In the age of the bronze (2nd millennium B.C.) the Euganei became established on the territory which was not yet called Venetia. The territory was then inhabited by the Veneti, a population that emigrated from Paphlagonia (an ancient area on the Black Sea coast of north central Anatolia) circa 1000 years B.C., after the fall of Troy by sailing on the Adriatic Sea, and which bequeathed its name to the region. According to some historians, the Veneti have settled in Paphalogonia coming from Lusatia, a region of Central Europe today located within the German states of Saxony and Brandenburg as well as in the Lower Silesian and Lubusz voivodeships of western Poland. This peaceful population, renowned for its horse farms, was one of the first ones to deal in the amber of the Baltic, which was sold to the Etruscan and to the Greeks. The Veneti became allied to the Roman to counter the invasion of the Gauls.
From the IIth century BC, after their final victory against the Gauls, the Romans began to spread their culture throughout Cisalpine Gaul (north from the river Po). They thus founded colonies, connected by important roads as the “via Postumia”, which went from Ianua (Genoa) to Aquileia and the “via Aurelia” which started in Patavium (Padoa) to gain Acelum (Asolo) and Feltria (Feltre), crossing the via Postumia. The Romans extended the Latin right to this territory into 89 B.C. and granted Roman nationality to its inhabitants between 49 and 42 B.C. Venetia became one of the eleven regions of Roman Italy (Regio X: Venetia et Histria).
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Venetia passed under the authority of the Byzantine Empire before gaining independence.From the VIth century, Venezia is invaded by the Longobards, a Germanic people belonging to the sub-group of “Elbe’s German”. According to the sources, their name means “the long beards” or “the long halberds”. They colonized the counstry, coming with women and children to repopulate a region which population had been decimated by the plague and the famines, of which notorious famine of 565 after J.C. The domination of the Longobards over north Italy ends in 774. but their influence was so important that their laws were maintained for centuries. In the middle of XIth century, almost all rural populations still followed the longobard or salique law. A lot of place-names and current venetian patronymics derive from the Longobards’ germanic language, as many words of the venetian language.
From 697, the power of the Republic of Venice, also called “La Serenissima” (the most serene) began for a millenium. This state, gradually made up around the city of Venice, has developed with the annexation of various territories and commercial counters along the coasts of the Adriatic Sea, in the Eastern Mediterranean and Italy of north, untill it becam one of the principal European economic powers. The region “Asolano”, where my ancestors lived, has been included into the venetian state at the end of XIVth century.
In 1784, the Republic of Venice was the first state in the world to recognize the independence of the USA. In 1786, Thomas Moore, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson came in delegation to Venice, to study venetian laws and constitution. The American constitution, still effective today, is widely inspired by that of the “Serenissima”.
But after more than a millenium of stability and prosperity, the Republic of Venice was overcome at the end of XVIIIth century and the history of Venetia underwent from then a lot of changes:
* may 1797: After the first Italian campaign, Napoleon put an end to the Serenissima and forced the last doge, Ludovico Manin, to abdicate
* october 1797: by the treaty of Campo Formio, Napoleon exchanges Venetia for Belgium. Venetia passes under domination of Austria,
* december 26th 1805: After the Napoleonean victories of Ulm and Austerlitz, the treaty of Presbourg puts an end to the austrian domination. Venetia integrates the Napoleonean kingdom of Italy,
* 1815: Following the treaty of Vienna at the end of the reign of Napoleon, Venezia returns to the Empire of Austria,
* november 4th 1866: after the third Italian war of independence, which sees the victory of the Prussian allies over Austria, Venetia integrates the Italian State, a constitutional monarchy,
* june 1946 : a referendum puts an end to the monarchy, the Italian Republic is proclaimed and the royal family is exiled.