home The Venetian Republic was called
“Serenissima Repubblica" (The Most Serene Republic).
(SFC, 5/10/97, p.A10) 421
Mar 25, Venice was founded on a Friday at 12 PM.
828 Venetian merchants stole
the relics of Saint Mark from a Coptic church in Alexandria and
brought them home in triumph.
(Econ, 12/23/06, p.125)
992 Constantinople granted
Venetian goods lower tariffs than other merchandise.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R50)
1085 Oct 8, San Marcos
monastery in Venice started.
1094 Oct 8, St. Mark’s Basilica
in Venice was dedicated. Remains believed to have belonged to St
Mark, the Evangelist, were buried there.
1094 Gondoliering began in
Venice as a strictly male profession.
1107-1205 Enrico Dandolo, ruler of Venice. He was
blind and spearheaded the 4th Crusade. He funded an army to capture
Constantinople and after the "rape of Constantinople" pocketed some
of the city's riches. He stole 4 bronze horses and placed them over
the entry to the Cathedral of San Marco.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R6)
1157 The Bank of Venice issued
the first government bonds to raise funds for was with
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)
1186 Zara (present-day Zadar,
Croatia), previously part of the Venetian republic, rebelled against
Venice and allied itself with Hungary, posing competition to
Venice’s maritime trade.
1192 Enrico Dandolo was elected
doge of Venice.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R6)
1200-1300 Bronze horses were brought to Venice
from Constantinople. Their replicas are over the entrance to St.
(WSJ, 7/24/97, p.A1)
1204 Apr 9, The Venetians began
their assault on Constantinople.
1204 Apr 12, The Fourth Crusade
sacked Constantinople. Constantinople fell to a combined force of
Franks and Venetians. The 4th Crusade failed to reach Palestine but
sacked the Byzantine Christian capital of Constantinople.
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.)(NH, 9/96, p.22)(HN, 4/12/98)
1204 Venice won control over
most of Albania, but Byzantines regained control of the southern
portion and established the Despotate of Epirus.
(www, Albania, 1998)
1204 The rule of Venice over
Crete dates to this year, when the Republic was awarded 3/8 of the
Eastern Roman Empire for its role in supporting the Fourth Crusade.
1250 Nicolo and Mafeo Polo
embarked on their own cargo ship for Constantinople.
(TMPV, P.4)(This date is questionable and is
given as 1260 in other versions)
1254-1324 Marco Polo was born in Venice.
1269-1271 The Polo brothers waited two years in
Venice for a new pope and then departed for Acre and then to
Jerusalem with the young Marco Polo. The Polos continue their
journey and reach Armenia. The legate of Jerusalem was elected Pope
and assumed the name Gregory X.
1291 A law made by the Doge
ordered that all glass furnaces be moved from Venice to Murano.
1295 Marco Polo narrated his
travels to master Rustigielo, a citizen of Pisa, from a prison in
1295 Jacobellus Barovier,
founder of a glass-making family, was born. His sons, Antonio and
Bartolomeo in 1348 registered as "fioliare" (glassmakers) in Murano,
across the lagoon from Venice, Italy. The Barovier firm merged with
the Murano-based Toso firm in the 1930s.
1324 Jan 8, Marco Polo,
Venetian explorer, governor of Nanking, died.
1400-1500 Giovanni Spinetti of Venice built the
first small piano called the spinet.
(SFEC, 4/20/97, Z1 p.5)
1417 Feb 23, Pietro Barbo,
later Pope Paul II (1464-1471), was born in Venice.
(PTA, 1980, p.418)
1450-1650 The Venetians occupied the capital city
of Crete, Iraklion. The forests of Crete provided the Venetians with
cedars and firs for their fleets.
(SFEC, 8/17/97, p.T10)
1454 Apr 9, The city states of
Venice, Milan and Florence signed a peace agreement at Lodi, Italy.
1474 By this year Venice passed
a patent statute that included many of the elements of modern patent
1479 Venice signed a peace
treaty with Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror (1432-1481) ending
16 years of war.
