Venice and Northern Italy, 1400–1600 A.D.

Bike Italy - Italian History

General historical timeline for Northern Italy between the years 1400-1600 A.D.


by 1400  Venice is one of Europe's wealthiest and most powerful cities, with an extensive overseas trade empire. Venetian culture is so marked by material opulence that sumptuary laws are adopted and enforced with only nominal success.
1440 Ludovico II Gonzaga (r. 1444–78), a member of the influential ruling family of Mantua (from 1328), Montferrat (from 1536), and Guastalla (from 1539), is named marquis of Mantua. Under Ludovico, the great architect Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) designs the Church of Sant'Andrea in Mantua, and the painter Andrea Mantegna (1430/31–1506) enters his service. Even more illustrious as an art patron at the Gonzaga court is Isabella d'Este (1474–1539), a daughter of the ruling house of Ferrara and Modena and wife of Francesco Gonzaga (r. 1484–1519). Highly educated and versed in music, poetry, and classical languages, Isabella is also a consummate collector: among the cultural luminaries with whom she associates are the poets Matteo Maria Boiardo (ca. 1441–1494) and Ludovico Ariosto (1474–1533), and numerous artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Bellini, and Perugino.
from mid-15th century Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1430–1516) is the foremost Venetian painter of his time. Known particularly for compositions of the Madonna and Child and sacre conversazioni, of which the altarpiece for the Church of San Zaccaria is one of the most celebrated, Bellini develops a style of painting that combines the sculptural monumentality of the Florentine tradition with a lyricism achieved by rich, saturated colors and subtle effects of light and shade. Among his pupils are the later masters Giorgione (ca. 1477/8–1510) and Titian (ca. 1488–1576).
ca. 1446    Sigismondo Malatesta (1417–1468), a member of the ruling house of Rimini (in Romagna), commissions Alberti to rebuild the thirteenth-century Church of San Francesco. The renovated structure, called the Tempio Malatestiano, reflects Alberti's admiration for classical models in its marked emulation of the nearby Arch of Augustus (27 B.C.), as well as the patron's ambitions to identify himself with the glory of the Roman emperors.
1447 The death of Filippo Maria Visconti (1392–1447) ends more than two centuries of Visconti rule in Milan. A republic (the so-called Ambrosian Republic) is established at his death, but by 1450, Filippo's son-in-law, Francesco Sforza (1401–1466), is named duke of Milan. The city flourishes under the patronage of the Sforza family, who remain in power, with interruptions, until 1535, after which possession of the duchy is contested by Spain and France.
mid-15th century Ferrara, ruled by the Este family, is a center for humanist learning and the arts. Chiefly responsible for this is Leonello d'Este (1407–1450), himself a scholar and avid patron. Several years later, Ercole I d'Este (1431–1505) cultivates in Ferrara his love for Northern art and culture, supporting the production of manuscript illumination and commissioning music from the celebrated Flemish composer Josquin des Prez (ca. 1450–1521).
second half of 15th century Characterized by a humanistic treatment of subject matter and an emphasis on rational space, proportion, and perspective, the Renaissance style, which has by this time flourished in Tuscany, makes its way to northern Italy. These developments are inspired by visiting artists such as Paolo Uccello (ca. 1396–1475)—who travels to Venice earlier in the century, contributing mosaics to the Cathedral of San Marco—and Donatello, who produces among other commissions the earliest significant equestrian monument in the new Renaissance style, the Gattamelata, during his ten-year stay in Padua from 1443–53. An important school of painting develops in Padua, of which Andrea Mantegna (1430/31–1506) is the chief exponent. Mantegna is among the first artists of the Renaissance to produce images that combine mythological subject matter with a style based on the study of ancient art; his prints, accessible by a wide audience, are especially vital in the dissemination of Renaissance ideals.
1470–1476    Giovanni Antonio Amadeo constructs the exquisitely ornamented Cappella Colleoni in Bergamo (ruled by Venice), the city's finest fifteenth-century structure.
1476–1575 In 1464, the first printing press arrives in Italy and by 1467 the first printed book to include woodcut illustrations has been published in Rome. In Venice, the first book is printed by Johannes de Spira of Mainz in 1469; in 1476 the first book with woodcut decoration is published by the innovative typographer and printer Erhard Ratdolt of Augsburg. Soon many other Northern European printers set up shop in Venice, which by the end of the century has become the center of international book publishing. Partly because the foreign printers are often accompanied by Northern (particularly German) specialists in woodblock cutting, Venice also becomes the most flourishing center of woodcut illustration in Italy, a position it enjoys until the third quarter of the sixteenth century.
