Chronography of Italy, San Marino and Malta

Page last modified 23 Odctober 2023


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See also Venice

See also Roman Empire

See Earthquakes for major Italian earthquakes


Map of railway development in Sardinia

Demography of Italy

Demography of The Vatican


San Marino � see Appendix 2

Vatican City, Papal States � see Appendix 3; see also Christianity


25 September 2022, In Italian elections, the country�s first female Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, was elected, leading the Rightist anti-immigrant Brothers of Italy Party.

1/2020, The Rightist League party failed to defeat ther Leftat a crucial election in Emilia-Romana.

8/2019, The Rightist League Party, led by Matteo Salvini, withdrew from Government, to trigger early elections in which it hoped to do well. However the Leftist Five-Star Party formed a workable coalition with the Centre-Left Democratic Party, and Guiseppe Conte remained as Prime Minister.

14 August 2018, A 200 metre stretch of motorway bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, plunging 45 metres onto a riverbed and factories, killing 43 people. There were suggestions that the bridge, built in 1967, had been poorly maintained, or badly constructed under Mafia influence.

27 May 2018, Italy�s Populist Government nominated Paolo Savona as Finance Minister; an economist who supported Italy quitting the Eurozone. President Sergio Mattarella vetoed that appointment. The Italian Right hoped to cut taxes and boost welfare, and cut immigration. However Italy was forced to scale back its spending after EU objections.

4 March 2018, Elections in Italy, a country still in recession, with high unemployment and with anti-immigrant feeling running high in some areas, produced gains for the two Populist-Right Parties, The League in the north and Five Star in the south.

22 October 2017, Voters in two of Italy�s wealthiest northern regions, Veneto and Lombardy, voted overwhelmingly for greater autonomy. On a turnout of 58% in Veneto and just over 50% in Lombardy, over 95% of votes were for more autonomy.

4 December 2016, Matteo Renzi, Italian Prime Minister, resigned after a referendum rejected his government reform proposals by over 60%.


Berlusconi Rightist administration

13 February 2011, Women across Italy protested against Berlusconi.

2007, Prodi resigned when he failed to secure Senate support for continued US bases in Italy; however he was asked to form a new Government by the Italian President.

16 April 2006, Easter Sunday. Romano Prodi, Centre-Left coalition, was confirmed as winner of the Italian elections, defeating his rival Silvio Berlusconi by just 25,000 votes.

2005, Conscription into the armed forces ceased in Italy.

30 October 2005, Italian Minister of the Environment Altero Matteoli announced an interest in switching to nuclear power as Italy�s main energy source within 10-15 years. Nuclear power had been banned in Italy since the Chernobyl accident in 1986

10 December 2004, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was acquitted of charges that he bribed judges to protect his commercial interests in the 1990s.

1/2002, Italy adopted the Euro, replacing the Lira.

15 December 2001, The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened to the public, after works to reduce its lean by 30cm. the lean had reached dangerous levels, and stabilisation efforts began in 1990.

20 July 2001, The 3-day 27th G8 talks began in Genoa, Italy, sparking major protests by anti-globalisation groups.

21 February 2001, In Sicily Bernardo Provenza, one of the ten most wanted Mafia men, was arrested after 38 years on the run.

13 May 2000, Ex-Premier and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi was again elected Prime Minister of Italy.

13 January 1995, Lamberto Dini became Italian Prime Minister 3 weeks after Silvio Berlusconi had been forced to resign. Stabilising Italy�s finances was a priority.

22 December 1994, Silvio Berlusconi resigned after allegations of busoiness corruption.

28 March 1994, Silvio Berlusconi became Prime Minister of Italy. He led a short-lived Rightist government. There were concerns over possible conflicts of interest between Berlusconi�s political responsibilities and his widespread businessinterests.

1992, The Northern League (Lega Nord) won over 50 seats in the General Election. The Northern League was resentful of taxes generated in the prosperous north of Italy being used by Rome to support the poorer South, and wanted an independent State in northern Italy, so-called Padania.


19 July 1992, A Mafia bomb in Palermo, Sicily, killed Paolo Borsellino, 54-year-old Chief Prosecutor. Give of his bodyguards were also killed and 18 others injured. The Italian Government later deployed 7,000 troops to Sicily to hunt down the Mafia.

25 May 1992, Oscar Salfaro was elected President of Italy.

23 May 1992, In Italy, Judge Giovanni Falcone, the principal anti-Mafia investigator, was killed by a massive car bomb.

7 January 1990. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed to the public for the first time in 807 years so work could begin to stop it leaning any further; the leaning rate had accelerated. After nearly 12 years of repairs costing 53 billion lire that reduced its lean by 44 cm the tower re-opened in December 2001, and was expected to be safe for another 2 or 3 centuries. Parties of up to 30 are allowed up on guided visits. The Tower of Pisa is the bell tower for a nearby cathedral, and its construction began in 1173, and continues with two long interruptions, for nearly 200 years. Designed to be vertical, a lean developed during its construction.The walls at its base are eight feet thick, and it has 294 steps. Injection of cement into the base in 1934 had accelerated the lean.

16 December 1987, In Italy, 338 people were convicted in the largest Mafia trial ever.

1 August 1986, Craxi again became Prime Minister of Italy.

3 June 1986, Italy released some 8,000 prisoners, including suspected terrorists, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the republic.

19 July 1985, In Italy, 261 died when a dam burst, flooding the tourist resort of Tesero.

1984, Roman Catholicism no longer the Italian State religion.

23 December 1984. Terrorist bomb killed 29 on a train in Bologna, Italy.

24 September 1983, In Italy, the executives responsible for the Seveso dioxin disaster were jailed.

4 August 1983. Bettino Craxi became Italy�s first Socialist Prime Minister.

18 March 1983, King Umberto II of Italy, in exile since 1946, died in a Geneva clinic aged 78.

11 December 1982, Fanfani again became Prime Minister of Italy.

3 September 1982, Anti-Mafia chief murdered in Rome.

23 August 1982, Spadolini became Prime Minister of Italy

26 May 1981, The Italian cabinet resigned amidst allegations of Freemason influence in the country�s political and judicial system.

17 May 1981, In a referendum, Italy voted to legalise abortion.

23 November 1980, A series of earthquakes in southern Italy killed 4,800 people, and left 300,000 homeless.

18 October 1980, Forlani became Prime Minister of Italy

2 August 1980, A right-wing terrorist bomb hit the railway station at Bologna, Italy, killing 85 people and wounding over 200.

4 August 1979, Cossiga became Prime Minister of Italy


Communists and Red Brigade, 1970-79

3 June 1979, In Italian general elections, the Communists lost ground.

12 June 1978, Italians, in a referendum, confirmed approval of strengthened police powers to tackle armed criminals. Italy had seen several terrorist outrages and the antiterrorist Reale Act was now confirmed.

9 May 1978. The body of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was found in the boot of a car in central Rome, a victim of the Red Brigade.

21 March 1979, Andreotti again became Prime Minister of Italy.

16 March 1978, In Rome, former Prime Minister Aldo Moro was kidnapped and murdered by the Red Brigade.

16 January 1978, In Italy., PM Giulio Andreotti, 39th consecutive Christian Democrat head of the Italian Government since the fall of Mussolini in 1943, resigned. He was facing a no-confidence arising from his decision to exclude the Communists from the Cabinet.

12 January 1978, Italy, the Andreotti government collapsed.

14 March 1977, Students rioted in major Italian cities. Initial protests were about a student shot dead by police, but were joined by Left-wing extremists angered at the Italian Communist Party for co-operating with Government.

1976, Communist Party support in Italy peaked at 34% under Enrico Berlinguer, who was a proponent of �moderate� Communist policies.

30 July 1976, Andreotti became Prime Minister of Italy,

11 February 1976, In Italy, Aldo Moro formed a minority Christian Democrat Government.

17 October 1974, 10 million Italian workers went on strike demanding measures to protect them against recession and inflation.

7 July 1973, Rumor again became Prime Minister of Italy.

1972, Extreme-Right support in Italy reached a post-War high of 9%. There was a rise in urban terrorism by both extreme Right and extreme Left.

26 July 1972, Andreotti became Prime Minister of Italy

1970, The Red Brigades, extreme Left terrorists, were formed.


6 August 1970, Colombo became Italian Prime Minister.

27 March 1970, Rumor again became Prime Minister of Italy.

12 December 1968, Rumor became Prime Minister of Italy.

23 June 1968, Leone became Prime Minister of Italy.

6 December 1964, Antonio Segni, Italian Prime Minister resigned for health reasons. He was succeedd on 28 December 1964 by Guiseppe Saragat.

22 July1964, Moro again became Prime Minister of Italy.

4 December 1963, Moro became Prime Minister of Italy

9 October 1963, Three thousand were killed as the Vaijont Dam burst in the Italian Alps. Despite warnings that the valley sides were being destabilised as the dam filled, work continued until a rock slide hit the site.

4 December 1962, Pietro Tomasi Della Torretta, Italian politician and diplomat, died aged 89.

6 May 1962, In Italy, Antonio Segni was elected President on the 9th ballot.

21 February 1962, Fanfani again became Prime Minister of Italy.

4 November 1961, Italy's second television network Rai 2 began broadcasting, joining the original RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana) which had begun in 1954.

26 July 1960, Fanfani was elected PrimeMinister of Italy.

1957, Italy became a founder member of the EEC.

6 July 1955, Segni became Prime Minister of Italy.

19 August 1954, Alcide de Gasperi, Italian statesman, died aged 73.

10 February 1954, Scelba became Prime Minister of Italy.

18 January 1954, Fanfani became Prime Minister of Italy.

30 August 1953, Italy moved troops into the border areas of Trieste, near Yugoslavia, a week after the Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Pella declared that Trieste was �important to Italy�.Yugoslavia alleged that these troops had transgressed 50 metres into Yugoslav territory. President Tito of Yugoslavia demanded the internationalisation of Trieste city and the incorporation of its hinterland into Yugoslavia. The US and UK, unwilling to see Yugoslavia gain a major influence over the northern Adriatic, announced they would end the Allied Military Government in the 25-km coastal strip running NW from Trieste towards Italy and hand the territory over to Italy. Tito said if this happened he would send in Yugoslav troops. In early November Italians demonstrated for unity of Trieste with Italy, and attempted to raise the Italian flag on Trieste Town Hall. There were rioting and arrests; several rioters were killed. Italy protested and for the time being both Italy and Yugoslavia withdrew their troops from the border region, and the Allied Military Government remained in place.

17 August 1953, Pella became Italian Prime Minister.

18 June 1952, Italy passed a law making the reconstitution of Fascism illegal. The neo-Fascist Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) was allowed to convene on 26 June 1852, where they adopted a policy of partial acceptance of NATO but with a strong trade preference for Spain over Britain.

26 November 1951, Ilona Staller, Italian politician (and porn star) was born.

26 July 1951, De Gasperi was elected Italian Prime Minister.

27 January 1950, In Italy, following the resignation of the Democratic Socialist Minister in November 1949 and withdrawal of Liberal support, Alcide de Gasperi formed a new coalition of Christian Democrats, Democratic Socialists andRepublicans.

1949, Italy became a founder member of NATO.

11 April 1949, Italian Foreign Minister Carlo Sforza asked the United Nations to return Italy's pre-war African colonies, promising that Italy would prepare them for independence at the earliest possible date.

11 May 1948, Luigi Einaudi was elected President of Italy.

18 April 1948, The Christian Democrats won an absolute majority in Italian elections, securing 305 out of 574 seats.

15 September 1947, The Free Territory of Trieste was created as the Peace Treaty with Italy came into effect.

31 May 1947, De Gasperi was elected Italian Prime Minister.

17 April 1947, In Rome, a mob of about a thousand unemployed workers staged a noisy protest outside the Parliament building, stopping private cars and sometimes beating the occupants. One of those assaulted was Italian Foreign Minister Carlo Sforza, who was struck by several fists as he stepped out of his car to go to his office. The Foreign Ministry said that Sforza had been shaken but not seriously hurt.

1 February 1947, In Italy, Alcide de Gasperi formed a government of Christian Democrats, Communists and Left-Socialists.

28 June 1946, Enrico de Nicola became first President of Italy.

27 June 1946, Italy ceded the Dodecanese islands to Greece.


1946; End of the Italian monarchy

28 December 1947, Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy from 1900 until he abdicated in 1946, died.

13 June 1946, Pro-monarchist riots in Rome over the departure of King Umberto II.

11 June 1946, Italy was officially declared a Republic.

3 June 1946, King Umberto II left Italy, to join his family in Lisbon.

2 June 1946, A referendum in Italy produced 12,182,855 votes for a Republic and 10,362,709 votes for continuing the monarchy.

9 May 1946. King Victor Emmanuel III, monarch of Italy since 1900, abdicated. He was succeeded by Umberto II. A referendum voted narrowly for a republic on 2 June 1946. Enrico de Nicola became the first President of Italy on 28 June 1946, and Umberto II left Italy on 3 June 1946.


1945, Alcide de Gasperi (born 1881) organised the Christian Democratic party, and became Prime Minister of Italy.

20 December 1945, Mussolini�s daughter, Edda, was jailed in Rome for aiding Fascism.

30 November 1945, Christian Democrats won Italian General Elections.

22 July 1945, Art treasures worth an estimated $500 million U.S. that had been looted by the Germans during the war were returned to Florence, Italy.


Germany occupies Italy to forestall its defection to the Allies

For main events of World War Two in Europe see France-Germany

15 September 1943, Three days after freed from imprisonment by Germany, and seven weeks after his overthrow in July, Benito Mussolini was restored to leadership of Italy by the Nazi occupiers; German paratroopers also landed in St. Peter's Square at Vatican City in Rome, despite the Vatican's neutrality in the warMussolini made his announcement of a return to power from Adolf Hitler's headquarters at Rastenburg.

11 September 1943, German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring declared that all Italian territory was under German military control, which former dictator Benito Mussolini would later describe as reducing Italy to the status of a German "colony". Adolf Hitler ordered that the occupied Italian territory be divided into three zones, with the area around Rome extending south toward the front lines against the Allies, the Alpine mountain region ("Alpenvorland") and the coast along the Adriatic Sea ("Adriatische Kusterland"). Hitler also issued orders to deal with any Italian military units that had gone over to fight for the Allies, with all officers to be executed, and soldiers and non-combatants to be deported to Germany as labourers.

