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The relations between the population and the Venetian departments on one side, and the French troops on the other, was difficult from the start, for the French troops behaved more as occupiers than guests.
Bergamo, in contrast, resisted the French invasion.
Bergamo thus officially became the first city in the Veneto removed from Venice's rule, and Ottolini was forced to give up the city.
In the meantime, Napoleon set off to march on Vienna via the defiles of Carinthia, ultimately ending up in Leoben negotiating a treaty with Austria.
The French troops arrived in Verona on 1 June 1796, occupying the military strong-points and billeting troops in other buildings despite the Republic of Venice already having declared its neutrality.
The work of democratising Bergamao was initiated by François Joseph Lefebvre, the successor to Baraguay d'Hilliers, but there were too few Jacobin locals.
Napoleon reminded the general that the democratisation should appear to be the will of the people - the general, therefore, whilst keeping Ottolini otherwise occupied, summoned representatives of the citizen-body to secede from Venice's rule.
The uprising received its name through association with the anti-French uprising of the Sicilian Vespers of the 13th century.
Incited by oppressive behaviour by the French (confiscating the assets of Verona's citizens and plotting to overthrow the city's local government), it began on the morning of 17 April 1797, the second day of Easter: the enraged population succeeded in defeating more than a thousand French soldiers in the first hour of fighting, forcing them to take refuge in the town's fortifications, which the mob then captured by force.