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Italiano III
Ora III e Ora IV
di marzo 2014
PASSATO PROSSIMO Past Participles and the two
helping verbs: AVERE and ESSERE!!!!!
For most italian verbs and all transitive verbs (verbs
that take a direct object), the passato prossimo is
conjugated with the present of the auxiliary verb
avere+the past participle (participio passato) of the
main verb.
The participio passato of the regular verbs is formed
by replacing the infinitive ending –are, -ere, and –ire
with –ato, -uto, and –ito, respectively. With avere
Irregular past participles are below: with avere
Conoscere conosciuto
perduto (perso)
Rispondere risposto
veduto (visto)
Most intransitive verbs (verbs that do not take a direct
object) are conjugated with the auxiliary essere. In
this case, the past participle must agree with the
subject in gender and number.
Arrivare Arrivato
Ritornare Ritornato
Entrare Entrato
Salire Salito
Discendere Disceso
Cadere Caduto
Nascere Nato
Morire Morto
Essere Stato
Stare Stato
Restare Restato
Diventare Diventato
passato prossimo
grammatically referred to as the present
perfect—is a compound tense (tempo
composto) that expresses a fact or action
that happened in the recent past or that
occurred long ago but still has ties to the
Here are a few examples of how the
passato prossimo appears in Italian:
Ho appena chiamato. (I just called.)
Mi sono iscritto all'università quattro anni
fa. (I entered the university four years
Questa mattina sono uscito presto. (This
morning I left early.)
Il Petrarca ha scritto sonetti immortali.
(Petrarca wrote enduring sonnets.)
The following table lists some adverbial
expressions that are often used with the
passato prossimo:
ieri pomeriggio yesterday afternoon
ieri sera
last night
il mese scorso
last month
l'altro giorno
the other day
this morning
tre giorni fa
three days ago
The present perfect tense is
used in the following situations:
an action which took place a short
time ago.
an action which took place some time
ago and the results of the action can
still be felt in the present
an experience in your life
an action which has finished but the
time period (e.g. this year , this week,
today) hasn't finished yet
The present perfect is formed in the following
il presente indicativo
dei verbi
essere o avere
Auxiliary to have/ to be +
in the present form
il participio passato
del verbo in questione
Past participle
Passato Prossimo: Past Tense in Italian
Here is a form of a past tense in Italian, passato prossimo, which
is used for events that happened once.
Learn the formation of the Italian passato prossimo for both
regular and irregular verbs. Also learn when essere or avere
should be used.
Regular Verb Formation of the Past Participle
Passato prossimo follows a simple pattern: essere or avere and
the past particle.
When we use passato prossimo, we talk about something that
has happened once, instead of an ongoing event in the past (we
use imperfect then). For example:
Ieri ho mangiato un panino. (Yesterday I ate a sandwich)
Notice the verb formation in the sentence: the first verb is avere in
the present indicative form, followed by the past participle for the
verb mangiare, which means to eat.
-the formation of the past
participle with regular verbs
— remember three verb endings exist in regular Italian verbs: are, -ere and -ire. When we form the past participle, we remove
the verb ending to get the stem, then add the past participle
ending. For example:
-are verbs: the ending for the past participle is -ato
cantare → cantato (to sing)
-ere verbs: the ending for the past participle is -uto
credere → creduto (to believe)
-ire verbs: the ending for the past participle is -ito
dormire → dormito (to sleep)
Irregular Verb Formation of the Past Participle
Verbs that are irregular in Italian do not follow the same pattern as
the regular verbs for the past participle. There is no particular
some of the common verbs:
accendere → acceso (to turn on)
aprire → aperto (to open)
bere → bevuto (to drink)
chiedere → chiesto (to ask)
chiudere → chiuso (to close)
correggere → corretto (to correct)
correre → corso (to run)
cuocere → cotto (to cook)
decidere → deciso (to decide)
dire → detto (to say/tell)
dividere → diviso (to divide)
essere → stato (to be)
fare → fatto (to do/make)
leggere → letto (to read)
mettere → messo (to put)
morire → morto (to die)
muovere → mosso (to move)
nascere → nato (to be born)
nascondere → nascosto (to hide)
offrire → offerto (to offer)
perdere → perso or perduto (to lose)
piacere → piaciuto (to like)
piangere → pianto (to cry)
porre → posto (to place)
prendere → preso (to take)
ridere → riso (to laugh)
rimanere → rimasto (to stay)
risolvere → risolto (to solve)
rispondere → risposto (to answer)
rompere → rotto (to break)
scegliere → scelto (to choose)
scrivere → scritto (to write)
succedere → successo (to happen)
togliere → tolto (to remove)
tradurre → tradotto (to translate)
uccidere → ucciso (to kill)
vedere → visto or veduto (to see)
venire → venuto (to come)
vincere → vinto (to win)
vivere → vissuto (to live)
Essere or Avere?
In Italian passato
prossimo, we have
two auxiliary verbs:
essere and avere.
Essere is used when we have:
→ Intransitive verbs (verbs with no direct
→ Movement verbs (examples are andare
(to go), arrivare (to arrive) and tornare (to
→ State verbs (examples are stare (to be)
and rimanere (to stay))
→ Changing state verbs (examples are
diventare (to become), nascere (to be born)
and morire (to die)
→ Reflexive verbs (verbs preceded by a
pronoun, such as mi)
→ Other verbs: accadere/succedere (to
happen), bastare (to be enough/need),
costare (to cost), dipendere (to depend),
dispiacere (to displease/mind), mancare (to
miss), occorrere (to be necessary), parere
(to seem/think), piacere (to like), sembrare
(to seem) and toccare (touch).
When we use essere as the auxiliary verb,
the past participle matches in gender and
Avere is used when we
→ Transitive verbs (verbs followed by a
direct object)
Certain verbs can use either essere or
avere — it depends on whether we use the
verb intransitively or transitively. Let's go
over those verbs:
aumentare (to increase)
bruciare (to burn)
cambiare (to change)
continuare (to continue)
diminuire (to reduce/decrease)
passare (to go past)
salire (to go up/get on)
saltare (to jump)
scendere (to go down/get off)
Another way of understanding which auxiliary verb
(helping verb) to use:
Essere or
In Italian passato prossimo, we have two auxiliary verbs: essere
and avere. Let's go over the different rules for which auxiliary verb
to use:
Essere is used when we have:
→ Intransitive verbs (verbs with no direct object)
→ Movement verbs (examples are andare (to go), arrivare (to
arrive) and tornare (to return))
→ State verbs (examples are stare (to be) and rimanere (to stay))
→ Changing state verbs (examples are diventare (to become),
nascere (to be born) and morire (to die)
→ Reflexive verbs (verbs preceded by a pronoun, such as mi)
→ Other verbs: accadere/succedere (to happen), bastare (to be
enough/need), costare (to cost), dipendere (to depend),
dispiacere (to displease/mind), mancare (to miss), occorrere (to
be necessary), parere (to seem/think), piacere (to like), sembrare
(to seem) and toccare (touch).
When we use essere as the auxiliary verb, the past participle
matches in gender and quantity.