9 September 1943. Allied forces landed at Salerno, Italy. King Umberto of Italy left Rome and fled to Brindisi in the south. This was seen as an abandonment by many Italians and contributed to the conversion of the country to a Republic in 1946.

7 September 1943, Suspecting that Italy was about to make peace with the Allies, German troops quickly occupied Italy, especially its airfields, to forestall a complete Allied possession of the country. However the entire Italian navy escaped to Malta, thereby freeing up Allied ships for combat in the Pacific or Atlantic.


19 July 1943, First Allied air raid on Rome. The raid was a political warning that Mussolini�s regime must be overthrown.

1942, The Christian Democratic Party was founded. It was a clandestine anti-Facist Party, and in fact largely secular. Until 1993 it formed a large bloc in every post-War Italian government; however it began to be plagued by acusations of corruption, and by 1993 its popular support had completely evaporated, The Party disintegrated after 1993.

For main events of World War Two in Europe see France-Germany

4 May 1941, Emperor Haile Selassie returned to Ethiopia from exile in England, after the liberation of his country by British forces.

12 September 1940. Italian forces advanced on Egypt from Libya.

19 August 1940, British Somaliland fell to the Italians.See 4 August 1940.

12 August 1940. In Albania, a revolt against Italian occupation began.

9 August 1939, Romano Prodi, Prime Minister of Italy, was born.

4 August 1940. Italian troops began to invade British Somaliland from Ethiopia. See 19 August 1940.

4 July 1940, Three weeks after Italy entered the War, Italian forces invaded Sudan, occupying Kassala, 300 kilometers east pf Khartoum, They also occupied Gallabat, further south.

10 June 1940. Italy declared war on France and Britain.

2 April 1940. All Italians aged over 14 were mobilised.

For main European events of World War Two see France-Germany


Italian invasion of Albania

8 April 1939, King Zog fled Albania to Greece as Italian forces entered Tirana.

7 April 1939. Italy mounted a surprise invasion of Albania, seeing it as a bridgehead for an invasion of the Balkans. King Zog fled the country. They began an invasion of Greece from Albania on 28 October 1940. They were driven back by the Greeks who occupied most of southern Albania. However the Greeks were beaten back in April 1941 when the Germans occupied Yugoslavia, Albania, and Greece. From 1944 on local partisans, aided by the British, drove Axis forces from much of Albania, also eliminating anti-communist forces. See 11 January 1946.

25 March 1939, Italy gave Albania an ultimatum demanding that a protectorate be established over the country and Italian troops be stationed within Albanian borders.

27 November 1926, Italy and Albania signed the Treaty of Tirana, effectively making Albania an Italian Protectorate. Britain formally recognised the Treaty, angering France, who saw the Balkans as their sphere of influcnce.


11 January 1939. Neville Chamberlain visited Mussolini to discuss recognition of the Franco regime in Spain.

17 December 1938, Italy denounced the Franco-Italian agreement of 1935.

14 December 1938, The Italian Parliament was replaced by a Fascist Chamber.

30 November 1938, Speeches in the Italian Chamber claimed Nice and Corsica for Italy.

3 May 1938. Hitler and Mussolini met in Rome.

16 April 1938, Chamberlain, British PM, sought to dissuade Italy from allying with Germany.

11 December 1937. Italy left the League of Nations.

6 November 1937. Italy joined the anti-Communist pact between Germany and Japan.See 25 November 1936.

2 June 1937, German War Minister Werner von Blomberg began a three-day visit to Italy to discuss German-Italian military ties.

2 January 1937, The UK and Italian governments made an agreement, to curb dangerous levels of friction between the two in the Mediterranean.


Period of sanctions on Italy, imposed and lifted by the League of Nations (for invading Abyssinia)

1936, The Italian Fascist Party now had over 2 million members, up from 825,000 in 1931.

15 July 1936, The League of Nations raised sanctions against Italy.

1 November 1936. Mussolini announced an anti-Communist �axis� with Germany, and urged France and Britain to join.

3 March 1936. Mussolini nationalised the Italian banks.

18 December 1935, In response to League of Nations sanctions, Mussolini appealed to Italians to donate their gold wedding rings to the government, in exchange for steel ones, also other gold, to help the invasion effort. Many Italians responded, and a total of 33,622 metric tonnes of gold was handed in.

21 November 1935, Mussolini redeployed 100,000 soldiers from the army to work in agriculture and industry for 3 months to counter the effects of sanctions.

19 October 1935, After Italy�s invasion of Abyssinia, the League of Nations imposed economic sanctions on Italy. Meanwhile it was apparent that Italy�s African possessions could not provide economic self-sufficiency for Italy, and the country would never be self reliant in key raw materials sources such as oil, coal and metals. This pushed Italy into a closer partnership with stronger, industrialised, Germany.

2 October 1935, The Italian army invaded Abyssinia (Ethiopia) after Mussolini�s forces pounded border towns. See 9 May 1936, and 5 December 1934.

14 May 1935, Benito Mussolini made a Senate speech warning other nations not to intervene in the Abyssinia Crisis, saying that only Italy "can be the judge in this most delicate matter."

2 September 1926, Italy agreed a treaty with Yemen; Italy was attempting to control the eastern coast of the Red Sea.


24 January 1935. Mussolini dismissed the Italian Cabinet.

16 November 1934, Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg met with Benito Mussolini in Rome.

18 September 1934. Mussolini said all Italians from the age of 8 must have military training.

13 June 1934, Adolf Hitler and Mussolini met for the first Venice, Italy. Hitler frequently quoted from his book Mein Kampf, and Mussolini later referred to him as a �silly little monkey�.

20 October 1933. Mussolini denounced Roosevelt as a dictator.

21 May 1933. Britain signed a ten-year non-aggression pact with Italy, France, and Germany.

19 March 1933, Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister of Italy, proposed a pact with Britain, France and Germany.

February 1933, Official Italian unemployment stood at 1,229,000; up from 765,000 in 1931 and 1,147,000 in late 1932. However the true figure was almost certainly considerably higher, since Mussolini was keener to attack the unemployment statstics than deal with the problem of unemployment itself. He kept excluding new categories of jobless from the figues, so as to massage them downwards. Nevertheless official remained over one million during early 1934, and Italian public works programmes never employed more than 200,000. But in 1935 300,000 Italians were called up for the invasion of Abyssinia, which also reduced the unemployment totals.

28 October 1932. In Rome the Via dell� Imperio opened. It was part of a grand plan for the reconstruction of Rome, initiated by Mussolini in 1931. This was the tenth anniversary of the Fascist March on Rome.

1931, Mussolini made extensive use of radio broadcasts, however Italy was a poor country and possessed just 176,000radios, half of these being in urban areas. Starace therefore organised the distribution of 40,000 free radios to Italian schools, so schoolchildren could hear his broadcasts.

22 December 1931, The Vatican Library suffered considerable damage when its roof collapsed.

6 November 1931, The Italian government awarded prizes to the country's biggest families.

14 May 1931, In Italy, Arturo Toscanini refused to opena concert on Bologna with a Fascist hymn. He was physically assaulted in the street outside the concert hall.

12 January 1928, The Italian press was banned from reporting suicides or sensational crimes.

6 January 1928, Italian Finance Minister Giuseppe Volpi banned industries from taking out foreign loans without government approval.

5 April 1927, Hungary signed a �Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation� with the Italian leader, Mussolini. Hungary needed allies, and Italy strengthened its influence in the Danube Basin.


Extension of Fascist powers in Italy 1925 - 29

22 May 1929, In Italy, Mussolini banned beauty contests as immoral.

20 April 1929. The first Italian Parliament composed exclusively of Fascists led by Benito Mussolini was opened by King Victor Emmanuel III.

24 March 1929. Mussolini�s single party Fascist state claimed it had won 99% of the vote in elections.

1928, In Italy, prefects could prevent people from moving from rural areas to cities. Mussolini wanted to raise the birth rate, and urban women were more lilely to work and have fewer children. In 1927 Mussolini had prohibited the Italian media from promoting slimness in women, as that was also associated with a reduced birth rate, he believed.

20 September 1928, In Rome the supreme legislative body, the Chamber of Deputies, was taken over by the Fascists.

12 May 1928. The Italian electorate was reduced from 10 million to 3 million, under Mussolini. Now only men who paid taxes of 100 lira or more could vote, and women had no vote at all.

15 January 1927. Winston Churchill met Mussolini in Italy.

1927, The Italian Boy Scouts were suppressed in favour of the Fascist youth section, the Balilla.

15 December 1926. The Italian fascist party adopted the Roman symbol of authority, the fasces, or bundle of sticks, and origin of the word �fascist�, as its symbol.

8 November 1926, Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci was jailed. He had started the Italian Communist Party in 1921, and by 1924 was party leader and heading the fight against Mussolini�s Fascism. He was imprisoned as part of a fascist crackdown on its opponents, and in 1928 Gramsci�s prison term was extended to 28 years. In prison in Rome he wrote Prison Notebooks, detailing his theory of cultural hegemony, the process whereby the working class take on the values and interests of the middle and upper classes. Gramsci argued that the working class needed to develop its own distinctive culture before a true Communist revolution was possible, this process requiring intellectuals from the working class to create this culture. He died in prison in 1937 and his sister in law, Tatiana, smuggled his works out of the prison and sent them in a diplomatic bag to Moscow. His writings were not published until after World War Two had ended.

31 October 1926. An attempt was made on Mussolini�s life. This gave him the excuse to remove more civil liberties.

7 October 1926. Mussolini decreed the Fascist party to be the state Party; all opposition was banned.

29 June 1926. In Italy, Mussolini increased the working day by one hour.

7 April 1926. Mussolini survived an assassination attempt. Violet Gibson, Irish aristocrat, shot him but only managed to graze his nose.

3 April 1926, In Italy the Ballilla, a Fascist youth organisation, was founded. It cultivated Fascist indoctrination of the Italian youth and promoted patriotism, It hosted youth clubs, organised sports events and organised basic military training. Its numbers grew aafter the Catholic Boy Scouts were abolished in 1928.

12 February 1926. Mussolini outlawed strikes in Italy.

4 December 1925, The Italian Chamber of Deputies passed a law allowing the government to regulate rates of industrial production based on the needs of the country.


25 September 1926, Italy began a campaign against the Mafia in Sicily.

4 August 1926, Umberto Nobile was feted in Rome for his part in the recent North Pole expedition, as 20,000 filled the square in front of the Palazzo Chigi.

7 January 1926, The Royal Academy of Italy was created.


Consolidation of Fascist power in Italy 1922 - 25

5 November 1925. In Italy, Mussolini banned all left-wing parties.

3 January 1925. Mussolini assumed full dictatorial control in Italy.He nominated his cabinet on 5 January 1925.

5 December 1924, In Italy, Mussolini commenced comprehensive press censorship.

17 September 1924, Italy abrogated the Treaty of Rapallo (made 12 November 1920).

10 June 1924, Italian socialist leader Giacomo Matteotti was assassinated by Mussolini�s fascists. He had replaced Filippo Turati as leader of Italy�s reformed Socialist Party, and on 30 May 1924 he denounced the Italian elections of April 1924, in which Mussolini�s Fascists had done well, as fraudulent.

6 April 1924. Mussolini�s Fascist Party won a sweeping victory in the Italian general election. However there was widespread voter intimidation so the vote was not free and fair.

28 January 1924, Campaigning began for a general election in Italy. Benito Mussolini addressed 10,000 Blackshirts in the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, predicting complete victory at the polls and declaring that the Fascists were "ready to kill or die."

27 January 1924. Mussolini signed a pact with Yugoslavia, and Italy annexed the free city of Fiume.

24 January 1924, All non-Fascist Trades Unions were banned in Italy.

16 July 1923. Mussolini banned gambling in Italy.

10 July 1923, All non-Fascist Parties in Italy were abolished.

9 June 1923, In Italy, the Vatican ordered the Catholic Party to disband, and many of its members joined Mussolini�s Fascist Party. The Catholic Party, or Partito Popolare Italiano (Italian People�s Party), had been formed in 1919;before then the Vatican had forbidden Catholics to vote. In Italian elections in 1919 and in 1921 the Catholic Party received 20% of the vote, second only to the Italian Socialist Party. Following Mussolini�s victory in 1922 Cardinal Gasparri, the Vatican�s Secretary of State, made a deal with Mussolini that the Catholic Church would support him; in return Mussolini would restore the historic privileges of the Catholic Church in Italy. In 1927 Mussolini was baptised as a Catholic, and in 1929 he signed the Lateran Treaty, making the Vatican a separate sovereign State. He also made Catholicism the State religion of Italy, and paid the Vatican 750 million lire as compensation for the Vatican�s loss of the ancient Papal States territory in Italy.

3 June 1923, In Italy, Mussolini approved a Bill giving women the vote.

23 April 1923, In Italy, the Catholic Party quit from Mussolini�s Government.

2/1923, Fascists were forbidden to be Freemasons; this helped gain support for Fascism from the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was alarmed by the spread of Leftist influence and possible Communist-inspired anarchy, especially in impoverished southern Italy, and saw the Fascists as promising welcome stability. The Liberal Left would likely tax Church property. The Fascists were also anti-contraception and birth control.

21 February 1923, In Italy the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Vincenzo Cardinal Vanutelli, said �Mussolini had been chosen to save the nation and restore her fortune�.

14 January 1923, Fascist voluntary militia officially approved in Italy.

25 November 1922, The Italian Parliament granted Mussolini temporary emergency powers to force through reforms.

31 October 1922, Mussolini�s supporters organised a mass rally in Rome.

10/1922, General Strike in Italy, organised by the Communists. This gave Mussolini the pretext for hos March on Rome.


14 November 1923, Italy passed a law stating that the Party winning the greatest number of votes in an election would automatically receive two thirds of the seats.

