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->''"It's glorious! The streets are paved with water! You could ride a walrus to work!"''
-->-- '''Homer Simpson''', ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''

Perhaps it's for some aesthetic reason, or perhaps it's simply because they're so unusual -- for whatever reason, cities with canals instead of streets are a very popular setting, especially in fantasy. In stories set in the real world, or some alternate universe sharing its geography, this city is, of course, [[OliveGarden Venice]] -- there are actually other cities and towns with lots of canals, but none are quite as famous or as glamorous, especially since Venice renewed their efforts to make everything really nice and clean in the 1980s. Meanwhile, other worlds often have cities which are [[FantasyCounterpartCulture suspiciously similar to Venice]], usually (though not always) within an UsefulNotes/{{Italy}}-like country. [[SceneryPorn Pretty, old-fashioned European-style architecture]] and gondolas are optional, though common.

Besides Venice a number of real cities do actually have canals, though most lack Venice's aesthetics due to their most common, ahem, industrial function.



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* There's one in ''Franchise/DotHack'', Mac Anu, the first Root Town (city and only areas free of monsters) new players of The World see. It maintains it's presence in all .hack Media. After the destruction of The World's servers and creation of The World R:2 it has a new design with Steampunk elements though it keeps it's characteristic Canals. When The World R:X is released the design of R:2's version seems to be left intact but without the SteamPunk elements creating a fusion of sorts between the two.
* ''Manga/{{ARIA}}'' is set in the city of Neo Venezia, a copy of the original, with exact duplicates of some of the more famous landmarks, on a terraformed Mars and the source of a lot [[SceneryPorn beautiful imagery]].
** The choice of Mars for this is something of a HistoricalInJoke: due to a faulty translation of observations by Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, it was believed for quite a while that Mars had [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martian_canal dry canals]] belonging to some dead civilization.
* There was a Venice-y city called Aquroya in [[Anime/FullMetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]] of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', which was sinking so fast they didn't expect it to be there in five years' time.
* ''Animation/GuardianFairyMichel'' has Precia, which took a more realistic approach with the canals being full of stinky trash.
* The "Sad Country" in ''LightNovel/KinosJourney'' seems to consist of a city like this.
* Ginko of ''Manga/{{Mushishi}}'' visits one in the story "Hidden Cove."
* The island Water 7 in ''Manga/OnePiece'' is modeled after Venice, down to the canals and festival costumes. But [[UpToEleven exaggerated]].
* ''Anime/PokemonHeroes'', the fifth ''Film/{{Pokemon}}'' movie, was set in a City of Canals called Alto Mare (Italian for ''high sea''); the director visited Venice beforehand to scout out the city. Within the games, there's Canalave City in ''Pokémon Diamond and Pearl''.
* The Asturian capital in ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' is also depicted like this.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* New Venice from at least the early [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] ''Comicbook/{{Aquaman}}'' comics; an American town that had suffered permanent flooding and decided to go the canal route.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Drowntown}}'', London has become one, although not intentionally parts of the city have flooded due to GlobalWarming, but the city is still fully inhabited.

[[folder: Fanfic]]
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' RoundRobin ''Flipside'', published in ''The Wizard's Knob'' magazine in the mid 90s, had the city of Venialli, famed for its open sewers ... er, canals.
* ''FanFic/TheSunSoul'' does this with [[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Cerulean City]]. It isn't a huge plot device or anything, but it's obvious the author has some kind of love for SceneryPorn.