from late 15th century Sculpture and architecture are dominated by Lombard mason-artists. Foremost among these are Pietro Lombardo (ca. 1435–1515) and his sons Antonio (ca. 1458–1516?) and Tullio Lombardo (ca. 1455–1532). In 1504, Pomponius Gauricus (ca. 1482–ca. 1530) publishes his treatise on the art of sculpture (De Sculptura), extolling Tullio as the greatest sculptor of his time.
ca. 1480 Marcantonio Raimondi (ca. 1480–before 1534) is born near Bologna. His successful career as an engraver includes a close partnership with the painter Raphael, whose works Raimondi reproduces. He also copies many of the graphic works of the great German master Albrecht Dürer, and after Raphael's death in 1520, the works of his follower, Giulio Romano.
ca. 1482 Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) enters the service of Ludovico Sforza in Milan, where he and assistants execute a version of the Virgin of the Rocks (now Paris, Louvre), and the Last Supper, one of his greatest and best-known works, for the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Leonardo leaves Milan after the fall of the Sforza family from power in 1499 and travels briefly to Venice and Mantua before resettling in Florence. He returns to Milan for seven years in 1508 in the service of Louis XII of France (r. 1498–1515).
1490s    Aldus Manutius (ca. 1450–1515) sets up a printing press in Venice, the new book publishing center of Europe. A scholar keenly interested in the classics, Manutius publishes editions of Greek and Roman texts—most famously the five-volume works of Aristotle (1495–98)—as well as contemporary humanist works such as the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (23.73.10) (1499), a complex tale of erotic love and antiquarianism. The Hypnerotomachia provides an influential contribution to the rediscovery of the classical world in its employment of mythological imagery. The legacy of the Aldine Press continues after its founder's death in the hands of Aldus' son, Paulus Manutius (1512–1574), and grandson, Aldus Manutius the Younger (1547–1597).
1490s  Aldus Manutius (ca. 1450–1515) sets up a printing press in Venice, the new book publishing center of Europe. A scholar keenly interested in the classics, Manutius publishes editions of Greek and Roman texts—most famously the five-volume works of Aristotle (1495–98)—as well as contemporary humanist works such as the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (23.73.10) (1499), a complex tale of erotic love and antiquarianism. The Hypnerotomachia provides an influential contribution to the rediscovery of the classical world in its employment of mythological imagery. The legacy of the Aldine Press continues after its founder's death in the hands of Aldus' son, Paulus Manutius (1512–1574), and grandson, Aldus Manutius the Younger (1547–1597).
1494–1495  Painter, printmaker, and theoretician Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) leaves his native Nuremberg for the first of two journeys to Italy (the second in 1505–7), staying principally in Venice, where he later produces the Virgin of the Rose Garlands (1506) altarpiece for the Confraternity of the Rosary. In Italy, Dürer admires works of classical antiquity as well as those of contemporary masters such as Andrea Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini. Dürer's sensitivity to Italianate form as well as his attention to classical proportion and perspective contribute to his renown as the most influential German artist of his time; his prints also exert a profound influence on Italian artists of this period and of future generations.
1494–1559    Various European powers, particularly France and Spain, vie for control of several Italian city-states in a series of conflicts known as the Italian Wars (or Habsburg-Valois Wars). In 1494, Charles VIII of France (r. 1483–98) begins invading the Italian peninsula; in 1499, his successor Louis XII (r. 1498–1515) seizes Genoa and Milan, and attempts, unsuccessfully, to take Naples as well. The French defend their claims in northern Italy until 1559, when the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis establishes Spanish rule in Milan and Naples.
  1497 Venetian publisher Lucantonio Giunta produces an illustrated Italian edition of the Metamorphoses of Ovid (43 B.C.–17 A.D.). The Augustan poet's compendium of classical myths is an essential reference for innumerable artists—through this period and the next—who depict the adventures of gods, be they amorous, valorous, or treacherous.
ca. 1505 Giorgione (ca. 1477/8–1510) paints The Tempest, an enigmatic and atmospheric work, for a private collector in Venice. His preoccupation with pastoral setting and treatment of the female nude in this and other works from his brief career look forward to an even greater development in the oeuvre of his contemporary, Titian. Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574), in his Lives of the Artists (1550, revised 1568), calls Giorgione the founder of modern Venetian painting.
