(NBC NEWS) While the referendum over Crimea’s secession from Ukraine continues to make headlines worldwide, a much lower-profile poll for independence is gaining momentum in Italy: the vote for the breakaway of Venice.
Residents of the northern Italian region of Veneto – Venice being its main city – are voting this week on whether to secede from Italy and create their own independent and sovereign republic.
The Veneto is the former heartland of the powerful maritime Republic of Venice, the economic and trading power that lasted from the 7th to the 18th century. Today it’s Italy’s richest region, thanks to the wealth created by yearlong tourism and a strong industrial base.
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