Welcome to Venice!

As part of the Student Blogging Challenge, we’d like to take you on a brief tour of our beautiful city of Venice.

Welcome to Venice on PhotoPeach

Venice is located about midway down the west coast of Florida.  We are on the Gulf of Mexico.  As far as cities go, Venice is a baby, founded in 1926, although early pioneers began arriving in the area in the 1870’s.   Venice has had other names aside from its present day moniker.  One of the oddest is Horse and Chaise, so given because a small grouping of trees resembled a horse and carriage.  Eventually, one of the early founders, Frank Higel, submitted the name of Venice for consideration as the many canals in the area reminded him of Venice, Italy.  Aside from our beautiful beaches, our claim to fame is as winter home for the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baily Circus from 1960 until 1992.  The railroad brought the circus train into town each winter, and some of the circus stars and their descendants still make Venice their home.

You can learn a lot more about our town and state by visiting our Teddy blog.  Teddy is a little dog who escapes his family, often while they are on vacation with him.  He has traveled numerous places and shares his adventures on his own blog.  He was the first “Dog with a Blog”.  Teddy has 16 posts about places in Florida.   He’d love you to visit him!  He loves getting fan mail and will happily write back.

When most people think of Florida, they think of Disney World.  Disney is wonderful, but we are so much more than Disney.  What else do you know about Florida?

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58 thoughts on “Welcome to Venice!

  1. Hi Mrs.Donofrio,
    When I think about Florida I think about the palm trees. Almost every where in Florida is a palm tree. Also there is a lot of beaches, especially in Venice. -Sydney

  2. Our sunshine sate is home to the Kennedy Space Center, and where our national space launches took place. The Kennedy Space Center is the home of the whole space shuttle project.

  3. I know that Orlando, Florida attracts more people to it’s amusement parks than any other amusement park in the United States. I also know that St. Augustine is the oldest European settlement in North America.


  4. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,

    I know a lot of sports history in florida so that is what I’ll share. Florida has 2 pro-baseball, pro-basketball, and pro-football teams. Florida’s pro-basketball teams are the exaxt opposite. They have the number one team in the world Miami Heat (won back-to-back NBA Finals), and a team with the worst record in the NBA Orlando Magic.

    In pro-baseball Florida sports haven’t been as good as basketball Florida team hasn’t won the World Series since 2003 (Florida Marlins now known as Miami Marlins). The Tampa Bay Rays went to the World Series in 2008 but came up empty.

    And the football teams (Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins) haven’t won a Super Bowl since 2002-2003.

    • Dear Mitch,
      Just as I am not surprised that you knew all that sports information, you are probably not surprised that I did NOT know that information. What do you think the chances are for a Florida team to win a championship this year?
      I do know that there is also a professional hockey team in Florida, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and I do find that pretty ironic since there is never any real ice or snow here!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  5. Hey, did you know that Florida is the sunshine state and that thomas edison has a lab here and during the winter he comes down here to do his experiments.

    • Hi Brandon,
      Yes, I did know those facts about Florida. I’ve been to the Ford and Edison estates a few times. I really like it there. Have you visited their homes?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  6. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I love Venice. Although, I am getting sick of Florida. One thing I know about Venice is there is a population of 20,748. Venice has nice beaches and fun places to go. My favorite place to go in Florida is to Universal Studios. I have lived in Florida for 12 years. How long have you lived in Venice? What is your favorite place to go?


    • Hi Louis,
      I don’t yet have a favorite place to go in Florida because I haven’t explored enough of it. I would like to go to the Panhandle one day. I guess my favorite place so far was Sea Camp, but unfortunately, it’s not the type of place I can return to again and again. If I were younger, I would like to get a job as a counselor at Sea Camp. I think that would be great fun for a new college graduate.
      Altogether I’ve lived in Florida for a little over 10 years, but not all at once. I lived here for two years, then left for seven years, and now we’ve been back for a little over eight years.
      Considering you are getting sick of Florida, where would like to live when you grow up?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  7. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I know that FL has a lot of big and small marshes that we call the Everglades. Racoons, panthers, bobcats, and alligators are a very common animals in Florida.