Avere is used when
we have:
→ Transitive verbs (verbs followed by a direct object)
Certain verbs can use either essere or avere — it depends on
whether we use the verb intransitively or transitively. Let's go over
those verbs:
aumentare (to increase)
bruciare (to burn)
cambiare (to change)
continuare (to continue)
diminuire (to reduce/decrease)
passare (to go past)
salire (to go up/get on)
scendere (to go down/get off)
SuperCiao 1B
La Bici - parts of a bike
1. A continuare con Inno nazionali di Italia .... SuperCiao IB
Tutti devono cantare
2. Inno del popolo di Veneto
3. Cultura degli stati Italiani e la storia del RISORGIMENTO
Capitolo 3
L´ introduzione
Tutti cantano
Fratelli d'Italia
Italian unification
History of Italy
Italian unification (Italian: Risorgimento [risordʒiˈmento],
meaning the Resurgence) was the political and social movement
that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into
the single state of the Kingdom of Italy in the 19th century.
Despite a lack of consensus on the exact dates for the beginning
and end of this period, many scholars agree that the process
began in 1815 with the Congress of Vienna and the end of
Napoleonic rule, and ended in 1870 with the Capture of Rome.
Some of the terre irredente did not, however, join the Kingdom
of Italy until after World War I with the Treaty of SaintGermain. Some nationalists see the Armistice of Villa Giusti as
the end of unification.[3]
1 Background
2 Early revolutionary activity
o 2.1 Two Sicilies insurrection
o 2.2 Piedmont insurrection
o 2.3 1830 insurrections
3 Revolutions of 1848–1849 and First Italian Independence
4 Towards the Kingdom of Italy
o 4.1 The Second Italian Independence War of 1859 and
its aftermath
o 4.2 The Mille expedition
4.3 Defeat of the Kingdom of Naples
o 4.4 Roman Question
5 Third War of Independence (1866)
6 Rome
o 6.1 Mentana and Villa Glori
o 6.2 The Battle of Villa Glori
 6.2.1 Results
o 6.3 Memorial
o 6.4 Capture of Rome
7 Risorgimento and Irredentism
o 7.1 Irredentism and the two World Wars
o 7.2 After World War II
o 7.3 Criticism of Risorgimento
8 Cultural depictions
9 Maps of Italian unification
10 See also
11 References
12 Bibliography
o 12.1 Italian
13 External links
Map of Italian unification during 1829–71
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Italy gradually
developed into a system of city-states. This system lasted
through the Renaissance but began to deteriorate with the rise of
modern nation-states in the early modern period. Italy, including
the Papal States, then became the site of proxy fights between
the major powers, notably the Holy Roman Empire (later
Austria) and France. In the 1300s, Italian writers had expressed
their opposition to foreign domination. For example, Petrarch's
Italia Mia stated that the "ancient valor in Italian hearts is not
yet dead".[4] Four verses from Italia Mia were quoted in Niccolò
Machiavelli's The Prince, which looked for a political leader
who would unite Italy «to free her from the barbarians».[5]
A sense of Italian national identity was reflected in Gian Rinaldo
Carli's Della Patria degli Italiani,[6] written in 1764, a very
famous "much-quoted article telling how a stranger entered a
café in Milan and puzzled its occupants by saying that he was
neither a foreigner nor a Milanese. 'Then what are you?' they
asked. 'I am an Italian,' he explained."[7] Nationalism increased
in the early 19th century, when Italy, like much of Europe, fell
under the sway of Napoleon.
As Napoleon's reign began to fail, other national monarchs he
had installed tried to keep their thrones by feeding nationalistic
sentiments, setting the stage for the revolutions to come. Among
these monarchs were the viceroy of Italy, Eugène de
Beauharnais, and the king of Naples, Joachim Murat. De
Beauharnais tried to get Austrian approval for his succession to
the Kingdom of Italy. On 30 March 1815, Murat issued the
Rimini Proclamation, which called on Italians to revolt against
their Austrian occupiers.[8] Following the defeat of Napoleonic
France, the Congress of Vienna (1815) was convened to redraw
the map of Europe. In Italy, the Congress restored the preNapoleonic patchwork of independent governments, either
directly ruled or strongly influenced by the prevailing European
powers, particularly Austria.
At the time, the struggle for Italian unification was perceived to
be waged primarily against the Austrian Empire and the
Habsburgs, since they directly controlled the predominantly
Italian-speaking northeastern part of present-day Italy and were,
together, the most powerful force against unification. The
Austrian Empire vigorously repressed nationalist sentiment
growing on the Italian peninsula, as well as in the other parts of
Habsburg domains. The Austrian diplomat Klemens von
Metternich, an influential diplomat at the Congress of Vienna,
stated that the word Italy was nothing more than "a geographic
Artistic and literary sentiment also turned towards nationalism;
and perhaps the most famous of proto-nationalist works was
Alessandro Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed). Some
read this novel as a thinly veiled allegorical critique of Austrian
rule. The novel was published in 1827 and extensively revised in
the following years. The 1840 version of I Promessi Sposi used
a standardized version of the Tuscan dialect, a conscious effort
by the author to provide a language and force people to learn it.
Those in favour of unification also faced opposition from the
Holy See, particularly after failed attempts to broker a
confederation with the Papal States, which would have left the
Papacy with some measure of autonomy over the region. The
pope at the time, Pius IX, feared that giving up power in the
region could mean the persecution of Italian Catholics.[10]
Even among those who wanted to see the peninsula unified into
one country, different groups could not agree on what form a
unified state would take. Vincenzo Gioberti, a Piedmontese
priest, had suggested a confederation of Italian states under
rulership of the Pope. His book, Of the Moral and Civil Primacy
of the Italians, was published in 1843 and created a link between
the Papacy and the Risorgimento. Many leading revolutionaries
wanted a republic, but eventually it was a king and his chief
minister who had the power to unite the Italian states as a
Giuseppe Mazzini
One of the most influential revolutionary groups was the
Carbonari (coalmongers), a secret organization formed in
southern Italy early in the 19th century. Inspired by the
principles of the French Revolution, its members were mainly
drawn from the middle class and intellectuals. After the
Congress of Vienna divided the Italian peninsula among the
European powers, the Carbonari movement spread into the
Papal States, the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Grand Duchy of
Tuscany, the Duchy of Modena, and the Kingdom of LombardyVenetia.
The revolutionaries were so feared that the reigning authorities
passed an ordinance condemning to death anyone who attended
a Carbonari meeting. The society, however, continued to exist
and was at the root of many of the political disturbances in Italy
from 1820 until after unification. The Carbonari condemned
Napoleon III — who, as a young man, had fought on the side of
the Carbonari — to death for failing to unite Italy, and the group
almost succeeded in assassinating him in 1858. Many leaders of
the unification movement were at one time members of this
Two prominent radical figures in the unification movement were
Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi. The more
conservative constitutional monarchic figures included Count
Cavour and Victor Emmanuel II, who would later become the
first king of a united Italy. Mazzini's activity in revolutionary
movements caused him to be imprisoned soon after he joined.
While in prison, he concluded that Italy could — and therefore
should — be unified and formulated his program for
establishing a free, independent, and republican nation with
Rome as its capital. After Mazzini's release in 1831, he went to
Marseille, where he organized a new political society called La
Giovine Italia (Young Italy). The new society, whose motto was
"God and the People", sought the unification of Italy. Garibaldi,
a native of Nice (then part of the Kingdom of Sardinia),
participated in an uprising in Piedmont in 1834, was sentenced
to death, and escaped to South America. He spent fourteen years
there, taking part in several wars, and returned to Italy in 1848.
Early revolutionary activity]
Two Sicilies insurrection
In 1820, Spaniards successfully revolted over disputes about
their Constitution, which influenced the development of a
similar movement in Italy. Inspired by the Spaniards, (who, in
1812, had created their constitution) a regiment in the army of
the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, commanded by Guglielmo Pepe, a
Carbonaro, mutinied, conquering the peninsular part of Two
Sicilies. The king, Ferdinand I, agreed to enact a new
constitution. The revolutionaries, though, failed to court popular
support and fell to Austrian troops of the Holy Alliance.