1508 Pope Julius II forms the League of Cambrai with Emperor Maximilian I, Ferdinand V of Aragon, and Louis XII of France, with the aim of ending the territorial dominance of the Republic of Venice, then in possession of an enormous empire west of the city known as the terra firma, and with possessions not only in Italy but also along the Dalmatian coast. While the republic suffers several losses in wars of the following two years, it remains a major political and economic power throughout the sixteenth century.
1511 Titian (born Tiziano Vecellio, ca. 1488–1576), the outstanding painter of his time in northern Italy, is active as an independent master. Throughout his long and successful career, Titian is employed by the dukes of Urbino, Mantua, and Ferrara, honored by Emperor Charles V, and avidly collected by Philip II of Spain. His early paintings show the influence of Giorgione, with whom he collaborates on a series of frescoes for the Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice.
1513 Venetian painter Lorenzo Lotto (ca. 1480–1556) settles in Bergamo, where he remains until 1525. There, under the patronage of Conte Alessandro Martinengo-Colleoni, Lotto paints a high altarpiece for the Church of SS. Stefano e Domenico, his first great work for the city.
1516–1518 Titian paints an Assumption of the Virgin for the Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice. The emotional fervor and sense of drama, dynamic forms, and lush palette of this imposing altarpiece are characteristic of the master's oeuvre, and he lends these qualities to sacred and profane subjects alike. In the years immediately following the completion of this Assunta, Titian paints three bacchanals (ca. 1518–22) for Duke Alfonso d'Este in Ferrara and in 1519 is contracted to paint the Pesaro Madonna (Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice, completed 1526), a monumental recreation of the compositional type known as the sacra conversazione (holy conversation).
ca. 1522 Correggio (ca. 1494–1534) secures a commission for the dome fresco of Parma Cathedral, for which he paints the Assumption of the Virgin (completed 1530). This illusionistic fresco full of sharply foreshortened figures is Correggio's great masterpiece, and is among the most influential works for Baroque artists in the next century.
1523–1524 A painter of provincial birth called Il Pordenone (ca. 1483–1539) paints a set of organ shutters for the Duomo at Spilimbergo (in Friuli). The Assumption of the Virgin, painted on the outside of the shutters, employs an illusionistic perspective to theatrical effect. Pordenone later has a major career painting in Cremona, Piacenza (both Lombardy), and Venice.
1524   Giulio Romano (ca. 1492–1546), a Roman painter, architect, and former pupil of Raphael, leaves Rome and enters the service of Federigo Gonzaga (1500–1540) in Mantua. The Palazzo del Te (completed 1534) is his finest work of the period, in both its exterior construction and opulent interior decoration, including a lavish mythological fresco cycle for the Sala di Psiche.
1527 Jacopo Sansovino (1486–1570), having earned renown in both Rome and Florence, flees the sack of Rome and settles in Venice, where in 1529 he is placed in charge of building projects on the Piazza San Marco. By the mid-1530s, he designs three major buildings for this location: the mint, or Zecca, the Loggetta, and the Libreria Marciana, thought to be his masterpiece. The decorative program for the library includes contributions from major artists of the time, including the sculptor Alessandro Vittoria (1524/5–1608), and the painters Tintoretto (1518–1594) and Paolo Veronese (1528–1588).
1527–1536 Formerly active in the workshop of Raphael, painter Perino del Vaga (1501–1547) travels to Genoa, where he works on the Palazzo del Principe of Genoese statesman Andrea Doria (1466–1560). Perino oversees the remodeling of the palazzo, which was damaged in a fire in 1527, and begins the decorative program of mythological and historical subjects by about 1529. A major surviving work from the palazzo is the Fall of the Giants fresco (ca. 1531) in the west salon.
late 1520s Parmigianino (1503–1540), so called because of his birthplace, Parma, journeys from Rome to Bologna after the sack of 1527, later resettling in his native city. There he produces what is not only the great masterpiece of his career, but is also among the finest works of Mannerist painting: the Madonna dal Collo Lungo (Madonna of the Long Neck) (ca. 1535, now Florence, Uffizi). With elongated form and elegant, stylized gesture, Parmigianino achieves an epitome of grace and refinement.
1532 Ludovico Ariosto (1474–1533) publishes the final version (first version, 1516) of Orlando Furioso, one of the greatest and most influential epic poems of its time. Continuing the unfinished Orlando Innamorato (1487) of poet Matteo Maria Boiardo, Orlando Furioso takes as its subject the medieval French hero Roland. The poem is written as a tribute to Ariosto's patrons, the Este family of Ferrara.
1545    The Farnese summon Titian to Rome, where he enters their service for several months. During his stay, he paints several portraits for the family, notably the Portrait of Paul III and His Nephews (1546).
