History of Venetia - History

History of Venetia - History

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(PY: t. 689 (gross); 1. 226'0"; b. 27'0", dr. 15'0"
s. 13 k.; cpl. 69; a. 4 3", 2 mg.)

Venetia-a single-screw steel-hulled steam yacht built in 1904 at Leith, Scotland, by Hawthorne and Co. to plans drawn up by the designers Cox and King— was acquired by the Navy on 4 August 1917 from industrialist John Diedrich Spreckles for use as a patrol craft. Designated SP-431 and fitted out at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif., Venetia was commissioned at Mare Island on 15 October 1917, Comdr. Lewis B. Porterfield in command.

The converted yacht departed Mare Island on 23 October, transited the Panama Canal on 6 November and reached Philadelphia on 15 November. The ship underwent alterations at the Philadelphia Navy Yard— including the installation of new radio equipment— before she sailed for New York on 3 December. Following minor repairs at the New York Navy Yard from 4 to 15 December, Venetia returned to Philadelphia.

Four days before Christmas, Venetia sailed for European waters with SC-67 (allocated to the French Navy) in tow and in company with the converted yacht Lodonia (SP-700) which, in turn, had the French SC-178 in tow. The next day, they rendezvoused with Montauk ( SP-392 ) Gypsum Queen ( SP-430), and Barrtegat (SP-1232; off the Delaware Breakwater and headed for Bermuda where they arrived on the 26th and remained into the new year, 1918. The group got underway on the next leg of the transatlantic passage on 7 January and reached the Azores on the 23d. Venetia subsequently spent five days at sea, searching for a French subchaser (SC - 19) which had been separated from the convoy. The yacht eventually departed Ponta Delgada on 8 February in company with Nahant (SP-1250) and Penobscot (SP-982)—each ship towing a French subchaser. Arriving at Port Leixos Portugal, on the 13th, Venetia got underway again five days later, with the French SC-172 in tow, and arrived at Gibraltar on the 18th.

While undergoing voyage repairs, Venetia received a new depth charge rack and releasing gear. Thus outfitted, Venetia sailed on 2 March 1918 in the screen for a 28-ship convoy, bound for Bizerte, Tunisia. Other escorts sharing the mission included Cythera (SP575), Artemis (SP-593), and the French trawler Isole. Six days later, Venetia got underway back toward Gibraltar, escorting eight vessels, and returned to her home port on 12 March. Based at Gibraltar, the ship performed similar convoy escort missions in the Mediterranean for the duration of hostilities.

Her first contact with the enemy came that spring. On 11 May 1918, Venetia was steaming off the port quarter of a 7-knot convoy bound for Gibraltar, when a torpedo steaked past her bow, some 150 to 200 yards ahead. Lookouts on the armed yacht then sighted "a large amount of water" spouting into the air over the bow of SS Susette Fraisinette, a French steamship about 100 yards away. The merchantman had been torpedoed by UB-52 and later sank at 0412. While the French trawler Isole picked up 34 survivors from Susette Fraisinette, Venetia cruised in widening circles until 0520, carrying out a sector search for the offending U-boat. At 0527, the yacht's maintop lookout sighted UB-52 eight or nine miles away, standing well off the convoy's track and on a course between west and southwest.

Venetua, at general quarters, headed for UB-52 at full speed, keeping the submarine bearing one point to starboard, at intervals, as the submarine continued standing off to westward. Soon, the yacht gained perecptibility, and the U-boat came into better view. Her periscopes were down, and lookouts in the yacht noted that the enemy submersible mounted a single gun (a 3.4-inch weapon) forward of the small conning tower. The feet that the German's bow seemed "unusually high" out of the water-coupled with the feet that there was "no perceptible bow-wave"—led Comdr Porterfield to hope that either the enemy's diving apparatus was disabled ". or that he decided to shoot it out."

As Venetia bore down on UB-52, Porterfield laid out his battle plan: keep the U-boat one point on the starboard bow, open up with 3-inch gunfire at about 6,500 yards, machine guns at 2,000, "and finish by ramming him at full speed." Unfortunately, the U-boat's commander, Oberleutnant zur See Launburg, saw Venetia's approach and ordered his ship to dive. Porterfield took Venetia over where the U-boat had just "pulled the plug" and initiated a search. Venetia steamed in the vicinity, within a five-mile circle, probing until 0738. During that time, she dropped 13 depth bombs and subsequently set a course to keep the enemy from making further attacks on the convoy.

Twelve days later, UB-52 met her doom in the Adriatic at the hands of the British submarine HMS H-4. Survivors from the U-boat reported that Venetia's efforts had not only prevented further attacks on the convoy but had driven UB 52 off. Since Porterfield's action in doggedly pursuing the U-boat had aided substantially in saving the convoy, he received commendations from the British Senior Naval Officer, Gibraltar from Commander in Chief, Mediterranean, and from the American Patrol Force commander, Rear Admiral Wilson.

Back at sea with a convoy outward bound from Gibraltar soon thereafter, Venetia's next encounter with the enemy came within a week of her brush with UB-52. Just before nightfall on 17 May, the armed yacht was steaming on an irregular zig-zag pattern when the British steamship SS Sculptor took a torpedo from U S9. Venetia, two and one-half to three points abaft the beam of the stricken merchantman and 1,300 yards away, simultaneously sounded general quarters and rang down emergency full speed ahead.

As the yacht passed astern of Sculptor, Porterfield assumed that, after making her attack, the submarine had turned aft on the starboard side of the convoy. Venetia consequently dropped 300-pound depth charges set at 150-foot depth, between 1901 and 1902. At that point, the yacht's foretop lookout reported that he could see the wake of a submarine moving through the water. Ensign Willis L. DeCamp took station in the foretop and confirmed the lookout's report.

Venetia altered course and dropped depth charges ahead of the wake at 1906, 1908, 1909, 1911, and 1913. Meanwhile Surveyor stood by the damaged merchantman, and Venetia radioed Oran to send a tug. Wheeling (Gunboat No. 14) assisted in the attack, dropping seven depth charges; Venetia subsequently stood by Sculptor with orders to get her underway, if possible, in tow, and circled the crippled ship at 12 knots. By this time British trawler Corvi, French trawler Isole, and French subchasers SC-171 and SC-S50 picked up survivors and were standing by. Venetia then ordered Isole to rejoin the convoy.

However, the escorts were not nearly as successful driving away the attacker this time. Twice more, U-S9 closed the convoy, sinking British steamer SS Mavisbrook at 2028 and then damaging SS Elswick Grange at 2320. The latter eventually reached port under tow.

Venetia's next encounter with the enemy came less than two months later. On 20 July, the warship departed Gibraltar, bound for Genoa, Italy, as part of the screen for a convoy of 17 ships. Her fellow escorts were British trawler Kodama, British sloop Narcissus,Italian trawler Porto Torres, and American converted yacht Wenonah (SP-165).

Three days into the voyage, an enemy submarine lurking nearby, torpedoed the British merchantman SS Messidor at 1924. At that time, Venetia was steaming at 11 knots some 800 yards astern and was zigzagging to starboard of the convoy. Hearing the explosion, Venetia went to full speed and headed toward the front of the convoy. Between 1926 and 2000, she searched for the U-boat and dropped two British and 11 American depth charges. During that time, the ship once sighted a suspicious wake on the starboard bow. Venetia came hard right but, upon investigation, decided that the wake had not been made by either a submarine or a torpedo.

While the yacht continued searching for the submarine, she kept within sight of the sinking Messidor which her crewmen could see plainly in the moonlight. At 2025, the patrol craft passed within hailing distance of Kodama which was busy picking up survivors, asking for a count on the survivors and the missing. Kodama replied that she had not finished counting after telling the trawler to steam in a circle and continue counting until totals had been reached, Venetia continued the search for the U-boat.

Venetia neared Kodama again shortly under an hour later, and ascertained the count of survivors to be 33, with one man missing. Porterfield-not at all certain that Messidor would sink-wondered if he should not retain Messidor's officers to accompany the steamer to port in ease she could be towed in. He prepared a wireless message to Algiers asking for a tug and escort to either Algiers or Bougie, and stating that he would stand by Messidor until 0500 the next morning. However, all of his speculations were soon rendered academic, as Messidor began listing rapidly to starboard at 2230. Ten minutes later, the freighter rolled over and sank. Venetia then headed northward to catch up with the convoy and joined at 0746 on 24 July, two days later, the convoy arrived at Genoa without further incident.

Venetia returned to Gibraltar with a 20-ship convoy on 1 August after an uneventful passage. The next day Comdr. Porterfield was relieved by Capt. C. F. Howell USCG, as commanding officer. On the 16th of that month, the armed yacht began a refit and overhaul at Gibraltar, entering drydock on the 26th for hull repairs. Venetia put to sea on 14 September with an 11-ship convoy and arrived at Genca six days later. She returned to her home base on 26 September, convoying 19 ships safely to port.

Venetia subsequently conducted two more round-trip convoy escort voyages-one to Genoa and one to Bizerte —before she departed Gibraltar on 6 November, bound for Madeira, in company with Survegor. The ships arrived at Funchal, Madeira, on the 9th, and Venetia departed on the 11th, the day that the armistice was signed at Compiegne, France, ending World War I.

The armed yacht made arrival at Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, on the 13th, en route to Gibraltar, which she reached on the 19th.

During her last month in European waters, Venetia made a round-trip voyage to Portugal before sailing for the United States on 21 December, towing SC-228 as part of a homeward-bound subchaser detachment built around the tender Hannibal. Later towing SC 330 the yacht reached Ponta Delgada on the day after Christmas. Subsequently touching at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Venetia arrived at Guantanamo Bay on 31 January 1919. She transited the Panama Canal on 3 February and reached San Francisco on the 20th. One week later, on 27 February 1919, Venetia shifted to the Mare Island Navy Yard where she was decommissioned, and all of her military fittings were removed. She was returned to her owner on 4 April 1919.

Venetia remained under the ownership of the entrepreneur John D. Spreekles until his death in June of 1926. The graceful yacht was then sold to James Play
fair, who owned the ship from 1928 to 1939. The ownership of the erstwhile convoy escort and patrol craft changed hands again in 1940, when R. S. Misener acquired the ship. After some 65 years in operation— the latter years on the Great Lakes-she disappeared from the Lloyd's Register of Yachts in 1968.