[[folder: Film]]
* Two ''Film/JamesBond'' films: ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'' and ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006''. The latter actually had Bond make a building sink by shooting at the buoys.
* Theed from ''Franchise/StarWars''.
* ''Film/BabePigInTheCity'' takes place in a mashuptropolis that, among other, weirder things, has Venice-style canals in place of streets.
* A significant amount of ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'' takes place in Venice.
** Which had catacombs underneath it.
* Venice plays a large role in ''Film/TheTalentedMrRipley''.
* ''Film/DontLookNow'', which made a point of making Venice look, well, a bit crap.
* The 2003 remake of ''[[Film/TheItalianJob2003 The Italian Job]]'' begins with the eponymous caper pulled off in Venice.
* The second act of ''Film/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'' film takes place in Venice, although some alternate Venice where the Bridge of Sighs is tall and wide enough to let the freighter-sized ''Nautilus'' pass under it and has long roads suitable for car chases.
* The rat undercity in ''WesternAnimation/FlushedAway''.
* The film ''Film/TheTourist'', starring Creator/AngelinaJolie and Creator/JohnnyDepp, is set primarily in Venice.
* The Dutch horror film ''Film/{{Amsterdamned}}'' is all about Amsterdam's canals, including a speedboat chase (which was filmed in Utrecht, incidentally).
* In the Israeli film ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaumilch_Canal Blaumilch Canal]]'', a lunatic named Blaumilch who steals a jackhammer and drills in the middle of Allenby Street (a major street in Tel-Aviv) and the bureaucracy is in such chaos they start believing he was actually authorised by someone; eventually, this leads to a variation of this Trope in the climax: [[spoiler:Blaumilch destroys the roads infrastructure so that the Mediterranean Sea comes gushing in, and City Hall celebrates the grand opening of Allenby Canal, with the mayor taking credit for the project and calling Tel-Aviv [[InvokedTrope Venice of the Mid East]].]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* The city of Tenochtitlán, both in real life and in Federico Andahazi's ''Literature/ElConquistador''.
* The eponymous city of Creator/CJCherryh's ''Literature/MerovingenNights'' shared-world anthology series.
* The city of New Venice in Creator/PeterFHamilton's sci fi ''Literature/CommonwealthSaga'' is a city of canals built by a property developer and is based on the original Venice.
* Creator/MichaelEnde's ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'' features a city that, while not technically a City of Canals, is surely an extension of this trope and must be inspired by Venice... it's a city of floating silver filigree palaces on a lake of tears.
* The first part of Mary Hoffman's ''Literature/{{Stravaganza}}'' series is set in an AlternateUniverse Renaissance version of Venice called Bellezza, presided over [[TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask by their beloved and masked Duchessa.]]
* Laketown in ''Literature/TheHobbit''
* Illian in Creator/RobertJordan's ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', although since corpses and human refuse are often dumped in some of the lower city's canals, they stink something awful.
* Creator/TanithLee's ''City of Venus''.
* Camorr in ''[[Literature/GentlemanBastard The Lies of Locke Lamora]]'' by Scott Lynch.
* Braavos in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''.
* The city of Urteau in ''[[Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy The Hero Of Ages]]'' '''had''' canals, but they dried up and they have street slots now. Canals are also used as a sort of highway system in the ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy''.
* Kai Meyer's ''Dark Reflections'' trilogy is partly set in an alternate Venice.
* One of the cities in the ''Fabled Lands'' series was very heavily based on Venice, being a major trading port with a Mediterranean climate and lots of canals.
* Kurjain, the capital city of Bethiya, in ''Literature/TheAssassinsOfTamurin''
* La Serenissima (an [[IstanbulNotConstantinople actual nickname of Venice]], sometimes called "The Serene Republic") in the ''Literature/KushielsLegacy'' books.
* Alastair Reynolds' short story "Zima Blue" has a planet with "one hundred and seventy first known duplicate of Venice, and one of only three Venices rendered entirely in white marble."
* Cornelia Funke's ''The Thief Lord'' is set in Venice.
* Waterfall City in {{Literature/Dinotopia}}.
* Utyrak, on the planet Salavat in the Breen Condederacy, in the ''Literature/StarTrekTyphonPact'' novel ''Zero-Sum Game''. Like all Breen cities it's underground, built on a subterranean canal network.
* Zarzaparilla Street in ''Literature/{{Palimpsest}}'' is a milky river covered in coats that must be navigated by gondola.
* In Stephen Hunt's ''Literature/JackelianSeries'', Hermetica City on Jago has a canal network, complete with gondolas and cargo barges. In this case, some of the canals are ''boiling hot'', Jago being a geothermally-active island which humans originally settled as a refuge during an Ice Age.
* In ''Literature/Birthright2017'', the city of Sangam, being built on the islands of a river delta, has an extensive series of canals. Most of them appear to be completely natural rather than man-made, complete with mangrove trees growing out of the water and along the banks.
* In Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities" there are numerous fictional cities full of canals.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "The Vampires of Venice" is set in 16th century Venice, which was, ironically, filmed in Croatia.
* Subverted in an episode of ''Series/TheDetectives'' where Bob and Dave are in Amsterdam (which also has a lot of canals) but ''[[CloudCuckooLander think]]'' they're in Venice.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': The Free City of Braavos, which is loosely based on Renaissance Venice, is built across several marshy islands in a lagoon and crisscrossed by hundreds of canals.

[[folder: Radio]]
* The Creator/BigFinish Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse audio drama ''The Stones of Venice'' was set in a 23rd century Venice on the point of sinking completely. With amphibious gondoliers.

