From the Super Mario Wiki
Venice was featured in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "The Venice Menace". Kootie Pie Koopa wanted her own waterpark, so Bowser gave in by promising to warp the entire city of Venice to Dark Land. However, before Bowser could warp the city, he had to scare everyone away with the Doomsub.
Mario and Luigi traveled to Venice to fight Bowser, and while they were there, Mario felt a strange feeling in his bones. After finally vanquishing Bowser, a gondolier introduced them to the statues of Marco Polo's Plumbers in the heart of Venice. Because Mario and Luigi were descendants of the plumbers, Mario was uncontrollably attached to the city of Venice.
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