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What happened on April 20 in Venice

Almanac of Venice
almanacco-venezia-rubrica

What happened on April 20 in Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, the Saint of the Day is St. Victor.

 

- April 20, 1797: capture of the French frigate 'Le Liberateur d'Italie' sent together with two other ships by Napoleon Bonaparte to force the port of Venice: N.H. Domenico Pizzamano, Deputy to the castle of S. Andrea del Lido, calls a halt for some French vessels and finally orders the one that has advanced into the Venetian port to stop, which is then boarded and its crew is partly killed, partly put under arrest.

 

- April 20, 1800: Christ's revolt in Chioggia. At 6 pm for the feast of the Crucifix of San Domenico, the procession must cross a bridge of boats towards Corso del Popolo; all the people gather to follow a procession of 7,000 fishermen and sailors who have also come from Istria, Dalmatia and Romagna. The Crucifix advances along the square between two wings of the crowd; a picket of ten Austrian soldiers stands at attention in front of the Loggia dei Bandi, but in the crowd a boy steps on the shoe of a soldier who reacts by hitting him in the head with the butt of a rifle. Then, some fishermen face the picket and when a sentry takes up position to block their advance, a fisherman disarms the corporal and sticks the bayonet in his chest. Then a crowd rushes against the picket to the cry of 'death to the Todeschi! Long live the Republic! Long live San Marco!', The Austrians just have to take shelter inside the Loggia dei Bandi; the rioters are about to set fire to the building and a member of the public who is leading the assault is hit by a musket shot and falls to the ground. Captain Bittner is surrounded by squads of fishermen who beat him to death, while Commander Pupries from Forte San Felice prepares to bomb the city, but is stopped by the Bishop and the civil authorities. The soldiers want to surrender, the crowd continues to rage and the bells of the Municipal Tower and of S. Andrea ring in a flock, finally a detachment of Austrian soldiers, rushed from the barracks of San Domenico fires on the crowd. In the midst of excruciating cries, 10 dead remain on the ground: 3 Austrians and 7 Chioggiotti including two women. A process follows that ends in nothing for political reasons: the authorities want to make sure that people forget what happened and forbid anyone to talk about it.

 

- April 20, 1814: at the first light of dawn in Venice the Austrian soldiers remove the colossal statue of Napoleon from Piazzetta S. Marco, built at the expense of the Venetians; work of the sculptor Domenico Banti, it depicts the Emperor of the French in Roman clothes with the globe in his hand; screams and whistles and an immense crowd that, up since the night before, threatens to hurl themselves onto the statue to tear it to pieces.

 

 

Taken from 'Almanacco di Venezia -1600 anni ab Urbe còndita' by Andrea Gersich and Edoardo Rubini

Venice, 20th April 2021

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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