  8. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    I love Venice. I lived in Venice my whole life. One thing I know about Florida is that the University Of Florida made the drink Gatorade in 1965.
    How long have u lived in Venice for?

  9. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I know that Thomas Edison and Henry Ford live in Fort Myers for several years. I lived in Florida for 12 years. So next time you come to Florida for vacation come and see their homes. How long have you lived in Florida?

  10. Hi Mrs.D! When I drive home I love to look at all of those cool artwork on the dolphins and turtles! Did you know one of my friends mom at my old school painted a dolphin? It is the one with all the people on it doing handstands and things like that! Here are some cool facts I found-
    1)Longest River – St. Johns at 273 miles
    2-Florida has more golf courses than any other state
    3-Palm Beach County has more golf courses than any other county in the country
    4-Number of people who camp in Florida each year – 6 million
    5-Number of people who move to Florida each day – 1,000

    • Very cool statistics, Brooke! I heard that 1000 people a day move to Florida. That is a lot of people. I wonder how many move out of Florida? I also did not know that one of your mom’s friends painted a dolphin, but I am not surprised because your mom knows SO MANY interesting people! It would be fun to take a walking field trip one day to see all the dolphins and vote on our favorite. Perhaps that would be a fun art field trip! I will have to mention it to Mrs. Cray. Which dolphin is your favorite?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

      • Hello Again! That field trip sounds fun! I don’t really know one of my favorites I like all of them but one I like is the pizza turtle and the dolphin with all the glass on it. At downtown venice are the pigs I used to love to see them, my preschool,Grace is by there, Grace is by the venice airport! Have you gone to the venice airport?

        ~Lil Brooke

        • Hi Brooke!
          I love the dolphin with all the mirrors, too. I think that artist was so clever as the mirrors reflect just like water does. I have been to the Venice Airport before. One year we gave our dad a flying lesson at the airport. He always wanted to be a pilot, but he is color blind, which, apparently, prevents people from becoming pilots.
          When we first moved here the pigs were around Venice, but I like the dolphins and turtles better because they are more representative of Venice. Although, now that I think of it, I guess we do have wild pigs, a.k.a. boars, in Venice, too. I think the Tampa Airport used to have painted manatees. I don’t know if they are still there.
          Too bad we don’t have a dolphin near Epiphany. What fun art project could we do at Epiphany?
          ~Mrs. Donofrio

          • Hello Mrs Donofrio! This is what I think we could do.You could go online and print up pictures of dolphins and turtles, and we (the middle school students) could design them like the ones on Venice Ave. Then, we could vote on them and find the best turtle and dolphin designs! You could give it for us to do as a homework assignment, so that way kids couldn’t vote for their friends just because they’re friends. After we draw on them we could not put our names on them so the picture would be anonymous. You should give us like a week to complete it so kids could let imagination flow. Maybe for extra credit you could have us take a picture of our favorite statue and explain why we like it. I think that would be fun. Or, we could do it in class and discuss why we designed it like we did. That way, nobody could say they forgot it at home or didn’t do it. Do you think it would’ve been fun to paint a turtle?

  11. Hi its Daniel,
    I am going to talk about our city Venice,FL. The city of Venice was plotted in 1925. The land that was Venice was owned by Dr. Fred Albee, (Who developed a suburb of Venice called Nokomis) a well known orthepedic surgeon in the area owned 2,916 acres of land which would soon be turned in to Venice. In October of 1925, Dr. Fred Albee sold the land to BLE known as the Brothers Of Locomative Engineering. The BLE picked a contractor named George Fuller to design the city. The town openned in July of 1926 and became a city on May 9, 1927. I all it took about two years to create the city of Venice. In 2027 we will celebrate the 100 birthday of Venice.

