Was Venice born on 25 March 421?
The Chronicon Altinate, one of the oldest manuscripts that explain the history of Venice, states that the first settlement in Rialto (from the Latin Rivus Altus, means "deep channel") dates back to 421 AD.
The document is from the eleventh century and it does not have absolute historical value but it is said that the 25th of March 421 was laid the foundation stone of the San Giacomo Church ("San Giacometo") in Rialto.
Due to the lack of historical documents of the time, the origins of Venice are not perfectly datable. It is known for certain that the city was born Byzantine and tried to remain so in time, and historians say that Venice developed very slowly, with a process that lasted from the sixth to the eleventh century AD.
The people of the mainland - more precisely of Altino, which stood in a semi-swampy area near where the airport is today - began a migration to the islands of the lagoon because the raising of the sea was making the territory in which they lived unhealthy, because the lagoon canals were being buried and, later, to escape the invasion first of the barbarians of Attila and then of the Longobards.The origins of the settlements in the Venetian territory are certainly older than the fifth century A.D. and historians are still at work to discover something more.So, Happy Birthday dear Venice!
The celebrations of the 1600 years will continue for a year starting from today until March 2022.
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1. Chronicon Altinate (11th century) is a collection of documents and legends about the City of Venice and the Venetians.The pictures are owned by 1600.venezia.it