Hidden treasures

The election of the Doge of the Republic of Venice

Historical Curiosities
29-consiglio

The election of the Doge of the Republic of Venice

If in these days of the election campaign it seems that the Italian voting system is very complex, then it's a bit like electing a doge of the Republic of Venice! 

The Great Council came together and put in an urn the ballots of all the councilors who were older than 30. The youngest councilor went to St Mark's Square and chose the first boy he met who drew from the urn a ballot for each councillor and only those 30 who got the word ‘elector' remained in the room. The 30 ballots were then placed back in the box and only 9 contained a ticket, so the 30 were reduced to 9, who gathered in a sort of conclave, during which, with the favourable vote of at least seven of them, they had to indicate the name of 40 councillors.

With the system of ballots  containing a ticket, the 40 were reduced to 12; these, with the favourable vote of at least 9 of them, elected 25 others, which were reduced again to 9 who would elect another 45 with at least 7 votes in favour. The 45, again at random, were reduced to 11, who with at least nine votes in favour elected another 41 that finally would be the real electors of Doge.

These 41 gathered in a special room where each one cast a piece of paper into an urn with a name. One of them was extracted at random. Voters could then make their objections, if any, and charges against the chosen one, who was then called to respond and provide any justification. After listening to him, they preceded to a new election, if the candidate obtained the favourable vote of at least 25 votes out of 41, he was proclaimed Doge, if they were unable to obtain these votes a new extraction took place until the outcome was positive.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The Crypt of St. Mark's Basilica

san-marco-cripta
Unknown places & works

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice is probably one of the most famous and visited churches in the Western world. Every day, thousands of tou...

View

Treviso: Roncade Castle

castello-roncade
Unknown places & works

For most visitors, including lovers of art, Veneto is the region of the Villas, fairy-tale holiday destinations and farmhouses, which h...

View

Venice: The head of an elderly woman at Corte del Teatro in San Luca

corte-teatro-san-luca
Unknown places & works

Behind the famous Teatro Goldoni in Venice, near the Grand Canal, there is a tiny Corte which is very hard to find... And hides several...

View

Vicenza: The bell tower of Thiene

Thiene_campanile
Unknown places & works

Among the numerous bell towers dotted around in Veneto, there is one that boasts a unique feature: it is the civic tower of Thiene - an...

View

Top posts

Verona: The jousts in the Verona Arena

arena-di-verona
Historical Curiosities

The Verona Arena is undoubtedly the symbol of the city in the Veneto region, and one of the most famous Roman monuments of Italy. All t...

View

Padua: The Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua

Museo-di-storia-della-Medicina
Unknown places & works

If you are tired of the usual museums filled with paintings and sculptures, you might find the Museum of the History of Medicine in Pad...

View

Treviso: The 'Barco' of Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, in Altivole

barco-altivole
Big Names

One of the most charming figures of the history of Venice is certainly Catherine Corner, queen of Cyprus (1454-1510). At the age of 18,...

View

Venice: The Sirens and the lace from Burano in the Venice lagoon

merlettaie
Mysteries & Legends

The island of Burano island in the Venice lagoon is definitely a magical place: filled with small colourful houses, delicious cookies, ...

View