History of Chioggia


See Chioggia guide for highlights and historic monuments

The two islands that make up Chioggia were a safe refuge for the Veneto population when they were subjected to barbarian invasions in the 5th century.

However the Chioggia that we see today has it's roots in the eleventh and twelfth centuries AD, by which time it had already assumed the role of an important port city, developed around the salt trade salt, fishing and other economic activities related to its the sea.

Etymology

The name Chioggia derives from the Latin words 'Fossa Clodia', where 'Fossa' means a 'channel', and 'Clodia' refers to the mythical Clodius, who, according to legend, arrived in Italy with the Trojan hero Aeneas and founded a city in the place where Chioggia now stands - Clodia (the city of Clodius).

Already by this time some important buildings were constructed in Chioggia, including religious and civil Palaces, such as the 'Palazzo Pubblico' (dating from the second half of the thirteenth century).

Relationships between Chioggia and Venice

The most important period in the history of Chioggia was that of Venetian rule.

Venice enhanced the port activities of the city, and especially its defensive structures facing the sea - the direction from which most threats would arrive. Indeed, in the late 14th century during the war between Venice and Genoa, Chioggia was almost completely destroyed.

The Venetians rebuilt the town immediately and they strengthened it with even more defensive works, many by Michele Sanmicheli (1484-1559), who built walls and fortifications. These include the 14th century Forte di San Felice.

Recent centuries

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Chioggia had another peiod of intense building activity, especially the reconstruction of old buildings such as the Cathedral or the town hall.

With the fall of Venice (to Napoleon) Chioggia was then subjected to French rule (1797) and after to Austrian, until 1866, when it entered in the Kingdom of Italy.