1490 In Venice the Aldine Press
opened and went on to publish the first pocket editions of poetry
and Greek classics.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)
1494 Luca Pacioli’s textbook
“Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalità,"
was published in Venice and used as a textbook for schools of
Northern Italy. It was notable for including the first published
description of the method of bookkeeping that Venetian merchants
used during the Italian Renaissance, known as the double-entry
1499 Aug 25, Battle at
Sapienza: An Ottoman fleet beat Venetians.
1500 The Vatican established a
permanent nunciture (diplomatic service) in Venice.
(Econ, 7/21/07, p.59)
1507 Feb 23, Gentile Bellini,
Venetian artist, died.
1509 Apr 27, Pope Julius II
excommunicated the republic of Venice. The pope lifted the ban in
1509 May 14, In the Battle of
Agnadello, the French defeat the Venetians in Northern Italy.
1509 Andrea Calmo (d.1571,
Venetian playwright, was born about this time. He became a pioneer
in comedia dell’arte.
1511 Portuguese traders reached
the Banda Islands, including Run, and broke the Venetian monopoly
over nutmeg. Over the next century the Dutch muscled in an almost
cornered the nutmeg market. The history of the nutmeg trade was
documented in 1999 by Giles Milton in his: "Nathaniel's Nutmeg."
(WSJ, 5/21/99, p.W7)
1515 Sep 13, King Francis of
France defeated the Swiss army under Cardinal Matthias Schiner at
Marignano, northern Italy. Switzerland was last involved in a war.
French armies defeated the Swiss and Venetians at the Battle of
Marignano and Milan fell to the French. Francis I conquered
Lombardy in northern Italy.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.11)(SFC, 6/7/96, p.A12)(HN,
1516 Mar 29, The Jewish Ghetto
of Venice, the first ghetto in Europe, was established on 29th of
March 1516 by the government of Venetian Serenissima Republic.
1516 Titian began “The
Assumption of the Virgin," a monumental altarpiece in the Church of
the Frari, Venice.
1518 Forks were used at a
banquet in Venice (for the first time?).
1525 Jacob Ben-Hayim published
an overhaul of the Hebrew Bible, the Mikraot Gedolot, or Great
Scriptures, in Venice. His version unified the religion's varying
texts and commentaries under a single umbrella and remained the
standard for generations. In 2012 Menachem Cohen completed an
updated 21-volume set, with the final chapter set to be published in
1526 Vittore Carpaccio
(b.~1465), an Italian painter of the Venetian school, died about
this time. In 2014 Jan Morris authored “Ciao, Carpaccio: An
1552 Aug 14, Fra Paolo Sarpi,
[Paulus Venetus], expert, philosopher, was born in Venice.
1562 The Sumptuary Laws, which
placed strict limits on lavish displays of wealth, required that all
gondolas be painted black.
1567 El Greco (1541-1614)
arrived in Venice as a painter if icons in the hieratic,
(WSJ, 6/18/01, p.A16)
1570 Jul 3, The Turks began
their attack on Nicosia, Cyprus, after Venice refused to surrender
1570 Sep 23, The Turks began
their attack on Famagusta, Cyprus, which was fortified by Venetian
commander Marcantonio Bragadino (1523-1571).
1571 May 20, Venice, Spain
& Pope Pius formed an anti-Turkish Saint League.
1571 Sep 1, Famagusta, Cyprus,
surrendered to Mustafa Pasha commander of the Turkish forces after
nearly a one year siege. The terms of surrender appeared agreeable
to Venetian Gov. Marcantonio Bragadino (b.1523), but Mustafa Pasha
turned on Bragadino and had him violently tortured and finally
1571 Oct 7, Spanish, Genoese
and Venetian ships of the Christian League defeated an Ottoman fleet
in the naval Battle of Lepanto, Greece. In the last great clash of
galleys, the Ottoman navy lost 117 ships to a Christian naval
coalition under the overall command of Spain's Don Juan de Austria.
1576 Aug 27, The Venetian
painter Titian (Tiziano Vecelli), born about 1488, died of the
plague. His handling of color and mastery of new oil techniques made
him one of the greatest painters of the Renaissance. In 2012 Sheila
Hale authored “Titian: His Life."
