During the Renaissance, the Republic of Venice was one of the most powerful city-states in Italy. Geographically and culturally removed from cities such as Rome and Florence, which were much further south, art in Venice was greatly inspired by Northern Europe and the East, including Islamic and Persian styles from the Ottoman Empire, formerly the Byzantine Empire. The climate in Venice was also different from other Italian cities. As the city itself was mostly water (Venice is essentially a series of islands connected by canals), it was too humid for fresco painting. Venetian painters preferred to work in oil paint, using bold colors such as deep reds, blues, and golds inspired by the east. Venetian artists also continued to make intricate mosaics in the Byzantine style, and the city’s architecture featured arches and domes more reminiscent of the east than the rest of Italy.