The pre-Roman village of Sesto enjoyed its most intense period of development after the construction of the Abbazia Benedettina in the early 8th century, made possible thanks to a donation from the Longobards in 762, though many other donations followed. The village was devastated by a Hungarian invasion in 899, but was rebuilt and fortified in 960, becoming a medieval-style castle with towers and moats. In 1420, possession of the village passed from the Patriarchate of Aquileia to the Republic of Venice, until this was overturned in 1784. Inside the basilica are a number of frescoes by Giotto, the urn of Santa Anastasia, which is kept in the crypt, a 15th-century Vesperbild and the Annunciation from the 1300s. From the square outside the abbey, visitors can admire the Palazzo del Comune, which was previously the abbots’ residence, the Abbey Chancellery (the heart of local power in medieval times) and the bell tower from the 11th or 12th century. The bell tower and the Grimani tower are all that remains of the seven defense towers that once surrounded the monastery.