The name Marghera is said in popular myth to come from Venetian dialectal "Mar gh' era," meaning "There was the sea"; the original form, however, was Mergaria, whose origin is unclear.
At the beginning of the 20th century Venice's existing port at Bacino San Marco was incapable of servicing large modern ships. A new port was constructed at the western end of Venice at Stazione Marittima, but it became clear that if industry was developed in its immediate vicinity it would negatively impact on the historical city and tourism. As a result, by 1917 – during the First World War – the Italian government decided to develop an industrial zone and state-of-the-art port at Marghera on the mainland, opposite Venice and near the town of Mestre. A major backer of the scheme was Count Giuseppe Volpi.
Development commenced in 1920, and for 10 years shipping channels were dredged, excavations and land reclamation took place. A residential area was constructed for the zone's workers. In 1923, the first chemical factory commenced production. The number of workers employed in the zone rose to 6000 by 1930, 16,000 by 1950 and 35,000 by 1970.
In 1926 Marghera and Mestre were made a frazione under the control of the municipal government of Venice. By 1940, more than 60 factories were established at Marghera, and as a result during World War II Allied bombers targeted Porto Marghera.
On May 15, 2020, a fire in a chemical plant producing cosmetics, including nail varnish remover, forced Venetians to stay indoors.
The Municipalità di Marghera, one of the six boroughs of Venice's comune, includes 30,000 inhabitants, with Marghera alone including 17,000 inhabitants.
3V Sigma, part of the multinational Sigma corporation, has a chemical plant producing cosmetics in Porto Maghera; it had a chemical fire in May 2020.
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- Madden. Page 403.
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- "Contacts." Eagles Airlines. Retrieved on 24 December 2010. "Eagles Airlines Via Banchina dei Molini, 8 30175 VENEZIA - Marghera"
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- Madden, Thomas F (2012). Venice : A New History (Hardback). New York: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-02542-8.
- Official website (in Italian)