Chronography of Venice

Page last modified 23 October 2023


Home Page


See also Italy


1 December 2019, In 1926 Mussolini merged the constituency of Venice with the mainland towns of Mestre and Marghera. At the time, Venice was still the largest settlement, but in the 50 years to 2019 the population of Venice fell from 150,000 to 50,000, whereas the two mainland towns grew to 180,000 over the same period. This political balance means most money spent in the region now goes to projects in Mestre. Meanwhile the project to protect Venice from flooding has been put back successively, from 1995 to, currently, 2021. On 1st December 2019 Venice holds a referendum on administratively splitting off from the mainland.

12 November 2019, Venice suffered its worst flooding since 1966 as an acqua alta reached 1.54 metres, amidst heavy rain.

6 September 1987. The historic Venice regatta was held without gondoliers for the first time since 1315. The gondoliers were on strike as a protest against the damage to the fabric of Venice caused by powerboats.

25 May 1915. The Austrians bombarded Venice.

15 July 1902, The 1,000 year old bell tower at st Mark�s Square, Venice collapsed.

22 September 1857, Daniele Manin, Venetian statesman, died (born 13 May 1804).

13 May 1804, Daniele Manin, Venetian statesman, was born (died 22 September 1857).


Venice and Napoleonic France (see also France-Germany)

1802, Ludovico Manin, last Doge of Venice (born 1726), died. He was elected as Doge in March 1789. He both antagonised the French by allowing sanctuary to those fleeing it, and refused to join the league of Italian states proposed by Victor Amadeus III to counter French ambitions. The French forced the Republic of Venice to capitulate in 1797 with overwhelming military force.

16 May 1797, The Venetian Republic signed a treaty with France and made changes to its Constitution, in the hope of avoiding French domination.

12 May 1797, Ludovico Manin, the last Doge of Venice, abdicated.

9 May 1789, Ludovico Manin, 1l7th and last Doge of Venice, was elected.


2 April 1725. Giovanni Casanova, Italian adventurer, gambler, secret agent, and �world�s greatest lover�, was born in Venice.

17 November 1617, A naval battle between Sicily and Venice ended inconclusively.

1592,The Rialto Bridge, Venice, was completed.

28 December 1538, Andrea Gritti, Doge of Venice, died.


League of Cambrai war on Venice

26 March 1513, King Louis XII of France now allied with Venice to facilitate their recovery of Milan. This strengthened the support of the Holy Roman Emperor, an enemy of Venice, for the Papal League against France.

2 February 1510, In an sudden policy reversal, Pope Julius II left the League of Cambrai and made peace with Venice, cancelling its excommunication.

12 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I, having failed to recapture Padua, departed for the Tyrol.

17 July 1509, Padua rebelled against the Holy Roman Empire and Veniuce regained the city.. Emperor Maximilian I besieged it.

14 May 1509, French forces under Louis XII defeated Venice at Agnadello. Pope Julius II now annexed Faenza, Rimini and Ravenna in the Romagna, King Ferdinand II of Aragon took Otranto and Brindisi, and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I took Verona, Vicenza and Padua.

27 April 1509, Pope Julius II excommunicated the Venetian Republic.

15 April 1509, France began an invasion of Venice.

1 April 1509, The League of Cambria, an alliance of Spain, France and the Holy Roman Empire, declared war omn Venice, intending to take its mainland Italy territories.

23 March 1509, Pope Julius II joined the League of Cambrai against Venice. He hoped to recover cities in Romagna lost to Veince since the death of Pope Alexander VI. The Este Dukes of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio also joined.


War between Venice and Ottoman Turkey

20 August 1503, A peace was concluded between Venice, Hungary amnd Ottoman Turkey. Venice gave up Lepanto, Modon, Coron and Navarino in Morea (Peleponnese, Greece), also Durazzo in Albania. Venice retained Cephalonia., Hungary agreed a 7-year truce woith Turkey.

