| ||Venice is an archipelago of 118 islands separated by 160 canals straddled by over 400 bridges located in the center of a lagoon separated from the sea by a barrier beach interspersed with three pedestrian bridges. Its main street, the Grand Canal, is lined with about a hundred palaces from the Renaissance and the baroque period built by rich Venetian merchants which show how important traders became when Venice opened up to the outside world. From the year 1000, the town imposed its supremacy on the Adriatic Sea, then on the whole Mediterranean Sea. It established manytrading posts there until the continental tides were supplanted by the maritime tides at the end of the 17th century. Venice then disappeared from the international commercial scene. Today, this disappearance could be complete: La Serenissima could disappear beneath the water. It has been flooded many times because some canals have been dredged deeper and larger, the Venetian ground is subsiding and sea levels are rising (by one fourth of an inch or 6 millimeters a year). As a result in the 20th century the lagoon average level has risen 23 cm. In 2002, an ambitious and costly project named Moses was adopted to close the passages that linked the sea to the lagoon. Around 80 mobile dikes should be installed and working in 2014, at a declared cost of 3.5 billion Euros.
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