In 1388 the
Venetian Republic had allied herself with the Visconti family of Milan
in order to dispossess Venice's long-time nemesis, the Carrara
family from control of Padua--its base--and the adjacent cities
and territories of Treviso, Vicenza and Verona. Venice regained control
of Treviso and Milan acquired Padua, Vicenza and Verona. For
Venice the alliance with Milan had been an expedient way to dispose
of the Carraras and regain Treviso, but Milan and the Viscontis would
always be perilous neighbors.
1390 Venice did not hesitate to assist an army organized by the Carraras,
in conjunction with Florence and Bologna, in its successful effort
to expel the Milanese forces from Padua. Back in power, the Carraras
soon proved themselves to be as intractable as ever.
With Milan in
disarray following the sudden death of its dynamic leader, Gian Galeazzo
Visconti, the Carraras returned to their former threatening ways and
launched an attack by Padua against its neighboring city of Vicenza,
still under Milanese control. Milan cunningly offered to transfer
both Vicenza and neighboring Verona to Venice if Venice would act
to halt the westward advance of the Carraras' Paduan forces.
Venice, now an
implacable enemy of the Carraras, seized the opportunity. The Venetian
army captured Padua in November 1404 following a brief siege. Francesco
Carrara and his son Jacopo were captured and soon executed. In a stroke
the Venetians had eliminated the Carraras and extended their mainland
territory to include Padua, Vicenza and Verona. Venice was now a major
power on the Italian mainland.