[[folder: Tabletop RPG]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** Glantri City in the TabletopGame/{{Mystara}} setting.
** The TabletopGame/{{Eberron}} setting has something similar in Zarash'ak, the major city in the Shadow Marches. It's a collection of buildings and plazas built on stilts over a swamp and frequently connected by bridges. Unlike most cities of this sort, the Marchers don't use the canals to move around as much due to occasional [[NeverSmileAtACrocodile hostile]] [[ReptilesAreAbhorrent wildlife]].
* Marienburg, in ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasyRoleplay'', is based pretty closely on the real-world Amsterdam.
** The High Elf city of Tor Elyr in Ulthuan is also criss-crossed by minor river tributaries and canals.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'''s version of Hamburg is not only called "Venice of the North", it actually is one due to massive flooding in the early 21st century submerging large parts of the city, creating a maze of canals.
* Practically every Martian city in ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' is built around at least one giant canal and a few smaller ones that bring melt water down from the ice caps in the flow season.
* Vodacce in ''TabletopGame/SeventhSea'', FantasyCounterpartCulture version of Venice.

[[folder: Theatre]]
* ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'', though the plot doesn't make any use of the canals; back when the play was written, Venice was more famous for being a MerchantCity.
* ''Theatre/{{Volpone}}'', similar to the above.
* The first act of Creator/GilbertAndSullivan's ''Theatre/TheGondoliers''.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Atelier Iris 3|Grand Phantasm}}'' takes place in a City Of Canals. The gondolas are rowed by a fairy.
* The capital of [[SingleBiomePlanet water planet]] Hillys, from ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil''.
* Founder's Falls in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' is basically the game's Nob Hill, and has lots of canals running through the neighborhood proper to allow for yachting.
** And then there's Crey's Folly; before the Rikti War made a mess of it, its more-or-less official name was Venice, so called because of the canals designed to carry industrial waste.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** As the cities in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena Arena]]'' are [[RandomlyGeneratedLevels Randomnly Generated]], ''any'' city may be one of these. Most are not considered canonical, especially those that re-appear in later games and do not have canals.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' has Vivec, the {{Egopolis}} of the [[PhysicalGod Tribunal deity]], Vivec. It looks ''nothing'' like a European city -- each of its city blocks is a single gargantuan building (a 'canton') rising up from the water, and the bridges binding the cantons together are part of the buildings themselves. Still, it has gondoliers to ferry you around for a modest fee.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' has Bravil. The number of canals is more limited, but contributes well to the city's atmosphere as an impoverished dump. Its built over a swamp, after all. A modestly pestilential one.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' has Riften, a Bravil {{expy}} to the extent that it is a canal city and a WretchedHive.
* Canals and gondolas are a feature of the Kingdom of Cyrum in ''VideoGame/GrandiaII''.
* ''VideoGame/HouseOfTheDead'': ''2'' is set in Venice, with the player traversing the canals in Chapter 2: Muddy. Strangely, ''4'' is set in Venice with a layout of London (in the Japanese dub, 4 is set in London, likely a error in translation).
* ''VideoGame/HydroThunder'' has Venice Canals, is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* Various areas of Haven City in ''Franchise/JakAndDaxter'' has these; it helps when half the city is knee deep in water.
* ''[[VideoGame/TheJourneymanProject The Journeyman Project III: Legacy of Time]]'': {{Atlantis}}, complete with a gondola service. The chatty boatman fills you in on the background of the setting.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'' has one.
* ''VideoGame/Lineage2'' has [[UnfortunateNames Heine]]. Given that it's a water-themed city, there are naturally a lot of [[MakingASplash elves]] and [[BubblegloopSwamp swampy grindzones]] nearby.
* City on the Water in ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}''.
* There was one actually called "Canal City" on Planet Notak in ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankGoingCommando''.
* Soleanna in the 2006 ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006 Sonic the Hedgehog]]''.
* There's a city like this in ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny''.
* Venezia in ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia''. The canals make getting around a little annoying at first.
* ''VideoGame/TimeSplittersFuturePerfect'' has a deathmatch level called Venice.
* There's a level in ''VideoGame/TombRaiderII'' set in Venice.
* Stormwind of ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' has extensive canals, though it still has cobbled roads.
** So does the Undercity, although the canals in question contain mysterious green goo instead of regular water.
** Suramar City in ''Legion'' is much more Venice-like, complete with gondolas; diving into the canals is one of the best ways to escape from enemies.
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' has over a third of the game set in Venice.
* Shown in several parts of the ''VideoGame/SakuraWars'' franchise, which takes place in the 1920s; Tokyo once was full of canals, most of which are now gone because of World War I (or a Demon War) and urban development afterwards.
* Sigfried's level in ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries SoulCalibur]]'' for the Dreamcast is set in Venice.
* The Plaza maps in ''VideoGame/WaterWarfare'' have large, shallow canals running through them, but they're effectively drained--you can run in them without getting wet. However, you ''can'' refill your squirt guns by standing anywhere in them (so long as you hold still).
* Spinon from ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}'' combines this with FloatingContinent: it's a city in the sky with a network of canals which all flow right off the edge of the island.
* Sunken City in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons]]'' became one after it was flooded when the seasons went nuts.
* This is currently the only way to build a city with streets that can be driven on freely in VideoGame/{{Minecraft}} without using mods.
* Naturally one of the cities in the world of Valencia from ''VideoGame/{{Pirate 101}}'' has since it's based on Venice.

