fourth and last of the Genoese Wars with Venice,
called the War of Chioggia, Genoa assembled a powerful host of allies.
The King of Hungary, having previously wrested control of Dalmatia from
Venice, gave sanctuary and support to the Genoese fleet. By 1379 the
Hungarians also threatened Venice by land from the north. At the same
time the forces of Padua, under Carrara leadership,
cut off Venice's communications to the west. By miscalculation, the
Venetians had dispatched one of their large fleets on an expedition
to raid and harass Genoese shipping and installations in the eastern
Mediterranean, leaving Venice itself with greatly reduced defensive
and unexpectedly, the Genoese fleet appeared and established a blockade
of the entrances to the Venetian lagoon. By mid-August 1379 the Genoese,
Hungarians and Paduans had Venice encircled. Attacking swiftly at
the south end of the lagoon, Genoa brought her fleet into the channels
of the lagoon and, with her allies, stormed and captured the major
settlement at Chioggia. The capture and sacking of Venice seemed just
one step away. Curiously, however, the Venetians soon exposed the
assault on Chioggia as a fateful error that would lead to disaster
for the Genoese.
of darkness on December 22, 1379, the Venetians, after launching a
diversionary attack on Chioggia, managed to sink obstructions closing
every channel by which the Genoese fleet might escape from the cul-de-sac
at Chioggia. The Venetian galley fleet that had been on a raiding
expedition in the Mediterranean returned to Venice January 1, 1380;
suddenly it was the Genoese who were encircled. Months of skirmishes
ensued as the Genoese sought desperately to clear the barricades in
the channels and the Venetians to defend them. Finally, in June 1380
the entire Genoese fleet -- near starvation -- surrendered.
Venetian's fabulous victory at Chioggia, the peace treaty signed at
Turin in the following year favored the Genoese. Venice's prize was
not victory, but survival.