The Republic of Venice, The Greatest Jewel of the Mediterranean?

The Doge’s Palace in Saint Mark’s Square, Venice. Source: Mapics / Adobe Stock.

To visit Venice is a dream of every passionate traveler. The city, crisscrossed with channels and marvelous relics of art and culture, is one of Italy’s most sought-after tourist destinations. But how much does the average visitor know of the thousand-year history behind this jewel of the Mediterranean?

The modern-day city of Venice was once the sprawling maritime Republic of Venice, a rich and influential dominion that spread through much of the Mediterranean. This Republic had its fair share of ups and downs, but it was always a center of cultural and artistic development.

Being the foremost naval power in Europe, Venice was instrumental in sending ships to all corners of the world, establishing trading routes and bringing a touch of the exotic into Europe. Sadly, after a millennium of rich heritage, the Venetian Republic was finally dissolved. But those centuries of glory and riches are still well-remembered in history.

How Did the Venetian Republic Come to Be?

Throughout its history, the Venetian Republic was formally called “The Most Serene Republic of Venice” (La Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia). However, it was usually just called “La Serenissima”, both by its inhabitants and those who lived in its sphere of influence.

This title was reserved for a number of European nations, and denoted a royal, esteemed status. However, Venice was not a kingdom or a country as such; it is best described as a city-state. A city-state whose influence spread throughout the waters of the Adriatic and beyond, with its wealth depending solely on maritime power.

Source: Ancient Origins

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