1545–1547 The first session of the Council of Trent convenes in the city of the same name (region of Trentino-Alto Adige) with the aim of initiating reform within the Roman Catholic Church and checking the spread of Protestantism throughout Europe. It reaffirms church doctrine, asserts the authority of the Vulgate, and provides a detailed justification for the seven sacraments. The council also demands strict attention to decorum and the necessary legibility of images in sacred art. The movement known as the Counter-Reformation is largely concerned with upholding the beliefs either set forth or elucidated by the council in this and two following sessions (1551–52, 1562–63). A number of texts are produced as a result of the council's demands; of particular note is the Discorso intorno alle immagini sacre e profane of Cardinal Gabriele Paleotti (1522–1597), which details the responsibilities of the Christian artist.
1547 After meeting Titian at Bologna in 1533, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (r. 1519–56) invites the master to Augsburg, where he paints a series of portraits for the emperor. Even after his return to Venice, Titian maintains contact with his Habsburg patrons, winning extraordinary favor with Charles's son and later king of Spain, Philip II (r. 1556–98). Around 1550, Titian begins a cycle of mythological paintings (which he refers to as poesie), many of which depict climactic scenes from the myths, to be sent to Philip at the Escorial, the monarch's palace near Madrid. He also paints several religious works for Philip.
1549  Andrea Palladio (1508–1580), the great architect of Paduan birth, undertakes his first major commission: the renovation of the town hall, called the Basilica, in Vicenza. For the facade of this structure, he employs a motif of arches supported by slender columns, which are in turn framed by engaged piers; this is later known as the Palladian motif.
ca. 1550 As the city of Genoa, formerly controlled by France and Milan, regains political and financial power, significant programs of urbanization are initiated; foremost among these is the Strada Nuova (completed 1558), a wide street fronted by a series of splendid palazzi.
1564 The painter Tintoretto (1518–1594), much sought after by the scuole (lay devotional organizations) of Venice, begins a monumental series of paintings for the Scuola di San Rocco, on which he works for over two decades. The pictures, including scenes from the Passion of Christ, are characteristic mature works, with their unconventional perspective and expressive handling of light and shadow.
ca. 1566    Greek painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos (1541–1614), called El Greco, travels to Venice. Trained previously in his native Crete, and later in Rome (1570–76), his works combine Byzantine elements with an intense color palette characteristic of Venetian painting—particularly the works of Titian, in whose workshop El Greco may have studied—and dynamic compositional techniques influenced by Roman mannerism.
Andrea Palladio publishes The Four Books on Architecture (I quattro libri dell'architettura). Taking as his inspiration the treatise of ancient Roman architect/author Vitruvius, Palladio's Four Books include architectural and proportional studies based on antique models as well as his own designs. Shortly before this (1565), he begins work on the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, one of his most important commissions. This central-plan structure exemplifies the balance and harmony that Palladio advocates throughout his career. In the following years (ca. 1566–70), he designs the Villa Rotonda in Vicenza, perhaps the most celebrated of the many secular structures for which he is known. Consisting of simple geometric components—primarily the circle and square—the Rotonda is a masterwork of perfect symmetry, and is thought by contemporaries to manifest an architectural "ideal."
1571 Venetian, Spanish, and papal ships defeat the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto, vastly diminishing both Ottoman domination of the Mediterranean and the threat of future assault.
1573 Paolo Caliari, called Veronese (1528–1588), executes a Last Supper for the refectory of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, Venice. In it he includes animals, clowns, and a host of other lively characters in colorful contemporary dress. For this he is summoned before the Inquisition and charged with heresy, but is excused and made only to retitle the work after a less sacred biblical event, the Feast in the House of Levi. Veronese continues to execute characteristically splendid, brilliantly colored paintings, including the Rape of Europa and other works for the Doge's Palace in Venice, as well as sensitive portraits.
   1577  A fire destroys much of the Doge's Palace in Venice, including works by Titian and Veronese.
1580s Painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610) receives his artistic training in Milan. After completion of his apprenticeship, he travels to Rome (1592) and enters the service of Cardinal Francesco del Monte.


