I've always wanted to try a Venetian game in Civ V - just never got around to it. Thanks for your tips Prinny! Good to see you again
With Venedig even more so than with other nations you needed to protect the Capital City's Zone of Influence of 5(!) hexes in each direction.
I also spend up to 10 turns exploring the initial Area before settling down, as you are really locked into your choice afterward. I would explore even longer if I wouldn't fall behind the Wonder race that much in doing so.
5 not 3 hexes because you can only harvest for the usual 3 Hexes away from the City with Citizens but your Border Growth will max out at 5 hexes. Luxury Ressources (and Strategic Ressources in this 5 Hexes benefit your empire if not directly the city itself.
5 Hexes is quite some distance especially with the slow groth of Cultural Borders and the Removal of Culture Bombing your neighbour for their Hexxes.
In SP it is usually manageable to block acces to settlers or using early game wars just to snatch enemy settlers away who want to settle in your Zone of Influence, in MP its another deal. The Moment my friends catched wind of me being Venedig they moved heaven and earth to settle in the 5 Hexes zone to annoy me.
>> I am usually a peacuful defensive war player only in Civ and try to go for Science victory. So not getting the full border extend as Venedig is reducing your possibilities significantly. Also they know I am usually very Hegemonial (read: over-zelous and rage-fitted-overprotective) of what I perceive as being my Lebensraum (zone of Influence) <<
But aside from that Venedig is a Economic Superpower as well. Focussing on Trade Wonders as well as naval Tech helps a lot (Colossus, Great Lighthouse) extending Trade-Route length and profitability.
One game I won against my Nemesis (his playstile is to f* up the plans of others as much as possible) barely holding out agains an all out (Nuclear) war because he couldn't win the war before the next United nation vote for World President. The round before he would have breached Venedig's City Walls the Vote came up....now he knew why I didn't buy 1000 Units to fight him...I bought the vote of every Nation and City State in reach.
I don't win often as Venedig, but when I do.... ;-P