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Chioggia island
Chioggia is a major center of the Venetian lagoon and is located in its southernmost part. It forms with Sottomarina a separate municipality from Venice.

For its foundation the legend calls on the stage Clodius, a fugitive from Troy conquered by the Greeks in 1184 BC, who after landing on the shores of the Adriatic Sea have founded the center gave her name Clodia; name that would later evolved into Cluza, Clugia, Chiozza and finally Chioggia. Its urban structure, consisting of perpendicular roads oriented NS and EW, dated back the city at least to the period of Imperial Rome (I BC - V AD). Pliny the Elder (first century. AD) in his Historia Naturalis speaks about Fossa Clodia. Certainly Chioggia, as Venice, was the destination of all those refugees from the inland because of subsequent barbarian invasions (Huns, 452; Longobards, 568). In particular, it welcomed the population of Este and Monselice.

Chioggia had to suffer two destructions, the first at the hands of the Franks (810) who besieged the castles of Loreo, Brondolola, Cavarzere and finally besieged and destroyed Chioggia and the second was for by the Hungarians (902). Rebuilt, it became a bishopric (1110) and followed the political events of the most powerful Venice as Clugia Major (Chioggia) representing the eleventh island of Venice. In this period, in addition to fishing, Chioggia based its economy on trade in a type of salt (sal clugiae) that was popular throughout Italy.

The clash between the maritime republics for supremacy on the seas was fired it in august 1379 when the Genoese besieged Chioggia both by land and by sea, bringing serious damage and the destruction of the village Sottomarina. There were thousands of victims and Chioggia, conquered by the Genoese, was transformed into a fortified outpost on the offensive against Venice. The latter reacted and, after a long siege, managed to regain the center and from that moment it was tied to the single wire to the economy and the history of Venice. Despite this, centuries to come were very hard for the city of Chioggia, which almost completely stopped the production of salt and was repeatedly battered by floods, famines and plagues. To this was added to the piracy problem that prevented a regular fishing, now the first economic resource of the city. In '500, the century of the final battle with the Turks, Chioggia gave its contribution in blood.

A fire destroyed the Cathedral (December 24, 1623) and another episode of plague decimated the population of Chioggia by precipitating it in an economic crisis without precedent. The rebirth came only in the following century when were built new public and private buildings and churches, giving the city its urban face today.

During the centuries when it was dependent on Venice Chioggia was also ruled in a pattern very similar to those applied in the lagoon city: the nobility provided the elements of political representation that sit on the Grand Council while a Council Minor of only six members had the executive power. These recommendations, however, were governed by a mayor, sent from Venice to the city, which remained in office for 16 months and also deals with the management of public finances and of justice. The political influence of Venice was also evident and manifested itself through the Office of the Chancellor which ratified the Great political office in the city.

After the fall of the Serenissima following the descent of Napoleon Bonaparte, the French seized Chioggia and giving it a democratic government and disadvantaged particularly religious institutes in the city. With the Treaty of Campoformio Venice and Chioggia both were ceded to the Austrians but residents responded with an uprising by taking advantage of the religious procession of the Feast of St. Dominic (April 20, 1800). In 1806 was again the turn of the French who kept the power until the fall of Napoleon (1814). The decisions of the Congress of Vienna reported Chioggia under Austrian domination which was always opposed by the inhabitants. 15 October 1866 the city was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.

During the First World War impossibility to go out with vessels at sea precipitated Chioggia in another severe economic crisis that, since the end of the clashes, allowed the rise of the Socialist Party, that undertaked to assist popular classes. This tendency was opposed by the Fascists who were able to seize political power at the cost of various violences. The Second World War brought more death and violence in the city which was repeatedly bombed. On April 27, 1945 Chioggia was released.

The fastest way to reach Chioggia from Venice is the bus leaving from Piazzale Roma with frequent daily runs. The island is also accessible by ferry, but at the cost of a long journey that touches all the other places on the Venetian coast: Lido, San Pietro in Volta, Pellestrina and finally Chioggia.

 

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