Chioggia (Venetan: Cióxa, Latin: Clodia) is a coastal town and comune of the province of Venice in the Veneto region of northern Italy, situated on a small island at the southern entrance to the Lagoon of Venice about 25 km south of Venice (50 km by road); causeways connect it to the mainland and to its frazione of Sottomarina. The population of the comune is c. 51,000, with the town proper accounting for about half of that and Sottomarina for most of the rest.
The name of the town has been changing depending on the historical period, being Clodia, Cluza, Clugia, Chiozza and Chioggia. The most ancient documents naming Chioggia dates from the 6th century AD, when it was part of the Byzantine Empire. Chioggia was destroyed by the King Pippin of Italy in the 9th century, but rebuilt around a new industry based on salt pans. In the Middle Ages, Chioggia proper was known as Clugia major, whereas Clugia minor was a sand bar about 600 m further into the Adriatic. A free commune and an episcopal see from 1110, it had later an important role in the so-called War of Chioggia between Genoa and Venice, being conquered by Genoa in 1378 and finally by Venice in June 1380. Although the town remained largely autonomous, it was always thereafter subordinate to Venice.
The church of St. Andrew (18th century) has a bell tower from the 11th-12th centuries, provided with the most ancient tower watch in the world. The interior has a Crucifixion by Palma the Elder.
Chioggia served Carlo Goldoni as the setting of his play Le baruffe chiozzotte, one of the classics of Italian literature: a baruffa was a loud brawl, and chiozzotto (today more frequently chioggiotto in Italian, or cioxoto in Venetan) is the demonym for Chioggia. Goldoni took his setting seriously: the play is replete with lacemaking, fishermen, and other local color.
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