Ferdinand abolished the constitution and began systematically
persecuting known revolutionaries. Many supporters of
revolution in Sicily, including the scholar Michele Amari, were
forced into exile during the decades that followed.
Piedmont insurrection
The leader of the 1821 revolutionary movement in Piedmont
was Santorre di Santarosa, who wanted to remove the Austrians
and unify Italy under the House of Savoy. The Piedmont revolt
started in Alessandria, where troops adopted the green, white,
and red tricolore of the Cisalpine Republic. The king's regent,
prince Charles Albert, acting while the king Charles Felix was
away, approved a new constitution to appease the
revolutionaries, but when the king returned he disavowed the
constitution and requested assistance from the Holy Alliance. Di
Santarosa's troops were defeated, and the would-be Piedmontese
revolutionary fled to Paris.
1830 insurrections
By 1830, revolutionary sentiment in favour of a unified Italy
began to experience a resurgence, and a series of insurrections
laid the groundwork for the creation of one nation along the
Italian peninsula.
The Duke of Modena, Francis IV, was an ambitious noble, and
he hoped to become king of Northern Italy by increasing his
territory. In 1826, Francis made it clear that he would not act
against those who subverted opposition toward the unification of
Italy. Encouraged by the declaration, revolutionaries in the
region began to organize.
During the July Revolution of 1830 in France, revolutionaries
forced the king to abdicate and created the July Monarchy with
encouragement from the new French king, Louis-Philippe.
Louis-Philippe had promised revolutionaries such as Ciro
Menotti that he would intervene if Austria tried to interfere in
Italy with troops. Fearing he would lose his throne, LouisPhilippe did not, however, intervene in Menotti's planned
uprising. The Duke of Modena abandoned his Carbonari
supporters, arrested Menotti and other conspirators in 1831, and
once again conquered his duchy with help from the Austrian
troops. Menotti was executed, and the idea of a revolution
centered in Modena faded.
At the same time, other insurrections arose in the Papal
Legations of Bologna, Forlì, Ravenna, Imola, Ferrara, Pesaro
and Urbino. These successful revolutions, which adopted the
tricolore in favour of the Papal flag, quickly spread to cover all
the Papal Legations, and their newly installed local governments
proclaimed the creation of a united Italian nation.
The revolts in Modena and the Papal Legations inspired similar
activity in the Duchy of Parma, where the tricolore flag was
adopted. The Parmese duchess Marie Louise left the city during
the political upheaval.
Insurrected provinces planned to unite as the Province Italiane
unite (united Italian Provinces), which prompted Pope Gregory
XVI to ask for Austrian help against the rebels. Metternich
warned Louis-Philippe that Austria had no intention of letting
Italian matters be, and that French intervention would not be
tolerated. Louis-Philippe withheld any military help and even
arrested Italian patriots living in France.
In the spring of 1831, the Austrian army began its march across
the Italian peninsula, slowly crushing resistance in each
province that had revolted. This military action suppressed much
of the fledgling revolutionary movement, and resulted in the
arrest of many radical leaders, including Menotti.
Revolutions of 1848–1849 and First Italian Independence
Main article: Revolutions of 1848 in the Italian states
Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour
On 5 January 1848, the revolutionary disturbances began with a
civil disobedience strike in Lombardy, as citizens stopped
smoking and playing the lottery, which denied Austria the
associated tax revenue. Shortly after this, revolts began on the
island of Sicily and in Naples against King Ferdinand, who
conceded as he had in 1821 and granted The Kingdom of Two
Sicilies a constitution, as well as releasing political prisoners.
In February 1848, there were revolts in Tuscany that were
relatively nonviolent, after which Grand Duke Ferdinand
granted the Tuscans a constitution. A breakaway republican
provisional government formed in Tuscany during February
shortly after this concession. On 21 February, Pope Pius IX
granted a constitution to the Papal States, which was both
unexpected and surprising considering the historical
recalcitrance of the Papacy. On 23 February 1848, King Louis
Philippe of France was forced to flee Paris, and a republic was
proclaimed. By the time the revolution in Paris occurred, three
states of Italy had constitutions — four if one considers Sicily to
be a separate state.
First clash at Goito (8 April 1848)
Lithography by Stanislao Grimaldi Dal Poggetto
Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1866
Meanwhile, in Lombardy, tensions increased until the Milanese
and Venetians rose in revolt on 18 March 1848. The insurrection
in Milan succeeded in expelling the Austrian garrison after five
days of street fights –18 March till 22 March– (Cinque giornate
di Milano). An Austrian army under Marshal Josef Radetzky
besieged Milan, but due to defection of many of his troops and
the support of the Milanese for the revolt, they were forced to
Soon, Charles Albert, the King of Sardinia (who ruled Piedmont
and Savoy), urged by the Venetians and Milanese to aid their
cause, decided this was the moment to unify Italy and declared
war on Austria (First Italian Independence War). After initial
successes at Goito and Peschiera, he was decisively defeated by
Radetzky at the Battle of Custoza on 24 July. An armistice was
agreed to, and Radetzky regained control of all of LombardyVenetia save Venice itself, where the Republic of San Marco
was proclaimed under Daniele Manin.
While Radetzky consolidated control of Lombardy-Venetia and
Charles Albert licked his wounds, matters took a more serious
turn in other parts of Italy. The monarchs who had reluctantly
agreed to constitutions in March came into conflict with their
constitutional ministers. At first, the republics had the upper
hand, forcing the monarchs to flee their capitals, including Pope
Pius IX.
Initially, Pius IX had been something of a reformer, but conflicts
with the revolutionaries soured him on the idea of constitutional
government. In November 1848, following the assassination of
his Minister Pellegrino Rossi, Pius IX fled just before Garibaldi
and other patriots arrived in Rome. In early 1849, elections were
held for a Constituent Assembly, which proclaimed a Roman
Republic on February 9. On 2 February 1849, at a political rally
held in the Apollo Theater, a young Roman priest, the Abbé
Arduini, had made a speech in which he had declared that the
temporal power of the popes was a "historical lie, a political
imposture, and a religious immorality.".[11] In early March 1849,
Mazzini arrived in Rome and was appointed Chief Minister. In
the Constitution of the Roman Republic,[12] religious freedom
was guaranteed by article 7, the independence of the pope as
head of the Catholic Church was guaranteed by article 8 of the
Principi fondamentali, while the death penalty was abolished by
article 5, and free public education was provided by article 8 of
the Titolo I.
Before the powers could respond to the founding of the Roman
Republic, Charles Albert, whose army had been trained by the
exiled Polish general Albert Chrzanowski, renewed the war with
Austria. He was quickly defeated by Radetzky at Novara on 23
March 1849. Charles Albert abdicated in favour of his son,
Victor Emmanuel II, and Piedmontese ambitions to unite Italy or
conquer Lombardy were, for the moment, brought to an end.
The war ended with a treaty signed on 9 August. A popular
revolt broke out in Brescia on the same day as the defeat at
Novara, but was suppressed by the Austrians ten days later.
There remained the Roman and Venetian Republics. In April, a
French force under Charles Oudinot was sent to Rome.
