Venice is not only a beautiful city, but also one with an incredible (and definitely long!) story which made La Serenissima queen of the seas and gateway to the fabulous legendary East.
The origins and development of Venice: from escaping the Barbarians to ruling over the sea
The origins of Venice date to the dawn of Middle Age: something like a refugees settlement, as people from the Roman cities of Padua (another tourist destination close to and easily accessible from Venice), Aquileia (with its beautiful Basilica), Treviso (the beautiful Venetians Wall still encircle the monumental center of the town), Altino (nowadays just a little village, but with a museum and archaeological excavations) and Concordia (nowadays Portogruaro, with its Abbey of Summaga – XI Century – and the XII century Mills on the Lemene River) fled to the marshes of the Laguna (the Venice Lagoon counts at least more than a hundred little islands) because of the Hun invasions.
According to the tradition the “birth” of Venice corresponds to March 25th AD 421, with the dedication of the church of San Giacomo on the Rialto island, which is yet the core of Venice. While the Lombards were settling in in the Northern Italy, Venice remained part of the Eastern Roman Empire for a while. Then, (literally as well) insulated from Byzantium, Venice become more and more independent, designating its first “Doge”, the “Duke” of the city, in 726.
It is the dawn of the Golden Age of Venice, which, between VIII and XII Century, will be the most important of the Repubbliche Marinare, excelling along the Thalassocracies that fought for the domination of the Mediterranean (and, with it, of quite a lot of the known world…).
Venice goes to China…
It is during this golden age that one of the all time most famous and important Venetian brings to completion an incredible feat: Marco Polo will reach Beijing in 1266. Marco will be brave, smart and… lucky enough to come back and to account for the first time about life and culture of the Far East.
Marco couldn’t know that his “travel diary”, Il Milione, will inspire Christopher Columbus on his quest for the West Indies: the discovery of America will move the center of gravity of trades to the ocean, bringing the power of Venice to the end…
La Serenissima today
Venice, “La Serenissima”, “The floating city” is still one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And it still has a fascinating mix which only a city between two different worlds, the East and West, could have. Architecture and… food show their mixed traits, creating a special, unique, amazing environment waiting for you!