News item from BrettspielWelt

O sole mio!

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Venedig Cover

Disappointment was plain on their faces. Before them stood the "promised land," the destination of their dreams and the only reason for taking on their journey, with its hardships and privations. But the sight they beheld was not all they had hoped for.

For years they had fled before the plundering hordes of the cruel Huns. And when they finally thought they'd found peace, the Longbeards hunted them from their lands and fields. Following the course of the river Brenta to where the tides mix it with the salty water of the Mediterranean, they came upon the place at which they desired to make a new beginning. But the hoped-for paradise of a fruitful river delta turned out to be a swampy lagoon with a few isolated islets. There could be no turning back: before them loomed the Mediterranean, yet behind them lurked the Longbeards.

Thus they began their work: at first they fashioned small boats to live on. Gradually they began to settle one island after another; the first houses were raised. Since no enemy was eager to fight on the swampy lagoon they remained undisturbed and developed into a community which came to fill the small islands. They developed methods of draining the swamp, enlarging the islands and increasing their living space. They rammed innumerable pilings of oak and elm into the muddy lagoon bottom down to the "Caranto," the hard clay base under the lagoon. Now they could raise larger buildings: soon splendid palaces stood about the open plazas. The first bridges joined the islands together. But the greatest milestone of this young city's development was the building of the first basilica. All the residents worked together to finish this monumental place of worship. For its dedication they came from all the islands. And in all the alleys and canals the old greeting of the people was heard: "Veni Etiam" - come again to Venezia, Venedig, Venice. A city was born.