Apparently, the French first wished to mediate between the Pope
and his subjects, but soon the French were determined to restore
the Pope. After a two-month siege, Rome capitulated on 29 June
1849 and the Pope was restored. Garibaldi and Mazzini once
again fled into exile — in 1850 Garibaldi went to New York
City. Meanwhile, the Austrians besieged Venice, which was
forced to surrender on 24 August. Pro-independence fighters
were hanged en masse in Belfiore, while the Austrians moved to
restore order in central Italy, restoring the princes who had been
expelled and establishing their control over the Papal Legations.
The revolutions were thus completely crushed.
Towards the Kingdom of Italy[edit]
The Second Italian Independence War of 1859 and its
Main article: Second Italian War of Independence
Victor Emmanuel II
Although Charles Albert had been soundly defeated in his bid to
drive the Austrians from Italy, the Piedmontese did not abandon
all hope of Italian domination. Camillo di Cavour, who became
president of the Council of Ministers in 1852, also had
expansionist ambitions. Cavour saw that Piedmont would not be
able to add to its territory singlehandedly. Instead, he hoped for
aid from Britain and France in expelling the Austrians from
Italy. An attempt to gain British and French favour by
supporting them in the Crimean War was unsuccessful, as Italian
matters were ignored at the Congress of Paris. Nevertheless, the
war achieved a useful objective — it left Austria, which had
uncomfortably tried a balance between the two sides during the
war, dangerously isolated.
On 14 January 1858 the Italian nationalist Felice Orsini
attempted to assassinate the French Emperor Napoleon III.
Writing from prison, Orsini did not plead for his life, accepting
death for his role in the failed assassination, but rather appealed
to Napoleon III to fulfill his destiny by aiding the forces of
Italian nationalism. Napoleon, who had belonged to the
Carbonari in his youth, and saw himself as in tune with the ideas
of the day, became convinced it was his destiny to do something
for Italy. In the summer of 1858, Cavour met with Napoleon III
at Plombières and the two signed a secret agreement, known as
the Patto di Plombières ("Pact of Plombières").[13]
Cavour and Napoleon III agreed to a joint war against Austria.
Piedmont would gain the Austrian territories of Lombardy and
Venetia and some territories of the former Venetian
Commonwealth in the Adriatic, as well as the Duchies of Parma
and Modena, while France would be rewarded with Piedmont's
territories in Savoy and Nice. Central and Southern Italy, being
largely under-developed and of little interest to the wealthier
north, would remain largely as it was, although there was some
talk that the Emperor's cousin Prince Napoleon would replace
the Habsburgs in Tuscany. To allow the French to intervene
without appearing as aggressors, Cavour was to provoke the
Austrians by encouraging revolutionary activity in Lombardy.
At first, things did not work out as planned. The Austrians,
ignorant of the agreement of Plombières, were surprisingly
patient in dealing with the Piedmontese-inspired insurrections.
Kingdom of Sardinia's mobilization in March 1859 was
something of an admission of defeat, as it appeared that the
strategy of provoking the Austrians into aggression had failed.
Without Austrian aggression, the French could not intervene;
and without French support, Cavour was unwilling to risk war.
However, the Austrians conveniently made their opponents' task
easier by sending an ultimatum to the Piedmontese demanding
demobilization. The Piedmontese could conveniently reject this
and, by making Austria seem the aggressor, allowed the French
to intervene.
The war itself was quite short. The Austrian advance into
Piedmont was incompetent, and they were unable to secure the
Alpine passes before the arrival of the French army, led
personally by Napoleon III. At the Battle of Magenta on 4 June,
the French and Sardinians were victorious over the Austrian
army of Count Ferencz Gyulai, leading to Austrian withdrawal
from most of Lombardy and a triumphal entry by Napoleon and
Victor Emmanuel into Milan. On 24 June a second battle was
fought between the two armies at Solferino. This bloody
engagement, at which the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph had
taken personal command of his troops, saw little skill
demonstrated by either emperor, but the French were victorious.
The Austrians withdrew behind the Quadrilateral of fortresses
on the borders of Venetia. A French and Sardinian landing force
conquered the Island of Lussino (today Losinj).
Garibaldi leads the troops in the Battle of Varese
Napoleon III sought peace at this point. Upon touring the
Solferino battlefield, he was aghast at the casualties. He feared
that a long and bloody campaign would be necessary to conquer
Venetia, which, coupled with fear for his position at home,
worry about possible intervention by German states, and dislike
of a too-powerful Piedmont-Sardinia, led him to look for a way
out. On 11 July he met privately with Franz Joseph at
Villafranca, without the knowledge of his Piedmontese allies.
The two agreed on a settlement to the conflict. The Austrians
would retain Venetia, but would cede Lombardy to the French,
who would then immediately cede it to Kingdom of Sardinia
(the Austrians were unwilling to cede the area to Kingdom of
Sardinia directly). Otherwise, the Italian borders would remain
unchanged. In Central Italy, where the authorities had been
expelled following the outbreak of war, the rulers of Tuscany,
Modena, and Parma, who had fled to Austria, would be restored,
while Papal control of the Legations would be resumed. Because
Napoleon had not fulfilled the terms of his agreement with
Piedmont, he would not gain Savoy and Nice.
The Sardinians were outraged at this betrayal. Cavour demanded
that the war be carried on regardless and resigned when Victor
Emmanuel saw that acquiescence was the only realistic option.
But most of the Villafranca agreement would prove a dead letter
long before it was formalized by the Treaty of Zürich in
November. Sardinians troops occupied the smaller Italian states
and the Legations, and the French were unwilling to pressure
them to withdraw and allow the restoration of the old order,
while the Austrians no longer had the power to compel it. In
December, Tuscany, Parma, Modena, and the Legations were
unified into the United Provinces of Central Italy, and,
encouraged by the British, began seeking annexation by the
Kingdom of Sardinia.
Cavour, who triumphantly returned to power in January 1860,
wished to annex the territories, but realized that French
acquiescence was necessary. Napoleon III agreed to recognize
the Piedmontese annexation in exchange for Savoy and Nice. On
20 March 1860, the annexations occurred. Now the Kingdom of
Sardinia controlled most of Northern and Central Italy.
The Mille expedition
Main article: Expedition of the Thousand
Carte de visite of a Garibaldino and member of the Thousand
Red Shirts, Giuseppe Barboglio. He wears the rare Medal of the
Thousand or Marsala Medal, issued by the city of Palermo in
Thus, by the spring of 1860, only four states remained in
Italy — the Austrians in Venetia, the Papal States (now minus
the Legations), the new expanded Kingdom of PiedmontSardinia, and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. There is no
special reason to think that Cavour now envisaged the
unification of the rest of Italy under Piedmontese rule since
these areas were of little interest economically and could be a
financial burden. However, some sources indicate that many
northerners, including Cavour, thought that southern Italy
possessed great wealth.
Giuseppe Garibaldi entering Palermo
Francis II of the Two Sicilies, the son and successor of
Ferdinand II (the infamous "King Bomba"), had a wellorganized army of 150,000 men. But his father's tyranny had
inspired many secret societies, and the kingdom's Swiss
Mercenaries were unexpectedly recalled home under the terms
of a new Swiss law that forbade Swiss citizens to serve as
mercenaries. This left Francis with only his mostly unreliable
native troops. It was a critical opportunity for the unification
movement. In April 1860, separate insurrections began in
Messina and Palermo in Sicily, both of which had demonstrated
a history of opposing Neapolitan rule. These rebellions were
easily suppressed by loyal troops.
In the meantime, Garibaldi, a native of Nice, was deeply
resentful of the French annexation of his home city. He hoped to
use his supporters to regain the territory. Cavour, terrified of
Garibaldi provoking a war with France, persuaded Garibaldi to
instead concentrate his forces on the Sicilian rebellions. On 6
May 1860, Garibaldi and his cadre of about a thousand Italian
volunteers (called I Mille), steamed from Quarto near Genoa,
and after a stop in Talamone on 11 May landed near Marsala on
the west coast of Sicily.