28 March 1923, The Italian Air Force was created.

14 January 1922, Antonino Gullotti, Italian Christian Democrat politician, was born.

26 June 1921, In Italy, Prime Minister Giolitti fell. He was succeeded by Ivanoe Bonomi.

21 June 1919. Francesco Nitti became Prime Minister of Italy.

14 January 1919, Giulio Andreotti, Italian politician, was born (died 2013).


Mussolini, Fascists, gain power in Italy 1920 - 22

30 October 1922. Benito Mussolini took power in Italy.

29 October 1922, King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy invited Mussolini to travel to Rome from Milan to form a government. Mussolini�s Fascist Party had been founded in March 1919, and was dissolved on 28 July 1943.

28 October 1922, King Victor Emmanuel III refused the request of Prime Minister Luigi Facta to declare martial law, on advice from generals that the army might disobey orders to fire on the Fascists. The king instead invited Mussolini to come to Rome to discuss the political situation.

24 October 1922, A mass rally of 40,000 Fascists at Naples.

4 August 1922, Fighting in Italy between Fascists and Socialists in several cities; disturbances continued until 8 August 1922.

31 July 1922, General Strike in Italy began in protest at the weakness of the State in the face of Fascist agitators. Fascists used the Strike as a pretext to seize power on several cities, including Milan and Genoa.

1 June 1922, Over 50,000 Italian Fascists held a meeting in Bologna. The Italian Government was already favouring Fascists over Left-wingers.

14 March 1922, Socialists and Fascists clashed in Rome.

7 November 1921, Benito Mussolini, the 38 year old son of a blacksmith from the Romagna, became leader of the Italian National Fascist Party, with its 35 seats in Parliament. Black-shirted Fascist sqaudristi roamed the country disrupting Communist meetings.

14 May 1921. Fascists won 35 seats in Italian elections.

27 February 1921. Communists and Fascists rioted in Italy.

1920, In Italy the Confindustria, a confederation of industry aimed at countetring working-class agitation, was established. It contributed large su,ms to the fascist movement who then used their squadristi to attack the worlkers. From 1922 it wasasignoificant part of Mussolini�s fascist State.


Treaty of Rapallo; Italy, Yugoslavia, territorial adjustments

5 June 1921, Italy and Yugoslavia signed an agreement over control of Fiume.

27 November 1920, Italy's Chamber of Deputies voted 221 to 12 to approve the Treaty of Rapallo with Yugoslavia.

12 November 1920, The first Treaty of Rapallo was signed, between Italy and Yugoslavia, settling territorial disputes in the Adriatic and pledging collaboration to prevent a Hapsburg restoration. Istria, the territory east of Venice, became part of Italy. The town of Fiume, seized by Italian Nationalists in September 1919, was to return to Free City status. However, although the Nationalists were ejected from Fiume by the Italian Navy, Fiume did not regain this status and in 1924, when Mussolini came to power, Italy abrogated these terms and retained control of Fiume (although Yugoslavia controlled the adjacent port of Susak). After World War Two, Fiume became part of the Republic of Croatia, itself a part of Yugoslavia

1919, Italy had made considerable territorial gains through the Treaty of Versailles, adding some 14,500 square kilometers of land at Austria�s expense. Italy gained the provinces of Trentino, South Tyrol and Istria, and in 1924 annexed the Free City of Fiume (see 12 November 1920). Italy, however had hoped for more, such as some of Germany�s former colonies.

12 September 1919, An unofficial Italian army under Gabriele d�Annunzio seized Fiume, before it was incorporated in Yugoslavia.


Italian Fascist Party founded, 1919

19 November 1919, In Italy, Benito Mussolini and 37 Fascists were arrested after rioting at the election of the Socialists.

16 November 1919, First Italian elections that were contested by the Fascists. However the Fascists did badly, receiving just 4657 votes out of 270,000 cast in Milan, supposedly a Fascist stronghold. In Predappio, Mussolini�s birthplace, not one vote went to the Fascists. The Socialists, however, did very well, gaining 1.76 million votes, their best tally to date; they raised their seats from 52 to 156, and became Italy�s largest single party. Socialist support had been boosted by the suffering of World War One, especially in Germany and the troubles in Russia. The Popolari Party, run by Don Sturzo, representing Catholics, the forerunner of the post-World War Two Christian Democrats, also did well, gaining 100 seats. The Pope, who had previously discouraged Catholics from voting, had now informally encouraged Catholic support for the Popolari. The Socialists were later undermined by the split in their ranks between the reformists (riformisti) and the revolutionaries (massimilasti), the latter defecting to the Communist Party in 1921. This split allowed the fascists to gain power.

23 March 1919 The Italian Fascist Party (Fascio di Combattimento) was founded in Milan by Benito Mussolini. The party aimed to fight both Liberalism and Communism. The Fascists wanted land for the peasants, abolition of the Senate, a seizure of Church property, and tax reform. However most of this agenda was already offered by the Socialists and by December 1919 the Fascists only had 870 members. During 1926 Party membership rose from 600,000 to 938,000. By the end of 1933 there were 1,400,000 members, a figure that went up to 2,633,000 by 1939.

25 January 1915, Mussolini formed the Fasci d�Azione Rivoluzionara in Milan.


Italy entered the Great War on the Allied side, 1915-18

4 November 1918, Italian troops occupied Trieste.Under the Treaty of London (25 April 1915), The UK, France, and Russia agreed to give Trieste to Italy after the War.

1917, Food riots in Turin put down by troops; 50 people were killed.

4 November 1917, Leopoldo Franchetti, Italian politician, died (born 1847). He was one of the first Italian politicians to lead an inquiry into the Sicilian Mafia

28 October 1917, Vittorio Orlando became Italian Prime Minister.

28 August 1916. Italy declared war on Germany.

9 August 1916. Italian troops took Glorizia.

17 June 1916, In Italy a coalition government was formed, including the Catholics and Reformed Socialists, under Paolo Boselli.

24 May 1915. The Austrian fleet bombarded Ancona, N.E. Italy.

23 May 1915, Italy entered the war on the Allied side.

4 May 1915, Italy denounced the Triple Alliance (Italy, Germany, Austro-Hungary). This was a preparatory move to her entering the War on the Allied side on 23 May 1915.

For main European events of World War One see France-Germany

25 April 1915. Italy signed a secret treaty, the Treaty of London, with Britain, France, and Russia.Italy agreed to enter the war on the Allied side within one month in return for territorial gains.Italy was to gain the Austrian provinces of Trentino, South Tyrol, Istria, Gorizia, Gradisca, and Trieste, also a large stretch of the Dalmatian coast and islands, some Albanian territory around Valona, full sovereignty over the Turkish-controlled Dodecanese Islands, the Turkish province of Adalia in Asia Minor, colonial gains in Africa, and a share of war indemnities.The Allies agreed to this because they believed that Italian intervention would soon destroy Austro-Hungary, opening the �back door to Germany�.Italy duly entered the war on 24 May 1915, but the expected breakthrough against Austria never materialised.When the Bolsheviks took over in 1917 they revealed the terms of this secret treaty, which ran totally against the ethnic-determination principles of President Wilson of the USA; he stated he did not consider the treaty terms as binding.At the Paris Peace Conference the UK and France also opposed implementation of the treaty�s terms, and Italy received far less than originally specified.This created popular resentment in Italy and was a factor in the rise of Mussolini and Fascism in Italy.


7 June 1914, In Italy, popular uprisings, the so-called Red Week, began in the Marches and Romagna. Rebellious landless labourers confronted strike-breakers hired by the landowners. Revoliutionaries including Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) incited the labourers, who also opposed military conscription. Ancona and other towns proclaimed themselves �independent� and Romagna declared itself a republic 100,000 soldiers had to be deployed to restore order.

For more on 1911-12 conflict between Italy and Turkey see Greece-Turkey

1912, Electoral reform in Italy extended the vote to all literate men aged 21 and over, and all men aged over 30. This expanded the Italian electorate from 3 million to 8.6 million. A subsequent electoral reform soon after abolished the literacy requirement for man aged 21-30, further expanding the electorate to 11 million, and was a measure to ensure continued popular support for the Italian war in Libya. It was estimated that 70% of these new voters were illiterate.

1911,The Camorra were suppressed. Starting as a band of prisoners united against theirgaolers in Naples in the 1820s, the Camorra entered Italian politics in 1848.

29 September 1911. Italy declared war on Turkey, having been assured of the neutrality of other European countries.The Italian Navy bombarded Preveza, and Italian forces landed at Tripoli and in Cyrenicia. This was in retaliation for the alleged mistreatment of Italians in Libya. The Italians expected the Arabs to welcome them as liberators from Turkish rule, but instead the Arabs sided with the Turks in resisting Italian rule. In May 1912 Italy invaded some islands off Turkey, including Rhodes, to put further pressure on Turkey. Then Italy had some unexpected good fortune when in 1912 Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece started the Balkan War against Turkey, forcing the Ottomans to surrender Libya to Italy. However Arab resistance continued and despite a permanent Italian garrison of 50,000 troops Italian rule only covered Tripoli and other major towns. At least, though, Italy could now claim to have its own African colony.

18 March 1911, Italian Prime Minister Luzzatti resigned.

19 November 1910, Alessandro Mussolini, father of the Italian dictator, died, aged 56.

24 October 1909, Italy and Russia signed the Racconigi Pact. Each nation promised to support the status quo in the Balkans. Italy promised to support Russian aims in tye dardanelles, and Russia agreed not to interfere with Italian actions in Tripoli.

7 July 1907, Germany, Austro-Hungary and Italy renewed their Triple Alliance for another 6 years.

29 March 1906, Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti returned to office.


Civil, industrial, conflict in Italy, 1901-05

12 March 1905, Ongoing strikes and civil disorder in Italy forced Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti out of office. He returned on 29 March 1906.

21 September 1904, A General Strike in Italy, called by the Socialists, had spread across the country. Violence in Milan saw 3 miners killed by troops. This violence caused the end of the Strike this day.

4 January 1902, Italy was facing a wave of socialist agitation, as workers campaigned for shorter hours, greater security of employment, better pay, also non work-related matters such as more rights for housing tenants. This day a major railway strike was threatened. Italy was facing a new tendency, the �sympathy strike�.

7 February 1901, The Italian Government of Guiseppe Saracco was overthrown, for its weak response to a dock strike in Genoa.


17 May 1904, The French Ambassador to The Vatican was recalled to Paris. Earlier, on 24 April 1904, the Vatican had objected to a State visit by the French President to King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy.

24 April 1904, The French President Emile Loubert and Foreign Minister Theophile Delcasse visited King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. The Papacy was annoyed at the visit.

26 January 1904, Fire caused major damage at the National Library, Turin, Italy.

1 November 1902, Italy signed the Franco-Italian entente with Italy. Italy assured France it would remain neutral if France was attacked.

16 December 1900, France and Italy agreed to respect each other�s sphere of influence in North Africa.


Assassination of King Umberto I

29 August 1900, Bresci, the assassin of King Umberto I of Italy, was sentenced to lie imprisonment. He committed suicide in jail on 22 May 1901.

30 July 1900. In Italy, Umberto I, 56, King since 1878, was shot dead in Monza by an anarchist. Victor Emmanuel III, 30, succeeded him.


1898, Nearly 100 people died in riots in Milan sparked by poverty.

7 August 1898, Enrico Cosenz, Italian soldier, died (born 12 January 1812).

24 May 1898, Benedetto Brin, Italian naval engineer who laid the basis for the Italian navy, died (born 17 May 1833).

6 March 1898, Felice Cavallotti, Italian politician, died (born 6 November 1842)

24 May 1896, Luigi Menabrea, Italian statesman, died (born 4 September 1809).

12 May 1896, Henri Cernuschi, Italian politician, died (born 1821).

27 December 1894, Former King Francis II of Naples died.

13 June 1894, Giovanni Nicotera, Italian politician, died near Naples (born 9 September 1828).

3 January 1894, The Italian government ordered the dissolution of the Fasci, and the arrest of their ringleaders. Over 1,000 people were deported to Italian islands, often without trial. The Fasci were small alliances, groups of radical or socialist academics and peasants, and some anarchists, local gentry and Mafiosi. The name derived from the fasces, or bundle, of sticks used in ancient Rome. Starting in Sicily in 1893 the Fasci agitated for political ends, with strikes and riots, alarming the larger landowners.

26 November 1892, Simone St-Bon, Italian admiral, died (born 20 March 1823).

8 September 1892, Enrico Cialdini, Italian politician, died (born 10 August 1811).

22 February 1891, Agostino Magliani, Italian financier, died.

11 April 1890, Birth of Donna Rachele Mussolini, wife of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (died 1979)

1 January 1890, The Kingdom of Italy established the colony of Eritrea in Africa.

8 August 1889, Benedetto Cairoli, Italian statesman, died (born 28 January 1825)

17 October 1888, Carlo Felice Nicolis Robilant, Italian statesman, died in London (born 1826)

4 October 1888, Cesare Correnti, Italian Revolutionary, died (born 3 January 1815).

9 April 1888, Lodovico Corti, Italian diplomat, died (born 28 October 1823).

27 February 1888, As Italian-French relations deteriorated, France imposed selective duties against Italian products. Italy retaliated in kind on 1 March 1888.

29 July 1887, Agostino Depretis, Italian politician, died (born 31 January 1813).

20 February 1887, The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria and Italy was renewed for a further 5 years.

10 December 1886, Marco Minghetti, Italian statesman, died (born 18 November 1818).

30 April 1886, Agostino Bertani, Italian revolutionary, died (born in Milan 19 October 1812).

14 March 1884, Quintino Sella, Italian statesman, died (born 7 July 1827).

29 July 1883, Benito Mussolini, Italian founder of the Fascist party and ally of Hitler, was born in Predappio, near Forli, a town in the impoverished Romagna region of east-central Italy.He was the son of a blacksmith.

9 March 1882, Domenico Lanza, Italian politician, died (born 15 February 1810)

12 May 1881, Tunisia became a French Protectorate. The French invaded in April 1881 when the Tunisian first minister made various reforms taking away French economic privileges. This French move was disturbing to Italy, who had believed that Britain would never permit an extension of French power in North Africa.

