Venetian Albania (Italian: Albania Veneta, Albanian: Shqipëria Venedikase or Shqipëria veneciane) was the name for the possessions of the Venetian Republic in southern Dalmatia that existed from 1420 to 1797. It originally covered the coastal area of what is now northern Albania and the coast of Montenegro, but the Albanian and southern Montenegrin parts were lost to the Ottomans in 1571.
Name and geography 
Venetian Albania were Venetian possessions that stretched from the southern borders of the Republic of Ragusa to Durrës in coastal Albania. The Venetian territories usually reached only 20 km from the Adriatic Sea. After 1573 the southern limit was moved to the village of Kufin near Budva, because of the Ottoman conquests of Bar, Ulcinj, Shkodër, and Durrës. The Venetian territory was then centered around the area of the Bay of Kotor, and included the towns of Kotor, Risan, Perast, Tivat, Herceg Novi, Budva, and Sutomore.
The Venetians periodically controlled the small southern Dalmatian villages around in the 10th century, but did not permanently assume control until 1420. The Venetians assimilated the Dalmatian language into the Venetian dialect quickly. The Venetian territories around Kotor lasted from 1420 to 1797 and were called Venetian Albania, a province of the Venetian Republic.
In the early years of the Renaissance the territories under Venetian control included areas from actual coastal Montenegro to northern Albania until Durrës: Venetians retained this city after a siege by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1466 but it fell to Ottoman forces in 1501.
In those years Venetian Albania was relatively rich (by Balkan standards) and the area around the city of Cattaro enjoyed a huge cultural and artistic development.
When the Ottoman Empire started to conquer the Balkans in 15th century, the population of Christian Slavs in Dalmatia increased greatly. As a consequence of this, by the end of 17th century the Romance speaking population of the historical Venetian Albania was a minority, according to Oscar Randi in his book Dalmazia etnica, incontri e fusioni.
After the French Republic conquered and dissolved the Venetian Republic in 1797, the area of Venetian Albania became part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, and then in 1809 it was included in the French Illyrian Provinces, and then the Illyrian Provinces. In 1814 it was included in the Austrian Empire.
The Montenegrin town of Perast (Пераст), once part of Venetian Albania, was at its peak in the 18th century, when it had as many as four active shipyards, a standing fleet of around a hundred ships, and 1,643 residents. At that time a number of architecturally significant buildings were constructed in this fortified town. Many ornate baroque palaces and houses were decorated the town of Perast, built in the Ventian style. Citizens of Perast (the population was around 1,600 at the time) enjoyed privileges from the Venetian Republic. They were allowed to trade with large ships and to sell goods without tax on the Venetian market, which created considerable income for the town.
At the end of 18th century, the town accumulated enough wealth that it managed to collect 50,000 gold coins (about 200kg of gold) in order to pay the noted Venetian constructor Giuseppe Beati to build them the highest campanile (55m) on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. Right in front of Perast there are two small islands. The St George island with its small church from the 12th century and the artificial island Our Lady of Skrpjela with a legend surrounding it. On the reef whose top was 1 m above the surface of the water, people from Perast had been throwing rocks and sinking old shipwrecks for 200 years, thus creating a plateau of 3,030 square meters, which they then built a church on. The church received donations for centuries and now it is a type of gallery and treasury of various objects. Beside 68 oil on canvas works by Tripo Cocolia (a 17th century baroque painter from the eastern Mediterranean coast), on the church walls there are 2,500 golden and silver votive tablets which people from the Kotor Bay area donated to the church, in order to avoid various human disasters. Perast had the privilege to use the war-flag of the Venetian Navy in peacetime (called the fedelissma Gonfaloniera by the citizens).
The sailors of Perast participated in the last battle of the Venetian navy, fought in Venice in 1797. On 12 May of that year, the Republic of Venice was annexed, but a few places in Venetian Albania, being far to the south across the Adriatic, did not surrender for several months afterwards. Perast was the last place in the Republic to surrender. On August 23 1797, the citizens of Perast gathered to bury the flag of the Republic under the altar of the cathedral, to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. Before the kneeling crowd Captain Giuseppe Viscovich, commander of the town, delivered an emotional speech, known as the Discorso de Perasto.