Near Salemi, Garibaldi's army attracted scattered bands of
rebels, and the combined forces defeated the opposing army at
Calatafimi on 13 May. Within three days, the invading force had
swelled to 4,000 men. On 14 May Garibaldi proclaimed himself
dictator of Sicily, in the name of Victor Emmanuel. After
waging various successful but hard-fought battles, Garibaldi
advanced upon the Sicilian capital of Palermo, announcing his
arrival by beacon-fires kindled at night. On 27 May the force
laid siege to the Porta Termini of Palermo, while a mass uprising
of street and barricade fighting broke out within the city.
With Palermo deemed insurgent, Neapolitan general Ferdinando
Lanza, arriving in Sicily with some 25,000 troops, furiously
bombarded Palermo nearly to ruins. With the intervention of a
British admiral, an armistice was declared, leading to the
Neapolitan troops' departure and surrender of the town to
Garibaldi and his much smaller army.
This resounding success demonstrated the weakness of the
Neapolitan government. Garibaldi's fame spread and many
Italians began to consider him a national hero. Doubt, confusion
and dismay overtook the Neapolitan court — the king hastily
summoned his ministry and offered to restore an earlier
constitution, but these efforts failed to rebuild the peoples' trust
in Bourbon governance.
Six weeks after the surrender of Palermo, Garibaldi attacked
Messina. Within a week its citadel surrendered. Having
conquered Sicily, Garibaldi proceeded to the mainland, crossing
the Strait of Messina with the Neapolitan fleet at hand. The
garrison at Reggio Calabria promptly surrendered. Progressing
northward, the populace everywhere hailed him and military
resistance faded: on 18 and 21 August people of Basilicata and
Puglia, two regions of the Kingdom of Naples, had
autonomously declared their annexation to the Kingdom of Italy.
At the end of August Garibaldi was at Cosenza, and on 5
September at Eboli, near Salerno. Meanwhile, Naples had
declared a state of siege, and on 6 September the king gathered
the 4,000 troops still faithful to him and retreated over the
Volturno river. The next day Garibaldi, with a few followers,
entered by train into Naples, where the people openly welcomed
Defeat of the Kingdom of Naples
Garibaldi in Naples, 1861
Though Garibaldi had easily taken the capital, the Neapolitan
army had not joined the rebellion en masse, holding firm along
the Volturno River. Garibaldi's irregular bands of about 25,000
men could not drive away the king or take the fortresses of
Capua and Gaeta without the help of the Sardinian army.
The Sardinian army, however, could only arrive by traversing
the Papal States, which extended across the entire center of the
peninsula. Ignoring the political will of the Holy See, Garibaldi
announced his intent to proclaim a "Kingdom of Italy" from
Rome, the capital city of Pope Pius IX. Seeing this as a threat to
the domain of the Catholic Church, Pius threatened
excommunication for those who supported such an effort. Afraid
that Garibaldi would attack Rome, Catholics worldwide sent
money and volunteers for the Papal Army, which was
commanded by General Louis Lamoricière, a French exile.
The settling of the peninsular standoff now rested with Louis
Napoleon. If the French emperor had let Garibaldi have his way
the latter would likely have ended the temporal sovereignty of
the pope and made Rome the capital of Italy. Napoleon,
however, may have arranged with Cavour to leave the king of
Sardinia free to take possession of Naples, Umbria and the other
provinces, provided that Rome and the "patrimony of St. Peter"
were left intact.
It was in this situation that a Sardinian force of two army corps,
under Fanti and Cialdini, marched to the frontier of the Papal
States, its objective being not Rome but Naples. The Papal
troops under Lamoricière advanced against Cialdini, but were
quickly defeated and besieged in the fortress of Ancona, finally
surrendering on 29 September. On 9 October, Victor Emmanuel
II arrived and took command. There was no longer a papal army
to oppose him, and the march southward proceeded unopposed.
Victor Emmanuel II meets Garibaldi near Teano.
Garibaldi distrusted the pragmatic Cavour, particularly due to
Cavour's role in the French annexation of Nice, Garibaldi's
birthplace. Nevertheless, he accepted the command of Victor
Emmanuel. When the king entered Sessa Aurunca at the head of
his army, Garibaldi willingly handed over his dictatorial power.
After greeting Victor Emmanuel in Teano with the title of King
of Italy, Garibaldi entered Naples riding beside the king.
Garibaldi then retired to the island of Caprera, while the
remaining work of unifying the peninsula was left to Victor
The progress of the Sardinian army compelled Francis II to give
up his line along the river, and he eventually took refuge with
his best troops in the fortress of Gaeta. His courage boosted by
his resolute young wife, Duchess Marie Sophie of Bavaria,
Francis mounted a stubborn defence that lasted three months.
But European allies refused him aid, food and munitions became
scarce, and disease set in, so the garrison was forced to
surrender. Nonetheless, ragtag groups of Neapolitans loyal to
Francis would fight on against the Italian government for years
to come.
The fall of Gaeta brought the unification movement to the brink
of fruition — only Rome and Venetia remained to be added. On
18 February 1861, Victor Emmanuel assembled the deputies of
the first Italian Parliament in Turin. On 17 March 1861, the
Parliament proclaimed Victor Emmanuel II King of Italy, and on
27 March 1861 Rome was declared Capital of Italy, even though
it was not actually in the new Kingdom.
Three months later Cavour, having seen his life's work nearly
complete, died. When he was given the last rites, Cavour
purportedly said: "Italy is made. All is safe."[17]
Roman Question
Main article: Roman Question
Mazzini was discontented with the perpetuation of monarchical
government, and continued to agitate for a republic. With the
motto "Free from the Alps to the Adriatic", the unification
movement set its gaze on Rome and Venice. There were
obstacles, however. A challenge against the Pope's temporal
domain was viewed with great distrust by Catholics around the
world, and French troops were stationed in Rome. Victor
Emmanuel was wary of the international repercussions of
attacking the Papal States, and discouraged his subjects from
participating in revolutionary ventures with such intentions.
Nonetheless, Garibaldi believed that the government would
support him if he attacked Rome. Frustrated at inaction by the
king, and bristling over perceived snubs, he came out of
retirement to organize a new venture. In June 1862, he sailed
from Genoa and landed again at Palermo, where he gathered
volunteers for the campaign, under the slogan Roma o Morte
(Rome or Death). The garrison of Messina, loyal to the king's
instructions, barred their passage to the mainland. Garibaldi's
force, now numbering two thousand, turned south and set sail
from Catania. Garibaldi declared that he would enter Rome as a
victor or perish beneath its walls. He landed at Melito on 14
August and marched at once into the Calabrian mountains.
Far from supporting this endeavour, the Italian government was
quite disapproving. General Cialdini dispatched a division of the
regular army, under Colonel Pallavicino, against the volunteer
bands. On 28 August the two forces met in the Aspromonte. One
of the regulars fired a chance shot, and several volleys followed,
but Garibaldi forbade his men to return fire on fellow subjects of
the Kingdom of Italy. The volunteers suffered several casualties,
and Garibaldi himself was wounded; many were taken prisoner.
Garibaldi was taken by steamer to Varignano, where he was
honorably imprisoned for a time, but finally released.
