Attila the Hun's brutal Italian
invasion in 452, the population of the countryside fled before his
army. Many sought refuge on the small islands in the lagoons lining
the western coast of the Adriatic, augmenting the fisherman population
that already lived there.
of the refugees returned to their mainland homes after Attila's withdrawal,
the origin of the future island colossus of Venice is often traced to
the migration caused by Attila's invasion.