The area of Venice was inhabited by the Calusas, Native Americans who lived more than 12,000 years ago. The European settlers began arriving in the area in the 1860s. At the time, the place south of Roberts Bay was known as "Horse and Chaise" because of trees on the shore that resembled a horse and buggy.
In the middle of 1880s, they had enough of a population to have their own post office. Maybe the old name did not sound attractive, maybe it was too long to be used as a part of an address, but they came with awesome idea to call the settlement Venice. And why not? Florida remotely resembles the Italian peninsula, and the name sounded good for a town on the coast...
In 1910, the railroad came to the town, linking it with Tampa. Doctor Fred Albee and his wife Luella arrived in 1916. He purchased vast acreage and commissioned famous architect John Nolen to design the city with the Northern Italian style of architecture. Venice was incorporated as a city in 1927. The next year, the Tamiami Trail (also known as US41) was completed, passing through Venice on its way to Miami.
The Venice Jetties were constructed, and a channel was dredged between them in 1937. Today, we can enjoy two nice parks on the either side. But Venice became an island only in 1967, when the Intracoastal Waterway was dug. Nowadays, the greater Venice includes five communities: the City of Venice, South Venice Beach, Nokomis, Laurel, and Osprey, with estimated population of 98,000.