Venice was built on 118 small islands off the coast of Italy. The islands are connected by different waterways and canals. Venice used these waterways and canals instead of roads, and instead of using cars, they use flat-bottom boats called gondolas. Gondolas are driven by gondoliers. Gondolas are used for transportation in Venice. Venice is even well known for its beautiful art and architecture. The most famous style of art in Venice is Venetian Gothic Architecture. A very important center for art is known as the Venetian School. Music is also a very important part of Venice. Opera was also very important in Venice. Antonio Vivaldi was a great composer who came from Venice. Marco Polo also lived in Venice. Also, out of all the first cities with a printing press and established business, Venice was one of them. A carnival in Venice has been held since the 12th century. Throughout the carnival, everyone wore a mask. They even had a contest to see who had the most beautiful mask.