Albanians lived in the south of the Venetian Albania around Ulcinj and Durrës. The area around Kotor was populated by Croats and Romance-speakers and was fully Catholic. Many clans from Albania Veneta had immigrated to Italy, Korfu and Constantinople: Klanlarets in Istanbul is an example of Venetian Albanians today.
According to the Italian historian Luigi Paulucci the population of the Venetian Albania, during the centuries of the Venetian Republic, was mainly Venetian speaking in the urban areas (Kotor, Perast, Budva, ecc..) around the Bay of Kotor. But in the inland areas more than half of the population was Serbo-Croatian-speaking, after the beginning of the eighteenth century. Furthermore, near the border with Albania there were big communities of Albanian speaking people: Ulcinj was half Albanian, one quarter Venetian and one quarter Slav speaking.
- Cecchetti, Bartolomeo. pp. 978–983. Text "Intorno agli stabilimenti politici della repubblica veneta nell'Albania" ignored (help); Missing or empty
- Paulucci, Luigi. Le Bocche di Cattaro nel 1810. pag. 24
- Durant, Will. The Renaissance. pag. 121
- Randi, Oscar. Dalmazia etnica, incontri e fusioni. pag. 37-38
- Sumrada, Janez. Napoleon na Jadranu / Napoleon dans l'Adriatique.pag. 159
- Durant, Will. The Renaissance.pag. 139
- The struggle between Venice and the Ottoman empire for the Venetian Albania in the sixteenth century (Italian)
- Kotor and the Montenegro's Venetian speaking area (italian)
- UNESCO: Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor
- Historical review of the Italian traces in Montenegro (Italian)
- Bartl, Peter. Le picciole Indie dei Veneziani. Zur Stellung Albaniens in den Handelsbeziehungen zwischen der Balkan- und der Appenninenhalbinsel. In: Münchner Zeitschrift für Balkankunde 4 (1981–1982) 1-10.
- Bartl, Peter. Der venezianische Türkenkrieg im Jahre 1690 nach den Briefen des päpstlichen Offiziers Guido Bonaventura. In: Südost-Forschungen 26 (1967) 88-101.
- Bartoli, Matteo. Le parlate italiane della Venezia Giulia e della Dalmazia. Tipografia italo-orientale. Grottaferrata 1919.
- Cecchetti, Bartolomeo. Intorno agli stabilimenti politici della repubblica veneta nell'Albania. In: Atti del Regio Istituto veneto di scienze, lettere ed arti. Bd. 3, Seria 4, S. 978-998. 1874.
- De Brodmann, Giuseppe. Memorie politico-economiche della citta e territorio di Trieste, della penisola d’Istria, della Dalmazia fu Veneta, di Ragusi e dell’Albania, ora congiunti all’Austriaco Impero. Venezia 1821.
- De Castro, Diego. Dalmazia, popolazione e composizione etnica. Cenno storico sul rapporto etnico tra Italiani e Slavi nella Dalmazia. ISPI 1978.
- Durant, Will. The Renaissance. MJK Books. New York, 1981.
- Gelcich, Giuseppe. Memorie storiche sulle bocche di Cattaro. Zara 1880.
- F Hamilton Jackson (2010). The Shores of the Adriatic (Illustrated Edition). Echo Library. pp. 287–. ISBN 9781406867619. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- Martin, John Jeffries. Venice Reconsidered. The History and Civilization of an Italian City-State, 1297–1797. Johns Hopkins UP. New York, 2002.
- Norwich, John Julius. A History of Venice. Vintage Books. New York, 1989.
- Paulucci, Luigi. Le Bocche di Cattaro nel 1810 Edizioni Italo Svevo.Trieste, 2005.
- Randi, Oscar. Dalmazia etnica, incontri e fusioni. Tipografie venete. Venezia 1990.
- Scaglioni Marzio. La presenza italiana in Dalmazia 1866-1943 Histria ed. Trieste,2000.
- Schmitt, Oliver. Das venezianische Albanien (1392–1479). (=Südosteuropäische Arbeiten. 110). München 2001.
- Sumrada, Janez. Napoleon na Jadranu / Napoleon dans l'Adriatique. Zalozba Annales. Koper, 2006.
- Tagliavini, Carlo. Le origini delle lingue neolatine. Patron Ed. Bologna 1982.
- Trogrli, Marko. Školstvo u Dalmaciji za francuske uprave/The French school system in French Dalmatia. Knjižnica Annales Majora. Koper, 2006.