History of Venice

Uniquely among Italy’s chief cities, Venice came into being after the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. The Lombard hordes, whose incursions into northern Italy began in ad 568, drove great numbers of mainlanders onto the islands of the lagoon, previously the homes of itinerant fishermen and salt workers. The isolated communities, literally islands of Veneto- Byzantine civilization, became part of the exarchate of Ravenna when it was created in 584. When the mainland Byzantine city of Oderzo fell to the Lombards in 641, political authority was shifted to one of the islands in the Venetian lagoon.

The first elected doge, or duke, was Orso, chosen in an anti-Byzantine military declaration in 727, but he was succeeded by Byzantine officials until about 751, when the exarchate of Ravenna came to an end. There followed decades of internal political strife among various settlements vying for supremacy and between pro- and anti-Byzantine factions also involved were attempts by church authorities to acquire temporal influence. Finally the doge Obelerio and his brother Beato formed an alliance with the Franks of Italy and placed Venice under the authority of the Italian king Pippin (died 810) in order to free themselves from Byzantine control.

Pro-Byzantine reaction to this event under the doges of the Parteciaco family led to the transfer of the seat of government to the Rialto group of islands, by then the centre for exiles in the factional fighting. Though a Franco-Byzantine treaty of 814 guaranteed to Venice political and juridical independence from the rule of the Western Empire, it did not confirm any effective dependence on the Byzantine Empire, and by 840–841 the doge was negotiating international agreements in his own name. The unusual legal and political position of the small independent duchy, situated in territorial isolation between two great empires, contributed greatly to its function as a trading intermediary.

A long succession of serious disputes between leading families concerning the office of doge did not halt the rapid development of trade. Increase in private wealth led to the gradual achievement of internal stability by creating a broader ruling class that was capable of putting a limit to the power of the doge. Gradually a national consciousness developed. Beginning in the late 9th century, the doges were chosen by popular election, though the right was frequently abused during times of civil strife. Finally the group of Rialto islands was solemnly transformed into the city of Venice (civitas Venetiarum).

The acquisition of Venetia and Rome

Two years later, in June 1866, the outbreak of war between Austria and Prussia diverted attention from Rome to Venetia. The Italian government of Alfonso La Marmora, under the terms of an alliance with Prussia, attacked Austrian-held Venetia when Prussia attacked Austria from the north, but the Italians met defeat both on land at Custoza (June 24) and at sea near Lissa (July 20). In July Garibaldi led a band of volunteers who cooperated with regular army units to achieve some moderate success near Trento, but the government ordered him to withdraw when Austria and Germany concluded an armistice. Through the mediation of Napoleon III, Italy obtained Venetia in the Treaty of Vienna (October 3, 1866). In the spring of 1867, Rattazzi returned to power and permitted Garibaldi to station volunteers along the papal border. However, a renewed attempt to march on Rome merely brought back French troops, who defeated Garibaldi at Mentana on November 3. Arrested once again, he was sentenced to house arrest on the remote island of Caprera, between Sardinia and Corsica, where he owned some property. Italy suffered a marked loss of prestige politically and militarily, and the internal situation was far from favourable. Separatist revolts occurred in Palermo in 1866. In 1869 Parma and other cities rose in rebellion against the macinato (“grist tax”) and other taxes levied to finance the reorganization of the armed forces.

The Lanza- Sella government, formed in December 1869, was perhaps the most typical among the centre-right cabinets of this period. It repressed Mazzinian opposition, advocated free trade, and was cautious in foreign affairs, although, in its careful subservience to France, it nearly acquiesced to the king’s desire to intervene in the Franco-German War.

Yet, despite its lack of brilliance, the Lanza-Sella government resolved the Roman Question. Napoleon III’s defeat and abdication deprived the pope of French military protection. Therefore, on September 20, 1870, following a token armed resistance by the papal army, Italian troops breached the city’s walls at Porta Pia and entered Rome. Refusing to accept Italy’s occupation of the city, Pius IX withdrew and declared himself a prisoner in the Vatican palace, a position that his successors maintained until 1929.

History of Venetian Masks

Venetian masks have a long history of protecting their wearer's identity during promiscuous or decadent activities. Made for centuries in Venice, these distinctive masks were formed from paper-mache and wildly decorated with fur, fabric, gems, or feathers. Eventually, Venetian masks re-emerged as the emblem of Carnevale (Venetian Carnival), a pageant and street fair celebrating hedonism.
Venetian masks have been worn in Venice, Italy, since antiquity.
Unlike the vast majority of their counterparts in contemporary European nations, each citizen in Venice enjoyed a high standard of living. Everyone was part of the great economic machine that was the Republic. Venice was capitalizing on its position, on its gains, long before its contemporaries had realized the value of a market economy. With a level of social wealth unequaled since, the citizens of Venice developed a unique culture&mdashone in which the concealing of the identity in daily life became paramount to daily activity. Part of the secrecy was pragmatic: there were things to do, people to see, and perhaps you might not want others to know what deals you were cutting. After all, the city is relatively small.
Additionally, the masks served an important social purpose of keeping every citizen on an equal playing field. Masked, a servant could be mistaken for a nobleman&mdashor vice versa. State inquisitors and spies could question citizens without fear of their true identity being discovered (and citizens could answer without fear of retribution). The morale of the people was maintained through the use of masks&mdashfor with no faces, everyone had voices.
As a result of the concealment of identity, however, people naturally found themselves taking advantage of the situation. The society grew ever more decadent. The immense amount of travelers coming through the city meant that sexual promiscuity was commonplace and acceptable. Gambling went on all day and night in the streets and houses, even in convents. Women's clothing became more revealing homosexuality, while publicly condemned, was embraced by the populace. Even the nuns and monks of the clergy, bejeweled and dressed in the latest imported creations, wore masks and engaged in the same acts as the majority of their fellow citizens. Rome turned a blind eye, as long as the Republic continued to make generous donations.
The Republic fell into a state of luxury, indolence, and moral decay. Eventually the wearing of masks in daily life was banned and limited only to certain months of the year. During the last year of the Republic's existence, this period extended for over three months from December 26. After the 1100s, the masquerade went through periods of being outlawed by the Catholic Church, especially during holy days. Their policy leads to eventual acceptance when they declared the months between Christmas and Shrove Tuesday free for Venetian mask - attired decadence. This period evolved into Carnival, the pre-Lent celebration meaning, "remove meat." Although Venetian Carnival lost popularity as Venice's cultural production faltered during the Enlightenment, it was officially reintroduced in 1979.
The modern celebration of Venetian Carnival has reinvigorated the art and craft of making Venetian masks. Recognizable types of Venetian masks continue to dazzle tourists, dancers, and pageant participants during Carnival and year round. Wearing Venetian masks has spread to Halloween masquerade balls and what North and South Americans call Mardi Gras, but they always carry their rich Italian history.

In general all Venetian masks may be classified under two major groups:


These masks date back to the second half of the sixteenth century and represent characters, ethnic traditions, professions and trades closely tied to the different cities of Italy personified by professional actors in the Commedia dell'Arte (means Art of Comedy in Italian)

Commedia dell'Arte was a form of improvisational theater, which began in the 16th century and was popular until the 18th century, although it is still performed today. Traveling teams of players would set up an outdoor stage and provide amusement in the form of juggling, acrobatics, and, more typically, humorous plays based on a repertoire of established characters with a rough storyline, called Canovaccio.
Troupes occasionally would perform directly from the back of their traveling wagon, but this is more typical of Carro di Tespi, a sort of traveling theatre that dates back to antiquity.

The performances were improvised around a repertory of stock conventional situations, adultery, jealousy, old age, love, some of which can be traced in Roman comedies of Plautus and Terence. The dialogue and action could easily be made topical and adjusted to satirize local scandals, current events, or regional tastes, mixed with ancient jokes and punch lines. Characters were identified by costume,masks, and even props, such as the slapstick.
Male Commedia dell'Arte characters were depicted by actors wearing masks representing regions or towns. The female characters, however, were usually not masked. In fact, the roles were often played by males in women's clothing and wigs, in travesti, as it is called.

Thus, the Commedia dell'Arte, with its stock situations and characters and improvised dialogue, has shown the way to many other forms of drama, from pantomime and Punch and Judy - which features debased forms of the commedia characters - to the modern animated cartoon, situation comedy, and even professional wrestling. The characters and tropes of the Commedia have also been used in modern novels, from sword and sorcery to literary works, notably by Michael Moorcock in his Jerry Cornelius stories that culminate with the Guardian prize-winning The Condition of Muzak.

ARLECCHINO is a most popular of Zanni or comic servant characters from the Italian Commedia dell'Arte. Arlecchino traditionally wore an outfit of patches and rags, which evolved into the lozenge-shaped motley seen today. His mask was black with a large red blemish on his forehead similar to a boil.
The primary aspect of Arlecchino was his physical agility. While generally depicted as quite stupid and greedy (in a gastronomic sense) his acrobatics were what an audience expected to see. The character would never simply perform an action when the addition of a cartwheel or back flip would spice up the movement.
Within these restrictions the character was terribly elastic. Various troupes and actors would alter his behavior to suit style, personal preferences, or even the particular scenario being performed.
He is typically cast as the servant of an innamorato or vecchio much to the detriment of his master's plans. Arlecchino often had a love interest in the person of Colombina, and his lust for her was only superseded by his desire for food or fear of his master.
The origins of the name are uncertain. Some say it comes from Dante's Commedia where one of devils is called Alichino. Others say it could come from Harlenkoenig, a Scandinavian hero. In another hypothesis it comes from Harlay, an English gentleman of the court of Henri III, who had protected an Italian actor.

BRIGHELLA is a comic, masked character from the Commedia dell'Arte, a money-grubbing villain and a partner of Arlecchino. His costume consisted of loosely fitting, white smock and pants with green trim and was often equipped with a battachio or slapstick. He wore a green half-mask displaying a look of preternatural lust and greed.
He is loosely categorized as one of the Zanni or servant characters though he often was portrayed as a member of the middle class such as a tavern owner. He is essentially Arlecchino's smarter and much more vindictive older brother. As is typical of those who have risen from poverty, he is often most cruel to those beneath him on the social ladder.
He is an inveterate schemer. Frequently paired with other Zanni as his assistants or employees, Brighella's plans were frequently foiled by their own ineptitude.

