OF VENICE (ancient Mare Adriaticum), an arm of the Mediterranean, stretching m a northwestern direction from the Straits of Otranto, between the east coast of the Italian Peninsula, and the west coasts of Turkey, Dalmatia and Illyria; length, about 480 miles; average breadth, about 100 miles; area, esti mated at about 60,000 square miles. Its depth in the north, between Istria and Venice, is only from 12 to 20 fathoms, but increases in proceeding south to 100 fathoms near its cen tre, and to 500 fathoms between its centre and its entrance. At the straits between Otranto and Valona its depth does not exceed 350 fathoms, but increases very rapidly toward the Ionian Sea. Its opposite shores present a striking contrast, the east being generally, bold and rocky, lined with islands and furnished with good harbors, but thinly peopled and com paratively sterile; while the west are low, shal low, marshy and ill provided with harbors, though generally populous and fertile. The
Adriatic is evidently a continuation of the longitudinal valley of the Po, forming a long and narrow trough between the parallel ranges of the Apennines and the mountains of Illyria. The rivers which it receives, particularly the Po, its principal feeder, have produced, and are still producing, great geological changes in its basin by their alluvial deposits. Hence Adria, between the Po and the Adige, which gives the sea its name, though once a flourish ing seaport, is now 15 miles inland. The prin cipal trading ports on the Italian side are Brindisi, Bari, Ancona and Venice; on the opposite side, Ragusa, Fiume, Pirano, Pola and Trieste. From July 1915, the Adriatic Sea was the scene of great naval activity between Italy and Austria. See WAR, EUROPEAN.