Veneto (Vèneto) in north eastern Italy, as part of the Republic of Venice, was an independent state for more than a millennium, one of the largest and richest maritime republics and trade empires in the world. It was dissolved by Napoleon in 1797 and ceded to the Austrian Empire, until it joined Italy in 1866. Its flag is based on the one of the old Republic of Venice. It represents a winged lion, the symbol of the Evangelist Mark, with a paw on a book with the Latin inscription “Peace be with you, Mark, my Evangelist” and a mountain, the Alps. Attached to the fly edge are seven tails which each one bearing coat of arms of one of Veneto's seven province capitals; from top to bottom: Vicenza, Verona, Venice, Treviso, Rovigo, Padua and Belluno.