3 April 1881, Alcide de Gasperi, Italian politician, was born.

23 October 1880, Bettino Ricasoli, Italian statesman, died in Broglio (born 19 March 1809 in Broglio)

9 January 1878, Victor Emmanuel II, who became the first King of Italy in 1863, died of fever in Rome aged 57. He was succeeded by his son Umberto, aged 33, who ruled until his assassination in 1900.

5 January 1878, Alfonso la Marmora, Italian statesman, died (born 18 November 1804).

6 November 1876, Giacomo Antonelli, Italian Cardinal, died (born 2 April 1806 in Sonnino).

16 December 1873, Nino Bixio, Italian soldier, died (born 2 October 1821).

1867, Milan�s famous Galleria Vittoria Emmanuele, with its glass roof, was completed.


1860-72; Garibaldi and achievement of Italian unification and independence

2 June 1882, Guiseppe Garibaldi, Italian soldier and politician who helped form the Kingdom of Italy, died aged 74.

7/1872, King Victor Emmanuel of Italy made a triumphant entry into Rome. A plebiscite had produced 133,681 votes for unification of the Papal states with Italy, and just 1,507 against.

10 March 1872, Guiseppe Mazzini, Italian revolutionary who fought for his country�s unity and independence, died in Pisa.

1871, The Palace of the Quirinal, in the centre of Rome, became the residence of the Italian Kings.

12/1870, The Tiber river flooded Rome. Victor Emmanuel capitalised on this as an excuse to make an early visit to the city.

6 October 1870, Rome became the capital of newly-united Italy.

20 September 1870, Taking advantage of the French defeat at Sedan, Italian troops under Victor Emmanuel II entered Rome and expelled the Papal troops. Garibaldi had made several attempts to take Rome with his people�s army, the last in 1867, but had been defeated by the French. Now however Napoleon III had his troops away from Rome to fight the Prussians. There was little resistance from Rome; the walls were shelled, and breached at Porta Pia, and only a few lives were lost.

29 January 1870, Leopold II, Grand-Duke of Tuscany, died (born 3 October 1797).

11 November 1869, Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy, was born.

5 December 1867, France stated that it would never permit the Italians to occupy Rome. Bismarck of Prussia was not slow to take advantage of the resultant anti-French sentoiment in Italy, to prevent any future Franco-Italian alliance against Prussia.

3 November 1867, The Battle of Mentana. Garibaldi was defeated by French troops rushed to Italy by Napoleon III to defend Rome. Garibaldi�s poorly-organised and diplomatically ill-advised attempt to march on the Papal capital resulted in France revoking the September Convention, under which French troops had been withdrawn from Italy in December 1866.

1867-72, Italians wished to include Rome and the Papal States in their territory.This was resisted by France, but when France was distracted by the Franco-Prussian War, Garibaldi seized the opportunity.

9 October 1867, Carlo Filangieri, Neapolitan soldier and statesman, died (born 1784).

11 September 1867, Italian General Cadorna marched with 60,000 men into Papal Territory. Cittavecchia surrendered, but the Pope decided to use his force of 10,000 men in Rome to show that he was at least making some resistance to this incursion.

9 August 1866, An order from Italian General Lamamora reached Garibaldi; that he was to desist form attacking the Austrians and evacuate the province of Trentino. Prussia would not allow Italian expansion into Austria this far north. Garibaldi now retired again to Caprera, to plan an attack on Rome (Papal States).

1 August 1866, Luigi Farini, Italian statesman, died (born 22 October 1812).

25 July 1866, The Italians were defeated in a sea battle against Austria off Lissa.

22 July 1866, A Plebiscite in Venetia produced an overwhelming majority in favour of unification with Italy; 647,246 votes for, and only 69 against.

21 July 1866, Italy defeated Austria at Bezzecca.

19 July 1866, Italy defeated Austria at Amploa.

16 July 1866, Italy defeated Austria at Condino.

10 July 1866, Italy defeated Austria at Darso.

7 July 1866, Italy defeated Austria at Lodrone.

3 July 1866, Italy defeated Austria at Monte Saello.

20 June 1866, Italy declared war on Austria, in support of Prussia.

8 April 1866. Bismarck arranged an alliance between Italy and Germany. Italy promised to join Germany in was against Austria if war broke out in the next three months.

Italian support for Prussia against Austria


15 September 1864, Under the �September Convention�, Napoleon III of France agreed to evacuate Rome and Italy agreed to move her capital from Turin to Florence.

29 August 1862, The Battle of Aspromonte. Garibaldi, frustrated by the reluctance of the Italian forces to take Rome (see 20 September 1870), tried to march on the city with a force of volunteers from Sicily. He was opposed by Rattazzi, and Garibaldi was wounded and captured at this battle (southern Italian mainland) He was detained briefly at La Spezia before receiving a royal pardon. Garibaldi returned to Caprera, as a national hero; in 1866 he again saw active serive for the Italian State, defeating the Austrians in several battles in July that year.

28 August 1862, Garibaldi�s army landed at Calabria en route to Rome.

29 June 1862, Garibaldii, unhappy at the course of Italian Unification (see 21 October 1860), landed at Palermo and gathered an army under the slogan �Roma o morte�. Cavour�s successor, Ricasoli, had succeeded in incorporating Garibaldi�s former forces into the regular Italian Army, and Rattazzi, successor to Ricasoli, urged Garibaldi to direct his energies in favour of supporting the Hungarians (against Austria). However Garibaldi decided to try and gain Rome (Papal States) instead (see 21 October 1860). Rattazzi made a stand against Garibaldi�s forces at Messina (Sicily), but Garibaldi circumvented Rattazzi�s forces, entered Catania (Sicily) and then crossed to Melito (Italian mainland, 25 August 1860). See 29 August 1862.

6 June 1861, Count Cavour, the politician primarily responsible for the unification of Italy, died.

17 March 1861, Victor Emmanuel was proclaimed King of Italy at Turin by the country�s first Parliament.

2/1861, The formerly independent Grand-Duchy of Tuscany declared itself part of Italy.

18 February 1861, The Italian Parliament opened at Turin.The Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed.

12 February 1861, Gaeta, previously held by Naples, capitulated to Garibaldi. The withdrawal of the French fleet had permitted bombardment of Gaeta from the sea also.

6 November 1860, The siege of Neapolitan forces at Gaeta by Garibaldi�s army began.

26 October 1860, Guiseppe Garibaldi, soldier and fighter for Italian unification, proclaimed Victor Emmanuel as King of Italy.

21 October 1860, Several territories in Italy voted with large majorities to join the emerging Kingdom of Italy under King Victor Emmanuel, including the Marches and Umbria, as well as the territories conquered by Garibaldi. This deprived Garibaldi of political momentum. This was a relief to the rest of Europe, who had feared that Garibaldi would overrun the Papal Territories, destabilising other States in Europe. Garibaldi handed power to Victor Emmanuel (see 26 October 1860) and retired to the island of Caprera. However Garibaldi was later to object to the cession of Nice to France, and returned to Italian politics, see 29 June 1862.

1 October 1860, Garibaldi�s forces decisively defeated the Royalist forces of Naples at the Battle of Volturno.

6 September 1860, Francis II, last King of Naples., left the city which had fallen to Garibaldi�s army and went to Gaeta. Naples ceased to be a separate state and came under the Italian rule of King Victor Emmanuel.

21 August 1860, Neapolitan forces were defeated by Garibaldi at Reggio, Italian mainland.

20 August 1860, Garibaldi�s forces, having conquered all of Sicilyeasily (he was percieved as a liberator), crossed the Straits of Messina to attack the Italian (Neapolitan) mainland.

20 July 1860, Neapolitan forces were defeated by Garibaldi at Milazzo.

6 June 1860, Garibaldi took Palermo.

15 May 1860, Neapolitan forces were defeated by Garibaldi at Calatafimi.

11 May 1860, Italian revolutionary Garibaldi landed at Marsala, Sicily.

5 May 1860, The radical Italian, Garibaldi, striving for Italian Unification, set sail from Genoa with his army of redshirts for the port of Marsala in Sicily.

16 April 1860, Bartolommeo Borghesi, Italian antiquarian, died in San Marino (born near Rimini 11 July 1781).

1860-72; Garibaldi and achievement of Italian unification and independence. See also Sicily for history pre-Italian unification


Map of Italian Unification here � Source, Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol.15, p.38, 1910


1831-60; Start of movement towards unified, independent, Italy.

2 April 1860, The first Italian parliament met, in Turin.

22 May 1859, Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies, died (born 12 January 1810). Francis II became King.


Austro-Piedmont War 1859

10 November 1859, A peace treaty signed at Zurich ended the war between France, allied to Piedmont, and Austria. The effects of the treaty were crucial in the unification of Italy. Under its terms, Lombardy passed from Austria to Piedmont, with the exception of the Quadrilateral forts (see 24 June 1859) which were retained by Austria. Piedmont compensated France 60 million lire for the cost of the war with Austria. Plebiscites were held in various territories to determine which State they would join.

10 July 1859, The Treaty of Villafranca was signed, see 24 June 1859. The war between France (allied with Piedmont) and Austria was finally concluded by the peace treaty signed at Zurich on 10 November 1859.

See also Austrian history

24 June 1859, At the Battle of Solferino, Lombardy, Italy, the French under Napoleon III allied to Piedmont defeated the Austrians. However the victory was costly for the French. Napoleon III knew that his armies must next face the Austrians at the �Quadrilateral�, the four fortresses of Legnano, Mantua, Peschiera and Verona, where the Austrians had retreated northwards to, and opposition to the French would increase in this region. Within France, the war against Austria was becoming unpopular as army casualties, and deaths from a typhus epidemic within the ranks, mounted. The war was expensive to France, There was also the question of what Britain might do, being opposed to the extension of French power in Italy. Prussia�s intentions, with its 400,000 strong army, were also uncertain. Therefore Napoleon, without consulting his Piedmont ally, signed the Treaty of Villafranca, see 10 July 1859.

12 May 1859, France declared war on Austria.

8 May 1859, The Austrians were defeated by the Italians at Casale.

26 April 1859, The Austro-Piedmontese war began. Piedmont was backed by France, who was more interested in weakening Austria than in the ambitions of Piedmont.

23 April 1859, Austria issued an ultimatum to Piedmont to disarm. This followed an agreement between France and Piedmont to ally against Austria. This agreement was strengthening the power of Italy (see 14 January 1858) and was a significant threat to the southern flank of Austria.

9 March 1959, Piedmont called up its reserve troops, to fight Austria.

1 January 1859, French Emperor Napoleon III warned the Austrian Ambassador of possible French military action against Austria, in the Piedmont War.

10 December 1858, Having obtained Russian approval, Napoleon III of France signed a scecret treaty of support with Count Cavour, PM of Piedmont.

10 July 1858, Napoleon III of France secretly met Count Cavour at Plombieres. The two agreed to jointly attack Austria.

14 January 1858, An Italian assassin threw a bomb at French Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie as they drove to the Paris Opera. The bomb, thrown by Felici Orsini, missed its target but killed eight bystanders and injured 100. Orsini planned the attack in London, causing anti-British sentiment in France. Napoleon III, now convinced of the magnitude of nationalist sentiment in Italy, invited Count Cavour to the spa town of Plombieres in the Vosges Mountains where the Plombieres Agreement of July 1858 was worked out. This Agreement provided that Piedmont would provide 100,000 men along with 200,000 French to fight Austria. After victory against Austria, three kingdoms would be set up in Italy. 1) Northern Italy would include Lombardy, Romagna, Sardinia and Venetia. 2) Central Italy would include Tuscany and the Duchy of Parma. 2)a) The Papal lands however would continue under the rule of the Pope. 3) Thirdly, southern Italy, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, would be ruled by Luciano Murat, if its current ruler, Ferdinand II, abdicated. A secret agreement of 24 January 1859 between France and Piedmont provided that both would respect the sovereignty of the Pope.

Austro-Piedmont War 1859


12/1857, Large area east of Naples, Italy, devastated by an earthquake.

26 January 1955, The Piedmont Prime Minister, Count Cavour, anxious to secure Franco-British support in the cause of Italian Unification, sent troops to join in the Croimean war againbst Russia.

11 November 1854, Mussolini�s father, Alessandro, was born in Montemaggiore, close to Predappio.

4 November 1852, Count Camillio de Cavour became Prime Minister of Piedmont.

8 August 1849, Ugo Bassi, Italian patriot, was executed.

23 March 1849, Victor Emmanuel II became King of Sardinia, on the abdication of his father, Charles Albert (1789-1849), following the defeat of Charles at the Battle of Novara, against Austria. Charles had been assisting the Lombards in a rebellion against Austrian rule, and had been defeated once before by Austria, at the Battle of Custozza (25 July 1848), by forces under Radetzky (following this 1848 defeat, the Salasco Armistice was signed).

9 February 1849, The Republic of Rome was proclaimed by Garibaldi. His Nationalist Army came under attack (from 30 April 1849) from a combined force of French, Austrian, Tuscan, Spanish and Neapolitan troops.

15 November 1848, Pellegrino Rossi, Italian statesman, died (born in Carrara 13 July 1787)

10/1849, The Italian campaign in northern Italy had completely failed, with the surrender of Venice this month. Venice had held out, besieged, several months after everywhere else had surrendered to the Austrians under Radeztky.

26 August 1848. Garibaldi was defeated by the Austrians at Morrazone.

26 July 1848, Battle of Volta; along with Custozza 24-55 July), Italians being forced back by Austrians

24 July 1848, At the Battle of Custozza, Piedmontese forces were defeated by Austrian Field Marshal Count Radetzky. Austria continued to rule Lombardy.

9 June 1848, Austrian forces recaptured Vicenza from the Italians.

30 May 1848, Battle of Goito (also fighting at Curtatone,29/5), Italians fighting Austrians.

6 May 1848, Battle of St Lucia di Verona, Italian forces attempting to force back Austrians

29 April 1848, Italian forces halted at Pastrengo by Austrians.

19 April 1848, Wednesday An Italian attack on Mantua was repulsed by the Austrians

14 April 1848, Italian troops began a siege of Austrian forces at Peschiera; the town held out until end-May.

9 April 1848, Italian troops fighting Austria forced a passage across the River Mincio to its eastern bank.

23 March 1848, Following the Milan Revolution, Piedmont declared a patriotic war against Austria.

18 March 1848, Revolution broke out in Milan. This was the Cinque Giornate, �Five Days� of street fighting that heralded the start of the anti-Austrian Revolution in Lombardy. Radetzky was driven from Milan, and a provisional government established under Carlo Cattaneo.

