Secessionist sentiment seems to be hugely on the rise in Italy, and at this rate the nation may soon be sloughing off autonomous regions like skin flakes, with Venice virtually out the door.
A week-long referendum in the area around Venice proposed the idea of reforming the Repubblica Veneta, which existed independently for centuries until its conquest by Napoleon and military annexation by Austria. Strong turnout was reported and 89 percent of the votes were in favor of secession.
The vote was non-binding, but the overwhelming nature of the vote suggest self-rule may be inevitable in Venice, and is going to be virtually impossible for Italy to ignore.
Sardinia may not be far behind. The autonomous region, itself independent for centuries before the formation of Italy, isn’t looking to go it alone like Venice, however, and activists are suggesting an accession into Switzerland, suggesting that as a way out of both Italy and the EU for the economically struggling region.