Keywords: Republic of Venice; Venetian mainland State; Political Institutions; Territorial Institutions; County town relations.
The Venetian mainland state was throughout its existence a «Stato per associazioni provinciali». In each of its subject provinces it had to identify, and consequently recognize, the local forces that the different historical events and the dissimilar previous settlements brought out as obligatory and privileged interlocutors. The aristocratic dominance in its urban or seigneur variants was destined not to know significant changes throughout the first and a half century following the territorial expansion. Only from the mid-sixteenth century, in the context of a greater interest of Venice for its territorial domination and for its ability to contributive, this superiority of the cities over their respective counties began to know some downsizing.