The origins of Venice
If you follow the Via Triestina from Venice Marco Polo Airport for about 7 kilometres in an easterly direction, you will reach the ruins of Altino. Here lie the origins of Venice. When the Huns invaded northern Italy in the 5th century they razed the once important town of Altino to the ground. The residents, however, fled to the lagoon and populated the island of Torcello, which later became a bishop’s seat. From here, the small islands around Rivo Alto (Rialto) were populated, thus laying the foundation for what would later become Venice, the City of the Doges.
Despite the total destruction of Altino by the Huns you can still admire the remains of the former city, including an atrium-like space, mosaic floors and roads. The Archaeological Museum exhibits amazingly well preserved stelae, sculptures, coins, bronze figurines and all types of vessels. The church of San Heliodorus in front of the excavation site and the ruins of a fortress with two towers are from a later period.