30 August 1502, Venice seized the Adriatic island of Santa Maura from Tiurkey.

1501, Mehmet Bey, Ottoman Governor of Elbasan, central Albania, took the Adriatic port of Durazzo from the Venetians.

15 August 1500, The Venetian port of Navarino (now Pilos) and Coton in Morea (Peleponnese, Greece), fell to the Ottoman Turks.

9 August 1500, The Ottoman Turks captured the Venetian fortress of Modon, in Morea, Peleponnese, Greece.

29 August 1499, Ottoman forces captured the fortress of Lepanto from Venice.

25 August 1499, The Venetian fleet was defeated at the Battle of Zonchia by the Ottomans. This was the first time cannon had been used in a naval battle. The Venetian-Ottoman War, 1499-1503, started. Venetian sea-power in the Mediterranean was an obstacle to Ottoman expansion. Ottoman Turkey gained the upper hand, and by 1503 Ottoman cavalry raids were reaching into Venetian territory. Venice was forced to recognise Turkish gains.


Peak of Venetian power

14 April 1489, The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sold her kingdom to Venice.

2 May 1482, Venice declared war on Ferrara. The 2-year war resulted in Venice acquiring the Ferrarese city of Rovogo. This was Venice�s last acquisition on the Italian mainland; Venice was now at the peak of its power.

8 January 1465, Lorenzo Giustiniani, Bishop of Venice, died (born 1380).

1457, Death of Francesco Foscari, Doge of Venice from 1423. He pursued an aggressive policy on the Italian mainland, gaining territories for the Republic of Venice. However his rule was too nepotistic and despotic for the citizens of Venice, who deposed him in 1457, shortly before his death from grief.

21 May 1454, Ermolao Barbaro, Italian scholar, was born in Venice (died in Rome 14 June 1493).

1 January 1449, Lorenzo de Medici, statesman, was born.

5 May 1432, Francesco Carmagnola, Italian soldier of fortune, was executed in Venice (born 1390).


Venice-Genoa War, 1256-1380

14 June 1380, Venice gained victory over Genoa, (see 1256) which had to surrender its fleet. In May 1379, one Venetian fleet had been destroyed by the Genoese; the rest of the Venetian fleet, under Carlo Zeno, was far away in the eastern Mediterranean, and Venice seemed open to a Genoese attack. The Genoese fleet entered the Venetian lagoon, and with its allies Hungary and Padua, blockaded Venice by land and sea. However Venice struck back and trapped the Geonese fleet; Carlo Zeno�s fleet arrived back, and routed the Genoese. Genoa never recovered,allowing Venice to dominate the eastern Mediterranean.

18 February 1358, Venice ceded Istria and Dalmatia to Ludwig of Hungary.

17 April 1355, Marino Falieri, born 1279, was executed for plotting to overthrow the government of Venice.

1 July 1346, King Louis I of Hungary, attempting to secure a seaboard on the Adriatic, against the wishes of the Venetian Republic who wishes toi control the entire Adriatic, tried to defend the city of Zara. Zara had declared itself part of Hungary, but was then besieged by Venice. The Venetians won and took Zara.

4 January 1343, Andrea Dandolo, a friend of Petrarch, was elected Doge of Venice.

1339, Venice conquered Treviso, gaining its first mainland possession.

7/1312, Marino Zorzi, Doge of Venice, died.

13 August 1311. Pietro Gradenigo, Doge of Venice, died.

15 June 1310, By 1300 the Governing Council of Venice had become an autocratic oligarchy. In 1300 a popular rebellion against the Council failed, its leader being hanged. In 1310 Bajamonte Tiepolo (died 1328) was preparing a further rebellion, conspiring with the patrician Querini family to take over the administration of Venice. However the plot was leaked out compelling the conspirators to act before they were ready, and this day they seized the public square of Venice. Forces loyal to the Venetian Doge (Chief Magistrate), Pietro Gradenigo (1249-1311) soon arrested the rebels, although Tiepolo himself managed to escape. The Venetian oligarchy then established a secret tribunal, the Council of Ten, ostensibly to �protect� Venice from further insurrections by tracking down rebels. By 1335 this body had become entrenched and took over many Governmental functions, especially in finance and the military.