  12. Hi Mrs.Donofrio,
    I know that another name for Venice is turtle island which was given by the Indians. Venice also is home to the place where Osama Bin Laden’s Pilots took a flight class in Venice. Florida has many things besides things in Venice like St. Augustine Fort. Also a lot of cruise ships go at of Florida like in Miami or Port Canaveral. The last thing is, that the capital of Florida is Tallahassee. What are your favorite things about Florida?

    • Hi Anthony,
      Coming from Boston, my favorite parts of Florida are all the historic sites. I loved learned about the Underground Railroad stations that were in Florida. I also like to visit the Floridian homes of some famous people, like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Ernest Hemingway, and not the homes of ordinary people who lived here a long time ago, like those at Spanish Point, Manatee Village, and St. Augustine. I have never been to the Panhandle, so I would like to take a trip there someday. Of course, one of my all time favorite things about Florida is being able to run and ride my bike along the beach all year long.
      I did not know that another name for Venice is Turtle Island. How did you learn that? I’m impressed!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  13. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    Venice in itself is the Shark’s Tooth World Capital. Florida is a major producer of watermelon and oranges, which originated in China. Florida just happens to be named “flower” in Spanish from Christopher Columbus. I found Venice’s name history interesting. What were the other names?

    • Hi Maria,
      Aside from Horse and Chaise, I’ve read in the comments that Venice was also called Turtle Island. I had never heard that before! After doing some research, I learned that the first post office in the area was called Eyry, intended to mean the nest of a predatory bird, but actually spelled Aerie. Nokomis was originally part of Venice, but after moving the post office further south, the northern part of the town was renamed Nokomis, after Hiawatha’s grandmother, from the poem Hiawatha, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I actually love the name Nokomis because my grandparents had a lovely home on Cape Cod for 60 years, and it was on Hiawatha Road, so I feel especially connected to Nokomis. My grandmother used to recite some lines of the poem to us, “By the shores of the Gitche Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water, Stood the wigwam of Nokomis, Daughter of the moon, Nokomis….”
      I didn’t know that watermelons and oranges originated in China. Interesting!
      If you could rename Venice again, what would you call it?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  14. Hi Mrs.Donofrio,

    I love the slideshow about Florida & Venice too! I have some facts about Venice. Did you know that the first railroad was to Venice was built in 1911? After that Venice was known as a small fishing town community! Also the Venice army airbase was established in May 1942. It has been known to be the “Shark tooth capital of the world”. Wow I didnt know all of these things about Venice. Did you?


  15. When I think of Florida, I think of all of the amusement parks in Orlando. My sister goes to college there at UCF. Did you know that the first railroad to Venice was built in 1911, and that Venice has been listed 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 and beaches.


  16. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,

    I really liked your Welcome to Venice video! I saw many things I know about Venice like the beach, different kinds of trees like the Banyan, and the palm tree. I also know that Venice is the sharks tooth capital of the world!

  17. Ms. Donofrio,

    Did you know that Florida was admitted to the U.S. on March 3,1845 as the 27th state? Did you also know that the state’s flower is the Orange blossom?

    • I’m not sure, Ellie, if I knew the state flower is the orange blossom, but I am not surprised. I love the time of year when the orange trees are in bloom. They smell delightful! Have you ever picked oranges from a tree? We used to have an orange tree, and the first year we lived here I made marmalade with the oranges. It was a very time consuming job, and no one in my family was overly fond of marmalade to start out with. So, I won’t do that again!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  18. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    I love your slide show about Venice and Florida. Did you know that Florida became the 27th state in 1845 and that the largest lake in Florida is Lake Okeechobee.
    Have you ever been to Lake Okeechobee?


    • Hi Mercedes,
      I have never been to Lake Okeechobee. Have you?
      I think I did know about the date Florida became a state as we learned that last year when we read about the Underground Railroad in Florida.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  19. Hey Mrs.Donofrio,
    When I think of Florida I think of……
    ~Sandy Beaches
    ~Humid Weather
    ~Palm Trees
    Do any of these things remind you of Florida?

