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Venice

Venice is the most renowned of water cities, cosmopolitan from its very inception, a bridge from Europe towards the East and the Orient, a crossroads of cultures and trade, is located 1 meter above sea level in the heart of the Venetian Lagoon, on a irregular complex of islands. Ninety-eight cities line the shores of the Venetian Lagoon, Venice is the of the , a population of 271,367 (census estimate January 1, 2004). Together with , the city is included in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area (population 1,600,000). The city historically was an independent . The city stretches across 118 small islands in the marshy along the in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the (south) and the (north) Rivers. The population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole of Venezia; around 62,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large of and ; and 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon.

The overall level of immigration to Veneto and to Venice has grown particularly during the last decade. In particular, after the new Immigration Law in 2002 a wide part of illegal immigration was legalized. In 2005 the total number of workers was 203,435. In the same year the resident migrants were 320,793 (46.6% women, 24.1%  minors), 6.8% of the total resident population (national average 4.5%), with an increase of 33,061 migrants (+11.5%) related to 2004. In 2005 in the city of Venice the resident migrants were 14,769 (50.7% women, 24.4% minors), 5.5% of the total resident population, with an increase of 2,190 migrants (+17.4%) related to 2004.The main countries of origin of the immigrants in Veneto region are Morocco, Romania and Albania, whereas in Venice they are Bangladesh, Moldova and Ukraine. 62 % of residence permits are provided for the reason of job opportunities, 32% of the residence permits concerns the need of family’s re-union. In the region of Veneto the immigration is a long term structural phenomenon and therefore it is considered in this way by policies at local and at regional level. One of the most important features of the local policy is to support the migrants at the same level of the Italian people, because the main policy is to give the same opportunity to all the people, without difference between Italians and migrants.

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