Keywords: Innocenzo Cervelli; Venetian History; Venetian Patriciate; Italian Religious Crisis of the Sixteenth Century; History of Historiography.
Sixteenth-century Venice marked the starting point for Enzo Cervelli’s rich and detailed historiographic path. Which instruments attracted the young Roman historian to his first research project? How did these studies on Venetian subjects – which remained marginal in his overall production – guide the approach and methods of his later works? The aim of this article is to answer these questions by contextualizing Cervelli’s writings on Venice and the political-religious horizon of his patriciate during a particular historiographic season that, during the 1960s and 1970s, saw the reflection on the institutions and the ruling class of the Republic cross paths with the debate on the sixteenth-century Italian religious crisis.