Remains of Necropolis
The city of Oderzo “Opitergium” with its Venetians’ origins dates back to the first century BC. It is located in the Province of Treviso on the river Monticano. After the discovery of some remains of necropolis – it is assumed that the city had a primary role in the major trading routes. Due to the growth towards the north of the Roman Republic, there was the unification between the Romans and the Venetians who built in 148 BC, Via Postumia – the road that joined Genoa to Aquileia through the Po Valley.
During the civil war of the first century BC, Opitergium drew up in favour of Julius Caesar – acquiring the status of “municipium” and the citizenship for its inhabitants. As a result, the city had an utmost period which lasted throughout the whole first century AD – as well as becoming one of the most important cities in the Italian North-East. In Roman times, the city was served by an industrial port powered by the waters of an ancient branch of the Piave river and a seaport placed in the city of Ceggia – at the time near the sea.
Eraclea and Jesolo, well known seaside resorts on the border of Venice, were built by the opitergini. Following the decline of the Roman Empire, the city was plundered and destroyed by the Barbarians.
It was rebuilt again in 489 by Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths. In 589 was destroyed by a flood. The town was subsequently involved in the war between the Lombards and Byzantines for the supremacy in Italy and, in 616, came under the control of the Byzantines. The 667, Grimoaldo, King of the Lombards, destroyed it – forcing the inhabitants to flee towards the lagoon where, with other refugees coming from Concordia Sagittaria, Aquileia, Padua, Altino and other cities of the Po Valley, founded Rialto, the future Venice with its first Doge, Paolo Lucio Anapesto (697-717).
Oderzo was a small farmers village who rebuilt their crumbling houses on the remnants of the old centre which was continuously looted by the Venetians in order to rustle the material to be used for the building of their new city. Only in 963, Oderzo is mentioned in a document as a poor village but, with the following years, gained the first “Royal Court”. In 974, the city was destroyed again by the Venetians. After the year 1000, with the completion of the Castle, Oderzo acquired back the same primary role it had in the past.
The bell tower of the Cathedral was built on the basis of one of the four towers that formed the “corner”, the second, called “Torreson”, was reconstructed in the nineties, the third was close to the current “Pyramid” – and the fourth was demolished around 1866. Throughout the Middle Ages the city was disputed by the various religious leaders. In 1380, passed under the Republic of Venice.
Oderzo was put in charge of a “territory” which had among its boundaries: the Piave to the west, the Piovon channel to the east, the Monticano to the north and Campodipietra housing to the south. In the following centuries, the city economy was predominantly Agricultural and plagued by famine and epidemics. Between five hundred and seven hundred there was the development of the current historical city centre.