City of Venice seeks input on proposed improvements to Venezia Park

Earle Kimel
| Sarasota Herald-Tribune

VENICE – The city of Venice is seeking public input on future improvements planned for Venezia Park both through a Zoom meeting and an online survey.

The city is hosting a Zoom meeting at 3 p.m. on Oct. 15 to discuss the preliminary design for the park and is also conducting an online survey – with hard copies available at Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave., Venice – seeking additional input, too.

The park, located at 450 Nassau Street S., is located in the Venezia Park Historic District and is part of the original John Nolen plan.

New playground equipment was installed at the park in August.

All proposed improvements are passive and include ADA accommodations, picnic tables, park benches, a walking trail and landscaping.

All proposed park improvement will be funded through impact fees.

No additional parking is planned, and improvements will be placed around the existing trees.

Residents strongly voiced support for the existing population of Australian Pine trees, which are technically an invasive species, when the Venice City Council hosted a special parks meeting in January.

Then, the council urged staff to curtail what had been an ambitious plan to improve the park, using about $1 million in impact fees.

In previous years, the city has backed off any improvements to the park, unless the invasive species is removed.

The online survey is available through Oct. 30 at

Respondents are asked what amenities they would like to see, including bike racks and doggie bag/waste stations.

The Oct. 15 Zoom meeting can be monitored via phone by dialing 1-929-205-6099, then when the meeting ID is requested, enter 870 9676 7738 and then press the # key.

It can be monitored via computer, tablet or smartphone at To provide public comment,

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Uniworld’s La Venezia takes design cues from namesake city: Travel Weekly

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has released the first pictures of its newest super ship, La Venezia.

Based in its namesake of Venice, the ship is a top-to-bottom redo of the former River Countess, which was struck by an MSC Cruises ship while in port last year.

The ship, however, had already been scheduled to be converted as part of Uniworld’s ongoing program to turn its entire fleet into so-called super ships, with larger cabins and public spaces.

The private dining room on La Venezia.

The private dining room on La Venezia.

The main structural changes were adding two grand suites,  a private dining room with a demonstration kitchen used for pairing dinners and cooking lessons and a seating banquet with shade umbrellas on the top deck that runs down the center.

Uniworld CEO Ellen Bettridge said the new design, led by Uniworld’s artistic directors Toni Tollman and Brian Brennan, was inspired by the work of celebrated Italian artist and textile designer Mariano Fortuny.

“We are absolutely thrilled to share details of the S.S. La Venezia, inspired by the incredible artistry and vision of Mariano Fortuny,” said Bettridge. “Over a century after its founding, Fortuny continues to prize originality, made only possible by artisans deeply committed to their craft. This speaks to the Uniworld philosophy. For our guests, this means a setting and style of service that is wholly immersive in the enduring fascination and magic that is Venice; and is born from more than 100 years of experience.”

The sitting area in a suite on La Venezia.

The sitting area in a suite on La Venezia.

Tollman said the ship was designed to “complement and enhance its carefully curated Venetian itineraries” with design elements that include, in addition to Fortuny fabrics, Murano glass.

La Venezia is one four new Uniworld ships that began or was set to begin sailing this year. The Mekong Jewel, a

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