12 January 1848, In Palermo, an uprising began against the misrule of Ferdinand II of Naples.

2 January 1848, Cigar workers began a 3-day riot in Naples.

1847, The Italian newspaper Il Risorgimento was founded in Turin by Cavour.

1847, In the Papal States, the National Guard was set up to keep civil order, by Pope Pius IX.

10 December 1846, Frederico Confalioneri, Italian Revolutionary, died (born 1785). Italians were now seeking their own State, free of foreign domination.

6 April 1839, Antonio Strabba Rudini, Italian statesaman who in 1859 helped pave the way for Garibaldi�s unification of Italy, was born in Palermo (died 6 August 1908)

2 February 1832, The Government of Piedmont discovered plans for an uprising scheduled for June 1832, It was organised by Liberal Republican Guiseppe Mazzini and his Young Italy Association, founded in 1831 to campaign for the political unification of the Italian Peninsula.

1831, Italy adopted the current red, green and white flag. Before then it was a red, blue and black Flag of Revolution.

3 February 1831, Popular uprisings oin the Italian States of Parma and Modena demanding national union, independence and a Liberal Constitution. The rebellion spread to the Papal States where opposition was growing to the rule of newly-eleted Pope Gregory XVI. Austria intervened to help suppress the revolt.

1846-60; Start of movement towards unified, independent, Italy.


11 March 1847, Sidney Sonnino, Italian statesman, was born in Florence.

20 February 1846, Francis IV, Duke of Modena, died

11 March 1841, Luigi Luzzatti, Italian financier, was born.

30 May 1845, Ferdinando Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, Italy, was born (died 18 January 1890).

14 March 1844, Umberto I, King of Italy, was born in Turin, the son of King Victor Emmanuel I.

17 August 1843, Count Mariono del Tindaro Rampolla, Italian, Cardinal, was born in Sicily.

6 November 1842, Felice Cavallotti, Italian politician, was born (died 6 March 1898).

27 October 1842, Giovanni Giolitti, Italian statesman, was born.

27 June 1835, Domenico Comparetti, Italian scholar of mediaeval studies, was born in Rome (died 1929).

28 August 1834, Mussolini�s paternal grandfather, Luigi Mussolini, was born.

17 May 1833, Benedetto Brin, Italian naval engineer who laid the basis for the Italian navy, was born (died 24 May 1898)

22 January 1829, Emilio Visconti Venosta, Italian statesman, was born in Milan.

11 June 1828, Constantino Nigra, Italian diplomat, was born near Turin (died 1 July 1907 in Rapallo)

13 December 1827, Fabrizio Ruffo, Neapolitan Cardinal and politician, died (was born 16 September 1744 in Calabria)

3 October 1827, Pasquale Villari, Italian histprical writer, was born in Naples.

7 July 1827, Quintino Sella, Italian statesman, was born (died 14 March 1884)

8 August 1826, Count Nicolas Robilant, Italian diplomat, was born (died 17 October 1888).

28 January 1825, Benedetto Cairoli, Italian statesman, was born (died 8 August 1889).

4 January 1825, Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies, died aged 73. He was succeeded 47-year old son, Francesco I.

24 January 1824, Ercole Consalvi, Italian statesman, died (born 8 June 1757).

28 October 1823, Lodovico Corti, Italian diplomat, was born (died 9 April 1888)

20 March 1823, Simone Arturo Saint Bon, Italian Admiral, was born in Chambery (died 26 November 1892)

9 October 1821, Guiseppe Saracco, Italian politician, was born in Bistagno (died 19 January 1907)

2 October 1821, Nino Bixio, Italian soldier, was born (died 16 December 1873).

8 April 1821, The revolt in Piedmont was suppressed, its leaders defeated at the Battle of Novara.

10 March 1821, Revolt in Piedmont against the rule of King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia (Piedmont was then a part of the Kingdom of Sardinia).See 8 April 1821.

7 March 1821, Battle of Rieti. The Austrians defeated the Neapolitans under Pepe. They then entered Naples and reinstated Ferdinand IV to the throne.

7 July 1820, King Ferdinand I of Naples promised a national Constitution after a rebellion organised by secret societies, including the Carbonari. The Inquisition was also abolished in Naples.

14 March 1820, Victor Emmanuel II, King of Sardinia and first King of a united Italy, was born.

4 October 1819, Francesco Crispi, Italian statesman, was born (died 12 August 1901).

18 November 1818, Marco Minghetti, Italian statesman, was born (died 10 December 1886).

17 March 1817, Pasquale Mancini, Italian statesman, was born (died 26 December 1888).

12 December 1816, King Ferdinand of Naples abolished the Sicilian Constitution and proclaimed himself King of the Two Sicilies (Naples and Sicily). As a monarch he had made himself virtually an Austrian vassal (see 23 January 1806), even having an Austrian, Count Nugent, as Commander in Chief of the Army. Ferdinand�s ruthless suppression of opposition in Sicily led to the emergence of the Carbonari, who eventually penetrated large sections of the Army. A Sicilian military revolt under General Pepe did intimidate Ferdinand into making some constitutional reforms; however a pro-independence revolt in Sicily was harshly suppressed with Neapolitan troops.


Joachim Murat, King of Naples

13 October 1815, Joachim Murat, King of the Two Sicilies, was executed.

Murat � see also Napoleonic France

28 September 1815, Joachim Murat, former King of Naples, landed with only 30 men at Pizzon to try and regain the throne. He was soon captured.

10 April 1815, Austria declared war on Joachim Murat, King of Naples, for occupying the Italian cities of Rome, Florence and Bologna.

11 January 1814, Joachin Murat, King of Naples, deserted Napoleon and sided with the Allies, Prussia and Austria, in a bid to retain his throne.

25 March 1767, Joachim Murat, king of Naples, was born.


1814, The Italian Carabinieri were established by Victor Emmanuel I, newly-restored King of Piedmont.

19 March 1814, Pope Pius VII was freed from captivity by the French in Savona, by the Allies

26 October 1813, After an anti-Napoleonic uprising in Italy, Austria defeated Napoleon�s son in law, Eugene de Beauharnais, at Valsarno, gaining a toehold in Italy again.

31 January 1813, Agostino Depretis, Italian politician, was born (died 29 July 1887). They would become an elite 83,000 strong paramilitary force, with distinctive cocked hats.

19 November 1812, Agostino Bertani, Italian revolutionary, was born in Milan (died 30 April 1886).

12 January 1812, Enrico Cosenz, Italian soldier, was born (died 7 August 1898).

10 August 1811, Enrico Cialdini, Italian politician, was born (died 8 September 1892).

10 August 1810, Count Cavour, Italian politician who played a major role in the unification of Italy, born in Turin.

15 February 1810, Domenico Lanza, Italian politician, was born (died 9 March 1882)

12 January 1810, Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies, was born (died 22 May 1856).

4 September 1809, Luigi Menabrea, Italian statesman, was born (died 24 May 1896)

19 March 1809, Bettino Ricasoli, Italian statesman, was born in Broglio (died 23 October 1880 in Broglio)

4 July 1807, Giuseppe Garibaldi, soldier who played a major role in the unification of Italy, was born.

2 April 1806, Giacomo Antonelli, Italian Cardinal, was born in Sonnino (died 6 November 1876).

22 June 1805, Guiseppe Mazzini, Italian patriot, was born (died 10 March 1872).

18 November 1804, Alfonso la Marmora, Italian statesman, was born (died 5 January 1878).

4 April 1804, Nicola Fabrizi, Italian patriot, was born (died 31 March 1885).

23 February 1802, Luigi Cibrario, Italian politician, was born (died 10/1870).


France, involvement in Italy under Napoleon, 1795-1806

18 July 1806, French Marshal Andre Massena captured Gaeta, southern Italy.

4 June 1806, British General John Stuart defeated a small French force at Maida, Calabria, but then withdrew to his base in Sicily.

30 March 1806, Napoleon placed his elder brother Joseph on the throne as King of Naples.

23 January 1806, King Ferdinand of Naples fled to Palermo, Sicily, as Napoleon invaded Italy. Ferdinand had signed a treaty of neutrality with France as war between France and Austria broke out; however a few days later he allied himself with Austria, and allowed an Anglo-Russian force to land at Naples.

23 September 1805, France annexed the Italian Duchies of Parma, Piacenza and Gustalla.

4 June 1805, France annexed the Ligurian Republic, Italy, thus gaining the port of Genoa.

6 November 1804, Austrian Emperor Francis II made a secret treaty with Russia to resist further French aggression in Italy.

21 September 1802, The Italian Republic (see 26 January 1802) annexed Piedmont, and also Parma and Piacenza in October 1802.

26 August 1802, France annexed the island of Elba, which had been abandoned by Britain in 1797.

29 June 1802, A new Genoese Constitution was enacted, making the city a vassal of France, which was extending its influence across Italy.

For Napoleonic campaign in Italy against the Austrians, 1790s, 1800s, see also France

26 January 1802, Following the Treaty of Luneberg between France and Austria (9 February 1801), the Cisalpine Republic, established by Napoleon in 4/1797 as a French satellite State in northern Italy, was renamed this day the Italian Republic. Napoleon Bnaparte was its President. See 21 September 1902.

28 March 1801, Napoleonic France signed the Peace of Florence with the Kingdom of Naples. This excluded British vessels from Neapolitan ports.

13 November 1799, Austria occupied the Italian March of Ancona, on the Adriatic coast of the Papal States, central Italy.

15 August 1799, The Russians-Austrians under Count Suvorov defeated the French under Barthelemy Catherine Joubert at Novi, Italy, then began an advance acrossa the Alps towards France. Joubert died in the battle.

17 June 1799, A Russian-Austrian force under Russian Field Marshal Count Aleksander Vasilyevich Suvotov heavily defeated French forces under the Governor of Rome., Jacques Alexandre MacDonald, at the Battle of Trebbia. The French had been marching to relieve the army of General Victor Moreau at Genoa.

4 June 1799, Austrian forces under Archduke Charles defeated the French under Andre Massena at Zurich, Switzerland.

27 April 1799, The French under General Jean Moreau were defeatedat Cassano, Italy, by a Russian-Austrian force under Russian Field Marshal Count Alexander Vasilyeyich Suvorov, who then occupied Turin.

5 April 1799, The Austrians under General Paul von Kray defeated the French under General Barthelemy Scherer at Magnano, Italy.

8 February 1799, Cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo, newly appointed Papal Vicar-General of the Kingdom of Naples, began a counter-revolutionary campaign against the French occupation of the Kingdom of Naples. By June 1799 his forces hadcaptured the city of Naples.

15 December 1798, French forces recaptured Rome from the Austrians under Baron Karl Mack von Lieberich, and occupy the Kingdom of Naples.

9 December 1798, French forces under General Joubert forced King Charles Emmanual of Sardinia to abdicate.

29 November 1798, Ferdinand IV, King of Naples (Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies), decalred war on France and occupied Rome. France then (4 December 1798) declared war in Naples.

15 March 1798, The French-dominated Roman republic was set up in central Italy. Pope Pius VI refused to formally relinquish his temporal power and moved from Rome to Valence, France.

9 July 1797, France proclaimed a �Cisalpine Republic�, including Milan, Modena, Ferrara, Bolohgna and Romagna. The Republic of Genoa became the Ligurian Republic, and was a French puppet State.

19 February 1797, Napoleon captured Tolentino, Italy, where he signed a treaty with the Papacy (The Peace of Tolentino).

9 February 1797, Napoleon captured Ancona, Italy.

3 February 1797, French and Italian troops under Marshal Victor defeated Papal State troops under General Colli.

2 February 1797, Napoleon captured Mantua, Italy.

1 February 1797, Napoleon captured Bologna, Italy.

4 January 1797, Napoleon defeated the Austrians under General Joseph Alvintzi at Rivoli, Italy.

15 November 1796, The French under Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Austrians under General Joseph Alvintzi at Arcole, Italy.

18 October 1796, Napoleon created the Cisalpine Republic, a French vassal State, by merging the Papal territories of Bologna and Ferrara with the Duchy of Modena.

15 August 1796, French forces under Napoleon defeated the Austrians under Count Dagobert Wurmser atCastglione delle Stiviere, Italy. This prevented the Austrians relieving the Fremnch siege of Mantua.

16 May 1796, Lombardy, northern Italy, was declared a Republic, under French rule.

15 May 1796, Sardinia signed the Peace of Cherasco with Napoleonic France. Sardinia ceded Savoy and Nice to France.

10 May 1796, Napoleon won the Battle of Lodi. Napoleon was greeted in Milan as a liberator of the city from Austrian rule.

28 April 1796, Napoleon reached an armistice with Sardinia. Sradinia now abandoned its alliance with Austria

22 April 1796, Napoleon defeated the Piedmontese at Modovi. Savoy and Nice were ceded to France.

24 November 1795, French General Barthelemy Scherer defeated the Austrians at Loano, Piedmont, northern Italy.

9 February 1795, The Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Italy, made peace with France.


30 June 1799, Francesco Caracciolo, Neapolitan Admiral and revolutionary, died (born 18 January 1732).

2 October 1798, Albert Charles, King of Sardinia, was born (died 28 July 1849).

4 June 1798, Casanova, Italian adventurer, lover, and romancer, died at his Castle of Waldstein, Bohemia.

3 October 1797, Leopold II, Grand-Duke of Tuscany, was born (died 29 January 1870).

3 February 1792, Guiseppe Cerutti, Italian politician, died (born 13 June 1738)

13 July 1787, Pellegrino Rossi, Italian statesman, was born in Carrara (died 15 November 1848)

11 July 1781, Bartolommeo Borghesi, Italian antiquarian, was born near Rimini (died in San Marino 16 April 1860).

1778, Inauguration of La Scala opera house, Milan.