1576 An epidemic of plague
Venice. In 2006 a well-preserved skeleton was found on the
Lazzaretto Nuovo island, north of the lagoon city, amid other
corpses buried in a mass grave. Experts said the remains of a
woman with a brick stuck between her jaws indicated that she was
believed to be a vampire.
1583 Veronica Franco, a
courtesan, was later described in a 1992 dissertation titled “The
Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen & Writer in 16th
Century Venice" by Margaret F. Rosenthal. In 1997 it was made into
the film “Dangerous Beauty" with Catherine McCormick. The film
was set in Venice of this year during the annual courtesan festival.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, DB. p.38)(SFC, 2/20/98, p.C8)(WSJ,
1606 Venice expelled the
Jesuits as part of a larger jurisdictional dispute with the Vatican.
(WSJ, 5/5/07, p.P10)
1609 Aug 25, Galileo
demonstrated his 1st telescope to Venetian lawmakers. Galileo
Galilei had improved the newly invented telescope and pointed it at
(V.D.-H.K.p.200)(Econ, 8/15/09, p.12)
1630 Nov 1-1630 Nov 30, In
Italy 12,000 inhabitants of Venice died of plague. 80,000 people
died over a period of 17 months.
1657 Venice re-admitted the
Jesuits ushering in a period of cultural conservatism that marked
the end of the “Renaissance project."
(WSJ, 5/5/07, p.P10)
1669 Aug 24, Alessandro
Marcello (d.1747), composer, was born in Venice.
1669 Sep 26, The island of
Crete fell to the Ottoman Turks after 465 years as a colony of
(WSJ, 7/21/08, p.A11)
c1675-1741 Antonio Vivaldi, Italian violinist and
composer. [see 1678]
(WUD, 1994, p.1598)
1678 Mar 4, Antonio Vivaldi
(d.1741), Italian Baroque composer (4 Seasons) and violinist, was
born in Venice. [see 1675]
(HN, 3/4/01)(SC, 3/4/02)
1685 The Venetians returned to
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.56)
1686 Jul 24, Benedetto
Marcello, composer, was born. [see Aug 1]
1686 Aug 1, Benedetto Marcello,
Italian author, composer (Lettera Famigliare), was born in Venice,
Italy. [see Jul 24]
1687 Sep 26, The Venetian army
attacked the Acropolis in Athens while trying to eject Turks.
Marauding Venetians sent a mortar through a gable window of the
Parthenon and ignited a Turkish store of gunpowder. This damaged the
northern colonnade of the Parthenon. The Parthenon was destroyed in
the war between Turks and Venetians.
(SFEC, 6/6/99, p.A26)(MC, 9/26/01)
1687 Sep 28, Venetians took
Athens from the Turks.
1696 Mar 5, Giambattista
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (d.1770), Venetian Rococo painter (Isaac's
Sacrifice), was born. He painted for the Dolfin family in the 1720s.
His work included: “The Annunciation" (c1765-1770), “Apelles
Painting a Portrait of Campaspe," “Martyrdom of St. Agatha,"
“Sacrifice of Isaac," “The Finding of Moses," “Nobility and Virtue"
(1743), “Satyress with a Putto," “Satyress With Two Putti and a
Tambourine," and “Halberdier in a Landscape." His contemporaries
included Francesco Fontebasso, Allesandro Longhi, and Louis-Joseph
Le Lorrain. [see Apr 4]
(AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.1483)(WSJ, 10/14/96,
p.A14)(SFC, 3/25/97, p.E3)(MC, 3/5/02)
During the time of Tiepolo,
the Republic of Venice was in a steep decline from eminence as a
maritime hub of European trade.
(SFC, 2/5/97, p.E3)
1696 Apr 4, Giovanni Battista
Tiepolo (d.1770), painter, was born. [see Mar 5]
1697 May 12, The fall of the
(SFC, 5/10/97, p.A10)
1718 Jul 21, The Turkish threat
to Europe was eliminated with the signing of the Treaty of
Passarowitz between Austria, Venice and the Ottoman Empire.