[[folder: Webcomics]]
* [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8031 Nuqrah'shareh]] from ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'' is a variant built around a twisting river BeneathTheEarth, with the holds of its ruling clans each residing on their own islands.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfSuperMarioBros3'' had Venice, which Kootie Pie wanted to flood to make a water park.
* The Northern Water Tribe's city in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' is something like this. Only it's made of ''ice'' with canals in it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Homer briefly turns Springfield into one of these. Surprisingly enough, no one's upset about this.
* The 1987 ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'' had the turtles touring Venice just in time for the Mardi Gras festival. Shredder and Krang plan flood the city with the Hydrofluxor.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* UsefulNotes/{{Venice}}, Italy, obviously.
* In addition, several cities are titled "The Venice of..." because of the identification of this trope with the city. These include Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Annecy in France, Bruges in Belgium, UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}} in Germany, St. Petersburg in Russia, Stockholm in Sweden, Ft. Lauderdale in Florida, Birmingham in England, Suzhou in China and Recife in Brazil; and of course the Venice of Asia, UsefulNotes/{{Bangkok}} in UsefulNotes/{{Thailand}}.
-->'''[[Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue Humphrey Lyttleton]]''': Birmingham, known as the "Venice of the North", by people who haven't been to Venice.
* Many, if not [[UpToEleven most]] cities of [[UsefulNotes/TheNetherlands the Netherlands]] - of [[CaptainObvious course]], since this is the country that most major European rivers end in, and it lies mostly below Sea Level. To note just some of the better-known cities: [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amsterdam Amsterdam]] (where Film/{{Amsterdamned}} takes place; and like noted above, this city has the nickname of "Venice of the North"); [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utrecht Utrecht]] (where most of the before-mentioned Film/{{Amsterdamned}} was actually shot); [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delft Delft]] (from Film/GirlWithAPearlEarring) and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leiden Leiden]] (from Film/SoldierOfOrange).
* Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire, which was located on top of Lake Texcoco in what is now Mexico. However, seeing as it was the seat of power of an ancient Native American culture far removed from anything resembling European culture, it really wasn't anything like Venice but even more beautiful according to the historical accounts.
* Venice, CA was Abbot Kinney's attempt to re-create this in UsefulNotes/LosAngeles.
* The ancient Sumerian city of Uruk was founded before 4000 BC, making it the UrExample.
* Phoenix, Arizona has several canals to supply the area's water needs, most of which have scenic walkways on either side. They also have historical significance, as many of them were dug by Native Americans in the area centuries before white settles arrived.
* There was some plan to do this in Raanana in Israel. [[WhatCouldHaveBeen It was quickly scrapped, though]].
* The practice of the native peoples around Lake Maracaibo of building their buildings on stilts in the lake led the Spanish to call the region around the lake "little Venice"--in their language, ''UsefulNotes/{{Venezuela}}''.
* Two cities are currently competing over the title of "Australia's Venice": Gold Coast (Queensland, south of Brisbane) and Woy Woy (New South Wales, north of Sydney). [[http://www.gold-coast.net/maps/mermaidbeachmap.gif Here's a map of Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast]], [[http://www.ozviews.com/MapWoyWoy.jpg and here's a map of southern Woy Woy]].
* Deliberately invoked when [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Grimaud Port Grimaud, France]] was constructed in 1966. Each of the (tiny) houses came with its own berth for a large-sized leisure boat