  20. Hi Mrs. Donofrio!
    I really enjoyed watching your slideshow and reading your post about Venice! I have never heard most of those facts you listed so I learned something new! I absolutely love seeing all the dolphins Did you know that Florida has an average of 10 deaths and 30 injuries a year from lightning? Or that Florida means “Feast of Flowers” in Spanish? I think those are two interesting facts. Also, another VERY interesting thing is that the deepest freshwater spring in the WORLD is right here in Wakulla Springs Florida! Neat, right?

    I’m sure you know, coming from Boston, this Florida weather isn’t too exciting. I really miss the cold weather. The humidity and heat here in FL are sometimes just too much to handle, and it makes me have negative feelings towards Florida. Also, the people (strangers walking around) up north tend to be much more friendly and kind than down here in Florida. Other than that, I enjoy living here with my friends and family. Do you miss living up north? If so, what do you miss about it?
    -Sadie Callahan

    • Thanks, Sadie. Although I did know Florida is the lightning capital of the world, thanks to Tangerine, I did not know the exact statistics. They are a bit frightening. I agree with you also about Wakulla Springs. It is neat! I have never been to Warm Mineral Springs which is not too far from us. It is on my list of places to go.

      The weather is not too exciting, you are right, unless a storm is approaching. Then, it’s exciting and also a bit nerve wracking. I have found the people in Florida to be pretty friendly, so I am lucky there. I do miss some things about living in New England, mostly my family, and especially my sister. You and I are similar in that we both have a sister living near Boston! My sister is “in” high school, too, but she is a teacher. I also miss the city of Boston itself, hills, autumn, apple picking, the first snowfall, Lake Winnepasaukee, and my Auntie Betsy. I don’t miss the Boston traffic, darkness beginning at 4 pm, slush on the roads, and sub-zero temperatures with or without the wind chill. I’m proud that people can still recognize my Boston accent. Do you think you will ever live in Boston again, Sadie?

      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  21. Hello Mrs.Donofrio. I loved the little slide show of Venice. Especially when you had those few questions. I didn’t know there were so many types of palm trees (2600), and about the Banyan tree by our school. Also I loved the beautiful pictures of the beach and the very iridescent rainbow. Venice is a great city to live in and I’m happy I do.
    – Cooper

  22. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I know that St. Augustine is the oldest European established-settlement in North America. San Agustin was founded in September 1565 by a Spanish admiral, and served as the capital of Spanish Florida for over two hundred years. San Agustin remained the East Florida capital until it was moved to Tallahassee in the 1800’s. St. Augustine is a tourist attraction and is the headquarters for the Florida National Guard.
    I am so excited to visit St. Augustine for my birthday and see all the historical places and learn more about St. Augustine. Have you ever been to St. Augustine?
    – Heather

  23. Hello Mrs.Donofrio,
    I really enjoyed your welcome to venice video. I never knew that you could ask questions on it like that. Well back to the question what do I know about Venice. Venice is the sunshine state, and is known for its oranges. Also Venice is the sharks tooth Capitol of the world! My dad has quite the collection of sharks teeth. Have you ever read the book called the Land Remembered? I read it last year I thought it was very interesting and very factual about Florida. Though the story isn’t true the theme of it is. Well that’s about it see you tomorrow!

  24. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I’ve lived in Florida for my whole life and I think that it’s a pretty good place to live. A few things that I have learned about Florida are that there are over 30,000 lakes and over 1000 golf courses located in Florida.

  25. Hi Mrs.Donofrio!
    I know a bunch of things about Florida, but I will tell you about Lake Okeechobee. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in Florida. Lake Okeechobee means “big water” in Seminole Indian language. The average depth of Lake Okeechobee in nine feet. What do you know about Lake Okeechobee?

  26. HI Mrs.Donofrio,
    I actually do not live in Venice so I don’t know somefacts. but on some days my parents let me walk around downtown Venice. I have seen the dolphins and turtles and my favorite on is the turtle dresses like a chef holding a pizza. I like this because i like to cook and bake. Have you ever been near the place where the time capsule was put?Will you want to see it when they lift it from the ground?