Veneto History: From Facism to Liberation (1920-1945)

From the very first days of the Kingdom of Italy, there was a strong Catholic force in Veneto which, contrary to the directives of Pope Pius IX (Syllabus), encouraged Catholics to participate in social and political life.

In 1874 the first Catholic congress was held at Venice and from it was born Azione Cattolica.  At the end of the eighties Toniolo established the Unione Cattolica per 'gli studi sociali' at Padua which created a basis for a type of Catholic socialism.  Despite an economic recovery, this movement was quite successful above all in the country (Leghe bianche) where the conditions of the people were very miserable (pellagra, emigration, day-laborers, etc.).  This explains why Fascism was never very successful in Veneto and why from the start opposition groups (of Catholic and socialist origin) were created.

The region was somewhat spared during World War II, even if numerous cities were bombarded (Treviso, Verona, Vicenza, Padua), largely because German troops and supplies passed through the region.  With the fall of Fascism and the Nazi occupation of 1943, the people of Veneto began to resist, nourished as they were with liberal and anti-German traditions.  Partisan groups formed quickly most noted were those in the province of Belluno (then part of the Reich), around Cansiglio, Grappa, in the Altopiano of Asiago, in the Valleys of Agno and Chiampo, in the Lessini and on the plain.  The reaction of the Nazis and Fascists was terrible:  they burned down Caviola and other small centers (with several civilians being killed) and the great round-up on the Grappa led to the capturing and the hanging of 32 patriots along the avenues of Bassano.  Over 1,000 persons, both civilians and partisans, were killed, and 800 deported.

On April 25, 1945, at the signal of the general insurrection, all of the partisan groups carried out a full-scale attack against the retreating enemy, while the people rose up and freed the cities.  On the morning of April 28, the tricolour of Liberation waved from the flag poles of St. Mark’s Square.


History of Veneto Region | The City States

Veneto History, City States

With the defeat of the Longobards in 776, the Veneto territory (excluding Venice) was dominated by the Franks, who substituted dukedoms, sculdascie and gastaldati with their typical feudal organization (that is to say counties and marches , as the famous one of Treviso).

The gradual break-up of imperial authority in such cities as Padua, Treviso, Vicenza, Verona and Ceneda brought about the rise of powerful local jurisdictions. These were backed by castles scattered throughout the countryside, which were in the hands of various feudal lords such as the S. Bonifacios, the Salinguerras, the Estensi, the Da Baones, the De Lozzos, the Trissinos, the Maltraversos, the Da Carraras, the Da Caminos, the da Romanos, etc.; these were constantly fighting amongst themselves for the control of the land and the cities. In such cities as Padua, Rovigo, Verona, Vicenza, and Feltre, the figure of the Bishop-Count (or that of the Bishop-Warrior at Belluno) became increasingly prominent, as did the power of the bourgeoisie, the soul of the rising municipalities.

In the XIIth century all of the major towns in Veneto were made into municipalities, which had their own independent forms of government (in the mountainous zones there were the Comunita).

In 1164 Verona, Vicenza, Padua, Treviso and above all Venice united in the Lega Veronese, forcing Barbarossa to retreat. This League then joined up with that of Pontida to form the famous Laga Lombarda (1167) which, guided by Alberto da Guissano, defeated the Emperor at Legnano (1176), forcing him to the Peace of Costanza.

During the XIIth century these municipalities were also torn by internal struggles and, gradually, various feudally derived seigniories emerged, they too in a continual struggle amongst themselves: Ezzelino Da Romano, already imperial vicar of Frederick II, succeeded in extending his dominion over the entire Veneto region) excluding Veneto and Rovigo): A Guelph league finally defeated him at Casssano d’Adda in 1259. Verona then passed to the Scaligeri, Treviso and Belluno to the Da Caminos, Padua and Vicenza to the Da Carraras, while Rovigo remained in the hands of the Estensi, and Venice, which so far had remained isolated, became interested in the mainland.

The XIVth century was characterized by continuous wars between these powerful seigniories, some of which aimed at conquering all of the northern area of Italy and the adjacent zones in order to create a large continental state (the Carraresi of Padua, the Cangrande Della Scala and the Visconti of Milan).

