Every year, more and more people choose the greater Venice area as the place they want to call home. The area's friendly, welcoming atmosphere makes settling in easy. With a wide variety of housing styles and prices, there is sure to be a home to suit every taste and budget. From the Italian-style architecture of downtown Venice to luxurious contemporaries, comfortable and affordable starter homes, waterfront condominiums, and villas along the fairways in a golf course community, the choices are many.

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Modern Venice is shaped by a rich heritage. The area of Venice is the home of the Calusas, Native Americans who have lived here for more than 12,000. Although Florida was occupied by the Spanish in the 16th century and became a state in 1845, much of its south western coast remained a wilderness. Homesteaders began settling in the region in the 1860s, founding Osprey in 1867 and a year later, Dona Bay, which is now Nokomis. A distinctive tree formation along the gulf shore earned the name Horse and Chaise for the town that became Venice in 1888. The suggestion to rename it after Italy's famous city of canals was made by Frank Higel. Around 1916, the climate and the natural beauty of the area captivated Dr. Fred Albee, a New York physician who purchased the entire village of Nokomis on Dona and Roberts Bay after just an eight-day visit. The area, which encompasses the city of Venice, became increasingly accessible in the 1920s with the coming of the Seaboard Railroad and the two-lane Tamiami Trail, which put Venice on the main route linking Tampa and Miami. Venice developed rapidly after the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers selected it as their retirement area in 1925. Working with citizens like Dr. Albee, who had a dream of making a model city of this gulf coast paradise, the union engaged John Nolen, a well-known Massachusetts city planner, to develop a plan for the city of Venice. Specifications that all construction be of the Italian style gave the city a unique character. Economic boosts occurred in 1932 when the Kentucky Military Institute moved into the San Marco Hotel and Orange Blossom Garage buildings, and again in 1941 with the creation of a U.S. Army base. Population grew from 863 in 1950 to nearly 10,000 in 1957. Following the arrival of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which made Venice its winter headquarters in 1960, the Venice area's population took another leap to 27,000 in 1962.

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