On Annunciation Day in AD 421, on the 25th of March, three Roman tribunes from the nearby Roman city of Padova participated in the consecration of the St. Giacometo church at Rivus Altus in the Venetian lagoon, thus formally founding the city of Venice.
In the years that followed the Roman Empire broke down and Italy was invaded by barbarians, and many inhabitants of the city of Padova moved to Rivus Altus in the lagoon to escape the unrest and pillaging following the invasions, giving rise to the first city nucleus of Venice.
The Rivus Altus means the tall brink, probably because the islands around there were just that little bit higher so the high tide didn’t flood them very often. With time the name Rivus Altus bacame the shorter “Rialto” which has been the commercial centre of Venice ever since.
This much is firmly founded in ancient legend.
While legends usually aren’t all real, the effects of legends can be very real, and the 25th of March has been considered the birthday of Venice since time immemorial.
Today is then the 1588th birthday of the beautiful city of Venice. Happy Birthday.
Happy Venice Day!!!! Thanks for writing the celebratory blogpost!!!!!
(P.S. BTW, the feast on March 25 is the Annunciation, not the Ascension… FYI! That’s why you often see images of the Annunciation in Venice, like on the side of the Rialto bridge!)
Hi Michelle, thanks for the correction. La Sensa is usually a lot later, late May this year.