Venetian Most Serene Government

Venetian Most Serene Government
The so-called Tanko, used by the secessionist commando Serenissimi to assault the St Mark's Campanile in Venice, on 9 May 1997. It is not a real tank, but a truck disguised as a tank.

The Venetian Most Serene Government (Veneto Serenissimo Governo, VSG), whose members are often referred to as Serenissimi, is a political organization active in Veneto, reclaiming independence and self-government for Venetian lands. It is a bulwark of Venetian nationalism.

In the early 1980s Luigi Faccia and Flavio Contin left Liga Veneta, the mainstream regionalist party in Veneto, because the considered it too moderate. On 25 January 1987 Faccia and Contin launched the VSG. In 1992 the group was joined by Fausto Faccia, brother of Luigi, and, later, by Giuseppe Segato, who was appointed "ambassador" of the VSG. Since 1996 the group is protagonist of raids into the frequencies of RAI, the Italian state owned public service broadcaster, in Veneto with separatist proclamations in Venetian language.[1]

During the night between 8 and 9 May 1997 the Serenissimi, "attacked" Piazza San Marco and the St Mark's Campanile in Venice in order to proclaim the "independence of Veneto". After eight hours barred in the Campanile, the Carabinieri entered and arrested the group.[2][3] The members of the group, including the two leaders of the Venetian Most Serene Government, Luigi Faccia and Giuseppe Segato, who did not take part to the action, were all jailed and processed.[4][5] The effort, which was more symbolic than anything else, was criticized by Umberto Bossi and Roberto Maroni,[6] leaders of Lega Nord, at that time proponents of the independence of Padania, while it was praised by Gianfranco Miglio,[7] a former senator of the League who was then elected as an independent for the centre-right Pole of Freedoms.

The Serenissimi soon became a sort of "heroes" for many Venetists and the tank[8][9] with which they reached Piazza San Marco on that night is usually an exhibit at the yearly Festa dei Veneti[10] and at other rallies of that kind, also outside Veneto.[11] Segato was a candidate of Liga Veneta Repubblica in the 2001 general election[12] and came short of election to the Italian Senate, having received 9.8% of the vote in the constituency of Schio.[13] Representatives from most political parties in Veneto, including centre-left figures, defended the Serenissimi: Claudio Rizzato of the Democrats of the Left even praised the "noble ideals" of the group,[14] while Massimo Cacciari and Green Gianfranco Bettin campaigned for the pardon to those in jail, along with Liga Veneta and the regional section of Forza Italia.[15] Some of them are not embarrassed in taking part to a rally,[16][17] the Festa dei Veneti, in which the tanko is exposed. More recently also leading members of the League, including Bossi[18][19] and Roberto Calderoli,[20] praised them and another leghista, Roberto Castelli, when minister of Justice in 2003, proposed a pardon for Faccia who was still in jail,[21][22] unsuccessfully as Faccia refused it.[23]

The group is still active nowadays, under the leadership of Luca Peroni,[24] and currently campaigns for a referendum on self-determination of Veneto.


  1. ^ Francesco Jori, Dalla Łiga alla Lega. Storia, movimenti, protagonisti, Marsilio, Venice 2009, pp. 54, 105–108
  2. ^ Commando assalta Venezia, torna la paura. (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  3. ^ " Abbiamo occupato piazza San Marco ". (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  4. ^ Alvise Fontanella, 1997: Il ritorno della Serenissima, Editoria Universitaria, Venice 1997.
  5. ^ Francesco Jori, Dalla Łiga alla Lega. Storia, movimenti, protagonisti, Marsilio, Venice 2009, pp. 54, 108–111
  6. ^ Maroni: altro che opera nostra, qui bisogna riaprire i manicomi. (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  7. ^ Miglio: applaudo quei ragazzi, sono miei buoni allievi. (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  8. ^ I Serenissimi ricomprano il Tanko – Galleria. (5 July 2006). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  9. ^ Raixe Venete, el jornale dei Veneti –, el sito Veneto – in lingua veneta (dialetto veneto). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  10. ^ «Festa dei Veneti» con il Tanko dell' assalto al campanile. Patrocinio della Regione, è scontro. (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  11. ^ Esposto il «tanko» dei Serenissimi. (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  12. ^ Segato al Senato, prova di evasione elettorale. (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  13. ^ E l' ideologo dei Serenissimi resta in carcere per un pugno di voti. (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  14. ^ «Pronti a correre con la Liga. I Serenissimi? Nobili ideali». (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  15. ^ I Serenissimi Che Occuparono San Marco. (28 October 2008). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  16. ^ [1][dead link]
  17. ^ Festa dei veneti, Zaia dà forfait all’ultima ora. Tante magliette colorate: "Veneto is not Italy". Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  18. ^ «Libertà per il capo dei Serenissimi». (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  19. ^ Bossi un anno dopo: padani, sono tornato. (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  20. ^ «A Vicenza si decide sulla secessione». (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  21. ^ Castelli: mi do da fare per la grazia al «serenissimo». (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  22. ^ Serenissimi, Castelli esaminerà la domanda di grazia per Faccia. (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  23. ^ Il Serenissimo dell' assalto a Venezia: «Non ci provino con me, io rifiuterei». (24 December 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  24. ^ [2][dead link]


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