BURRATINO is a minor character from the Commedia dell'arte, one from the Zanni class.He is often not a servant, but is not well to do either. He is the quick witted earthy fellow who might be the innkeeper or grocer. If he is not a servant, he is often friends with them.
Though only mildly popular on the stage, Burrattino found his real fame in the marionette theater. According to Pierre Louis Ducharte, Burrattino puppet's influence in Italy was so great that "by the end of the sixteenth century, all marionettes operated by strings and a wire were called burattini, instead of bagatelli or fantoccini, as they had been known up to that time."

CAPITAN SCARAMOUCHE either a young man of adventure or a quite old mariner, a boasting, swashbuckling officer, often Spanish, dressed-to-kill in cape, feathered hat, high boots, with sword in belt, was always a prime favorite. He told extraordinary tales about how he beat a whole army of Turks and carried off the beard of the Sultan, but when there was a hint of real danger he was the first to run away. He made love to the none-too-innocent servant maid, and got trashed by her Harlequin lover. This character, of course, is none other than the Miles Glorious of Plautus, called in Italy Il Capitano Spavento della Valle Inferno, or simply Spavento.

COLOMBINA (means "little dove" in Italian) is a comic servant character from the Commedia dell'Arte. Colombina was usually dressed in a ragged and patched dress appropriate to a hired servant. Occasionally, under the name Arlecchina she would wear motley similar to her counterpart Arlecchino. She was also known to wear heavy makeup around her eyes and carry a tambourine which she could use to fend off the amorous advances of Pantalone. She was often the only functional intellect on the stage. Colombina aided her mistress, the inamorata to gain the affections of her one true love by manipulating Arlecchino and counter-plotting against Pantalone while simultaneously managing the whereabouts of the inamorato.

ILL DOTTORE is a local aristocrat and/or doctor of medicine or law or anything else he claims to know about, which is most things. He traditionally is portrayed as having been educated in Bologna. He is often extremely rich, generally with "old" money, though the needs of the scenario might have things otherwise. He is extremely pompous, and loves the sound of his own voice, spouting ersatz Latin and Greek. His interaction in the play is usually mostly with Pantalone, either as a friend, mentor or competitor.
He is typically depicted as an elderly man who only knows nonsense. He makes many cruel jokes about the opposite sex and believes that he knows everything about everything. He is an obese man that enjoys the bottle and eating to excess. His mask is unique in that it is the only mask in Commedia dell'Arte to cover only the forehead and nose. It is sometimes black in color or else flesh-toned with a red nose.
His costume is usually all or mostly black, sometimes with a white collar. He frequently wears a hat, and long, trailing robes. If the actor playing the role is not naturally fat then he is padded out to make him seem so.

PANTALONE is a miserly, libidinous, aged character from the Commedia dell'Arte. Usually he is a shopkeeper from Vienna, somewhat stupid, fond of food and of pretty women, talkative, gullible, full of temper, and the butt of all the jokes, some of them very indecent, yet forgiving in the end.
He traditionally wears a large codpiece to advertise his virility, which everyone around him knows to be long gone.
He is often cast as the parent of one of the inamorata and has some business or personal relationship with Dottore or Capitano. Pantalone's plans to profit at the expense of his family and friends are guaranteed to be thwarted by his servant. He traditionally wears a large codpiece to advertise his virility (which everyone around him knows to be long gone) along with a mask with a long hooked nose, a tight red vest, red breeches and stockings, a black cassock, slippers and a brimless hat.

PIERROT (Pedrolino in his Italian incarnation) is a stock figure in the Commedia dell'Arte. Pierrot is normally portrayed as personable, charming and kind, to the point of excess he blames himself for wrongs never done and because of his good and trusting nature is often easily tricked. The noticeable feature of Pierrot's behavior is his naiveness, he is seen as a fool, always being cheated and joked on by the others. Despite his suspicions about things, Pierrot always ends up trusting people and believing in their lies. Pierrot is also called as a lunatic, an a person outside the reality, in a state of unawareness about what's happening around, someone for whom anything matters, just cheering and playing all the time.
Pierrot wears white clothes, which are occasionally overlarge for him but more commonly are well fitted, and sometimes black accessories. On his head he wears a hat that is either tall and pointed or else small and brimmed. Pierrot is very occasionally depicted with a teardrop on his face, and he usually wears no mask the actor is generally expected to have a great range of facial expression, and this tradition has been in play since at least the start of the 1600s. His face is sometimes whitened with powder or flour.

PULCINELLA is a classical character that originated in the Commedia dell'Arte of the 17th century, a hunchback who still chases women. Pulcinella was the model for Punch in the English variation Punch and Judy. Pulcinella became a stock character in Neapolitan puppetry. His main characteristic, from which he acquired his name, is his extremely long nose, which resembles a beak. In Latin, this was a pullus gallinaceus, which led to the word "Pulliciniello" and "Pulcinella", related to the Italian pulcino or chick. His traditional temperament is to be mean, vicious, and crafty: Pulcinella main mode of defense is to pretend to be too stupid to know what's going on, and his secondary mode is to physically beat people.
Pulcinella often wears a black mask and long white coat, and has loose and straggly hair.

ZANNI is the archetype of the comic servant characters of the Commedia dell'arte. Its name comes from Giovanni (also said Zan, Zane, Zuane), a typical name of servants whose forefathers emigrated in Venice search for work from the valleys around Bergamo. Opposed to the Magnifici (the masters), the role of the Zanni is very changeable: silly, simple-minded, and vulgar. Once inside the city environment Zanni becomes sly, cunning, meddling, and cheeky. Many times he remains poor, constantly hungry.
Zanni's costume was loosely fitting white smock and pants. He wore a black mask reminiscent of his more popular descendant, Arlecchino.


Venetian Mask is the object, which most represents Venice, because it plays the Venetian spirit projected towards the party, the transgression and the amusement. There were many occasions when people turned to dressing up, in fact masks were worn many months of the year. In the eighteenth century, Venice enjoyed the reputation of having the most famous Carnival in the world. All the social classes took part and the mask represented the trick for the expression of that big collective magic.

BAUTA is famous through the Carnival of Venice as it is the main type of mask worn during the Carnival. Bauta was used also on many other occasions as a device for hiding the wearer's identity and social status. It would permit the wearer to act more freely in cases where he or she wanted to interact with other members of the society outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention. It was thus useful for a variety of purposes, some of them illicit or criminal, others just personal, such as romantic encounters.
The name Bauta does not have up to now, a definite interpretation. It may came from the German "behten" (to protect), as well as from "bau"(or "babau"), typical Italian representation of the monster, or bad beast, used by adults to scare children. "Se non stai bravo viene il babau e ti porta via &hellip (if you do not behave, the babau will come and take you away &hellip)".
This very Venetian mask was considered an ideal disguise by kings and princes who could move freely into the city without being recognized but was worn by strangers too. Fame of the Bauta went on along the Serenissima Republic, with the French and Austrian rules it started to disappear, considered as a reactionary symbol.
Bauta is quite ghostlike and with the centuries the fashion was to wear it with a black tricorno (the 3-pointed typical Venetian hat), zendale (long hood made of satin and macrame), and long cape.

DAMA , which presents many elegant variations corresponds to the ladies of the Cinquecento (the period of Titian) who covered themselves in jewels, expensive clothing and elaborate coifs. In our days this is probably the most popular and most beautiful mask type used during the Venetian Carnival.

GATTO (means cat in Italian) is a traditional Venetian Carnival mask. Cats were so scarce in Venice that they became the subject of one of the most typical masks. Legend has it that a man who owned nothing but his old cat came to Venice from China. The cat rid the palace of all its mice and the man became rich. When he went back home, his rich neighbor was green with envy and rushed to Venice with his most precious silks, thinking that if a mere cat made the other man rich, he would be enormously rewarded for these precious items. Indeed, the Duke promised him his most precious possession in return for his gifts. and the neighbor went home with the cat!

JESTER , or JOLLY as a female variant, is a specific type of clown mostly associated with the Middle Ages. Starting in Italy, Jester moved into all of Europe, influencing theatre in Spain, Holland, Germany, Austria, England, and especially, France.
The origins of the Jester are said to have been in prehistoric Western tribal society. Pliny the Elder mentions a royal Jester (planus regius) when recounting Apelles' visit to the palace of the Hellenistic King Ptolemy I. However, Jesters are mainly thought of in association with the European Middle Ages. Jester was symbolic twin of the king. All Jesters and fools in those days were thought of as special cases whom God had touched with a childlike madness&mdasha gift, or perhaps a curse. Mentally handicapped people sometimes found employment by capering and behaving in an amusing way. In the harsh world of medieval Europe, people who might not be able to survive any other way thus found a social niche.
Jesters typically wore brightly colored clothing in a motley pattern. Their hats were especially distinctive made of cloth, they were floppy with three points, each of which had a jingle bell at the end. The three points of the hat represent the asses' ears and tail worn by Jesters in earlier times. Other things distinctive about the jester were his incessant laughter and his mock scepter, known as a bauble or marotte.

MORETTA is traditional Venetian mask. This mask was worn by Venetian women all year around. Moretta is an oval mask of black velvet that was usually worn by women visiting convents. It was invented in France and rapidly became popular in Venice as it brought out the beauty of feminine features. The mask was finished off with a veil.

VOLTO (means face in Italian) also known as the Citizen mask, because it was worn by the common people during all Holidays since ancient time: S. Marco's day, Sensa feast day, S. Vito and Modesto, S. Stefano festivities are only a few examples.

DOTTORE PESTE is a modern Venetian Carnival mask. This mask has a very unique history. One of the worst scourges for the city of Venice was without any doubt the Plague, which struck the city on several occasions. Because of this the Plague Doctor isn't a real mask but was a disguise used by local plague doctors who went on visits wearing this strange costume to people afflicted with plague.
Dottore Peste outfit consisted of a hat to show that the man was a doctor, a mask to protect the face which included crystal eyes to protect the wearer's eyes and the beak which was stuffed with spices or herbs to purify the air that the doctor breathed, a wooden stick to push away victims who would get too close to him, a pair of leather gloves to protect the hands, a gown waxed from the exterior, and full length boots.

Major Events

Franco-Austrian War, 1859 .

