The exhibition “Quando la posta era Serenissima” , from 11 to 26 September, traces the postal history of the Serenissima Republic

21 September 2021

Venice, September 15, 2021- The municipality of Chirignago offers the public a unique opportunity to celebrate the 1600 year of Venice by making them re-experience the main stages of postal history at the time of the Serenissima Republic. The exhibition “Quando la posta era Serenissima”, opened on September 11, shows the ancient practices of communication at the time of the Republic of Venice. Through letters, postmarks, and coins, coming from private collection in Mestre, Venice, Noale, Padua, Sacile, Belluno and Genoa, the enthusiasts and collectors, or those who are simply curious, can re-experience the ancient - but not less deeply felt- charm of exchanging information, or just purely emotions, within the territories of the Serenissima Republic and among its inhabitants. 

Organized by the Cultural Association “Albino Luciani” of Chirignago, in cooperation with the Philatelic-Numismatic Club of Noale, on the occasion of the iconic “Fiera Franca”, this exhibition is open until September 28, and traces, by exposing rare and exclusive pieces, Venice’ postal service history, during a period that goes from 1200 to 1797. 

Born by a real passion, a meticulous research work and a deep interest toward the history of Venice, “Quando la posta era Serenissima” is the result of a study lasting several years, in order to collect unique pieces and shed light on a piece of history so far little-know and poorly understood. 

This exhibition it’s a travel through time, starting from the thirteenth century, when the Serenissima Republic began organizing its efficient system of communication by a group of couriers coming from the city of Bergamo. This practice immediately met with great success among the population since, thanks to it, Venetian merchants were able to quickly receive news from the East, and so to purchase or sell goods at the most favorable time. 

A path that leads us through the first tax levied on mails, in 1306, and that shows us the birth of the first Association of Venetians couriers, in 1489, revealing also unknown details about the city of Venice. Andrea Fusati, the promoter and organizer of the exhibition and Secretary of the Philatelic-Numismatic Club of Noale, tells us that, in fact, is in the Church of San Giovanni Elemosinaro, near Rialto bridge, that lies a little gem, nestled and tucked at the food of the altar of the Chapel of the Carriers: the marble slab decorated with engravings of the Association of Venetians couriers. 

“When I was ten I found a postmark inside an old book of my father and then it was when my passion was born- says Andrea Fusati-. I love the study that stands behind the knowledge of the stamps. Knowing by heart specific words, the symbols placed on each letter, on each postmark, and avoiding spending money in a fake. It has been a while, however, that postmarks no longer give me that satisfaction, my research is now focused on a specific period, the Serenissima Republic, those places where I was born and raised. No one has ever seen a collection of unique pieces like this”. 

To each letter its reference price, and so the decision to exhibit a collection of coins as well, dating back to 1079, when the Serenissima did not yet exist, to better understand the references used for postal shipping that we see on letters. 

“You can admire the “grosso matapan”- says the organizer of the exhibition, showing some coins- issued from 1200 during the rule of the Doges Foscarini, Tiepolo and Morosini. Each Doge had his own coin. Then we have the “oselle”, those that initially were medals that the Doge gave to its loyals instead of the traditional duck called “osella”, to preserve its extinction resulting from the Venetian custom of giving the bird as a sign of gratitude”. 

What is important for me is that historic memory stays alive- concludes Fusati- the study of our roots and our past is something essential, which should deserve to be studied at school”. 

Admission to the exhibition is free, in Sala San Giorgio- Via del Parroco 7, Chirignago. Green pass is required. Opening hours 10-12/ 16-18.