Venetia (vənēˈshə) [key], Ital. Veneto or Venezia Euganea, region (1991 pop. 4,380,797), 7,095 sq mi (18,376 sq km), NE Italy, bordering on the Gulf of Venice (an arm of the Adriatic Sea) in the east and on Austria in the north. Venice is the capital of the region, which is divided into the provinces of Belluno, Padua, Rovigo, Treviso, Venice, Verona, and Vicenza (named for their capitals). Venetia falls into two geographic zones, a mountainous and hilly area in the north, which includes parts of the Dolomites and Carnic Alps (Alpi Carniche), and the fertile Venetian Plain in the south, which is partly marshy near the Adriatic. Venetia's main rivers are the Po (which forms the boundary with Emilia-Romagna in the south), the Mincio (which forms part of the boundary with Lombardy in the west), the Adige, and the Piave. The region borders on Lake Garda in the west. Many of Venetia's workers are engaged in agriculture; the leading crops are cereals, fruit, sugar beets, and hemp. Mulberry trees are grown for use in sericulture. Manufactures include textiles, chemicals, paper, processed food, wine, and ships. Chioggia is a major fishing port. Tourism is important, especially at Venice, and Cortina d'Ampezzo is a well-known winter-sports center. Venetia derives its name from the Veneti, a people who settled the region c.1000 B.C. and who came under Roman rule in the 2d cent. B.C. Emperor Augustus joined Venetia and Istria to form a separate province, whose capital was Aquileia. Venetia was devastated by Attila, king of the Huns, in the mid-5th cent. A.D. About the 10th cent., the towns of the region began to reacquire importance. They were ruled at first by their bishops, and later developed into free communes. Some towns (including Verona and Padua) grew powerful under the rule of noble families, but the republic of Venice gradually became dominant, and by the early 15th cent. its territories included virtually all of present-day Venetia. By the Treaty of Campo Formio (1797), Venetia passed to Austria, and by the Treaty of Pressburg (1805) it was made part of the Napoleonic kingdom of Italy. In 1814, Venetia was restored to Austria, which held it to the end of the Austro-Prussian War (1866), when it was ceded to Italy. After World War II, Udine prov. in the east was detached from Venetia and was combined with that part of Venezia Giulia not ceded by Italy to Yugoslavia to form the region of Friuli–Venezia Giulia. Venetia suffered severe flooding in 1966. There are universities at Padua and Venice.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.