Islands of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg's debatable status as "the Venice of the North" is somewhat boosted by the fact that the city, like its Italian counterpart, is almost entirely built on a series of islands across the delta of the Neva River. The current number, as counted in 1975, is 42, although at the end of the 19th century it stood at 101. Many of them are, of course, only nominally islands, separated one from another by narrow canals or rivers and connected by the city's 342 bridges to form two seemingly continuous strips of land along the banks of the Neva. Some, however, are clearly separate from the rest of St. Petersburg, with a distinctive character or unique historic function that makes them of particular interest to visitors exploring the city.