After striking an alliance with Napoleon III’s France, Piedmont-Sardinia provoked Austria to declare war in 1859, thus launching the conflict that served to unify the northern Italian states together against their common enemy: the Austrian Army. The Austrians suffered military defeats at Magenta and Solferino, and a ceasefire was agreed to at Villafranca. In the peace negotiations, Austria ceded Lombardy to France, which then ceded it to Piedmont-Sardinia.

Proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, 1861 .

The aftermath of the Franco-Austrian War brought about a series of plebiscites in the northern Italian states. By going to the ballot box, the states voted to join Piedmont-Sardinia, with the ultimate goal of unifying the entire peninsula. It should be noted that Piedmont-Sardinia was one of the more powerful states in the peninsula, as well as having one of the most liberal political systems. Garibaldi’s march to “liberate” the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1860 brought the southern peninsula into the fold, and the new Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed on March 17, 1861, with the royal family of Piedmont-Sardinia as the new ruling monarchs of Italy.

U.S. Recognition of Italian Independence, 1861 .

The United States officially recognized the Kingdom of Italy when it accepted the credentials of Chevalier Joseph Bertinatti as Minister Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Italy on April 11, 1861.

Addition of Venetia, 1866 .

The Kingdom of Italy added Venetia to its holdings in 1866 following the Austrian defeat in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War.

Incorporation of Rome, 1870 .

French troops were the main barrier to Italian occupation of the Papal States after 1867 however, when France declared war upon Prussia in the summer of 1870, the Italians took advantage of the situation. With French resources allocated to the struggle of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), Napoleon III ordered his troops out of the Italian peninsula. The Italians entered the Papal States in September 1870 and, through the backing of a plebiscite held in early October, annexed the Papal States and Rome to the Kingdom of Italy.

U.S. Legation to the Kingdom of Italy moves to Florence and then Rome, 1865-71 .

When the Kingdom of Italy moved its seat of government from Turin to Florence in 1865, the U.S. Legation followed. During the summer of 1871, the Italian capital moved from Florence to Rome, reflecting the completion of unification. George P. Marsh, as U.S. Minister Plenipotentiary, oversaw the move of the U.S. Legation from Turin to Florence in 1865 and from Florence to Rome in 1871.


The Kingdom of Venetia is a feudal monarchy of hereditary titles, where one man stands above other men in his ownership of the land. Ownership of land passes from a father to a son or a childless man to his brothers upon the death of the previous owner. Every plot of land is tied to a title or lordship, modelled after Latin terms. Small lords have the title of Kentir (Count) and most of them owe fealty to another lord rather than directly to the king. Lords whose oath is to the king are called Komitos Emperatory (Companions of the King). When the kingdom was founded, Rome honored Chief Gniewen as a victorious general, for his conquest and union of nearby lands on behalf of Rome, and gave him its title of imperator. For this reason, every king after Gniewen has been referred to as Emperator (King of Venetia), emphasizing his status as an effective general of the Roman Empire.


Two groups of lords assist an Emperator in his administration. The royal council is his Senat, consisting of brothers, uncles, or even sons of Companions of the King. Some Companions have more than one relative in the Senat whereas others do not have family there, since membership in the Senat is entirely at the whim of the king. A senatir was considered a peer to a count, earning him the privilege of being addressed with certain honorifics (e.g. a senatir named Bolis must be addressed as Pan Bolis). There are no distinctions between members of the Senat every senatir is a general advisor to the king, giving him counsel when requested.

For proper administration, men of merit may be selected by the king for the Regis Suvetis (King's Assembly). A member of the Suvetis has the distinction of Magestir and must be addressed on the same footing as a Companion of the King. Although many Magestirs are from the families of the nobility, some kings have brought Roman citizens in as Magestirs, although there are rarely more than two or three Romans in the Suvetis at one time. Unlike the Senat, whose membership has varied over time from none to more than thirty lords, the Suvetis has a more stable membership, since each Magestir has a particular duty. In general, every Magestir is tasked with exercising the will of the king, both within the crown lands and among the lands of his feudal lords.

Another essential advisor in the court of the Emperetor is the dignitatum venetium (ambassador to the Venetians). As the only direct contact between Venetia and the Roman Senate, the ambassador is the source of a wealth of geopolitical information for the Emperator and his Magestirs. For most Emperators, the Roman ambassador is his most trusted advisor and the most influential member of his court. The presence of the dignitatum represents the presence of the Roman Empire in Venetia and his treatment is seen to reflect the regard of the Venetian Court for Rome. To some degree, the dignitatum can force the Emperator of Venetia to take certain actions, when he can convince him that the empire would respond with an invasion should he refuse. However, some Emperators knew their position with Rome and were aware that the Roman Senate would not invade over trivial affairs, giving them greater autonomy from the authority of the Roman ambassador.


Geomorphology Edit

Veneto is the 8th largest region in Italy, with a total area of 18,398.9 km 2 (7,103.9 sq mi). It is located in the north-eastern part of Italy and is bordered to the east by Friuli-Venezia Giulia, to the south by Emilia-Romagna, to the west by Lombardy and to the north by Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. In its northernmost corner it also borders Austria.

The north–south extension of Veneto is 210 km (130 mi) from the Austrian border to the mouth of the River Po. By area, 29% of its surface is mountainous (Carnic Alps, eastern Dolomites and Venetian Prealps). The highest massif in the Dolomites is the Marmolada-massif at 3,342 m (10,965 ft). Other dolomitic peaks are the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the Pale di San Martino. The Venetian Prealps are not as high and range between 700 m (2,300 ft) and 2,200 m (7,200 ft). A distinctive characteristic of the Pre-alps are the cave formations, including chasms and sink holes the Spluga della Preta, situated in the Monte Lessini chain in the province of Verona, has an explored depth of 985 m (3,232 ft), being the deepest cave in Italy. Fossil deposits are also abundant there.

The Po Valley, covering 57% of Veneto, extends from the mountains to the Adriatic sea, broken only by some low hills: Euganean Hills, Berici Hills Colli Asolani and Montello, which constitute the remaining 14% of the territory. The plain itself is subdivided into the higher plain (gravel-strewn and not very fertile) and the lower plain (rich in water sources and arable terrain). The lower plain is both a mainstay of agricultural production and the most populated part of the region.

Several rivers flow through the region: the Po, Adige, Brenta, Bacchiglione, Livenza, Piave, and Tagliamento. The eastern shore of the largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda, belongs to Veneto. The coastline covers approximately 200 km (120 mi), of which 100 km (62 mi) are beaches.

The coasts of the Adriatic Sea are characterised by the Venetian Lagoon, a flat terrain with ponds, marshes and islands. The Po Delta to the south features sandbars and dunes along the coastline. The inland portion contains cultivable land recently reclaimed by a system of canals and dykes. Fish ponds have been created there as well. The delta and the lagoon are a stopping-point for migratory birds.

Veneto's morphology is characterised by its: [13]

  • mountains (montagna): 5,359.1 km 2 (2,069.2 sq mi), (117 comuni being classified as mountainous)
  • hills (collina): 2,663.9 km 2 (1,028.5 sq mi), (120 hilly comuni)
  • and plains (pianura): 10,375.9 km 2 (4,006.2 sq mi), (344 comuni mostly situated in the Po Valley).

Climate Edit

The climate changes significantly from one area to another: while it is continental on the plains, it is milder along the Adriatic coast around the Lake Garda and in the hilly areas. The lowlands are often covered by thick fog precipitations that are scarce – 750 mm per year – close to the river Po, but are more abundant – from 750 to 1100 mm per year – at higher altitudes the highest values – up to 3200 mm per year – are recorded in the Bellunese Prealps, near Mount Pasubio and on the Asiago plateau.

Venetic period Edit

Between the 2nd and 1st millennium BC, the region was inhabited by the Euganei. According to ancient historians, who perhaps wanted to link Venetic origins to legend of Roman origins in Troy, the Veneti (often called the Palaeoveneti) came from Paphlagonia in Anatolia at the time of the Fall of Troy (12th century BC), led by prince Antenor, a comrade of Aeneas. Other historians link Venetic origins with Celts.

In the 7th–6th centuries BC the local populations of Veneto entered into contact with the Etruscans and the Greeks. Venetic culture reached a high point during the 4th century BC. These ancient Veneti spoke Venetic, an Indo-European language akin to, but distinct from Latin and the other Italic languages. Meanwhile, the Veneti prospered through their trade in amber and breeding of horses. Este, Padua, Oderzo, Adria, Vicenza, Verona, and Altino became centres of Venetic culture. Over time, the Veneti began to adopt the dress and certain other customs of their Celtic neighbours.

Roman period Edit

During the 3rd century BC, the Veneti, together with the Cenomani Celts on their western border, sided with the Romans, as Rome expanded and struggled against the Insubres and Boii (Celts). During the Second Punic War (218 – 202 BC), the Veneti even sent a contingent of soldiers to fight alongside the Romans against Hannibal and the invading Carthaginians. These Venetians were among those slaughtered at the Battle of Cannae (216 BC).

In 181 BC a Roman triumvirate of Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica, Caius Flaminius, and Lucius Manlius Acidinus founded a Latin colony at Aquileia as a base to protect the territory of the Veneti from incursions of the hostile Carni and Histri. From then on, Roman influence over the area increased. In 169 BC 1,500 more colonising families were sent by Rome to Aquileia. In 148 BC the Via Postumia was completed connecting Aquileia to Genoa. In 131 BC, the Via Annia joined Adria to Patavium (modern Padua) to Altinum to Concordia to Aquileia.

The Roman Republic gradually transformed its alliance with the Veneti into a relationship of dominance. After the 91 BC Italic rebellion, the cities of the Veneti, together with the rest of Transpadania, were granted partial rights of Roman citizenship according to the Lex Pompeia de Transpadanis. Later in 49 BC, by the Lex Roscia granted full Roman citizenship to the Veneti. The Via Claudia would be completed in AD 46 to connected Altinum, Tarvisium (modern Treviso), Feltria (modern Feltre), and Tridentum (modern Trento). From Tridentum it continued northwards to Pons Drusus and further to Augusta Vindelicorum (modern Augsburg), and southwards from Trento to Verona and Mutina (modern Modena).

