June 15th—Festa di San Vio (St Vitus, as in Dance).

On this day, or rather night, 700 years ago in dim and distant 1310, an attempted coup against the Republic was foiled by a combination of treachery, lack of mobile phones, bad weather and a well-aimed mortar (with which an ancient markswoman, Giustina Rossi, felled the rebels’ standard-bearer from an upper window). The ringleaders were duly done to death, with the exception of Baiamonte Tiepolo, who escaped abroad into the sort of posthumous charisma enjoyed by Ned Kelly, Robin Hood and other such spitters at the law.

He was eventually hunted down by the Venetian Mossad and murdered in Croatia some twenty years later.

No doubt Russell Crowe is already limbering up to play him as a revolutionary dog-loving democrat – such at least must be the hope of adoptive veneziana Michelle Lovric, who has taken him to her bosom and tonight leads a waterborne cortège of the Settemari Club’s finest to lay mortars on the site of his razed palace at S.Agostin. Bring your own pestle.