June 1926, the first phase was complete, with 6 miles (10 km) of graded streets and a mile of 7-foot-wide (2.1 m) sidewalks and gutters. The Hotel Venice (now known as Park Place on Nassau Street) opened on June 21, 1926, and residential construction in the town started in July 1926, with the construction of three large residences in the Gulf View subdivision. That same year, the city of Venice held its first town council meeting and formed the police and fire departments. Florida Governor John W. Martin appointed Edward L. Worthington as the first mayor of Venice. After annexations of surrounding areas, the state legislature changed the designation of Venice from a "town" to "city" on May 9, 1927. Venice was named after Venice, Italy.

The Venice Army Air Base was established in May 1942. The 27th Service Group was relocated from McDill Field in Tampa to provide training for support services to combat air units, and later, the 13th Fighter Squadron, 53rd Fighter Group, was transferred to Venice from Fort Myers. They were operational training units for combat fighter pilots and ground crewmen. After World War II, the city of Venice acquired the air base from the United States government, with the stipulation that it always be used for aviation or revert to federal ownership.

Three of the hijackers in the September 11 attacks, Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah, took flight training lessons at Huffman Aviation, located at the Venice Municipal Airport.


Venice is located at 27°6′N 82°26′W / 27.100°N 82.433°W / 27.100; -82.433 (27.0987, -82.4390).

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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 309
1940 507 64.1%
1950 727 43.4%
1960 3,444 373.7%
1970 6,648 93.0%
1980 12,153 82.8%
1990 16,922 39.2%
2000 17,764 5.0%
2010 20,748 16.8%
2020 25,463 22.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census 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

Annual cultural events

Shark Tooth Dive at Venice 1
Divers hunting shark teeth at Venice
Shark Tooth Dive at Venice 2
Fish, seashells and shark teeth at Venice

Venice has been listed in many publications as being the "Shark's Tooth Capital of the World". 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

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

  • Armada Road Multi-Family District
  • Blalock House
  • Eagle Point Historic District
  • Edgewood Historic District
  • Hotel Venice
  • House at 710 Armada Road South
  • Johnson-Schoolcraft Building
  • Levillain-Letton House
  • Triangle Inn
  • Valencia Hotel and Arcade
  • Venezia Park Historic District
  • Venice Depot

Theatre and music

  • 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
  • Venice Symphony



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. Previously Venice was one of the Florida destinations of the Orange Blossom Special.

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

Law enforcement

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 police officers that serve Venice.



Climate is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate).

Climate data for Venice, Florida
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 21.1
Average low °C (°F) 11.7
Precipitation mm (inches) 43
Source: Weatherbase

Notable people

Images for kids

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