  27. Hi Mrs.Donofrio I learned that that the rail road brought in the Ringling Circus in the winter. I also never knew that learned in 1926 we were founded I always thought that we were founded in the 1915 I guess not.
    The last thing I learned was that Frank Higel form Italy submitted our states named that’s so cool! Mrs. D if you had a chance to name the state of Florida what would you name it?

  28. Hi Ms. Donofrio!

    Wow! Your home town looks fabulous! Except for the storms, I wouldn’t mind living there at all! I look forward to blogging with you! I think Florida is a wonderful place. I travel there a lot for vacation!


    • Bonjour Ryan!
      Thank your for your lovely compliment for Venice. You are right; it is a lovely town. I am blessed to live here. So far we have been very lucky not to have been directly hit by any major hurricanes. Supposedly, the Calusa tribe who lived here long ago chose this area because it was somehow protected from storms. I don’t know much about that legend, but I do know we have been lucky so far with storms.
      What part of Florida do you visit on vacation? Florida is a big state, and I still have not seen the whole state myself.
      Your neck of the woods sounds pretty wonderful, too. What is the best part of living where you do?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

      • Hi Ms. Donofrio!

        Thank you for replying! In Florida my family would usually visit the bottom coast but I forget the name of the city. Maybe in the times of the Calusa tribe they had better weather? The best part of where I live is that I have a wonderful beach almost right where I live and it has a really fun sand dune to climb! Anyway I look forward to blogging with you and your class soon! Ciao!


        • Dear Ryan,
          It is great to hear from you again. Thanks for coming back to visit. I have climbed sand dunes on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, but we don’t have any dunes in this part of Florida. We are in a very flat part of the country. Do you like any water sports?
          Do you have a class or student blog, Ryan? We would like to reciprocate and visit you.
          ~Mrs. Donofrio and Kids

  29. Hi Mrs. Donofrio
    I enjoyed reading about Venice and Horse and Chaise are very weird names. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.
    See you later, Avery

    • Hi Avery,
      I agree. Horse and Chaise is a very weird name for a town. I am so glad they changed it to Venice! It is much more appropriate since we have so many canals, just like the Italian Venice. Our canals are more for recreation than actual transportation, though. We have plenty of streets and cars, too.
      The town I grew up in is called Quincy. It was named after the sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, who was born in the town.
      Do you know how your town got its name?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  30. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I love Florida, we go the sometimes to go to Disney World, other that that I don’t know much about Florida. I am looking forward to blogging with you and your class this year! I hope that we get to learn more about you guys!
    ~ Tiana

    • Hi Tiana,
      Thank you for commenting on our blog! We love reading Huzzah! and keeping up with your class activities. I enjoyed your “Awesome” blog last week, and will leave a comment there tonight. Ms. Smith is my inspiration in the blogging world; you are lucky to have her as your teacher.
      What is your favorite part of Disney World? I was at Epcot last month, and I really liked Soarin’. We had a snack in Germany, lunch in Morocco, and dinner in Japan. That’s as close as I will get to Europe for a long time.
      I don’t know too much about Canada, and what little I do know is about the Eastern part of Canada as I grew up in Massachusetts. I have been to Montreal, and I had a friend who attended McGill University. Last year we read a book in class that was set in Buxton, Canada, which is near Toronto and was the last stop on the Underground Railroad. Do you know much about the Underground Railroad?
      I hope to learn a lot more about Canada from your class as the year goes on. Have you ever visited any other places in the United States other than Disney World?
      Good-bye for now!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  31. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    Venice looks beautiful. You are so blessed to live there. I have been to Florida once or twice to go to Disney world but I never visited Venice, I wish I did though. I can not believe how many types of palm trees there are! I saw in one of your replies you mentioned something about the Calusa tribe, could you tell me more about that? Plus what is your favorite thing about Venice? I look forward to blogging with you!

