Chioggia with its glorious past
Thanks to some evidence, the origin of Chioggia dates back to 2000 b.C., when the Pelasgians, a population from Thessaly founded it under the name of Cluza (artificial city). There are also proofs of its existence in the Roman Empire, but it was only during the barbarian invasions with the migration of the inhabitants of the mainland that it changed into an important center. In the middle ages, it became and remained the territory of the Venetian Republic until the Treaty of Campoformio which subdued it together with Venice to Austria.
Chioggia has gone down in history as having been occupied by the Genoese during the famous “War of Chioggia” (1379-80). As a result of the conflict, the city came out exhausted and partially destroyed and its economy recovered only in the 1700s.
It is similar to Venice and, if viewed from above, it looks like a herringbone. If it were not connected by a bridge to the mainland it would be an island. Unlike Venice, it is possible to drive, although most of the roads are so narrow to appear like “calli”.
It is crossed by a certain number of canals, the most important of which is “Vena canal” whose sides are connected by nine bridges. At the end of the Canal, there is Ponte Vigo (bridge) with the near-by square with its famous “gato” (cat) ironically named in this way by the Venetians for its small size.
Chioggia as Venice has a lot of palaces and churches and the most important of all is the church of Sant’Andrea (St. Andrew). It was built in the seventeenth century and beside it, the Tower Clock is placed which, in the past, was a sighting military tower.
It is particularly important because it contains the second oldest clock in the world (XI° century) made by Giovanni Dondi Dall’Orologio (De Dondi). The island economy is based on its seaport, fishing (with nearly 300 boats and 1.500 employees), vegetable production and tourism resort.
By crossing a bridge, Chioggia is connected to the Sottomarina beach which overlooks the Adriatic. It is enclosed between the mouth of the Brenta-Bacchiglione and the port of Chioggia. Its sand, due to its particular composition (augite, quartz, silicates and micaceous elements) is indicated for special treatments as well as allowing a splendid tan.