1723 Dominicus Montagnana made
a viola, later acquired by the Chicago Symphony, valued at $1
million. He was one of the greatest Venetian violin makers.
(SFC, 6/23/98, p.A3)
1729 Mar 21, John Law, Scottish
gambler and financier (57 or 58), died in Venice. An inventory of
his wealth included 488 paintings with works by Titian, Raphael,
Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. His story was told in 2000 by
Cynthia Crossen in “The Rich and How They got That Way."
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)(MC, 3/21/02)
1750 Oct 5, Carlo Goldoni's "Il
Teatro Comica," premiered in Venice.
1790 La Fenice opera house in
Venice was designed. It burned down for the 1st time in 1836.
(WSJ, 9/24/05, p.P12)
1793 Jan 1, Francesco Guardi
(b.1712), Venetian painter, died.
1797 Venice, the city-state
that liked to call itself La Serenissima, lost its independence and
its empire. Ludovico Manin, the 120th doge of Venice, surrendered to
Napoleon. A few months later Napoleon traded Venice to Austria which
ruled it until 1866.
(WSJ, 1/9/97, p.A8)(SFEC, 8/24/97, p.T1)(WSJ,
1797 The Jewish ghetto in
Venice was destroyed following the Napoleon’s invasion of Italy.
This began the gradual liberation of the country’s ghettos.
(SFC, 12/2/08, p.E1)
1813 The Rossini opera
“L’Italiana in Algeri" had its premier in Venice.
(SFC, 7/12/97, p.E1)
1819 J.M.W. Turner (44),
English artist (1775-1851), visited Venice for the 1st time. He
returned in 1833 and 1840. His 1st oil painting with a Venetian
setting was done in 1833.
(WSJ, 3/17/04, p.D4)
1823 Feb 2, Rossini's opera
"Semiramide" premiered in Venice.
1824 Mar 7, Meyerbeer's opera
"Il Crociati in Egitto," premiered in Venice.
1830 Mar 4, V. Bellini's opera
"I Capuleti e i Montecchi" premiered in Venice.
(WSJ, 11/10/98, p.A20)(SC, 3/4/02)
1833 J.M.W. Turner completed
his 1st oil painting "Bridge of Sighs and the Ducal Palace," his 1st
exhibited painting of Venice.
(WSJ, 3/17/04, p.D4)
1836 La Fenice opera house in
Venice burned down for the 1st time.
(WSJ, 9/24/05, p.P12)
1848 Venice staged an uprising
against Austrian rule.
(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.A13)
1849 Aug 28, Venice, under
Daniele Manin, surrendered to Austrians under Count Radetsky,
following a siege since July 20 after proclaiming independence.
(HTNet, 8/28/99)(MC, 8/28/01)
1853 Mar 6, Giuseppe Verdi's
Opera, "La Traviata," premiered in Venice.
(AP, 3/6/98)(MC, 3/6/02)
1866 Venice joined the new
Kingdom of Italy.
(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.A13)
1879 Sep, James McNeill
Whistler (1834-1903), artist, arrived in Venice following a lawsuit
against critic John Ruskin that awarded him a single farthing.
(SFC, 2/15/03, p.D5)
1881 Nov 25, Pope John the 23rd
was born Angelo Roncalli near Bergamo, Italy.
(AP internet, 11/25/97)
1895 The Venice Biennale was
launched as a display for decorative arts.
1902 The Campanile in the
Piazza San Marco in Venice collapsed.
(HT, 5/97, p.24)
1903 Aug 4, Cardinal Giuseppe
Sarto of Venice was elected Pope Pius X.
c1903 The Venice Biennale
(SFC, 6/14/99, p.E3)
1908 Claude Monet made his last
trip abroad to Venice with his wife Alice and made a number of
(WSJ, 8/26/97, p.A14)
1920 Apr 21, Bruno Maderna,
conductor, composer, Hyperion), was born in Venice, Italy.
1946 Nov 2, Giuseppe Sinopoli,
conductor, was born in Venice, Italy.
1951 Sep 11, Stravinsky's opera
"Rake's Progress," premiered in Venice.
