Inspired by Scotland’s separatist ambitions, 89% of the residents of the lagoon city and its surrounding area, opted to break away from Italy in an unofficial ballot.
The proposed ‘Repubblica Veneta’ would include the five million inhabitants of the Veneto region and could later expand to include parts of Lombardy, Trentino and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
The floating city has only been part of Italy for 150 years. The 1000 year–old democratic Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, was quashed by Napoleon and was subsumed into Italy in 1866.
Wealthy Venetians, under mounting financial pressure in the economic crisis, have rallied in their thousands, after growing tired of supporting Italy’s poor and crime ridden Mezzogiorno south, through high taxation.
Campaigners say that the Rome government receives around €71 billion each year in tax from Venice – some €21 billion less than it gets back in investment and services.