Very often we are accustomed to use words or sayings without asking ourselves how they have entered into our daily habits and customs. One of these words is: Why has Venice always been nicknamed the “Serenissima“?
At one time, Venice was one of the four Maritime Republics: the institutions of its government were divided into several levels, the highest represented by the Doge. He was the highest political order and embodied the glory and authority of the Republic. However, his powers were limited to leading the army and the fleet in war; full sovereignty resided in the “Maggior Consiglio“, the fundamental organ of the state. Although the Doge played a minor role compared to the other organizations of the Republic, he was given the appellative of “serenissimo“. It seems that the title given to the Doge was the inspiration for the title of the city itself! This is in fact one of the possible theses.
However, there is a second school of thought that the Maritime Republic would become the “Serenissima“. The Venetian Republic was in fact a solid institution that reigned supreme over the seas thanks to its nautical skills and political avant-garde. Besides being prosperous and rich, it is said that Venice was particularly tolerant towards foreigners who came to the city for commercial reasons. Thanks to the incorruptible system of justice in force at the time, a true climate of peace and serenity had been established in the city, for which the lagoon would continue to boast even in later centuries that name.
There is therefore no confirmation on the real reason why Venice boasts the nickname of “Serenissima“, even if the most quoted is the one that sees it connected to the idea of the Doge nicknamed in the same way.