Meanwhile, Victor Emmanuel sought a safer means to the
acquisition of the Papal States. He negotiated the removal of the
French troops from Rome through a treaty, the September
Convention, with Napoleon III in September 1864, by which the
emperor agreed to withdraw his troops within two years. The
pope was to expand his own army during that time so as to be
self-sufficient. In December 1866, the last of the French troops
departed from Rome, in spite of the efforts of the pope to retain
them. By their withdrawal, Italy (excluding Venetia and Savoy)
was freed from the presence of foreign soldiers.
The seat of government was moved in 1865 from Turin, the old
Sardinian capital, to Florence, where the first Italian parliament
was summoned. This arrangement created such disturbances in
Turin that the king was forced to leave that city hastily for his
new capital.
Third War of Independence (1866)
Main article: Third Italian War of Independence
Battle of Custoza
In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Austria contested with
Prussia the position of leadership among the German states. The
Kingdom of Italy seized the opportunity to capture Venetia from
Austrian rule and allied itself with Prussia. Austria tried to
persuade the Italian government to accept Venetia in exchange
for non-intervention. However, on 8 April, Italy and Prussia
signed an agreement that supported Italy's acquisition of
Venetia, and on 20 June Italy declared war on Austria. Within
the context of Italian unification, the Austro-Prussian war is
called Third Independence War, after the First (1848) and the
Second (1859).
Victor Emmanuel hastened to lead an army across the Mincio to
the invasion of Venetia, while Garibaldi was to invade the Tyrol
with his Hunters of the Alps. The enterprise ended in disaster.
The Italian army encountered the Austrians at Custoza on 24
June and suffered a defeat. On 20 July the Regia Marina was
defeated in the battle of Lissa. Italy's fortunes were not all so
dismal, though. The following day, Garibaldi's volunteers
defeated an Austrian force in the battle of Bezzecca, and moved
toward Trento.
Meanwhile, Prussian Prime Minister Bismarck saw that his own
ends in the war had been achieved, and signed an armistice with
Austria on 27 July. Italy officially laid down its arms on 12
August. Garibaldi was called back from his successful march
and resigned with a brief telegram reading only "Obbedisco" ("I
In spite of Italy's poor showing, Prussia's success on the northern
front obliged Austria to cede Venetia. Under the terms of a
peace treaty signed in Vienna on October 12, Emperor Franz
Joseph had already agreed to cede Venetia to Napoleon III in
exchange for non-intervention in the Austro-Prussian War and
thus Napoleon III ceded Venetia to Italy on 19 October in
exchange for the earlier Italian acquiescence to the French
annexation of Savoy and Nice.
In the peace treaty of Vienna, it was written that the annexation
of Venetia would have become effective only after a
referendum — taken on 21 and 22 October — to let the
Venetian people express their will about being annexed or not to
the Kingdom of Italy. Historians suggest that the referendum in
Venetia was held under military pressure,[18] as a mere 0.01% of
voters (69 out of more than 642,000 ballots) voted against the
annexation.[19] However it should be admitted that the reestablishment of a Republic of Venice orphan of Istria and
Dalmatia had little chances to develop. Many Venetian
independence movements (see Venetism) refer to this deceit to
claim for independence of Veneto.
Austrian forces put up some opposition to the invading Italians,
to little effect. Victor Emmanuel entered Venice and Venetian
land, and performed an act of homage in the Piazza San Marco.
Mentana and Villa Glori[edit]
The national party, with Garibaldi at its head, still aimed at the
possession of Rome, as the historic capital of the peninsula. In
1867 Garibaldi made a second attempt to capture Rome, but the
papal army, strengthened with a new French auxiliary force,
defeated his badly armed volunteers at Mentana. Subsequently, a
French garrison remained in Civitavecchia until August 1870,
when it was recalled following the outbreak of the FrancoPrussian War.
Battle of Mentana
Before the defeat at Mentana, Enrico Cairoli, his brother
Giovanni and 70 companions had made a daring attempt to take
Rome. The group had embarked in Terni and floated down the
Tiber. Their arrival in Rome was to coincide with an uprising
inside the city. On 22 October 1867, the revolutionaries inside
Rome seized control of the Capitoline Hill and of Piazza
Colonna. Unfortunately for the Cairolis and their companions,
by the time they arrived at Villa Glori, on the northern outskirts
of Rome, the uprising had already been suppressed. During the
night of 22 October 1867, the group was surrounded by Papal
Zouaves, and Giovanni was severely wounded. Enrico was
mortally wounded and bled to death in Giovanni's arms.
The Battle of Villa Glori[edit]
This conflict took place at Villa Glori on the night of 23 October
1867, as part of Giuseppe Garibaldi's efforts to liberate Rome
from papal rule. A group of seventy volunteers led by Enrico
Cairoli, Pavia and Terni joined the revolutionary junta in Rome
on 20 October, after having sailed down the Tiber and landing at
the confluence with the Aniene river. They reached a small hill
on the east bank near Mount Parioli, where he had an
appointment with other conspirators, and took shelter in a
nearby farmhouse.
Meanwhile, two volunteers, Joseph Monti and Gaetano Tognetti,
succeeded in exploding the Serristori barracks; both were
captured and beheaded on 24 November 1868, despite the
request for clemency that Vittorio Emanuele II had sent to Pius
In the afternoon of 23 October, volunteers consisting of about
300 "foreign police" officers (mostly Swiss) for about an hour
defended themselves in the midst of vineyards and twice
counterattacked with the bayonet. In the clashes Enrico Cairoli
died, while his brother Giovanni was seriously injured. Giovanni
Cairoli never recovered from his wounds and died on 11
September 1869 in Belgirate, in the summer house of his
mother, Adelaide.
With the Cairoli dead, command was assumed by John Tobacco
who had retreated back with the remaining volunteers into the
villa, where they continued to fire at the papal soldiers, which
drew back in the evening and retired to Rome. The survivors
retreated to the positions of Garibaldi, the Italian border.
At the summit of Villa Glori, near the spot where Enrico died,
there is a plain white column dedicated to the Cairoli brothers
and their 70 companions. About 100 meters to the left from the
top of the Spanish Steps, there is a bronze monument of
Giovanni holding the dying Enrico in his arm. A plaque lists the
names of their companions. Giovanni never recovered from his
wounds and from the tragic events of 1867. According to an
eyewitness,[20] when Giovanni died on 11 September 1869:
In the last moments, he had a vision of Garibaldi and seemed to
greet him with enthusiasm. I heard (so says a friend who was
present) him say three times: "The union of the French to the
papal political supporters was the terrible fact!" he was thinking
about Mentana. Many times he called Enrico, that he might help
him! then he said: "but we will certainly win; we will go to
Capture of Rome]
Main article: Capture of Rome
In July 1870, the Franco-Prussian War began. In early August,
the French Emperor Napoleon III recalled his garrison from
Rome, thus no longer providing protection to the Papal State.
Widespread public demonstrations illustrated the demand that
the Italian government take Rome. The Italian government took
no direct action until the collapse of the Second French Empire
at the Battle of Sedan. King Victor Emmanuel II sent Count
Gustavo Ponza di San Martino to Pius IX with a personal letter
offering a face-saving proposal that would have allowed the
peaceful entry of the Italian Army into Rome, under the guise of
offering protection to the pope. The Papacy, however, exhibited
something less than enthusiasm for the plan:
The Pope’s reception of San Martino (10 September 1870) was
unfriendly. Pius IX allowed violent outbursts to escape him.
