La Serenissima

La Serenissima

La Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia.

‘Serenissimo’ was a Byzantine title, bestowed upon the Doge and the Signoria at first, then extended to the entire Republic of Venice. ‘Most Serene’ was an honorary appellate and an indicator of sovereignty. But there is another reason why Venice has continued carrying this nickname, which has become legendary, just as the city itself, through the centuries. From the outside, Venice looked like a peaceful place, spared from the turmoil affecting so many other cities. The choice to focus on maritime trade brought prosperity, and the establishment of an oligarchic, liberal republic laid the foundation for a solid state, universally accepted by its citizens, who, no matter their class, seemed to get along well, united by the devotion for the territory they lived in. Even when dealing with foreign policy affairs, Venice often tried to avoid conflict and disputes, preferring mediation and peace. On these bases, Venice could well be described as ‘serene’, so much so that it was able to survive for three centuries its political, military and commercial decline, caused by Turkish expansion and the discovery of the Americas. Diplomacy, wealth, justice and prosperity, the main aspects of the history of Venice, have indeed made it ‘Serenissima’.

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