Why is Venice Nicknamed “La Serenissima?”


Perché Venezia è soprannominata “La Serenissima?”
A calm-looking day in Venice / Photo: Kanyshev Andrey via Shutterstock

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Serenissimo was a Byzantine title, bestowed upon the Doge and the Signoria at first, then extended to the entire Republic of Venice. “Most Serene” was an honorary appellate and an indicator of sovereignty.

But there is another reason why Venice has continued carrying this nickname, one which has become as legendary through the centuries as the city itself. From the outside, Venice seemed like a peaceful place, spared from the turmoil affecting so many other cities.

The choice to focus on maritime trade brought prosperity, and the establishment of an oligarchic, liberal republic laid the foundation for a solid state, universally accepted by its citizens, who, no matter their class, seemed to get along well, united by the devotion for the territory they lived in. Even when dealing with foreign policy affairs, Venice often tried to avoid conflict and disputes, preferring mediation and peace.

On this basis, Venice could well be described as “serene,” to the point that it was able to survive its political, military and commercial decline over three centuries, caused by Turkish expansion and the discovery of the Americas.

Diplomacy, wealth, justice and prosperity, the cornerstones of the history of Venice, have indeed made it Serenissima.


‘Serenissimo’ era un titolo di origine bizantina, conferito al Doge e alla Signoria in un primo momento, poi esteso a tutta la Repubblica di Venezia. 'Serenissimo' era un titolo onorario che stava a indicare la sovranità di un territorio.

Ma c'è un'altra ragione per cui Venezia ha mantenuto nel corso dei secoli questo soprannome, che è diventato leggendario, proprio come la città. Dall'esterno, Venezia appariva come un luogo tranquillo, non toccato dai tumulti che interessavano tant

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