4 November 1768, Maria Francesco Appendini, Italian historian, was born (died 1837).

13 August 1765, Archduke Leopold, son of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Maria Theresa, began his 25-year reign over the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

8 June 1757, Ercole Consalvi, Italian statesman, was born (died 24 January 1824).

16 June 1752, Giulio Alberoni, Italian statesman, died (born 31 May 1664 near Piacenza).

12 January 1751, Ferdinand IV, King of Naples, was born (died 4 January 1825).

16 September 1744, Fabrizio Ruffo, Neapolitan Cardinal and politician, was born in Calabria (died 13 December 1827)

8 June 1743, Alessandro Cagliostro, Italian alchemist and impostor, was born (died 1795).

1739, Archeological excavations began at Herculaneum, near the town of Pompeii buried by an eruption of Vesuvius. Excavation of Pompeii itself began in 1748.

31 October 1732, Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia, died (born 1666 in Turin)

13 June 1738, Guiseppe Cerutti, Italian politician, was born (died 3 February 1792).

19 September 1734, The Battle of Luzzara.

29 June 1734, The Battle of Parma. The French under Marshal de Coigny derfeated the Imperialists under Count Claudius de Mercy, who was killed.

25 May 1734, The Battle of Bitonto.

18 January 1732, Francesco Caracciolo, Neapolitan Admiral and revolutionary, was born (died 30 January 1799).

1720, Sardinia was acquired by the Duke of Savoy.

7 May 1718, Mary of Modena died (born 5 October 1658).


War of the Spanish Succession

See also Spain, France, 1700-1718, for events related to the War of the Spanish Succession

4 July 1714, Antonio Magliabechi, Italian bibliophile, died (born 28 October 1633).

1708, Austria took Sardinia from Spain.

13 March 1707, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I occupied the Spanish Kingdom of Naples and forced French troops to leave northern Italy by the Convention of Milan.

7 September 1706, Prince Eugene of Savoy defeated the French at Turin, helped by Prussian forces under Leopold of Dessau. The French were evicted from Italy, and Charles III was proclaimed King at Milan.

31 August 1706, Eugene linked up with Victor Amadeus on the upper Po. Their combined army now numbered 36,000, with a further 6,000 Piedmontese east of Turin and 15,000 in the besieged city. Against them were 60,000 French west of the Po at Turin, and a further 20,000 facing the Piedmontese. A further 20,000 French were in various garrisons across northwest Italy. Eugene, in a favourable position bu outnumbered, decided to attack the French siege lines.

15 August 1706, Eugene began a westwards offensive against the Duke of Orleans and Marshal Marsin in Italy, seizing Parma this day.

22 April 1706, Eugene arrived from Vienna to take command in Italy and halt the Austrian retreat.

19 April 1706, Vendome, with some 100,000 men against just 30,000 Savoyards and under 40,000 Asutrians, drove the Austrians out of central Lombardy back to the Adige River, also besieged Turin, capital of Savoy.

15 August 1702, Battle of Luzara. Eugene of Austria successfully fought off a larger Franco-Spanish force.

1 February 1702, Battle of Cremona. Prince Eugene of Austria made a surprise attack on the French and captured Marshal Duke Francois de Villeroi. The French replaced him with Marshal Louis Josef, Duke of Vendome.

1 September 1701, Battle of Chiari, War of the Spanish Succession. The French attacked Prince Eugene of Austria but were repulsed with heavy losses. They withdrew to Cremona for the winter. Eugene went on to blockade the French-Spanish garrison at Mantua.

28 May 1701, Prince Eugene of Austria made a surprise arrival at Vicenza, having bypassed Catinat by using smaller roads. The French withdrew west to avoid being cut off.


15 June 1671, Execution in Cagliari of the Marquis of Cea, leader of the Sardinian Conspiracy

24 May 1670, Grand Duke Ferdinand II of Tuscany died.

28 May 1668, Assassination of the Marquis de Camarassa, Viceroy of Sardinia.

31 May 1664, Giulio Alberoni, Italian statesman, was born near Piacenza (died 16 June 1752)

5 October 1658, Mary of Modena was born (died 7 May 1718).

16 July 1647, Tommaso Aniello, fisherman who led the revolt in Naples against Spanish rule, died.

11 July 1635, By the Treaty of Rivoli, Victor Amadeus I of Savoy took command of the Italian league against Milan.

28 October 1633, Antonio Magliabechi, Italian bibliophile, was born (died 4 July 1714).

19 June 1631, Cardinal Richelieu of France organised the Treaty of Cherasco which ended the War of the Mantuan Succession. The French candidate, Charles Duke of Nevers, was invested by Ferdinand II with the Duchy of Mantua. France gained Pinerolo, in the Alps near Turin, and the Duke of Mantua was betrothed to the sister of King Louis XIII. France therefore gained territory and influence in Italy.

17 January 1628, Charles I of Goganza took possession of Mantua, after the death of his cousin Vincent II.

26 December 1627, Vincent II of Mantua (Lombardy, Italy) died.

5 March 1626, Spanish troops evacuated from the Valtelline, Lombardy, Italy.

12 December 1602, Duke Charles Emmanuel attempted to take the city of Geneva by surprise, for the Kingdom of Savoy.He failed with heavy losses.

1594, The ancient town of Pompeii was (re)discovered.

1582, The Academia Della Crusca was founded in Florence, for the purpose of maintaining the purity of the Italian language. In 1612 it published, for this purpose, the Vocabulario della Crusca.

1 December 1580, Giovanni Morone, Italian Cardinal, died )born 25 January 1509).


French expelled from Italy

10 August 1557, The Battle of St Quentin. Spanish forces under the Duke of Savoy defeated the French under the Constable of Montmorency. The French were driven out of Italy.

25 October 1555, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V handed over government of The Netherlands, Milan and Naples to his son Philip of Spain.

2 August 1553, Battle of Marciano. A French army invading Tuscany was defeated.

War weariness of France and Spain. They come to an agreement, and this leaves England, who had been fighting France, without allies

18 September 1544, France and Spain concluded the Peace of Crepy. Spain was growing weary of fighting. The Treaty prseerved the status quo, with France retaining north west Italy. England was suddenly without allies against France. King Henry VIII returned to England, leaving a garrison in Boulogne.

14 April 1544, Battle of Ceresole. France defeated the Spanish south of Turin.

15 April 1542, Leonardo da Vinci was born.His father, Piero da Vinci, was a notary and his mother, Caterina da Vinci, was a peasant

1 February 1542, Girolamo Aleandro, Italian Cardinal, died in Rome (born 13 February 1480 in Motta, near Venice).

6 January 1537, Alessandro de Medici was assassinated

24 October 1535, Francesco Sforza II, Duke of Milan, died aged 45 without a successor. Milan became a suzerainty of Charles V.

12 August 1530, Florence surrendered to the Holy Roman empire/

2 August 1530, Battle of Gavinana; Florence was fighting to keep out the Holy Roman Empire.

23 February 1530, Carlos I of Spain was crowned Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Italy by Pope Clement V.

29 June 1529, The Treaty of Barcelona was agreed. Holy Roman Emperor Charles V will be formally crowned king of Naples by Pope Clement VII.

5 May 1529, Paulus Aemilius, Italian historian, died in Paris (born in Verona).

22 June 1527. Nicolo Macchiavelli died in Florence, Italy, aged 58.

6 May 1527, German mercenaries sacked the city of Rome, an event considered by many to mark the end of the Renaissance. This occurred during warfare between the Holy League and the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.

24 July 1526, The Spanish captured Milan.

16 May 1526, Florence became a Republic again, as the Medici rulers, nephews of Pope Clement VII, were exiled.

24 February 1525. The Battle of Pavia. Pavia, held by the French, had been under siege by Spanish forces since October 1524. Italy itself was a territory being fought over by the rival powers of France, Germany, Turkey and Spain. The French under King Charles VIII defended Pavia with cavalry and cannon, but the Spanish had adopted the arquebus or hackenbushe, an early version of the handgun; this weapon replaced the Spanish crossbow. The arquebus meant an unskilled infantryman could kill a skilled knight and Pavia was the start of the dominance of the handgun as a military weapon.

25 January 1525, Italian troops approached Pavia from the east and dug in across an unfordable river from the French besieging Pavia.

28 October 1524, France began a siege of Pavia (to 24 February 1525) but the French commender recklessly split his forces, sending some to attack Naples, which they failed to take, and leaving just 25,000 men at Pavia.

30 April 1524, France defeated at the Battle of the Sesia, and retreated back across the Alps.

30 May 1522, The French were evicted from Genoa.

27 April 1522, Battle of Bicocca. Swiss forces attacked the Spanish too early, before French artillery support was in position. 3,000 Swiss cavalry were killed by Spanish arquebus as they were held up at Spanish entrenchments.French haev6y cavalry attempted a diversionary attack but were driven off, and the French commander Lautrec retreated east into Venetian territory.

23 November 1521, The Italians under General Prosper Colonna, with their Spanish and Papal allies, made a surprise attack on the French in Milan under Marshal Odet de Lautrec and ousted them from the city. Then in 4/1522 Lautrec, having obtained Swiss, Venetian and French reinforcements, prepared to retake the city. The Swiss troops threatened to depart unless paid, then agreed to fight one more time.

19 November 1521, Hapsburg and Papal forces stormed the French-held cities of Parma and Vicenza, surrendered to French Milan in 151. They also evicted the Frenchunderr Vicomte Odet de Foix-Lautrec from Milan.

28 May 1521, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Pope Leo X agreed a secret treaty to expel the French from Milan.

Efforts begin to expel the French from Milan


2 October 1523, Alessandro Alessandri, Italian jurist, died in Rome.

24 June 1519, Lucrezia Borgia, Italian noblewoman from a corrupt family, illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VII, died.

12 June 1519, Cosimo I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, was born. He was Duke of Florence from 1539 and Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1569; he died in 1574.

13 December 1516, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I overturned his treaty with England and by the Treaty of Brussels, accepted the Treaty of Noyon, The Emperor�s claims on Italy were withdrawn for a payment of 200,000 ducats, and Verona was transferred to Venice.


France and Spain make peace over Italy; France gains Milan and Spain gains Naples

13 August 1516, The Treaty of Noyon. Charles I, newly crowned King of Spain (later Emperor Charles V), made peace with France, recognising French control of Milan in return for French renunciation of its claims over Naples.

25 March 1516, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I took Milan from the French for just one night. He was aiming to take Verona. However his Swiss allies halted their invasion of Lombardy, causing Maximilian to withdraw.

11 December 1515, Treaty of Bologna. Pope Leo X surrendered the northern Italian cities of Parma and Piacenza to the French.

13 September 1515, The French defeated the Swiss at the Battle of Marengo (Marignano). After fierce fighting in which many on both sides were killed, the French now occupied Milan. Switzerland negotiated peace with France, a peace that endured until the French Revolution. The Pope then also also sued for peace, and the anti-French alliance collapsed. France now occupied most of Lombardy.

6/1515, The new King of France, Francis, continuing his predecessor�s aim of hegemony there, formed an alliance with English King Henry VIII and with Venice, against Germany, the Pope, Spain Milan, Florence amnd Switzerland. Francis now invaded Italy by the high and diffocult Argentoiere Pass, aided by the defected formerly Spanish engineer Pedro Navarro (who had been captured by French forces after a conflict with Spain and then abandoned hos former allegiance when Spain failed to ransom him back).


Gradual cessation of the combatants against France (1502-13)

December 1513, Despite victories such as Novara and Guinegatte, the Allies against France, discouraged by the defection of Switzerland (September 1513) now made peace one by one with France, first Spain and the Pope this month, then Germany (March 1514) and England (July 1514).

7 October 1513, Battle of La Motta. Cardona, Viceroy of Naples, defeated Venice, due to his superior Spanish pikemen.

September 1513, At Dijon, the Swiss accepted a French indemnity and made peace, letting down their English and German allies

26 March 1513, King Louis XII of France now allied with Venice to facilitate their recovery of Milan. This strengthened the support of the Holy Roman Emperor, an enemy of Venice, for the Papal League against France.

11 April 1512, Easter Sunday. French cavalry and Este (Ferrarese) artillery under Gaston, Comte de Foix,, defeated Spanish and Papal forces of the anti0French Holy League in a heavily-fought battle at Ravenna. However Gaston himself was killed, damaging future French prospects in Italy.

2 April 1512, At the Battle of Ravenna, French forces defeated a Spanish � Papal army.

13 November 1511, England intervened in Italian politics when King Henry VIII joined the Holy League (see 5 October 1511).

England joins the forces fighting against France in the Italian conflict

5 October 1511, Pope Julius II formed the Holy League, allying the Papacy with Venice and Spain to evict the French from Italy.

16 May 1511, A general council in Pisa called by the French clergy, hostile to Pope Julius II, called for his deposition. Local hostility forced the council to move to Milan.

13 May 1511, French forces captured Bologna. However Papal and Spanish forces then beseiuged the city, but French commander Gaston raised the siege.

12 December 1510, Thursday (-158,653) (Italy) Papal forces repulsed a French attack on Bologna.

10 October 1510, The Swiss mercenaries deserted Pope Julius II, because they had undertaken not to fight France.

9 September 1510, A synod of French Bishops in Tours, summoned by King Louis XII, condemned Pope Julius II and declared Louis justrified in making war on the Papal States.

3 July 1510, Pope Julius II invested the Kingdom of Naples to Ferdinand II of Spain, and gained the support of the Holy Roman emperor in an alliance against France.

5 May 1510, The Este city of Modena fell to 15,000 Swiss mercenaries under Pope Julius II, who had hired them at a higher rate than offered by France. The League of Cambrai dissolved.

3 March 1510, Pope Julius II now declared war on the Este Duchy of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, an ally of France in the League of Cambrai.

War in Italy turns against France


12 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I, having failed to recapture Padua, departed for the Tyrol.

17 July 1509, Padua rebelled against the Holy Roman Empire and Venice regained the city.. Emperor Maximilian I besieged it.