27 March 1309, Pope Clement V declared Venice was no longer a Christian State, because it supported Falco d�Este, ruler of Ferrara, whoch the Pope claimed as a Papal fief. Papal forces defeated the Venetians in 8/1309.

8 September 1299, Genoa destroyed the Venetian Navy off the Dalmatian coast. This defeat led to changes in Venetian domestic policy; membership to the Great Council was restricted.

11 September 1298, The Governing Body of Venice, the Great Council, accepted a further amendment (see 5 October 1286) that entrenched the position of the existing ruling families.

8 November 1291, Venice moved its glass ovens to the island of Murano, initially to limit the risk of fire to the city. However this also facilitated restrictions on the movement of glass-makers, who were forbidden under strict penalties to jeopardise Venice�s monopoly in fine glassware by taking their secrets abroad.

5 October 1286, The Governing Body of Venice, the Great Council, accepted an amendment that effectively confirmed membership amongst the families of existing families (an earlier proposed amendment on 3 October 1286 had failed). The governance of Venice began to become more exclusive and autocratic, see 11 September 1298.

14 March 1272, Enzio, former King of Sardinia, died in captivity by the Bolognese.

7 October 1259, Eccelino da Romano, Ghibelline leader and supporter of Frederick II, died (born 25 April 1194).

1256, Venice and Genoa began a war that was to last for over a century, see 1380.


15 September 1254, Venetian explorer Marco Polo was born.

5 August 1205, Pietro, son of Sebastiano Ziani, was unanimously elected Doge of Venice.

1 June 1205, Enrico Dandolo, Doge of Venice, died and was succeeded by Pietro Ziano.

1094, First record of gondolas in Venice.

29 May 1176, The Battle of Legnano; In Spring 1176 Holy Roman Emperor Barbarossa was campaigning in Italy, but withdrawal of support by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, significantly reduced Barbarossa�s army strength. Meanwhile Milan and the other cities of the Lombard League had built up their defences. The Italian foot soldiers maintained a tight formation against Barbarossa�s cavalry, and the horsemen broke on the foot soldier�s pikes. Then Barbarossa was unhorsed and disappeared from view; his soldiers believed he had been killed, however he turned up in Pavia three days later, where they were mourning his death. However the result was that the Italian city-states gained autonomy from the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa. The Lombard League of Italian towns, supported by Pope Alexander III, objected to Barbarossa�s interference in their internal affairs. Barbarossa had laid waste to Milan, but was defeated at Legnano, north-west of Milan, and admitted defeat.

18 June 1053, Battle of Civitate, Italy. The Normans established domination over southern Italy, defeating a Papal, Byzantine and Swabian force.

18 September 887, Pietro, Doge of Venice, was killed in an expedition against the Dalmatian pirates

828, Venetians stole the relics of St Mark from Alexandria.

8 July 810, Pepin, King of Italy, second son of Charlemagne King of the Franks, died having failed to conquer Venice. Venice recognised Byzantine rule and began to develop the city state as a major political force.

801, Venice gained full independence from the Byzantine Empire.

607, Venice elected its first Doge, and began its rise to become a major power in the Mediterranean. The fish and salt trade, and Venice�s central location, helped it become very wealthy. Moreover Venice persistently defied orders from both the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperors not to trade with Muslim states.

452, Venice had become a thriving merchant city, founded by refugees from the Huns invading Italy.

25 March 421,Venice was founded at twelve o'clock noon (according to legend) with the dedication of the first church, San Giacomo, on the islet of Rialto (Italy).


Back to top