Mestre is a city part of the comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

of Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

, in Veneto
Veneto is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about 5 million, ranking 5th in Italy.Veneto had been for more than a millennium an independent state, the Republic of Venice, until it was eventually annexed by Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule...

, northern Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

The city is connected to Venice by a large rail and road bridge, called Ponte della Libertà
Ponte della Libertà
Ponte della Libertà is a road bridge connecting the city of Venice to Mestre, on the mainland of Italy.Designed in 1932 by engineer Eugenio Miozzi, and opened by Benito Mussolini in 1933 as Ponte Littorio, the bridge is the only access for road vehicles to the capital city of Veneto...

(Freedom Bridge).

Municipalità di Mestre-Carpenedo, also known as Mestre centro, one of the six boroughs of Venice's commune, includes 90.000 inhabitants (only Mestre, also known as ex quartiere 10 Mestre centro, includes 50.000 inhabitants).

The mainland (boroughs of Mestre-Carpenedo, Marghera, Chirignago-Zelarino, Favaro Veneto) of Venice's comune includes 170.000 inhabitants (the historic part of Venice includes only 60.000 inhabitants piu' 30.000 delle isole maggiori per un totale di 90.000 abitanti).

Mestre is the largest city in Italy that hasn't the status of autonomous comune.


According to legend, Mestre was founded by Mesthles, a companion of the hero Antenor
Antenor (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Anthenor was a son of the Dardanian noble Aesyetes by Cleomestra. He is a counselor to Priam during the Trojan War.-History:He was one of the wisest of the Trojan elders and counsellors...

, a fugitive from Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

 who founded Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

. The true origins of the city are uncertain, although it is known that a Roman oppidum (fortress) existed here, though this was destroyed by Attila and probably rebuilt in the 10th century.

The first historical mention is from an Imperial
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 diploma by Otto III
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto III , a King of Germany, was the fourth ruler of the Saxon or Ottonian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire. He was elected King in 983 on the death of his father Otto II and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 996.-Early reign:...

, by which Rambald, count of Treviso, received land in the area named Mestre. In 1152 a papal bull by Pope Eugene III
Pope Eugene III
Pope Blessed Eugene III , born Bernardo da Pisa, was Pope from 1145 to 1153. He was the first Cistercian to become Pope.-Early life:...

 recognized the bishop of Treviso as lord of Mestre, citing the existence of the church of St. Lawrence, a castle and a port. In 1257 the bishops ceded it to Alberico da Romano
Alberico da Romano
Alberico da Romano , called Alberico II, was an Italian condottiero, troubadour, and an alternatingly Guelph and Ghibelline statesman. He was also a patron of Occitan literature.-Life and death:...

, podestat of Treviso
Treviso is a city and comune in Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Treviso and the municipality has 82,854 inhabitants : some 3,000 live within the Venetian walls or in the historical and monumental center, some 80,000 live in the urban center proper, while the city...


The port benefited from the economic growth of Venice
History of the Republic of Venice
The history of the Republic of Venice traditionally begins with its foundation at noon on Friday March 25, 421 by authorities from Padua who hoped to establish a trading-post in the region. This event was marked by the founding of the Venitian church of St. James...

, constituting its main connection to the Italian mainland. In 1274 a fire destroyed the castle, and the inhabitants moved to a location nearby, Castelnuovo (new Castle). No traces remain today of the old castle.

The Scaliger
The noble family of the Scaliger were Lords of Verona. When Ezzelino III was elected podestà of the commune in 1226, he was able to convert the office into a permanent lordship...

 family from Verona conquered Mestre and Treviso in 1323. The Venetians, fearing the excessive Veronese power in the mainland, conquered on September 29, 1337. An artificial channel was built to facilitate the transport of goods.

The Venetian domination ended on July 16, 1797. In 1808 Mestre, following the French practice, constituted itself into a free commune. It remained such under the subsequent Austrian and Italian rules, receiving the title of city in 1923. Three years later, however, a Royal Decree annexed Mestre and some other neighbouring comuni (Chirignago, Zelarino and Favaro Veneto) to the comune of Venezia.

In the 1960s and 1970s Mestre experienced a huge demographic growth, spurred mainly by the construction of a huge industrial district in the nearby town of Marghera. Mestre is now a preferred checkpoint for tourists visiting Venice.

Main sights

  • Cathedral of St. Lawrence (17th century)
  • Palazzo da Re
  • Torre dell'Orologio (Watchtower, 1108)
  • Palazzo podestarile
    Podestà is the name given to certain high officials in many Italian cities, since the later Middle Ages, mainly as Chief magistrate of a city state , but also as a local administrator, the representative of the Emperor.The term derives from the Latin word potestas, meaning power...

  • Provvedaria

External links

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