6 June 1509, The Republic of Florence retook Pisa, ending a war that began in 1494.

14 May 1509, French forces under Louis XII defeated Venice at Agnadello. Pope Julius II now annexed Faenza, Rimini and Ravenna in the Romagna, King Ferdinand II of Aragon took Otranto and Brindisi, and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I took Verona, Vicenza and Padua.

23 March 1509, Pope Julius II joined the League if Cambrai against Venice. He hoped to recover cities in Romagna lost to Veince since the death of Pope Alexander VI. The Este Dukes of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio also joined.

11 May 1507, France formally annexed the Republic of Genoa.

29 April 1507, Louis XII, King of France, led his troops into Genoa.

25 March 1507, King Louis XII of France attacked Genoa with a Swiss army to restore law and order there, after a popular uprising in 1506.

French attack on Genoa begins


France ceded Naples in entirety to Spain

31 January 1504, France ceded Naples to Spain under the Treaty of Lyons. Spain retained the territory until 1713.

1 January 1504, French forces left Gaeta by sea, under the terms of a peace treaty with the victorious Spanish.

29 December 1503, At the Battle of Garigliano, near Gaeta, Italy, Spanish forces under Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba defeated a French-Italian mercenary army under Ludovico II, Marquis of Saluzzo.French forces withdrew to Gaeta.

13 May 1503, The Spanish captured Naples. French forces retreated to Gaeta.

28 April 1503, The Battle of Cerignola, Italy.The Spanish in Barlette, having received reinforcements, broke out against the French and decimated them. The Spanish under Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba defeated the French under the Duc de Nemoura, who was killed.This was the first battle considered to have been won by gunpowder and small arms.

The battle turns against the French in Naples


12 December 1502, The Orsini and rebel Condotieri were executed at Senigallia by Borgia.

10 October 1502, Cesare Borgia, Captain-General of the Papal Army, having coinquered Urbino without a shot, now suopressed a rebellion by his own condottieri (professional mercenaries). This was the Conspiracy of La Magione. Borgia was backed by the French; the Condottieri were backed by the Orsini faction in Rome. Meanwhile in southern Italy, the Spanish army under Gonzalo de Cordoba was besieged by the French in the port of Barletta, where they remained all winter.

8 August 1502, French forces drove the Spanish under Gonzalo de Cordoba out of Canosa, Apulia, an area of Naples allocated to Spoain by the Treaty of Granada, 1500.

July 1502, Spanish-French conflict restarted in Italy. This was over a border confliuct between the two powers. French forces took Cerignola from the Spanish after assurances of Borgia nneutrality.

France and Spain re-start conflict over Italy


20 May 1509, Caterina Sforzi, Countess of Forli, died (born 1463)

25 January 1509, Giovanni Morone, Italian Cardinal, was born (died 1 December 1580)


France and Spain divide and take over Naples, 1501-02

3 March 1502, The city of Taranto, Apulia, surrendered to Spanish force sunder Gonzalo de Cordoba. Prince Ferrante of Naples was taken prisoner and sent to Spain.

4 August 1501, France completed its conquest of the northern portion of the Kingdom of Naples, with the last castles capitulating and King Frederigo surrendering himself; he was appointed Duke of Anjou. Louis D�Armagnac, Duke of Nemours, was named Viceroy of Naples by King Louis XII of France.

7 July 1501, In Italy the French army under King Louis XII allied to Cesare Borgia�s Papal Army stormed and sacked the city of Capua whilst the Spanish under Gonzalo de Cordoba took control of Apulia and Calabria.

25 June 1501, Pope Alexander VI ratified the secret Treaty of Granada by which the Kingdom of Naples was to be partitioned between France and Spain. He proclaimed Louis XII of France as King of Naples and his own son Cesare Borgia as Duke of Romagna. Louis XII recognised Cesare in this title.

6 June 1501, The French Army entered Rome on its was from Milan south to Naples.


4 April 1501, The small city of Faenza, Romagna, northern Itsly, fell to Cesare Borgia, Captain-General of the Papal Army. The governor of the city, Astorre Manfredi, was killed desoite Cesare having promised to spare his life.

14 June 1497, Juan Borgia, Duke of Gandia and illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI, was murdered, probably by his brother Cesare. Cesare now directed Papal politics.

25 September 1496, Piero Capponi, Florentine statesman, died.

7 September 1496, Ferdinand II, King of Naples, died.

18 December 1495, Alfonso II, King of Naples, died.


France and Spain agree to a treaty over Italy, 1494-1500

11 November 1500, The Treaty of Granada. Spain and France agreed to divide Naples between them.

1 October 1500, Cesare Borgia, Captain-General of the Papal Army, captured the towns of Rimini and Pesaro in the Romagna, northern Italy, for the papacy of his father Alexander VI. He was aided by French cavalry and Swiss mercenaries

8 August 1500, Alfonso, former King of Naples, married to the illegitimate daughter of the Pope, Lucretia Borgia, was murdered, allegedly by the Borgias.

10 April 1500, The French recaptured Milan and took Sforza prisoner in France, after Swiss mercenaries on Sforza�s side refused to fight their compatriots in the French forces at Novara, Piedmont.

5 February 1500, Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, retook Milan from the French with the belp ofSweiss and Gewrman mercenaries and a general uprising.

12 January 1500, The town of Forli, in Romagna, northern Italy, held by Caterina Sforza, surrendered to Cesare Borgia, Captain-Genral of the Papal army and illegitimate son of Pope Alxander VI.

11 September 1499, French forces captured Milan with little opposition.

2 September 1499. The Regent of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, had now seen his frontier fortress of Alessandria, also cities in Lombardy, fall to the French under Louis XII. Sforza now fled from Milan to the Tirol to try and raise support there.

5 August 1498, King LouisXII of France and Ferdinand of Aragon signed the Treaty of Marcoussis, ending the effectiveness of the League of Venice. France and Spain now planned to divide the Kingdon of Naples between themselves.

6 October 1496, The decrepit Frederick III succeeded his nephew Frederick II as King of Naples.

14 July 1496, England nominally joined the League of Venice against France.

6 July 1495, At the Battle of Fornovo, the French Army secured its retreat from Italy by defeating a combined Milanese-Venetian force under Giobvanni Francesco Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua. France had contested with Spain over who would control Italy. Charles VIII of France expected support from his one-time allies, the Milanese, but when he arrived in Italy he found they had joined with Venice, the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire to oppose his plans for Italy.

28 June 1495, At the Battle of Seminara, Cordoba and Ferrante were defeated by a French army under Bernard Stewart, Lord of Aubigny.

26 May 1495, A Spanish army under Gonzalo de Cordoba landed in Calabria, to oust the French and restore Ferrante II to the throne of Naples.

Spanish forces enter Italy to expel the French

12 May 1495, Charles VIII of France was crowned King of Naples.

31 March 1495, Pope Alexander VI formed the League of Venice, which included the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Venice and Milan. It was formed to protect Christendom from the Ottoman Empire, but initially worked to mexpel France from Italy.

22 February 1495, King Charles VIII of France entered Naples to claim the city�s throne.A few months later he returned to France with most of his army, leaving a force under his cousin, Gilbert Count of Montpensier as viceroy.

King Charles VIII of France captured Naples

28 January 1495, King Charles VIII of France left Rome for Naples.

17 November 1494, French forces entered Florence, Italy. A popular revolution inspired by the messianic firar Savonarola expelled Piero de Medici, who had supported Ferrante of Naples. Florence returned to a republican government.

31 December 1494, French forces engtered Rome. Pope Alexander VI fled to the fortress of Castel Sant�Angelo.

8 November 1494, French forces entered Lucca, Italy.

22 October 1494, King Charles VIII of France was welcomed in Milan, where he recognised Ludovico Sforza as Duke of Milan.

1 September 1494, Charles VIII of France invaded Italy to claim Naples.

16 March 1494, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, married Bianca Sforza in order to cememnt an alliance against Venice.He gramnted her uncle, the Regent Ludovico, the Dukedom of Milan. Her hiuge dowry amounted to 440,000 ducats.

France invades Italy to claim Naples

25 January 1494, Alfonso II succeeded to the throne of the Kingdom of Naples and was recognised by Pope Alexander VI. Charles VIII of France also claimed the throne through descent from the House of Anjou.

Rival French and Spanish claims to the throne of Naples


14 June 1493, Ermolao Barbaro, Italian scholar, died in Rome (born in Venice 21 May 1454).

12 January 1492, Andrea Alcati, Italian jurist, was born in Alzano, near Milan.

8 April 1492, Lorenzo de Medici, patron of learning and the arts, died aged 43, after a 23 year reign of cultural enlightenment.

16 October 1483, Gasparo Contarini, Italiun diplomat and Cardinal, was born.

10 September 1481, Alphonso II of Naples recaptured the city of Otranto.

18 April 1480, Lucrezia Borgia, Italian noblewoman, illegitimate daughter of Rodrigo Borgia (later Pope Alexander VI) was born in Rome.

13 February 1480, Girolamo Aleandro, Italian Cardinal, was born in Motta, near Venice (died 1 February 1542 in Rome).

7 September 1479, In Milan, Ludovico Sforza launched a coup against the rule of his yoiung nephew Duke Gian Galeazzo Sforza.

26 April 1478, Guiliano de Medici was assassinated; the Pazzi Assassination.

26 December 1476, Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, was assassinated by Milanese nobles. His 7-year-old son, Gian Galeazzo, succeeded him under the regency of his mother, Bona of Savoy.

2 December 1469, Piero de Medici died. Control of his Florentine bank passed to his sons Lorenzo and Guiliano.

3 May 1469, Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian statesman and historian, was born in Florence.

7 October 1468, Sigismondo Malatesta, tyrant and soldier, died.

1/ August 1464, Cosimo de Medici died aged 75 in Florence. He was succeeded as head of the banking family by his son, Piero.

9 April 1454, Three rival Italian powers � Venice, Milan, and Florence � agreed to unite in an �Italian league�. Rome also seemed likely to join.

26 February 1450, Francesco Sforza, claimant to govern the Ambrosian republic of Milan, after Filippo Maria Visconti, successfully mounted a coup and became its new ruler.

13 August 1447, Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan and last of the Visconti Dynasty, died. Milan now established the Ambrosian Republic. Francesco Sforza, son-in-law of the late Filippo, claimed military leadership, but his claim was disputedby various factions, including supporters of King Alfonso V of Aragon. (whom Filipo had actually nominated as his successor) and also Charles Duke of Orleans.

12 June 1442, Alfonso V, King of Aragon, was crowned King pof Naples.

10 December 1441, The Treaty of Cavriana settled peace between Milan and Venice. It was organised by Francesco Sforza, working for Venice but married to Bianca, daughter of Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan.

11 February 1435, Joanna II, Queen of Naples, died.

5 October 1434, Florentine banker Cosimo de Medici returned from exile to rule Florence for ther next 30 years.

2 February 1426, Venice declared war on Milan. During the three year war that followed, Venice gained control of Verona, Vicenza, Brescia and Bergamo.

28 October 1421, Milan annexed the port city of Genoa, as the Visconti Dynasty made a bid for regional supremacy in northern Italy.

1416, At the naval Battle of Gallipoli, Venice defeated the Ottoman fleet.

16 May 1412, In Italy, Giovanni Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, was assassinated. He was succeeded by his brother Filippo.

7 August 1409, The Council of Pisa was dissolved.

9 October 1406, Florence had long coveted Pisa for an outlet to the sea. In 1362-4 Pisa had defended its independence with the help of a band under Sir John Hawkwood (died 1392), and later secured French protection under French King Charles VI (13680-1422). However in 1405 Florence persuaded France to hand over Pisa in return fpor supporting the AntiPope Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna). Pisa rebelled against Florentine rule and Florence imposed a six-month siege by land and sea. Pisa fell to Florence this day, giving it its desired seaport.

1400, Five separate States, all very different in culture, economy and politics, dominated the Italian Peninsula. These were the Republics of Venice and Florence, the Duchy of Milan, the Papal States,and the Kingdom of Milan

10 April 1389, Cosimo de Medici, Italian ruler, was born.

22 May 1382, Joanna I Queen of Naples was executed.

29 April 1380, Death of Catherine of Siena, who became the patron saint of Italy. She was born in 1347 in Siena as Caterina Beninasca and became an ascetic. She campaigned against the Papal split (Avignon) and corruption, and was canonised by Pope Pius II in 1471, and is a noted Mediaeval women writer.

1378, Revolt of the Ciompi, in Milan. Following the Black Death, workers who were esxcluded from the Guilds, and thereby disenfranchised, breofly overthrew the merchant oligarchy. However their victory was to be only short-lived.

26 May 1362, Louis, King of Naples, died.

24 July 1358, This day a �Great Company� of roving German mercenaries was defeated at Scalella Pass by the Florentines. These mercenaries had originally been hired by Italian princes fighting Milan, but when their pay ceased they took to roving and plundering anywhere in the Italian Peninsula. This day Florence was saved from lootoing and destruction by them.

8 October 1354, Cola di Rienzi, reformer, was murdered.

23 September 1339, Simon Bocanegra was elected the first Doge of Genoa.

1326, The Kingdom of Aragon took Sardinia.

8 October 1323, Pope John XXII claimed the right to confirm Imperial kingships and thereby demanded that Ludwig surrender the kingship of the Romans because Ludwig claimed Imperial authority in northern Italy.

11 June 1323, Papal Legate, Bertrand du Poujet, led a military campaign against the Ghibbelines and besieged Milan, but called off the siege when Ludwig of Bavaria sent troops to help the Milanese.

5 January 1322, In Italy, Milanese forces seized Cremona.

29 August 1315, In Italy, Uguccione, Despot of Pisa, defeated the armies of Florence and Naples at Montecatini.

24 August 1313, King Henry VII of Germany was poisoned, whilst leading an army against Naples.

13 June 1313, Pope Clement V declared Naples to be under Papal protection.

31 October 1312, Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII abandoned his campaign against Florence.

7 May 1306, Revolt in Bologna, Italy, against the Papacy.

10 June 1304, A fire destroyed the centre of Florence. It was started by the extreme wing of the Black faction of the Guelph Party.