Veneto History | Napoleon and the Risorgimento (1797-1866)

Under the government of Venice, Veneto flourished culturally and artistically but was impoverished in terms of local and political initiatives: despite respect for local prerogatives, those on the mainland were not allowed the chance to participate.

Among the local aristocracy especially, this led to long-lasting descent, and at times anti-Venetian demonstrations: in 1509 some cities ( Verona, Padua and other minor centers) opened their gates to the armies of the League of Cambrai, guided by emperor Maximilian I (others, however, remained most faithful to Venice, and Cadore bloodily defeated the Imperial army, forcing it to retreat). For the same reason, when Napoleon descended on Italy at the beginning of 1797, carrying with him the spirit of the French Revolution, he was received with enthusiasm almost everywhere: but this died rather quickly when the people realized that, far from carrying out the ideas of liberty and independence, the French army occupied the region in authentic military fashion, destruction and the exportation of works of art (the famous horses of St. Mark’s and many Venetian paintings ended up in Paris: they were restored with the fall of Napoleon in 1815).

In a place of the now defunct Republic of Venice, Napoleon set up a short-lived Democratic Republic which lasted only a few months. With ignoble bartering, Veneto and Venice after the Treaty of Campoformio, October, 1797, were handed over to Austria, while the territories of Lombardy were joined to the Cisalpina Republic. Later, with the Treaty of Presburg (1805), Napoleon took Veneto from Austria and joined it to the Regno Italico which he set up in northern Italy. But in 1815 the region was again in the hands of Austria and would remain under its dominion until 1866, as part of the Regno Lombardo-Veneto.

Veneto participated in the Italian Risorgimento: the Bandiera and Moro brothers, shot in 1821, the year in which many centers rebelled, were Venetians. In 1848 the entire region rose up against the Austrians (except for Verona, Peschiera and Legnago, strongholds of the famous Quadrilateral). In Venice Daniele Manin proclaimed the Republic and the people forced the Austrians to abandon the city on March 21, 1848. The same occurred in other cities and in Cadore (with Pier Fortunato Calvi): in July, when Piedmont entered the war, all of Veneto lined up at its side and proclaimed its annexation. With the victory of Novara, however, Austria regained the upper hand. Led by Daniele Manin and Tommaseo, Venice resisted desperately for nearly 5 months, yielding at last only to hunger and cholera. Finally, when Prussia defeated Austria in 1866, Veneto was freed. A triumphant plebiscite (674,426 favorable votes, 69 contrary) decreed the annexation of the region to the Kingdom of Italy.

Veneto History | Pre-History

Veneto History, Prehistoric


The physical configuration of Veneto, with its vast zones of hills, wealth of water and coastal lagoons abounding with fish, favored its being peopled as early as the paleolithic era. Fossils dating back to about 150,000 years ago have been found in the hilly zones north of Verona; others, from the successive epoch, in the Berici Hills, on the Plateau of Asiago, in the Monti Lessini, and on the Montello.

Remains of palafitte have been found on the banks of Lake Garda and on those of a few small lakes in the Berici Hills, while there are a lot of remains from the neolithic era (polish stone) and the Bronze Age scattered everywhere. These populations were formed by the Euganei (of Indo-European origin), the Reti ( Verona and the pre-Alpine zone) and other minor groups (at times having Danubian affinities). Then, later, the presence of the Etruscans was also ascertained, especially at Adria (from which the name of the Adriatic Sea was taken).

Around 1,000 B.C. the region was invaded by the Heneti, a people coming from the zones of the Black Sea. Some of them then settled down, especially in the Euganean Hills, while others continued their migration as far as Brittany in the northwestern part of France where they were where they were later conquered by Caesar). In the Euganean Hills the Heneti or Veneti gave birth to a lively and quite interesting civilization which had its own language and writing “Venetico”. This was called the “Atestina Civilization” because Ateste (Este) was its principal center, although it quickly spread throughout the region.

These Veneti (Venetians) were in touch with the Etruscan and Danubian peoples, trading in bronze objects, salt wool and ceramics, while the Euganeans were conquered or pushed back into the mountainous zones. They had to defend themselves from the invasion of the Gauls who was descending from the central eastern Alps. When these raids proved too numerous and violent, though, they preferred to ally themselves with the Romans. They were finally absorbed by the latter and disappeared. There are two important museums on this civilization, one at Este, the other at Pieve di Cadore. Other important centers of the Veneti were Padua, Vicenza, Feltre, Treviso, and Ceneda (Vittorio Veneto).