After the Battle of Philippi (42 BC) ended the Roman Civil War, the lands of the Veneti, together with the rest of Cisalpine Gaul, ceased to be a province. Between 8 and 6 BC, Augustus reorganized Italia into 11 regions. The territory of modern Veneto along with Istria, modern Friuli and Trentino-Alto Adige and eastern Lombardy (including its cities of Mantua, Cremona, Brescia, and Sondrio) became Region X (Venetia et Histria). Aquileia, although not officially the capital was the chief municipium of the region. [14] Meanwhile, under the Pax Romana, Patavium developed into one of the most important cities of northern Italy. Other Venetic cities such as Opitergium (modern Oderzo), Tarvisium, Feltria, Vicetia (modern Vicenza), Ateste (modern Este), and Altinum (modern Altino) adopted the Latin language and the culture of Rome. By the end of the 1st century AD Latin had displaced the original Venetic language.

In 166 AD the Quadi and Marcomanni invaded Venetia. It was the beginning of many barbarian invasions. Marcus Aurelius retaining the regions of Italia, superimposed another layer of administration by ascribing Regions X and XI to the district of Transpadana under a iuridicus. The end of the 3rd c. brought further administrative changes when Diocletian abolished the regions and districts and established provinciae. Thus, Region X (Venetia et Histria) became Province VIII (Venetia et Histria), being enlarged in the west up to the Adda River governed by a corrector until 363 and from 368 to 373 by a consularius seated at Aquileia. Venetia et Histria remained one of the 16 Provinces of Italy in the 5th century when both Alaric the Goth and then Attila and the Huns devastated the area. Attila laid siege to Aquileia and turned it into a ruin in 452 AD. Many of the mainland inhabitants sought protection in the nearby lagoons which would become Grado in the east and Venice more to the west. On the heels of the Huns came the Ostrogoths who not only invaded, but also settled down in the region, especially near Treviso where the penultimate king Totila was born. [15]

During the mid-6th century, Justinian reconquered Venetia for the Eastern Roman Empire. An Exarch was established at Ravenna while a military tribune was set up in Oderzo. Greek-Byzantine rule did not last long. Starting in 568 AD, the Lombards crossed the Julian Alps. These invaders subdivided the territory of Venetia into numerous feuds ruled by Germanic dukes and counts, essentially creating the division of Veneto from Friuli.

The invasion provoked another wave of migration from the mainland to the Byzantine controlled coast and islands. In 643 AD the Lombards conquered the Byzantine base at Oderzo and took possession of practically all of Veneto (and Friuli) except for Venice and Grado. The 36 Lombard duchies included the Venetian cities of Ceneda, Treviso, Verona, and Vicenza. A reminder of Lombard rule can be seen in the place names beginning with the word Farra.

Middle Ages Edit

By the middle of the 8th century, the Franks had assumed political control of the region and the mainland of Veneto became part of the Carolingian Empire. Though politically dominant, these Germanic invaders were gradually absorbed into the Venetian population over the centuries. In the late 9th century, Berengar, Margrave of the March of Friuli was elected king of Italy. Under his tumultuous reign, the March of Friuli was absorbed into the March of Verona so that Verona's territory contained a large portion of Roman Venetia.

In the 10th century, the mainland of Veneto, after suffering raids from the Magyars and the Slavs, was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire. Gradually, the communes of the mainland grew in power and wealth. In 1167 an alliance (called the Lombard League) was formed among the Venetian cities such as Venice, Padua, Treviso, Vicenza, and Verona with other cities of Northern Italy to assert their rights against the Holy Roman Emperor.

The Second Treaty of Constance in 1183 confirmed the Peace of Venice of 1177 in which the cities agreed to remain part of the Empire as long as their jurisdiction over their own territories was not infringed upon. The league was dissolved at the death of Emperor Frederick II in 1250. This period also witnessed the founding of the second oldest university in Italy, the University of Padua founded in 1222. Around this time, Padua also served as home to St. Anthony, the beloved Saint called simply "il Santo" ("the Saint") by the inhabitants of the town.

Venetian Republic Edit

As the barbarians were interested in the wealth of the mainland, part of the Venetian population sought refuge on some of the isolated and unoccupied islands in the lagoon, from which the city of Venetiae or Venice was born. After a period of Byzantine domination in 8th century, Venice became an independent maritime Republic ruled by its elected doge.

The Republic became a commercial superpower and its influence lasted through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In fact, the Venetian Republic enjoyed 1100 years of uninterrupted influence throughout the Mediterranean. By the 16th century, the Venetian Republic dominated Veneto, Friuli, parts of Lombardy and Romagna, Istria, Dalmatia, the Ionian Islands of Corfu, Cefalonia, Ithaca and Zante. From the 13th to 17th centuries, it held the island of Crete and from the mid-15th to mid-16th century, the island of Cyprus.

Venetian mainland holdings led to Venetian involvement in European and in particular, Italian politics. Cities had to be fortified, two impressive examples are Nafplio in Peloponese and Palmanova in Friuli. The wise rule and prosperity brought by the "Serenissima" (most serene republic) made the cities of the terra firma willing subjects. Eastern Islands served as useful ports for Venetian shipping. However, as the Ottoman Empire grew more powerful and aggressive, Venice was often put on the defensive. Ottoman control of the eastern Mediterranean and the discoveries of sea routes to Asia around Africa and of the Americas had a debilitating effect on the Venetian economy.

In 1797, Napoleon invaded the territory of the Venetian Republic. Overwhelmed by more powerful forces, Doge Ludovico Manin resigned and retired to his villa at Passariano in Friuli and the thousand year old Republic disappeared as an independent state. This proved very unpopular in the mainland cities where sympathies were strong with the Republic of Venice. By the Treaty of Campoformio signed on 17 October 1797, part of the Venetian mainland was handed over to Francis II of the Holy Roman Empire and a western part was annexed to the French backed Cisalpine Republic. The territory soon reverted to Napoleon in 1801.

Habsburg rule Edit

Then in 1805–1806, it was conquered by Napoleon's armies and included in the Kingdom of Italy. During 1809, the region revolted against the French-Italian rule, [16] supporting the advancing Austrian troops during the War of the Fifth Coalition. It was mainly a peasant revolt, less organised than the nearby Andreas Hofer's revolt, while urban national guard troops fought on the French-Italian side. After the Congress of Vienna, 1814–1815, Venetia was the eastern half of the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, a separate kingdom of the Austrian Empire.

During the 1848 First Italian War of Independence, Venetia rose against the central Austrian government, forming the Republic of San Marco, which lasted 17 months. It asked to be annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia to form an Italian confederation against Austria, then using the Italian tricolour in its flag, but, after the other Italian states left the war (May 1848) and Sardinia surrendered (August 1848, then March 1849), Venetia stood alone. It surrendered on 24 August 1849, when the Siege of Venice ended. [17]

The Austrian imperial government was unpopular among upper and middle classes because of Metternich's anti-liberal politics, turned by Emperor Franz Joseph into neo-absolutism after 1848, and for not granting Lombardo–Venetia any real autonomy (it was considered less than a puppet state). At the same time, it was appreciated for the efficient and honest administration, especially among lower classes, and long-standing strong cultural ties linked Venetia and Austria even after it was ceded to Italy. Despite this, after 1848–1849 there was no revolt against the Austrian rule.

United Italy Edit

Venetia remained under Austrian control until the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, when the Kingdom of Italy joined on the Prussian side and was promised Venetia in exchange for its assistance. Austria offered to sell Venetia to Italy, but the Italians refused, seeing it as a dishonourable act. This caused another southern front for Austria, the Third Italian War of Independence.

Once the wars ended, the Treaty of Vienna ceded the region to neutral France, but left the fortresses under Austrian control for a time. Following protests, the Austrians left and the French ceded it to Italy on 20 October. A referendum – where only 30% of the adult population voted as was custom in the period, and did so under government pressure [18] – was held on 21–22 October and ratified the handover. There was a 99.99% majority for Italy. [19] [20] [21] During the fascist era, due to the nationalist policy the Venetian language, as other local languages, was banned in public spaces. [22]

Due to uneven economic development reducing many to poverty, the 19th century and the first half of the 20th became a period of emigration. Millions of Venetians left their homes and their native land to seek opportunities in other parts of the world. Many settled down in South America, especially in Brazil others in Australia, Canada, and the United States of America. After the Second World War, many Venetians emigrated to Western European countries. In many of these places, their descendants have maintained the use of their ancestral Venetian dialects.

Those who remained in Veneto would experience the turmoil of two World Wars. In 1915, Italy entered the First World War on the side of the France and the United Kingdom, after extricating itself from its alliance with Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Veneto became a major battlefront. After the Italians suffered an enormous defeat at Caporetto in November 1917, the combined Austro-Hungarian and German forces advanced almost unhindered through Veneto towards Venice until reaching the Piave River. The Battle of the Piave River prevented their troops from advancing further and was celebrated in La Leggenda del Piave. Between 24 October and 3 November 1918, Italy launched the decisive Battle of Vittorio Veneto. The battle's outcome assured Italy's victory. The Armistice of Villa Giusti which ended warfare between Italy and Austria-Hungary in World War I, was signed at Villa Giusti near Padua.

Between 1943 and 1945, Veneto belonged to the Italian Social Republic, while the province of Belluno was part of the Prealpine Operations Zone. Many towns in the region were bombed by the Allies during the Second World War. The most hit were Treviso and Vicenza, as well as the industrial area around Marghera.

Archaeology Edit

In May 2020, the discovery of a well-preserved Roman mosaic floor dating to the 3rd century AD buried underneath a vineyard at Negrar is reported after about a century of searching the site of a long-lost villa. [23] [24] [25] [26]

Veneto is a semi-presidential representative democracy. The President of Veneto, colloquially nicknamed Governor or even Doge in remembrance of Venice's traditional head of state, is also the head of the Regional Government. Legislative power is exerted by the Regional Council, the local parliament. The Statute (i.e. the law establishing and regulating the regional institution, which was first promulgated on 22 May 1971), uses the term "people" for Venetians, but, like in the case of Sardinians, this is not a legal recognition of any differences from other Italian citizens. Moreover, the region is not granted a form of autonomy comparable to that of neighbouring Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. [27] This is the reason why many municipalities have held referendums in order to be united to these regions.