27 January 1302, Dante was exiled from Florence. His allies had been overthrown by Charles of Valois.

1299, Construction of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, began (completed 1301)

2 June 1289, Florence became the dominant power in central Italy when it defeated Arezzo at the Battle of Campaldino.

1285, Death of Charles of Anjou (1227-85), Angevin King of Naples and Sicily. Posthumous son of Louis VIII of France, he was crowned King by Pope Urban IV in 1265.

28 November 1284, Florence began to extend its city walls. The first stone of the new walls was blessed this day.

6 August 1284, Second Battle of Meloria (island off Leghorn). Genoese ships attacked a Pisan force, over their rival claims to the islands of Corsoica and Sardinia. Pisa was defeated.

30 March 1282. Peter III of Aragon opened hostilities against Charles of Anjou for possession of Naples and Sicily.This war was ended by the Peace of Caltabellotta in 1302.

26 October 1274, Genoa allied with the pro-Imperialist forces in Lombardy, NW Italy.

25 August 1268, Battle of Tagliacozzo. Charles defeated Conradin, who was captured and executed.

1268, Conradin (see Germany, see Sicily), Holy Roman Empire, aged 16, was welomed in Rome in July, but his forces were defeated in August at Tagliacozzo by Charles of Anjou, King of the Two Sicliies. Agents of Charles then seized and executed Conradin; he was tried as a traitor and found guilty and then executed at Naples. The House of Hohenstaufen was now extinct. The execution had the tacit approval of Pope Clement IV, but it shocked Europe, especially King Henry III of England and King Louis IX of France. It began a long-lasting enmity between Germany and the Roman Catholic Church.

4 September 1260, The Battle of Montaperti. Manfred, King of Sicily, allied to the Ghibbelines, defeated the Guelphs. He now became Protector of Tuscany.

2 December 1254, Manfred, illegitimate son of the late Ferederick II,began an anti-Papal revolt and seized Lucera; this day he defeated the Papal Army at Foggia, gaining the loyalty of Apulia.

26 May 1249, The King of Sardinia, Enzio, was captured by the Bolognese at Fossalta.


Further conflict, Holy Roman Empire against Papal States

1247, Parma fell to a surprise attack by Lombard Guelphs. Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, brought a large army and laid siege to the town. In February 1248 the Lombards succeeded in breaking the siege., whilst Frederick II was away hunting.

3 May 1241, First battle of Meloria (island off Leghorn). Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II allied with Pisa, attacked ships bringing prelates to a council summoned by Pope Gregory IX. Several of these Genoese ships were sunk, and a number of prelates were killed or taken prisoner.

20 March 1239, Pope Gregory IX excommunicated Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II a second time.

27 November 1237, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II destroyed a second Lombard League by his victory at Cortenuova. However in 1238 he failed to capture Brescia.

6 March 1226, A second Lombard League of Italian cities was formed against Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.

18 November 1210, Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV was excommunicated by the Pope, but completed his conquest of southern Italy anyway.


25 April 1194, Eccelino da Romano, Ghibelline leader and supporter of Frederick II, was born (died 7 October 1259).

8 August 1173, The construction of what is now known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa began.


Resistance by North Italian cities against Germans, Holy Roman Emperor

25 June 1183, The Peace of Konstanz was signed between Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and the Italian Lombard League.

24 July 1177, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa effected a reconciliation with Pope Alexander III at Venice.

29 May 1176, The Battle of Legnano; Italian city-states gained autonomy from the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa. The Lombard League of Italian towns, supported by Pope Alexander III, objected to Barbarossa�s interference in their internal affairs. Barbarossa had laid waste to Milan, but was defeated at Legnano, north-west of Milan, and admitted defeat.

13 April 1175, Frederick called off his siege of Alessandria.

29 October 1174, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick, on his 5th Italian campaign, began a siege of Alessandria, northern Italy.


Attack on Italy by Holy Roman Emperor Barbarossa

27 April 1167, Italians from the cities of Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Mantua, Treviso and Verona arrived at the ruins of Milan to rebuild it. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa had imposed a non-native ruler, or Podesta, upon it, as he had upon other Italian cities he controlled, following the surrender of Milan to him after his siege of it in 1158. The taxes imposed upon Milan by the Podesta were heavy and they revolted. In 1162 Frederick returned to Milan and this time razed it to the ground, dispersing its inhabitants into the countryside. Although Frederick went on to capture Rome in 1167, his army was decimated by malaria and he had to return to Germany for reinforcements. Facing domestic issues in Germany he could not return south and deal with this act of defiance in rebuilding Milan. He was unable to re-enter Italy until 1174, by which time the Lombard League had consolidated and gained control of the central and eastern Alpine passes. In 1168 the Lombards founded a new city, called Alessandria in honour of Pope Alexander II, to defend the western frontier. Alessandria withstood a 6-month siege by Frederick (1174-5) and on 29 May 1176 Frederick was decisively defeated at Legnano.

1164, North Italian cities established the Lombard League, to maintain their independence against the Holy Roman Emperor.

26 November 1160, Holy Roman Emperor Barbarossa captured the Italian city of Crema. Crema was allied to Milan, a wealthy city which Barbarossa wished to acquire. Arriving at Crema on 2 July 1159, Barbarossa laid siege, and both sides used barbarous tactics, tying prisoners to siege towers, even children, so they were killed by their own side, and hacking prisoners to pieces in front of the enemy. Hunger eventually forced Crema to surrender; its defenders lives were spared, but the city was razed to the ground.

11 November 1158, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa declared himself ruler of northern Italy.

1155, Pisa began constructing fortifications, building a large ditch around the town this year and a city wall in 1156.

29 June 1128, Conrad of Hohenstaufem was crowned King of Italy.


Rebellion of Arduin against King Henry III of Germany�s rule of Italy

14 February 1014, King Henry III of Germany was proclaimed Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope. Arduin, considering himself the King of Italy, seized Vercelli, west of Milan amd besieged Novara and Como; however he was then vanquished by Henry III�s forces. Arduin then retired to a monasteryat Fruttuaria, near Turin, where he died in 1015.

14 May 1004, Arduin left Italy. Emperor Henry II was crowned King.

1004, King Henry II of Germany, attempting to reverse the success of Arduin (see 2/1002), overcame Arduin�s forces,

and occupied Pavia. The townspeople resisted Henry, and uncertain of the sustainability of his position, Henry fled back to Germany. Arduin now attacked the bishops who had supported Henry., with the support of the Italian nobles.

15 February 1002, Arduin led an Italian revolt against German rule, and was crowned King of Italy

February 1002, Arduin, Marquis of Ivrea, led the Lombards in NE Italy in a successful revolt agaoinst the rule of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III (980-1002). Otto had claimed the title �King of Lombardy�, and planned to create an �ecclesiatical empire� based on Rome. The Italian bishops supported Otto, but the lay nobles were loyal to Arduin. Arduin was now proclaimed King of the Lombards at Pavia, shortly after the death of Otto.


21 May 996, Pope Gregory V crowned Otto III as Emperor. Gregory was expelled by the citizens of Rome in September 996.

7 December 983, Holy Roman Emperor Otto II died in his palace in Rome, aged 28. He was succeeded by his 3-year-old son, Otto III, under the guardianship of his Byzantine mother Theophano.

13 July 982, Emperor Otto II, who had invaded Italy, was defeated at Apulia by an allied Arab-Byzantine force.

14 April 972, Otto II was married to Theophano, niece of Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimisces. This allied the �Western Roman Empire� with Byzantium.

22 December 967, Pope John XIII formally crowned Otto II, son of Otto I The Great, co-Emperor.

4 December 963, Emperor Otto I The Great deposed Pope John XII. Leo VIII was elected to succeed him.

September 961, King Otto I the Great of Germany, and his son, Otto, were recognbised as Kings of Italy when they captured Pavia.


Normans in southern Italy pushed back Muslims

1059, Pope Nicholas II invested the Norman leader, Robery Guiscard, with the Dukedoms of Apulia, Catalonia and Sicily. The Papacy had initially been opposed to the growth of Norman power in southern Italy, but a Norman victory at Civitato in 1053 forced the Popes to reconsider.

1050, Pisa took Sardinia from the Saracens, who had invaded it around 800.

See also Sicily for history of Norman occupation there

1016, The Normans were �invited� to help liberate southern Italy from Byzantine rule.

916, Italian forces succeeded in capturing the Arab Muslim fortress on the River Garigliano, which was about a third of the way north from Naples towards Rome. This secured Italy, and the Christian centre of Rome, against Muslim incursions.

2 February 871, Louis II (the German) evicted the Arabs from Bari, southern Italy.

840, Muslim Arabs attacked the mainland of Italy. See 916.


10 August 843, The Treaty of Verdun divided the Holy Roman Empire into three equal sharesThe imperial crown and central portion from Frisia to Italy went to Lothair.Louis the German received Germany, and Charles the Bald, son of Pepin, received France.

5 May 840, One of the sons of Charlemagne, Emperor Louis of Bavaria, died of fright during a solar eclipse.His other sons quarrelled, causing the division of his empire into France, Germany, and Italy, see 843.


Lombardy 568-774

774, Charlemagne defeated Lombardy, adding it to his Empire.

756, Aistulf went back on his promises and attacked Rome again. The Pope again allied with Pepin, Lombardy was defeated again, and at the Treaty of Pavia Lombardy became a Frank fiefdom.

751, Aistulf, King of Lombardy, conquered Ravenna in a programme of territorial expansion. This alarmed the Papacy under Pope Stephen, who enlisted the support of Pepin the Short against Aistulf. Pepin invaded Italy in 755, defeated Aistulf, and made him promise to return the conquered territories. Aistulf died in the campaigns of 756. These events paved the way for the Carolingian domination of Italy.

Click here for maps of Lombardy.

749, Aistulf became Kong of Lombardy (died 756).

569, The Lombards established a capital at Pavia.

1 April 568. King Albion of the Lombards (King since 565, died 573), a Germanic tribe, assembled an army that included his allies, 20,000 Saxons, in order to cross the Alps and form a settlement in Italy. The Lombards, from the Danube Valley, may have been invited to attack Italy by the Byzantine General Narses. Milan was occupied by the Lombards on 4 September 569 and Lombard rule was established in northern Italy.


Goth attacks on Italy 401-552

552, King Totila, Ostrogoth, killed fighting Byzantium (King Narses) at the Battle of Taginae. In 553 Narses again took Rome and Naples for Byzantium.

550, Ostrogothic King Totila reconquered Rome.

540, Ostroghtic King Totila took Italy from Byzantium.

12 March 538, Vitiges realised that Rome was not being starved, and the arrival of a Byzantine fleet in the Tiber with 5,000 more men forced him to raise the siege. Vitiges then marched to Ravenna where he besieged John the Sanguinary in Rimini.

21 March 537, Defenders of Rome using arrows, catapults and ballistae inflicted heavy losses on the Goths besieging the city. The Goth forces were now too depleted to keep a continuous siege ring around the city.

2 March 537, Vitiges, leader of the Goths, began laying siege to Rome.

2 October 534. Death of Athalaric, King of the Ostrogoths in Italy. Grandson of Theodoric, he was born in 516 and became King in 526; aged ten, his mother Amalasuntha held the Regency.

15 March 493, Odoacer was killed by Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths.

26 February 493, Ravenna capitulated to Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths.

11 August 490, Theodoric defeated Odoacer at the Battle of the Adda. Odoacer fled to Ravenna. Theodoric now laid seige to Ravenna until a naval blockade forced Odoacer to capitulate.

401, The Visigoths invaded Italy.


For earlier Italian history pre 400 see Roman Empire


Appendix 2 � San Marino

Demography of San Marino

1992, San Marino joined the UN.

1973, Women gained the right to hold public office.

1960, Women gained the vote.

1945, In San Marino a coalition of Socialists and Communists gained power, which raised suspicions in surrounding Italy. Italy was displeased further when Communist San Martino opened casinos, eroding the profits of the Italian gambling industry. Economic sanctions by Italy forced the closure of these San Marino casinos by 1951. The Communist regime on San Marino ended in 1957, and relations with Italy improved.

1944, San Marino was bombed by the Allies during World War Two.

1862, San Marino signed a Treaty of Friendship with Italy, but refused to join the newly-uniting nation.

1815, San Marino�s independence was guaranteed by the Congress of Vienna.

1797, Napoleon Bonaparte, who liked San Marino as a �model republic�, offered to enlarge its territories. San Marino refused his offer, explaining that �only in poverty and insignificance could San Marino hope to remain free and sovereign throughout the centuries�.

1631, The independence of San Marino was formally recognised by Pope Urban VIII.

3 September 301, The republic of San Marino was established (traditional date) by stonemasons from Dalmatia, who took refuge here.


Appendix 3 � Vatican City, Papal States (See also Christianity, Papal succession)

11 December 1999,The Sistine Chapel, Vatican, reopened after 20 years restoration work and cleaning.

14 February 1940, The Vatican introduced rationing.

9 June 1923, In Italy, the Vatican ordered the Catholic Party to disband, and many of its members joined Mussolini�s Fascist party. The Catholic Party, or Partito Popolare Italiano (Italian People�s Party), had been formed in 1919;before then the Vatican had forbidden Catholics to vote. In Italian elections in 1919 and in 1921 the Catholic Party received 20% of the vote, second only to the Italian Socialist Party. Following Mussolini�s victory in 1922 Cardinal Gasparri, the Vatican�s Secretary of State, made a deal with Mussolini that the Catholic Church would support him; in return Mussolini would restore the historic privileges of the catholic Church in Italy. In 1927 Mussolini was baptised as a Catholic, and in 1929 he signed the Lateran Treaty, making the Vatican a separate sovereign State. He also made Catholicism the State religion of Italy, and paid the Vatican 750 million lire as compensation for the Vatican�s loss of the ancient Papal States territory in Italy.

1870, Italian forces entered Rome, annexing the formerly extensive Papal States. This left the Pope in self-imposed captivity in the Vatican City.

4/1848, Pope Pius IX announced that he would not back war against Catholic Austria; the Papal Allocution. With this, the Pope lost favour with the Italian Nationalists.

1506, Bologna was incorporated into the Papal States by Pope Julius II.

1415, The Medici family became bankers to the Papacy.


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