Italy, born on the mighty origins of the Roman Empire, which became the cradle of the Renaissance and a storehouse of world cultural values, today is reputed to be one of the countries with established stereotypes. The country of olive oil, pasta, wine, mafia, bright sun, ruins of Ancient Rome and Renaissance palaces. Probably, this associative array has every reason to be popular among tourists. And for sure, a few days and even weeks spent in the famous tourist centers of Italy will not make even the most fastidious travelers bored. However, Italy is fraught with boundless depths of history, culture and charm, hidden in different parts of this amazing country – bright as the caressing sun of Sicily, exquisite as Venetian and Florentine architecture, serene as the amazing landscapes of Tuscany, and unchanged.
A bit of history
Italy is a great country with a great history. The name “Italy” comes from the name of the Italic tribe (lat. Italici). Italy began to be settled about 500,000 years ago. In the era of the primitive communal system, italic tribes came to the territory of modern Italy. Somewhat later, the Illyrians appeared, then the Etruscans and, finally, the Greeks, who settled mainly in the south of the Apennine Peninsula and in Sicily. The real history of Italy began with the strengthening of the power of Rome and the Romans. In 753 BC. According to legend, Romulus founded Rome. The Romans still celebrate Rome’s birthday on April 21st.
Further, the history of Italy in a brief summary can be represented only by the chronology of eras and events, and what accompanied them is an integral part of the great world history:
Around 500 BC e. Republic established in Rome.
From 27 BC e. the era of the Roman Empire began – the period of the greatest expansion of borders. In the reign of Emperor Constantine I (306-337), Christianity becomes the state religion of the Roman Empire.
In 375 the Huns invaded Europe. The Great Migration of Nations began.
In the 5th century The Western Roman Empire fell under the onslaught of the Germanic tribes.
Since 568, the Lombard Kingdom existed in most of Italy, which was conquered by Charlemagne in 774. The Western Roman Empire was replaced by the empire of Charlemagne.
In the VIII-XI centuries. in southern Italy, the maritime republics of Amalfi, Gaeta and Naples are formed, and in northern Italy the republics of Genoa, Pisa and Venice are gaining strength.
In the XIII-XIV centuries. The Papal States includes most of Central Italy.
In the XVI century. The Habsburg dynasty is fighting with France for influence in Northern Italy, fragmented into small states.
In the 17th century, when the Bourbon dynasty entered the struggle against the Habsburgs, the papal throne entered into an alliance with France.
In 1797, the Treaty of Campoformia was concluded between France and Austria: Austria cedes the Italian lands to France.
After the defeat of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) transfers Lombardy and Venice to Austria. Austrian troops enter Naples and Sicily. Papal States restored.
March 17, 1861 – The new Parliament proclaims the Kingdom of Italy, headed by Victor Emmanuel II.
In 1870, Rome was liberated, the secular power of the Pope was abolished, and Rome became the capital of a united Italy.
In 1882, the Italian king Umberto I concludes the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary. However, in 1915 Italy enters the First World War on the side of the Entente.
In 1922, Benito Mussolini creates a fascist state and in 1929, by signing the Lateran Accords, puts an end to the conflict between Church and State. The sovereign ecclesiastical state of the Vatican was created.
In 1940, Italy enters the Second World War on the side of Germany.
In 1945, the German troops capitulate. Mussolini is executed by Italian patriots.
In 1946 Italy becomes a parliamentary republic.
In 1949 Italy joins NATO.
In 1957, the European Economic Community was created in Rome.
2008 – 71-year-old Silvio Berlusconi heads the Italian government for the third time.
Italy’s contribution to world culture is truly invaluable, because it is one of the most developed and civilized countries in the world, which has preserved its majestic history, beautiful architecture and traditions.
Architecture: currently in Italy there is the largest number of objects recognized by UNESCO as world treasures. Here are just a few of the architectural monuments of Italy: the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Castel Sant’Angelo, the Golden Palace, the Basilica of San Marco, the Basilica of Santa Croce, the Baptistery, the Bargello Palace, the Doge’s Palace, Il Vittoriano, the Imperial Forums, the Campanile San Marco, the Medici Chapels and the New Sacristy, Capitol, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Loggia Lanzi, Bridge of Sighs and Realto Bridge, Obelisks of Rome, Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Leaning Tower of Pisa, etc.
Painting: Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Botticelli, Raphael Santi, Giovanni Boccati, Sandro Botticelli, Giorgio Vasari, Luigi Kalamata, Caravaggio, Modigliani, Titian and others.
Literature: Petrarch, Dante, Giovanni Boccaccio, Nicolo Machiavelli, Alessandro Manzoni, Alberto Moravia, Luigi Pirandello, Gianni Rodari, Emilio Salgari, Torquato Tasso and others.
Music: Paganini, Rossini, Vivaldi, Verdi, Puccini, Albinoni, Donizetti, Scarlatti and others.
CinemaCast: Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Zeffirelli, Sergio Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, Giuseppe Tornatore, Alberto Sordi, Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Adriano Celentano, Monica Bellucci Gina Lollobrigida, Juliet Masina and others.