Traditionally a very Catholic region, Veneto was once the heartland of Christian Democracy, which won a record 60.5% of the vote in the 1948 general election, polled above 50% in each and every general and regional election until 1983 and governed the region since its establishment in 1970 to 1994. After that, Veneto has been a stronghold of the centre-right coalition, which has governed the region since 1995, first under President Giancarlo Galan (Forza Italia/The People of Freedom) and, since 2010, Luca Zaia (Liga Veneta–Lega Nord). In the 2020 regional election Liga Veneta–Lega Nord won a combined 61.5% of the vote (sum of party list and Zaia's personal list), followed by the three main Italian parties of the time, the Democratic Party (11.9%), the Brothers of Italy (9.6%) and Forza Italia (3.6%).

According to Robert D. Putnam, the "institutional performance" of Veneto's regional government is higher than average in Italy and Veneto belongs to the "civic North". [28]

Venetian nationalism Edit

Venetian nationalism is a regionalist/nationalist political movement which gained prominence in Veneto during the 1970s and 1980s, demanding more autonomy, a special statute or even independence, and promoting Venetian culture, language and history. This is the political background in which the Liga Veneta was launched in 1980. Other regionalist/nationalist groupings, including Liga Veneta Repubblica, North-East Project and the avowed separatist Veneto State, Venetian Independence and Plebiscito.eu, emerged but they have never touched the popularity of Liga Veneta, which was a founding member of Lega Nord in 1991.

Venetian Independence and other alike groups have been long proposing a referendum on the independence of Veneto from Italy. After the Regional Council approved a resolution on self-determination (with an explicit reference to a referendum) in November 2012, [29] [30] a referendum bill was proposed in April 2013. [31]

Plebiscite 2013 organised an online referendum, with no official recognition, for 16–21 March 2014. [32] [33] [34] According to organisers, turnout was 63.2% (2.36 million voters) and 89.1% of participants (56.6 of all eligible voters) voted yes. [35] [36] Several news sources, however, contested these results, saying that participants were at most 135,000 (3.6% of eligible voters) based on public independent web traffic statistics. [37] [38] [39]

On 22 October 2017 an official autonomy referendum took place in Veneto: 57.2% of Venetians participated and 98.1% voted "yes".

Veneto is divided into the Metropolitan City of Venice and 6 provinces and also divided in 581 municipalities. [13] [40] Of the seven provinces of the region, the Province of Padua is the most populous and has the greatest density, with 424. 81 persons per km 2 , reaching 2268. 58 in the city of Padua. In contrast the capital city, Venice, has a moderate density of 646. 71. [40] The province of least density is Belluno (58. 08), which is the largest in area and the most mountainous.

Metropolitan city and provinces Edit

Province Abbrev. Area (km 2 ) Population Density (inh./km 2 )
Belluno BL 3,678 213,059 57.9
Padua PD 2,141 905,112 422.8
Rovigo RO 1,789 245,598 137.3
Treviso TV 2,477 865,194 349.3
Venice VE 2,463 841,609 341.7
Verona VR 3,121 889,862 285.1
Vicenza VI 2,722 848,642 311.8

Largest municipalities Edit

Pos. Municipality Inhabitants (inh.) Area (km 2 ) Density (inh./km 2 ) Elevation (m amsl) Province
1 Verona 259,608 206.63 1,269.9 59 VR
2 Venice 259,150 412.54 651.4 1 VE
3 Padua 209,696 92.85 2,258.4 12 PD
4 Vicenza 113,969 80.54 1,415.1 39 VI
5 Treviso 81,665 55.50 1,741.4 15 TV
6 Rovigo 51,378 108.55 473.3 6 RO
7 Chioggia 50,880 185.20 274.7 2 VE
8 Bassano del Grappa 42,237 46.79 902.7 129 VI
9 San Donà di Piave 41,827 78.73 505.2 3 VE
10 Schio 38,779 67.04 578.4 200 VI

The region has about 4.8 million inhabitants, ranking Veneto as the fifth most populated region in Italy. Veneto has one of the highest population densities among the Italian regions (265 inhabitants per km 2 in 2008). This is particularly true in the provinces of Padua, Venice and Treviso, where the inhabitants per km 2 are above 300. Belluno is the least densely populated province, with 57 inhabitants per km 2 .

Like the other regions of Northern Italy and Central Italy, though with a certain time lag, Veneto has been experiencing a phase of very slow population growth caused by the dramatic fall in fertility. The overall population has so far been increasing – though only slightly – due to the net immigration started at the end of the 1980s, after more than 20 years of massive exodus from the poorer areas of the region.

Immigration and ethnicity Edit

The largest resident foreign-born
groups on 31 December 2019 [41]
Nationality Population
Romania 124,533
Morocco 44,837
China 34,777
Albania 32,376
Moldova 31,052
Bangladesh 17,517
Ukraine 16,207
India 15,634
Nigeria 14,363
Sri Lanka 13,031

Nearly 3 million Venetians were forced to leave their country between 1861 and 1961 to escape poverty. [42] Many emigrated to Brazil and Argentina. After World War II, they moved to other European countries. In 2008, there were 260,849 Venetian citizens living outside of Italy (5.4% of the region's population), the largest number was found in Brazil, with 57,052 Venetians, followed by Switzerland, with 38,320, and Argentina, with 31,823. There are several million people of Venetian descent around the world, particularly in Brazil, in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná. Local names in Southern Brazil such as Nova Schio, Nova Bassano, Nova Bréscia, Nova Treviso, Nova Veneza, Nova Pádua and Monteberico indicate the Venetian origin of their inhabitants. [43] In recent years, people of Venetian descent from Brazil and Argentina have been migrating to Italy. [44]

Due to the impressive economic growth of the last two decades, Veneto has turned into a land of immigration and has been attracting more and more immigrants since the 1990s. In 2008, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 403,985 foreign-born immigrants live in Veneto, equal to 8.3% of the total regional population. [45]

Religion Edit

Veneto converted to Christianity during Roman rule. The region venerates as its patrons the 2nd-century bishop St. Hermagoras and his deacon St. Fortunatus, both of Aquileia and both martyrs. Aquileia became the metropolitan see of Venetia. Aquileia had its own liturgical rites which were used throughout the dioceses of Veneto until the later Middle Ages when the Roman Rite replaced the Aquileian Rite. By the 6th century the bishop of Aquileia claimed the title of patriarch. Rejection of the Second Council of Constantinople (553) led to a schism wherein the bishops of Aquileia, Liguria, Aemilia, Milan and of the Istrian peninsula all refused to condemn the Three Chapters leading to the churches of Veneto to break communion with the Church of Rome. [46] The invasion of the non-Catholic Lombards in 568 only served to prolong the schism until 606 and then finally 699 when the Synod of Pavia definitively ended the schism. [47]

In 2004, over 95% of the population claimed to be Roman Catholic. The region of Veneto along with the regions of Friuli and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol form the ecclesiastical region of Triveneto under the Patriarchate of Venice. The Patriarchate of Venice is an archdiocese and metropolitan see of an ecclesiastical region which includes suffragan episcopal sees of Adria-Rovigo, Belluno-Feltre, Chioggia, Concordia-Pordenone, Padua, Treviso, Verona, Vicenza, and Vittorio Veneto. [48]

The Archdiocese of Venice was elevated to an honorary Patriarchate by the pope on 8 October 1457 when the Patriarchate of Grado, a successor to the Patriarchate of Aquileia, was suppressed. The first patriarch of Venice was St. Laurence, a nobleman of the Giustiniani family.

During the 20th century the patriarchs were usually appointed cardinal, and three cardinal patriarchs, Giuseppe Sarto, Angelo Roncalli, and Albino Luciani, were elected pope: Pius X, John XXIII, and John Paul I, respectively. The Patriarchate of Venice claims St. Mark the Evangelist as its patron. The same saint, symbolised by a winged lion, had become the typical symbol of the Venetian Republic and is still represented on many civic symbols.

Under Austrian rule, Veneto's agriculturally-based economy suffered, which later led to mass emigration. But, since the 1970s it has seen impressive development, thanks to the so-called "Veneto development model" that is characterised by strong export-oriented entrepreneurship in traditional economic sectors (€64.47 billion of exports in 2019 [49] ) and close social cohesion [50] – making it actually the third richest region in terms of total GDP (€166.4 billion) after Lombardy and Lazio. [51] [52]

Geography and historical events have determined the present social and economic structure of the region, centred on a broad belt running from east to west. The plain and the Alpine foothills are the most developed areas in contrast to the Po delta and the mountainous areas, with the exception of the surroundings of Belluno. This is why the Alps and the province of Rovigo are suffering more than other areas, from a trend of declining and ageing population.

Agriculture Edit

Though its importance has been decreasing for the past 20–30 years, agriculture continues to play a significant role in the regional economy. The agricultural sector of Veneto is among the most productive in Italy. However, it is still characterised by an intensive use of labour rather than capital, due to the specialisation in market gardening, fruit-growing and vine-growing throughout the plain and the foothills, requiring very much handicraft. In the south and in the extreme east of the region, grain crops are more common and land holdings are larger than in the rest of the region mechanisation is more advanced here. The cattle stock, although declining, still represented 15% of the national stock. [53] Fishing is also still important in coastal areas.

The main agricultural products include maize, green peas, vegetables, apples, cherries, sugar beets, forage, tobacco, hemp. Moreover, Veneto is one of Italy's most important wine-growing areas, producing wines, such as Prosecco, Valpolicella, and Soave. Overall, Veneto produces more bottles of DOC wine than any other area in Italy. The Amarone della Valpolicella, a wine from the hills around Verona, is made with high-selected grapes and is among the more expensive red wines in the world.

Industry Edit

In the last 30–40 years industrialisation transformed the appearance of the landscape, especially in the plains.

The regional industry is especially made of small and medium-sized businesses, which are active in several sectors: food products, wood and furniture, leather and footwear, textiles and clothing, gold jewelry, but also chemistry, metal-mechanics and electronics. This has led to the establishment of a strongly export-orientated system of industries.

Typical of Veneto is the partition of the territory into industrial districts, which means that each area tends to specialise in a specific sector. The province of Venice hosts large metallurgical and chemical plants in Marghera and Mestre, but is also specialised in glass handicraft (Murano). The province of Belluno hosts the so-called eyeglasses district, being the largest world manufacturer Luxottica a firm domiciled at Agordo. Other important firms are Safilo, De Rigo, Marcolin.