Throwing the King’s letter upon the table he exclaimed, "Fine
loyalty! You are all a set of vipers, of whited sepulchres, and
wanting in faith." He was perhaps alluding to other letters
received from the King. After, growing calmer, he exclaimed: "I
am no prophet, nor son of a prophet, but I tell you, you will
never enter Rome!" San Martino was so mortified that he left the
next day
The Italian Army, commanded by General Raffaele Cadorna,
crossed the papal frontier on 11 September and advanced slowly
toward Rome, hoping that a peaceful entry could be negotiated.
The Italian Army reached the Aurelian Walls on 19 September
and placed Rome under a state of siege. Although now
convinced of his unavoidable defeat, Pius IX remained
intransigent to the bitter end and forced his troops to put up a
token resistance. On 20 September, after a cannonade of three
hours had breached the Aurelian Walls at Porta Pia, the
Bersaglieri entered Rome and marched down Via Pia, which
was subsequently renamed Via XX Settembre. 49 Italian soldiers
and four officers, and 19 papal troops died. Rome and Latium
were annexed to the Kingdom of Italy after a plebiscite held on
2 October. The results of this plebiscite were accepted by decree
of 9 October.
Initially the Italian government had offered to let the pope keep
the Leonine City, but the Pope rejected the offer because
acceptance would have been an implied endorsement of the
legitimacy of the Italian kingdom's rule over his former domain.
Pius IX declared himself a prisoner in the Vatican, although he
was not actually restrained from coming and going. Rather,
being deposed and stripped of much of his former power also
removed a measure of personal protection — if he had walked
the streets of Rome he might have been in danger from political
opponents who had formerly kept their views private. Officially,
the capital was not moved from Florence to Rome until July
Historian Raffaele de Cesare made the following observations
about Italian unification:
The Roman question was the stone tied to Napoleon’s feet —
that dragged him into the abyss. He never forgot, even in August
1870, a month before Sedan, that he was a sovereign of a
Catholic country, that he had been made Emperor, and was
supported by the votes of the Conservatives and the influence of
the clergy; and that it was his supreme duty not to abandon the
For twenty years Napoleon III had been the true sovereign of
Rome, where he had many friends and relations…. Without him
the temporal power would never have been reconstituted, nor,
being reconstituted, would have endured.[23]
Risorgimento and Irredentism
The process of unification of the Italian people in a national
State was not completed in the nineteenth century. Many Italians
remained outside the borders of the Kingdom of Italy and this
situation created the Italian irredentism.
Italia irredenta (Unredeemed Italy) was an Italian nationalist
opinion movement that emerged after Italian unification. It
advocated irredentism among the Italian people as well as other
nationalities who were willing to become Italian and as a
movement; it is also known as "Italian irredentism". Not a
formal organization, it was just an opinion movement that
claimed that Italy had to reach its "natural borders". Similar
patriotic and nationalistic ideas were common in Europe in the
19th century.
Irredentism and the two World Wars
During the post-unification era, some Italians were unsatisfied
with the current state of the Italian Kingdom since they wanted
the kingdom to include Trieste, Istria, and other adjacent
territories, as well. This Italian irredentism succeeded in World
War I with the annexation of Trieste and Trento, with the
respective territories of Venezia Giulia and Trentino.
The Kingdom of Italy had declared neutrality at the beginning of
the war, officially because the Triple Alliance with Germany
and Austria-Hungary was a defensive one, requiring its
members to come under attack first. Many Italians were still
hostile to Austrian historical and continuing occupations of
ethnically Italian areas, and Italy chose not to enter. AustriaHungary requested Italian neutrality, while the Triple Entente
(which included Great Britain, France and Russia) requested its
intervention. With the London Pact, signed in April 1915, Italy
agreed to declare war against the Central Powers, in exchange
for the irredent territories of Friuli, Trentino, and Dalmatia (see
Italia irredenta).
Italian irredentism obtained an important result after World War
I, when Italy gained Trieste, Gorizia, Istria, and the city of Zara.
During WWII, after the Axis aggression against Yugoslavia,
Italy created the "Governatorato di Dalmazia" (from 1941 to
September 1943), so the Kingdom of Italy annexed temporarily
even Spalato (Split), Cattaro (Kotor), and most of coastal
Dalmatia. From 1942 to 1943, even Corsica (Corse) and Nizza
(Nice) were temporarily annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, nearly
totally fulfilling in those years the requests of the Italian
The Vittoriano in Rome, honoring King Victor Emmanuel and
celebrating the unity of Italy. The decision to build it was
reached in 1878, shortly after the king's death that year; the
site on the Capitoline Hill was chosen in 1882; and the design of
28 year-old Giuseppe Sacconi was selected in 1884.
Construction began in 1885 and the monument was
inaugurated in 1911, although features were subsequently
added or altered during the fascist period.
Celebration of the 150th anniversary of Risorgimento in 2011 in
The movement had for its avowed purpose the emancipation of
all Italian lands still subject to foreign rule after Italian
unification. The Irredentists took language as the test of the
alleged Italian nationality of the countries they proposed to
emancipate, which were Trentino, Trieste, Dalmatia, Istria,
Gorizia, Ticino, Nice (Nizza), Corsica, and Malta. AustriaHungary promoted Croatian interests in Dalmatia and Istria to
weaken Italian claims in the western Balkans before WWI.
After World War II[
After WWII the irredentism movement faded away in Italian
politics. Only a few thousand Italians remain in Istria and
Dalmatia as a consequence of the Italian defeat in WWII and of
the slaughter of few thousands of Italians as reprisals for fascist
atrocities and the subsequent choice to keep Italian citizenship
by an additional approximately 400,000 people in what became
known as the Istrian exodus. However only 350,000 refugees
were ethnic Italians (76% of which born in the territories
surrendered), the others being ethnic Slovenians, ethnic
Croatians, and ethnic Istro-Romanians, choosing to maintain
Italian citizenship.
Criticism of Risorgimento
Main article: Revisionism of Risorgimento
Italian unification is still a topic of debate. Some revisionists say
that the Risorgimento was a work of colonization, followed by a
centralizing policy of conquest, because of which the Italian
Mezzogiorno would fall into a state of backwardness still
manifest. Revisionism of the Risorgimento produced a clear
radicalization in mid-twentieth century, after the fall of the
Savoy monarchy and fascism, for which the Risorgimento was
considered an intangible myth.
The changed political conditions allowed the emergence of a
group of scholars which began re-examining the value of the
House of Savoy's work, and made largely negative reviews in
that respect. The members of this group also took up the
arguments of criticism, charging in particular to the process of
national unification the cause of most problems of the Southern
Italy. The founder of this new culture is generally considered
Carlo Alianello, who in his first novel, The Ensign (l'Alfiere)
(1942), expressed a serious indictment of the creators and
unification policies of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
Review of the historical facts concerning Italian unification has
also been undertaken by some academic authors, in most cases
of foreign origin, such as Denis Mack Smith, Christopher
Duggan, Martin Clark, and Lucy Riall. Revisionists have
developed many additional topics: undeclared invasion of
independent states; the role of the masonic lodges and foreign
powers (Great Britain and France in particular); suspected
violation of the plebiscites; the controversial suppression of
brigandage; and the origin of the so-called Southern Question
(Questione Meridionale).
Cultural depictions
The final scene of the opera Risorgimento! by Lorenzo Ferrero
The Resurgence is the subject of an opera, Risorgimento! (2011)
by Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero, written to commemorate
the 150th anniversary of the Italian unification.
The Leopard is a film from 1963, based on the novel by
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, and directed by Luchino
Visconti. It features Burt Lancaster as the eponymous character,
the Prince of Salina. The film depicts his reaction to the
Risorgimento, and his vain attempts to retain his social standing.