1958 Oct 28, The Roman Catholic
patriarch of Venice, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, was elected Pope,
taking the name John XXIII.
(AP internet, 10/28/97)
1962 Claire Falkenstein
(1908-1997), sculptor and painter, created the gates for Peggy
Guggenheim’s palazzo in Venice.
1964 Robert Rauschenberg won
the grand prize at the Venice Biennale. This established him in the
art world with his idea that art is reality reshuffled.
(SFC, 8/20/98, p.E1)
1966 Nov 4, A devastating flood
swamped the city, damaged monuments and covered the city in mud.
5,000 people were made homeless.
(SFC, 12/11/98, p.D4)(WSJ, 3/8/02, p.AW9)
1987 Jun 10, The leaders of
seven major industrial nations ended a three-day summit in Venice,
proposing no new major economic initiatives, but calling for closer
coordination of their economies and a stabilizing of foreign
(AP internet, 6/10/97)
1990 The Venice Commission was
created by 18 member states to advise the Council of Europe on
constitutional matters after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Its
official name is the European Commission for Democracy through Law.
By 2012 it included 47 members.
1996 Jan 29, The La Fenice
opera house in Venice was destroyed by fire. It was scheduled to be
reconstructed and finished by Sep 27, 1999. In 2005 John Berendt
authored “The City of Falling Angels," which centered on the burning
of La Fenice.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.E4)(AP, 1/29/01)(WSJ, 9/24/05,
1996 Flooding of 32 inches or
more hit Venice a record 101 times in this year.
(SFC, 12/11/98, p.D4)
1997 May 9, Eight Venetian
separatists took over the bell tower at St. Mark’s Square. They were
overpowered by police after 7 1/2 hours.
(SFC, 5/10/97, p.A10)
1999 Sep 1, The Venice Film
(SFEC, 8/15/99, DB p.48)
1999 Ljubica Gunj became the
first woman in Venice, Italy, permitted to wait on customers at
tables on St. Mark’s Square.
(SFC, 5/14/07, p.A11)
2002 John Keahey authored
“Venice Against the Sea."
(WSJ, 3/8/02, p.W9)
2003 May 14, In Italy Premier
Silvio Berlusconi inaugurated the ambitious $4 billion "Moses"
project to ease the flooding in Venice. Construction soon began on a
breakwater for Venice to prevent high tides from entering its
(AP, 5/15/03)(Econ, 9/27/03, p.80)
2003 Sep 7, The Russian drama
"The Return" won the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion for best
picture. Vladimir Girin (15), star of the film, drowned shortly
after the film was shot.
(SFC, 9/8/03, p.D5)
2003 Dec 14, Venice threw
itself a party to celebrate the rebirth of the La Fenice, following
a $90 million restoration, with a gala concert that drew the Italian
president, European royalty and Italy's glitterati.
(AP, 12/15/03)(SFC, 12/15/03, p.A2)
2005 Sep 28, Italian Premier
Silvio Berlusconi said a $5.2 billion project to build flood
barriers to save Venice from its high tides will go forward.
2007 Apr, A court in Venice,
Italy, allowed Alexandra Hai (40), a German of Algerian descent, to
operate a gondola, but only for the residents of one of the city’s
hotels. Her permit was opposed by the city’s male gondoliers.
(SFC, 5/14/07, p.A11)
2007 Aug 29, The 11-day Venice
Film Festival opened for its 75th anniversary edition.
(SFC, 8/30/07, p.E5)
2008 Jul 15, In Italy a judge
in Venice indicted Saber Fadhil Hussien for plotting a terrorist
attack on US bases in Iraq using ultra-light aircraft.
(SFC, 7/16/08, p.A9)
2008 Dec 1, In Italy the worst
flooding in Venice in more than 20 years forced residents and
tourists to wade through knee-high water.
2009 Dec 23, In Italy an
unusually high tide flooded most of Venice, forcing tourists and
residents to wade through knee-high waters or take to improvised,
elevated boardwalks set up in St. Mark's Square and other landmarks.
2013 Aug 28, The 70th edition
of the Venice Film Festival opened with "Gravity," a 3-D
techno-drama set in outer space.