During the last 20 years, a large number of Venetian companies relocated their plants (especially the most dangerous and polluting productions) in Eastern Europe, especially Romania. The Romanian city of Timișoara is also called "the newest Venetian province". [54]

Tourism Edit

Although being a heavily industrialised region, tourism is one of its main economic resources one-fifth of Italy's foreign tourism gravitates towards Veneto, which is the first region in Italy in terms of tourist presence, attracting over 60 million visitors every year, second after Emilia-Romagna in terms of hotel industry structures the business volume of tourism in Veneto is estimated to be in the vicinity of 12 billion Euros. [55]

Statistics Edit

Historical GDP Edit

A table which shows Veneto's GDP growth: [56]

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2015
Gross Domestic Product (million €) 111,713.5 116,334.1 118,886.3 124,277.6 130,715.9 133,488.0 138,993.5 166,400
GDP per capita (PPP) (€) 24,842.9 25,742.2 26,108.2 26,957.1 27,982.2 28,286.7 29,225.5 33,500

Economic sectors Edit

The main sectors in the economy of Veneto are:

Economic activity GDP product % sector (region) % sector (Italy)
Primary (agriculture, farming, fishing) €2,303.3 1.66% 1.84%
Secondary (industry, processing, manufacturing) €34,673.6 24.95% 18.30%
Constructions €8,607.7 6.19% 5.41%
Tertiary (Commerce, hotels and restaurants, tourism, (tele)communications and transport) €28,865.8 20.77% 20.54%
Financial activities and real estate €31,499.4 22.66% 24.17%
Other types of services €19,517.2 14.04% 18.97%
VAT and taxes €13,526.4 9.73% 10.76%
GDP of Veneto (2006) €138,993.5

Unemployment rate Edit

The unemployment rate stood at 5.8% in 2020 and was lower than the national average. [57] However, Veneto was along with Liguria the only northern region where the unemployment rate increased between 2017 and 2018. [58] [59]

Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
unemployment rate
(in %)
4.1% 3.4% 3.4% 4.7% 5.7% 4.9% 6.4% 7.6% 7.5% 7.1% 6.8% 6.3% 6.4% 5.7% 5.8%

Art and architecture Edit

The Middle Ages stimulated the creation of monumental works such as the complex of churches on the island of Torcello, in the Venetian lagoon, with the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta founded in 639, its bell tower erected in the 11th century and the adjacent Martyrium of Santa Fosca built around the 1100, notable for the mosaics. They saw the construction of the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore in Verona, which was Veneto's main centre for that esthetic movement and we note, by the mixture of styles that Verona was an important crossroads to the north of Europe. Examples of Gothic art, in addition to the Venetian church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and that of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, are the Scaliger Tombs in the historical centre of Verona.

While in Veneto Byzantine art was important, an element of innovation was brought to Padua by Giotto, bearer of a new pictorial tradition: that of Tuscany. Towards the 1302 he was commissioned by Enrico Scrovegni to paint the family chapel, now known just by the name of Scrovegni Chapel, one of the most important artistic monuments of Padua and Veneto. The influences of the contribution of Giotto were felt immediately, as in the frescoes of Giusto de' Menabuoi in the Baptistry near the Cathedral of Padua and those of Altichiero in the Basilica of Saint Anthony.

After a phase of development of Gothic art, with the creation of important works including the Ca' d'Oro and the Doge's Palace in Venice, and the churches of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and of Saints John and Paul in Venice, the influence of the Renaissance ushered in a new era. In addition to Donatello, an important Venetian Renaissance artist was Andrea Mantegna (1431–1506), whose most important work in Veneto is perhaps the San Zeno Altarpiece, found in Verona. With the mainland expansion of the Venetian Republic and the consolidation of its institutions, there was also an artistic development of exceptional stature: Mantegna, Vittore Carpaccio, Giovanni Bellini, Cima da Conegliano, Pordenone laid the foundations for what would be the age of Venetian painting.

Padua was a cradle of the Venetian Renaissance, Where influences from Tuscany and Umbria filtered north. Amongst the Renaissance artists who worked there were Donatello, who worked on an altar of the Basilica of Saint Anthony, and Pisanello, whose works are mainly in Verona, for example, the fresco of Saint George in the Church of St. Anastasia.

In the first phase with Carpaccio and Bellini, the influences of international painting were still evident and the references to Flemish art were numerous. Artists of the successive phase included Giorgione, Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo and Lorenzo Lotto. Giorgione and Titian developed an original and innovative style, which characterised the painters of the Venetian school rather than other traditions. Giorgione's enigmatic style infused his work with allegory, and he created his paintings with less reliance on a preparatory drawing than previous painters. This innovation was looking for the imitation of natural phenomena by creating atmospheres with the colours and shifting the emphasis from the pursuit of artistic perfection. The storm (1506–1508), now in the Accademia in Venice, is an example of this use of colour, where the mixture colour and texture continue indefinitely without preparatory drawing for the painting work gives a special atmosphere.

Titian, born in Belluno Pieve di Cadore, brought forward the use of this technique without pictorial design, creating masterpieces such as the Assumption of the Virgin (1516–1518), [60] an altar made by imposing visible sizes on the main altar of the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, a work whose suggestion is due to the use of colour. At the end of his long life, he had acquired fame and commissions across the continent.

Tintoretto (1518–1594) recast Roman Mannerism in a Venetian style, less linear, and with more use of colour to distinguish forms, highlighting the bright prospects for its operations, giving unusual deformations of perspective, to increase the sense of tension in the work. [61] His studio was prolific. Palaces and churches of Venice abound with his paintings. The Scuola Grande di San Rocco alone sports 66 paintings by this painter. The San Giorgio Maggiore houses a huge canvas by him depicting the Last Supper.

Paolo Veronese (1528–1588) was about as prolific as Tintoretto, with works that celebrated the Venetian state, [62] as well as decorating houses of Venetian nobles. He decorated large portions of the Palazzo Ducale and the decoration of many villas Palladian, including Villa Barbaro.

Jacopo Bassano (1517–1592) and Lorenzo Lotto were active in the mainland, and reflected some of the influences of Milanese painters with the introduction of images taken from real life, enriched by a touch of drama.

In architecture, Andrea Palladio (1508–1580), born in Padua, completed some highly influential works, including Villas in the mainland, in Vicenza, Padua and Treviso. In Venice, he designed the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore, the Il Redentore, and Zitelle on the island of Giudecca. Palladian Villa architecture, in masterpieces such as Villa Emo, Villa Barbaro, Villa Capra, and Villa Foscari, evoked the imagined grandeur of antique classical Roman villas. This aesthetic, through his publications, proved popular and underwent a revival in the neoclassical period. In his villas, the owner shall permit the control over production activities of the surrounding countryside by structuring the functional parts, such as porch, close to the central body. In the case of Villa Badoer, the open barn, formed by a large circular colonnade, enclosing the front yard in front of the villa allows you to create a space that recalls the ancient idea of the Forum Romanum, and bringing all campaign activities to gravitate in front of the villa itself.

The research style of Palladio has created an architectural movement called Palladianism, which has had strong following in the next three centuries, inspiring architects, some of them his direct students, including Vincenzo Scamozzi, after the death of the teacher who completed several works, including the first Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770), described as "the greatest decorative painter of eighteenth-century Europe, as well as its most able craftsman." [63] was a painter and printmaker, who together with Giambattista Pittoni, Canaletto, Giovan Battista Piazzetta, Giuseppe Maria Crespi and Francesco Guardi formed the ultimate group of traditional great Venetian old master painters of that period. Perspective played a central role in Tiepolo's representations, and was forced beyond the usual limits in his ceiling decorations depicting levitating figures viewed from below.

Another characteristic feature of Venetian art is landscape painting, which sees in Canaletto (1697–1768) and Francesco Guardi (1712–1793) the two leading figures. Canaletto's rigorous perspective studies make for an almost "photographic" reality, in contrast to Guardi's more subjective capriccios.

Antonio Canova (1757–1822), born in Possagno, was the greatest of the neoclassical artists. [64] The Temple of Possagno, which he designed, financed, and partly-built himself, [65] is among landmarks of neo-classical architecture. His most important works include Psyche Revived by Love's Kiss and The Three Graces.

After the fall of the Republic of Venice in 1796, every city in Veneto created its own form of art. Important was, however, the role of Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, who was able to attract many young artists from the surrounding territory.

Among the many artists which were important in modern ages were Guglielmo Ciardi, who incorporated the experience of macchiaioli movement, uniting the typical colour of the classic Venetian school, and yet bringing out from his paintings a chromatic essence, Giacomo Favretto, who too as Ciardi, enhanced the colour, which was sometimes very pronounced, painter Frederick Zandomeneghi, who deviates from the tradition of Venetian colouring to venture in a style similar to French impressionism, and finally Luigi Nono, whose works feel realistic, even if, in addition to painting genre scenes, includes portraits of finity for psychological enhancement.

Education Edit

Veneto hosts one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Padua, founded in 1222. OECD investigations [66] show that school education achievements in North-Eastern Italy (whose population comes mainly from Veneto) are the highest in Italy. In 2003 the university had approximately 65,000 students.

Language Edit

Most of the people of Veneto speak Italian along with widespread usage of local varieties of the Venetian language. Within Venetian there are distinct sub-groups centered on the major cities, and distinctions are also found between rural and urban dialects and those spoken in northern mountainous areas and on the plain. [67]

Venetian dialects are classified as Western Romance. Linguists identify five major types of Venetian: an Eastern or Coastal (Venice) group, a Central (Padua, Vicenza, Polesine) group, a Western (Verona) group, a North-Central (Treviso) group, and a Northern (Belluno, Feltre, Agordo, Cadore, Zoldo Alto) group of dialects. All dialects are mutually intelligible to varying degrees, are descended from Vulgar Latin and influenced to varying degrees by the Italian language. Venetian is attested as a written language in the 13th century.

The language of Venice enjoyed substantial prestige in the days of the Venetian Republic, when it attained the status of a lingua franca in the Mediterranean. Notable Venetian-language authors include the playwrights Carlo Goldoni (1707–1793) and Carlo Gozzi (1720–1806), while Ruzante (1502–1542) is best known for his rustic comedies "cast in mainland peasant Pavan 'Paduan'". [68]

Ladin, also Romance, is spoken in parts of the province of Belluno, especially in the municipalities of Cortina d'Ampezzo, Livinallongo del Col di Lana and Colle Santa Lucia, while Cimbrian (Germanic) is spoken in two villages (Roana and Giazza respectively) of the Seven Communities and the Thirteen Communities. These are two historical groups of villages of Cimbric origin, which for a long time formed two distinct "commonwealths" under the rule of the Republic of Venice, among others. Furthermore, in the area around Portogruaro people speak Furlan.

