Venice, September 17, 2021- The oldest and deepest roots of Venice lie in Altino. On Sunday, September 19 at 5.00PM, the symbolic place where the origins of the city on the lagoon are traced, will hold the concert “Otto Stagioni”, organized to celebrate the 1600 year since the foundation of Venice. In the courtyard of the Church of San Eliodoro, the “Four Seasons” by Vivaldi, together with those by Piazzola, will resound in the event born to celebrate Venice and its roots, performed by the “Almamigrante” musical ensemble.
Like Venice, and before Venice, Altino was a town surrounded by water, a port city that today hides a 200-year-old treasure, an invisible treasure linked to Venice of which the parish priest Don Gianni Fazzini defines himself the promoter, who for twenty years kept alive the memory of the largest archaeological site of the Veneto region.
“In the history of the 1600 year of Venice there are no legends, just real and documented stories- says Don Gianni- plenty of evidence helps us understand how important Altino was for the city of Venice”.
The first traces date back to 1000 a.C, when Venetians, skillful seafarers, began populating the area. The very same expertise in navigation, preserved over the centuries, earned the city the precious knowledge that still today makes it famous all around the world. “Venetians, during their journey toward Syria, found out that melting the silicon sand to make glass was possible and therefore, already in 3 a.C, Altinio was working with glass- recalls Don Fazzini- the “murrine”, for example, were born here”.
Not just art but also techniques to improve the urban structure of the ancient Altnoi were imported by Venetians and would eventually be adopted in Venice. “From the cities of the Nile, Venetians learned how to improve the sewerage. They understood- explains Don Gianni- that the cities were salubrious and in order to transform Altino into a salubrious one, canals had to connect with the Mediterranean Sea so as to guarantee water recycling, thanks to the tides and, therefore, create a clean city”. The structure of the foundation was also tested for the first time in Altino in 1 d.C, using wood to support the water gate at the entrance of the city, which was considered almost a green gold during the heyday of the Serenissima Republic.
The history of this little town is made of traditions, even Christian traditions, where a man, Eliodoro, the Saint to whom the church of Altino is dedicated, is the connecting link with Venice. “The whole story of the 1600 year of Venice lies exactly in that period of transition, in 400 d.C, when the Great Rome, which had respectfully dominated Altino since 128 a.C, was no longer able to support this city. It was precisely at this point that Altino found the power to start again on its own- says Don Gianni- thanks to Eliodoro”.
The history of Eliodoro, like the one of Altino, is all to be discovered, and it’s the story of a young man who drove and lifted the city during a time of deep change. Eliodoro was the promoter of a flourishing community that, years later, will eventually move to the island of Torcello in which still today the remains of the Saint are preserved, in the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta.
The one between the town of Altino and Venice is a very deep bond, as deep as the centuries old oaks whose roots are rooted beneath the city and whose greatness is undeniable, even if hidden. Altino and its history can be found in the campi and campielli of Venice, in the courtyards and in the palaces of nowadays Venice, since precisely in 639 d.C this little town became a place to draw on to find the structural tools used to build Venice.
Although the first archaeological digs started more than a hundred years ago, completely by chance during the construction of the trenches in the run-up to the First World War, much of what has been Altinio still remains to be discovered, and the hope of Don Gianni Fazzini is to keep discovering the most ancient and deep roots of the city of Venice.