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[[File: Venetian 2.jpg|200px|thumb|left|Painting of the Battle of Lepanto]]
==Venice and the Renaissance==
The city-state was always somewhat different from the rest of Italy. Its culture was more deeply influenced by the Byzantines than elsewhere. For many centuries, successive Doges had avoided becoming entangled in the mainland. The Venetians somewhat isolated from the rest of Italy did not really participate in the Renaissance until later than other parts of the peninsula. Moreover, the city straddled important Alpine trade routes and was deeply influenced by ideas and technologies from Northern Europe. This meant that the ‘Serene Republic’ had a distinctive culture. Another important aspect of the city-state was its relative independence from the Papacy. The Venetians were very independent- minded and often resisted Papal policies, even during the Counter-Reformation <ref>Ferraro, p. 117</ref>. As a result, the city provided a climate that allowed thinkers and artists a level of freedom that was not available elsewhere after the Counter-Reformation began in the early sixteenth century. This is most evident in the fact that the Inquisition was forbidden from operating in Venetian territories. As a result, while the culture of the Renaissance declined elsewhere it continued in Venice. While other cities began to culturally stagnate by the end 16th century, the city in the Adriatic was enjoying a period of artistic and intellectual brilliance.
==Venice and trade==