Mass rally in Venice to call for independence from Italy Reply

Two centuries after Napoleonic forces snuffed out the 1,000-year Venetian Republic, Venetians are once again aspiring to become an independent state.

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Activists dream of carving out a new country in north-eastern Italy Photo: Alamy

By Nick Squires

The Telegraph

Inspired by the nationalist aspirations of Scotland and Catalonia, pro-independence campaigners will hold a mass rally in the heart of the lagoon city on Saturday, calling for an urgent referendum to be held on the issue.

Indipendenza Veneta, a newly-founded pro-independence movement, says it expects several thousand people to turn up for the rally.

They will be ferried across the Grand Canal in gondolas to deliver a “declaration of independence” to the headquarters of the Veneto regional government.

It may sound fanciful, and it will be fiercely resisted by Rome, but activists want to carve out a new country in north-eastern Italy which would comprise Venice, the surrounding region of Veneto and parts of Lombardy, Trentino and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

The “Repubblica Veneta”, as it would be known, would encompass about five million people.

Recent surveys show widespread support for independence among Venetians, who speak a distinct dialect and feel geographically and culturally distant from Rome.

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