810 A.D. Europe is divided between the declining Byzantine Empire and the strength of the modern Empire of Charlemagne. Exactly in the middle, there is Venice. The safety of the city is on Giustiniano shoulders, the first-born son to Venice doge, just more than a boy. During his formative journey to Constantinople he realizes that military force isn’t enough: Venice lacks a shared faith and passion, a common feeling that would keep together the population. Venice needs a symbol, a call to a common identity.

Giustiniano chooses the remains of Saint Mark. For centuries, there had been a legend in Christianity: an angel that resembled a winged lion had prophesized to Saint Mark that his remains one day would rest in the shadow of the lagoon city. It seems perfect, but the remains are in Alexandria in Egypt, closely guarded by the Saracens. So, Giustiniano plans the impossible by recruiting a gang of thieves and smugglers: they have to steal the remains and sail pass the Saracen fleets. The Venice that we all know originated under the aegis of this enormous and adventurous theft.

Created by Pietro Seghetti for Pepito Produzioni, the eight-episode series Venice Rising is one of the projects of the MIA | TV Drama Series Pitching Forum. Click here for info on this and all the other projects.