As the region does not enjoy a special status of autonomy, minority languages are not granted any form of official recognition. A motion to recognise Venetian as an official regional language has been approved by the regional Parliament. [69]

Literature Edit

Venetian literature is the corpus of literature in Venetian, the vernacular language of the region which roughly corresponding to Venice from the 12th century. The Venetian literature, after an initial period of splendour in the 16th century with the success of artists such as Ruzante, reaches its maximum zenith in the 18th century, thanks to its maximum exponent, dramatist Carlo Goldoni. Subsequently, the literary production in Venetian undergoes a period of decline following the collapse of the Republic of Venice, succeeding anyway during the 20th century to reach peaks with wonderful lyrical poets such as Biagio Marin of Grado.

Cuisine Edit

Cuisine is an important part of the culture of Veneto, and the region is home to some of the most recognisable dishes, desserts and wines in Italian, European and worldwide cuisine.

Wines and drinks Edit

Veneto is an important wine-growing area producing: Soave, Bardolino, Recioto, Amarone, Torcolato, Prosecco, Tocai Rosso, Garganega, Valpolicella, Verduzzo, Raboso, Moscato, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Nero, Pinot Grigio, and Merlot. Homemade wine making is widespread. After making wine, the alcohol of the pressed grapes is distilled to produce grappa or graspa, as it is called in the local language.

Prosecco is a dry sparkling wine. [70] [71] It is made from the glera grape, a white grape formerly known as Prosecco, [72] which is traditionally grown in an area near Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the hills north of Treviso. [70] The name of Prosecco is derived from the northern Italian village of Prosecco (Trieste), where this grape variety is believed to have originated. [71] [73]

Spritz, in the Venetian language also called "spriss" or "spriseto" depending on the area, usually consists of ⅓ sparkling wine , 1/3 of Aperol and 1/3 of sparkling water. Campari may also be used instead of Aperol.

Cheeses Edit

Salamis and meats Edit

The sopressa vicentina (PDO) is an aged salami, cylindrical in shape and prepared with raw, quality pork meat. It may or may not include garlic in its ingredients and comes in medium and large sizes. Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo (PDO) is obtained from the fresh meat of a top breed of adult hogs. The aroma is delicate, sweet and fragrant.

Vegetables Edit

Radicchio rosso di Treviso (PGI) is a peculiar vegetable with a faintly bitter taste and a crunchy texture. The production area encompasses many town districts in the provinces of Treviso, Padua and Venice. The radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco (PGI) has a delicate and slightly sweet taste and a crunchy texture. Veronese Vialone Nano Rice from Verona (PGI) is a type of rice with short, plump grains, which have a creamy consistency when cooked. They are commonly used in risotto dishes and have a high starch content. The Bean of Lamon (PGI) is particularly prized for its delicate flavour and extremely tender skin. The White Asparagus of Cimadolmo (PGI) has a characteristic scent and a very delicate taste. The White Asparagus of Bassano is a typical product of the northern part of the province of Vicenza. The San Zeno di Montagna (Verona) chestnut has Protected Geographical Status.

Desserts Edit

Festivals Edit

Each town, often every quarter, has its patron saint whose feast day is solemnly celebrated. Many other festivals are closely linked to the religious calendar. Among these:

    celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday celebrated around Epiphany
  • Pasqua (Easter Sunday)
  • Saint Mark's feast day (25 April)
  • La Sensa (Ascension Thursday)
  • San Giovanni Battista (24 June)
  • La festa del Redentór (mid July)
  • Vendemmia (grape harvest in September)
  • San Nicolò de Bari (St. Nicholas, 6 December)
  • Nadàl (Christmas)

Music Edit

Veneto, and in particular Venice and Verona, are important Italian musical centres, home to a vibrant musical life.

The city of Venice in Italy has played an important role in the development of the music of Italy. The Venetian state—i.e. the medieval Maritime Republic of Venice—was often popularly called the "Republic of Music", and an anonymous Frenchman of the 17th century is said to have remarked that "In every home, someone is playing a musical instrument or singing. There is music everywhere." [77]

In Padova, musical ensembles such as the Amici della Musica di Padova, the Solisti Veneti and the Padova-Veneto Symphony are found. Concerts are often held in the historic Loggia Comaro, built in 1524. As well, the city is the site of the Teatro delle Maddalene, the Teatro delle Grazie, the Giuseppe Verdi Theater, and the Cesare Pollini music conservatory.

Rovigo is the site of the Teatro Sociale, built in 1819. In the 20th century it was the venue for the career beginnings of Tullio Serafin, Beniamino Gigli and Renata Tebaldi. The town of Rovigo is also the site of the Francesco Vanezza music conservatory.

The city of Verona is the site of the Roman amphitheater known as the "Arena" which has been hosting musical events since the 16th century, but more recently the spectacular outdoor staging of Verdi's Aida, an event staged for the first time in 1913. The city also has the Felice Evaristo Dall'Abaco music conservatory

Modern-Day Bottega with Daniel Lee

Presently, Daniel Lee holds the position of creative director. He took the role halfway through June 2018, and at the time had little recognition as a young, British designer, though his track record was more than impressive. Previously, he had worked at Celine under Phoebe Philo as director of ready-to-wear, and before that held positions at Maison Margiela and Balenciaga. Since his joining Bottega Veneta, the company has been catapulted into the spotlight of must-have fashion. Just eighteen months into his new role, Daniel Lee received a number of Fashion Awards including Brand and Designer of the year. This was no surprise to the industry, as it had just seen his work develop a new fanbase for Bottega in the blink of an eye. This “New” Bottega, characterized by Lee as clean and back to the essential, came just in time for “Old” Celine fans to pick up, as Harper’s Bazaar sharply pointed out in December 2019.

Early Evidence

The earliest documentary evidence of the Venetian gondola dates to 1094, when the word gondolum is used in a letter from the Doge, Vitale Falier, to the people of Loreo. We must wait another four hundred years for visual evidence of the distinctive boat. The earliest depictions of the Venetian gondola let us imagine what these early boats might have looked like. We can envision these dark, elegant boats with the help of a series of beautiful wall paintings executed by Vittore Carpaccio in the 1490s for the Church of Saint Ursula, now preserved in the Accademia in Venice. In this cycle of paintings, gondoliers appear to maneuver their boats using the oarlock, a manner of rowing that is not too different than that of today.

Palazzo Mocenigo

The Palazzo Mocenigo is one of these beautiful palazzos along Canal Grande. If you have ever taken vaporetto 1, you probably have seen it already. It is also one of the lesser known museums in Venice. I personally discovered it last year during the Biennale del Merletto (lace) and I was very pleasantly surprised by its beauty.

Several rooms on the first floor of the palazzo are dedicated to the history of perfumes and the art of perfumery with a particular focus on Venice. You will also find original instruments, historical items, texts and highly valuable documentation such as the first recipe book of cosmetics, ‘Secreti Nobilissimi dell’Arte Profumatoria’. One room resembles the laboratory of a perfumer of the 16th century. Raw materials and processes are displayed and illustrated, while an olfactory map describes the ‘Streets of Spices’.

The most valuable part of the collection includes a selection of beautiful bottles and containers for perfume from the extraordinary Storp collection. It is one of the most important and rare collections in the world. It includes over 2500 objects, some of them dated as far back as 2000 BC. These jewels of ancient craftsmanship are timeless designs.

DO YOU KNOW? What surprised me is that several perfume containers resemble a fish. I find this a very strange shape to store perfume. I tried to find the rationale behind this design, but I couldn’t find it. If you know more about, please let me know. It really intrigues me.

A perfume container in the shape of a fish

When I visited the Palazzo Mocenigo, the temporary exhibition ‘New dialogues between Glass and Perfume’ was ongoing. It showed the evolution of two ancient arts of Venice: glass blowing and perfumery. The master glassblowers from the Consorzio Promovetro Murano (the authority behind the trademark for Original Murano glass) designed new bottles, while master perfumers from The Merchant of Venice developed exclusive fragrances. These 12 original masterpieces were auctioned at the end of the exhibition. It was a perfect showcase to demonstrate the traditional arts in a contemporary context.

Finally, you have the opportunity to discover the different fragrance families. The 6 fragrance families are a classification of perfumes on the basis of the elements they are made up: citrus, floral, oriental, fougère, woody and chypre. Personally, I liked the table with 24 bottles with essences a lot. I smelled most of them and I have to admit that, even though I knew the names, I had no clue how most of these smelled. It’s really a wonderful experience. You can easily spend half an hour at this table alone. If you like this experience, you can also book a perfume workshop to learn more on the composition of fragrances and the production process of perfume. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds interesting.

The bottles are organized by fragrance families in the last room of Palazzo Mocenigo

When you finish the perfumery tour, you should also take the opportunity to admire the other rooms of the Palazzo Mocenigo. They show the different aspects of the life and activities of a Venetian nobleman between the 17th and 18th century. There are many valuable ancient garments and accessories on display.

The gothic palazzo belonged to one of the most important families of the Republic, the Mocenigo family. It was rebuilt in 1623-1625 by Francesco Contin. From the 17th century, the palazzo was the residence of the San Stae branch, which descended from Nicolò Mocenigo, brother of Doge Alvise I. The main branch of the family used to live in the palace at San Samuele. Seven members of the family became doges between 1414 and 1778. The family also supplied the State with numerous procuratori (administrators), ambassadors, sea and land captains, clergymen, and men of letters.

DID YOU KNOW? Lord Byron, the famous English poet, lived in the Palazzo Mocenigo in 1818-1819. He wrote part of his master piece Don Juan here. Can you recognize which parts have a link to Venice?

The entrance of Palazzo Mocenigo in Santa Croce

Venice is mainly recognized as the capital of mask making or glassblowing. However, perfumers should certainly be added to the list of Venetian artisans who used the beauty of the city as their inspiration.

After your visit to Palazzo Mocenigo, take your time to discover Santa Croce (the area where the museum is located) and San Polo with this walk: ‘San Polo & Santa Croce: A culinary discovery in Venice’.

Watch the video: Βενετία: Το παλάτι των Δόγηδων


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