    • Hi Logan,
      Thank you for your interest in Venice! It is a beautiful town, and if you ever get the chance to come to Florida again, perhaps you will stop here for a day. The Calusa were a Native American tribe that lived on the coast of Southwest Florida. Because they lived on the water, they fished rather than farmed and were excellent sailors. They were also a fierce people and fought with other tribes, as well as the Spanish explorers of the 16th century, often. There are no more Calusa living in this part of Florida. They died out in the late 1700s due to wars and disease. Some may have moved to Cuba when Florida changed from Spanish to British hands in 1763.
      What I love about Venice is the charm of the city. It is quaint, somewhat old-fashioned, and beachy. The style of the older homes, c. 1926, is Mediterranean, which adds to the old world feeling in town. It is a rather small town, and I can walk from our school to the beach to the downtown in a matter of minutes.
      I look forward to blogging with you as well! Thank you for leaving us a quality comment. Hello to your wonderful teacher, Ms. Smith. From your comments, it looks like she has a great group of Huzzahnians this year.
      Good speed,
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

      • Hi again Mrs. Donofrio
        Thanks for replying! It ‘s great to know about ancient cultures. That would be really neat to live over the water and fish all day. I personally love to fish. One time a caught a “51” pound halibut! I can see why you love Venice. It would be really cool to live in a town with a rustic feel. I also think it would be quite fun to have your school right be a beautiful beach. It was great to talk to you again. See you on the blog!

        • Hi Logan,
          I am so impressed to read about your 51 lb. fish. It must have been almost as big as you! You would love to fish off the pier we have at our beach. Lots of people fish there and on the jetty, too. Sometimes they catch sharks, which is a little scary as people swim not too far from there. Venice is actually known as the Sharks’ Tooth Capital of the World. It is pretty easy to find sharks’ teeth on our beaches, but they are very small and black. I think they are from long gone sharks, and it takes years for their teeth to wash up on shore. I will be checking out Huzzah this weekend, and I will leave a comment there, too! What is your favorite post on Huzzah?
          ~Mrs. Donofrio

          • Hi again Mrs. Donofrio,
            Sorry to get back to you late. Thanksgiving was hectic and we have been busy starting our own blogs. I have already made one post on mine. That would be really scary to swim around sharks. That’s really cool that Venice is the shark tooth capital of the world. Some times we catch a type of shark called a dogfish or mudshark. My favorite post on Huzzah would have to be “Be more awesome”. If you look at our blog you can see that we have two new posts that fellow students have written. Have a great weekend. Bye!

  32. Hi Mrs.Donofrio
    Some of the things in know about Florida is that Jacksonville is the most populated Florida city and that we have more golf courses than any other state. Since I spent two years living in Louisiana with no beaches near me, except murky, polluted lakes, I now know how lucky I am to be by a clean beach. I have friends and family that tell me how lucky I am to live by the beach and how it’s always sunny here. One of the things I tell them is that it is usually raining here and only in the fall and winter is the weather is nice. I don’t like it so hot that my pool starts to boil. What do you think are some of the things that make Venice different than other Florida cities?

    • Hi Ben,
      I didn’t know that Jacksonville is the most populated Florida city. I would have put money on Miami. Thanks for teaching me something new today! I agree that we are very lucky to live near such a beautiful beach. Lots of people save their money all year to come to Venice for a week’s vacation. We are blessed to call Venice our home. I love our downtown on the island. I think it is one of the most picturesque downtowns I’ve ever seen. The fact that the heart of the town is on an island makes Venice unique. Or history with the Ringling Circus also makes our city special. Where would you like to live when you grow up?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  33. Hi Ms. Donofrio!

    My teacher told me that it was your birthday today so HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you get a big cake and a huge greeting from your class! What kind of things do you like to do on your birthday (not trying to be a stalker)? I love the time of the day when all the presents come into your hands! Anyway happy birthday again and sorry about going off topic about Venice :). Ciao!

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