The history of Venice Italy.
A brief overview of the early days of the Veneto capital
It is not the easiest thing in the world to recount the history of Venice Italy, in a website page!
It’s about roughly 1500 years of history after all...
I will try to boil it down to just the main events.
Venice is the capital of Veneto, and it is situated on the north-eastern coast of Italy, just off the Adriatic Sea (the name of the eastern side of the Mediterraneo).
In the entire world, probably, there are only a few places that carry the charm and historical significance like this lagoon town. The history of Venice Italy, is tightly connected to its location, that is 118 small flat islands off the Veneto’s mainland.
As I mentioned, the town itself is built upon hundreds shallow islets in the Laguna Veneta, or Venetian Lagoon. Knowing the Venice history can only add to the already delightful aura that this old Veneto town carries.
The barbarian invasions and the beginning of the history of Venice Italy
Around 200 AD, with the roman empire being close to its end, more and more barbarian people, often germanic ones, began to cross the boundaries of the declining empire for destructive incursions and sometimes to settle.
The Veneto people of the time, unlike the Barbarians, had already a high level of culture and civilization.
They lived in old traditional towns of fine roman culture like Aquileia, Padua, Altino, Oderzo, Concordia. They were also known to be very skilled in breeding horses and in the glass artcraft.
The barbarian invasions lasted for many centuries. Italy had to deal with it too.
The coastal area was an easier passage for those invaiders coming from the north and east, heading for Rome.
The Barbarians were not known for their cordiality: the dreadful Uns, leaded by Attila, destroyed Aquileia in 453 putting to fire and sword all the territory inhabited by the Veneto people. Among those northern people were the Lombards too, hence the later name of the north western italian region of Lombardy.
Following those violent invasions, many of the people living the eastern coast of today’s Veneto were forced to flee, and so they headed towards the Adriatic Sea.
The history of Venice Italy begins with this escape
Those refugees headed for an archipelago of flat islands in a lagoon, protected from storm surges by a long beach located between the islets and the open sea – known today as Lido di Venezia (Venice Lido), and from any invaders from the sea itself. This tangle of canals and sands kept the strangers from venturing in.
One of the first establishments were some islets like Torcello and Malamocco.
Unknown to the desperate people, the history of Venice Italy, was about to begin.
Coping with the island life, the settlers did well with creating a living with farming and vast fisheries, building pile dwellings in which they lived.
With time, those island people became politically and commercially stronger and stronger.
So, being on their own, they started to elect their own governor, or doge, demonstrating more and more the desire to live as free people.
This Duke of Venice aligned with the son of Charlemagne, thus holding off the Byzantine rule, that had replaced the declining power of Rome. This move also put Venice at the center of all the world action at the time, laying the foundation of a rich and strong power.
Later on, the people of the islands made up their mind to join forces and establish their capital on Rivus Alto (deep water), today Rialto, the heart of Venice.
From then on, for Venice each day would get brighter and brighter.
Read more about the Venice history at the peak of its power and expansion
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