Veneto is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about five million, ranking fifth in Italy. The region's capital and most populous city is Venice.
Veneto was part of the Roman Empire until the 5th century AD. Later, after a feudal period, it was part of the Republic of Venice until 1797. Venice ruled for centuries over one of the largest and richest maritime republics and trade empires in the world. After the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Republic was annexed by the Austrian Empire, until it was merged with the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, as a result of the Third Italian War of Independence. The Statute of Veneto describes Venetians as a "people".
Besides Italian, most inhabitants also speak the autochthonous Venetian language. Having been for a long period in history a land of mass emigration, Veneto is today one of the greatest immigrant-receiving regions in the country, with 454,453 foreigners in 2008, the most recent of which are Romanians and Moroccans.
The region is home to a notable nationalist movement. The region's largest party is the Venetist/Padanist Liga Veneta, a founding member of Lega Nord.