Researchers at the University of Padova have discovered the remains of ancient Altinum near present-day Marco Polo airport on the mainland north of Venice. Abandonded in the seventh century in the wake of the Hun invasion, the inhabitants of Altinum fled into the lagoon where they are reputed to have founded the island republic of Venice.

Researchers made the discovery using infrared satellite imagery furnished by Italian satellite services provider, Telespazio Spa. The technique revealed buried foundations of a forum, theatre, odeon and city walls