Maps of Italian unification
Map of Italy in 1494
Map of Italy in 1796
Map of Italy in 1810
Map of Italy in 1859
Map of Italy in 1860
Map of Italian Kingdom in 1861
Map of Italian Kingdom in 1870
Map of Italian Kingdom in 1919
Goffredo Mameli
Goffredo Mameli.
Goffredo Mameli (Italian pronunciation: [ɡofˈfredo
maˈmɛli]; Genoa, 5 September 1827 - Rome, 6 July
1849), an Italian patriot, poet, and writer was a
notable figure in the Italian Risorgimento. He is also
the author of the lyrics of the current Italian national
The son of an aristocratic Sardinian admiral, Mameli
was born in Genoa where his father was in command
of the fleet of the kingdom of Sardinia. At the age of
seven he was sent to Sardinia, to his grandfather's, to
escape the risk of cholera, but soon came back to
Genoa to complete his studies.
The achievements of Mameli's very short life are
concentrated in only two years, during which time
he played major parts in insurrectional movements
and the Risorgimento.
In 1847 Mameli joined the Società Entelema, a
cultural movement that soon would have turned to a
political movement, and here he became interested
in the theories of Giuseppe Mazzini.
Mameli is mostly known as the author of the lyrics
of the Italian national anthem, Il Canto degli Italiani
(music by Michele Novaro), better known in Italy as
Inno di Mameli (Mameli's Hymn). These lyrics were
used for the first time in November 1847,
celebrating King Charles Albert of Sardinia in his
visit to Genoa after his first reforms. Mameli's lyrics
to a "hymn of the people" —"Suona la tromba"—
were set by Giuseppe Verdi the following year.
Monument to Goffredo Mameli, Verano
monumental cemetery, Rome.
Mameli was deeply involved in nationalist
movements and some more "spectacular" actions are
remembered, such as his exposition of the Tricolore
(current Italian flag, then prohibited) to celebrate the
expulsion of Germans in 1846. Yet, he was with
Nino Bixio (Garibaldi's later major supporter and
friend) in a committee for public health, already on a
clear Mazzinian position. In March 1848, hearing of
the insurrection in Milan, Mameli organised an
expedition with 300 other patriots, joined Bixio's
troops that were already on site, and entered the
town. He was then admitted to Garibaldi's irregular
army (really the volunteer brigade of general
Torres), as a captain, and met Mazzini.
Memorial tablet at the church of Santissima Trinità
dei Pellegrini, Rome. The text states: "In this
hospice poet Goffredo Mameli and many other
valiant men died of wounds in defence of Rome for
Italian freedom in the year MDCCCXLIX".
Back in Genoa, he worked more on a literary side,
wrote several hymns and other compositions, he
became the director of the newspaper Diario del
Popolo ("People's Daily"), and promoted a press
campaign for a war against Austria. In December
1848 Mameli reached Rome, where Pellegrino Rossi
had been murdered, helping in the clandestine works
for declaration (February 9, 1849) of the Roman
Republic. Mameli then went to Florence where he
proposed the creation of a common state between
Tuscany and Latium.
In April 1849 he was again in Genoa, with Bixio,
where a popular insurrection was strongly opposed
by General Alberto La Marmora. Mameli soon left
again for Rome, where the French had come to
support the Papacy (Pope Pius IX had actually
escaped from the town) and took active part in the
In June, Mameli was accidentally injured in his left
leg by the bayonet of one of his comrades. The
wound was not serious, but an infection took hold,
and after a time the leg had to be amputated. Mameli
died of the infection on July 6, about two months
before his 22nd birthday.
Dobbiamo alla città di Genova Il Canto degli
Italiani, meglio conosciuto come Inno di
Mameli. Scritto nell'autunno del 1847
dall'allora ventenne studente e patriota
Goffredo Mameli, musicato poco dopo a
Torino da un altro genovese, Michele
Novaro, il Canto degli Italiani nacque in
quel clima di fervore patriottico che già
preludeva alla guerra contro l'Austria.
L'immediatezza dei versi e l'impeto della
melodia ne fecero il più amato canto
dell'unificazione, non solo durante la
stagione risorgimentale, ma anche nei
decenni successivi. Non a caso Giuseppe
Verdi, nel suo Inno delle Nazioni del 1862,
affidò proprio al Canto degli Italiani - e non
alla Marcia Reale - il compito di
simboleggiare la nostra Patria, ponendolo
accanto a God Save the Queen e alla
Fu quasi naturale, dunque, che il 12 ottobre
1946 l'Inno di Mameli divenisse l'inno
nazionale della Repubblica Italiana.
Il poeta
Goffredo Mameli dei Mannelli nasce a
Genova il 5 settembre 1827 (figlio di Adele o Adelaide - Zoagli, discendente di una
delle più insigni famiglie aristocratiche
genovesi, e di Giorgio, cagliaritano,
comandante di una squadra della flotta del
Regno di Sardegna). Studente e poeta
precocissimo, di sentimenti liberali e
repubblicani, aderisce al mazzinianesimo
nel 1847, l'anno in cui partecipa attivamente
alle grandi manifestazioni genovesi per le
riforme e compone Il Canto degli Italiani.
D'ora in poi, la vita del poeta-soldato sarà
dedicata interamente alla causa italiana: nel
marzo del 1848, a capo di 300 volontari,
raggiunge Milano insorta, per poi
combattere gli Austriaci sul Mincio col
grado di capitano dei bersaglieri.
Dopo l'armistizio Salasco, torna a Genova,
collabora con Garibaldi e, in novembre,
raggiunge Roma dove, il 9 febbraio 1849,
viene proclamata la Repubblica.
Nonostante la febbre, è sempre in prima
linea nella difesa della città assediata dai
Francesi: il 3 giugno è ferito alla gamba
sinistra, che dovrà essere amputata per la
sopraggiunta cancrena.
Muore d'infezione il 6 luglio, alle sette e
mezza del mattino, a soli ventidue anni. Le
sue spoglie riposano nel Mausoleo Ossario
del Gianicolo.
il musicista
Michele Novaro nacque il 23 ottobre 1818 a
Genova, dove studiò composizione e canto.
Nel 1847 è a Torino, con un contratto di
secondo tenore e maestro dei cori dei
Teatri Regio e Carignano.
Convinto liberale, offrì alla causa
dell'indipendenza il suo talento compositivo,
musicando decine di canti patriottici e
organizzando spettacoli per la raccolta di
fondi destinati alle imprese garibaldine.
Di indole modesta, non trasse alcun
vantaggio dal suo inno più famoso,
neanche dopo l'Unità. Tornato a Genova,
fra il 1864 e il 1865 fondò una Scuola
Corale Popolare, alla quale avrebbe
dedicato tutto il suo impegno.
Morì povero, il 21 ottobre 1885, e lo scorcio
della sua vita fu segnato da difficoltà
finanziarie e da problemi di salute. Per
iniziativa dei suoi ex allievi, gli venne eretto
un monumento funebre nel cimitero di
Staglieno, dove oggi riposa vicino alla
tomba di Mazzini.
come nacque l'inno
La testimonianza più nota è quella resa,
seppure molti anni più tardi, da Anton Giulio
Barrili, patriota e poeta, amico e biografo di
Siamo a Torino: "Colà, in una sera di
mezzo settembre, in casa di Lorenzo
Valerio, fior di patriota e scrittore di buon
nome, si faceva musica e politica insieme.
Infatti, per mandarle d'accordo, si
leggevano al pianoforte parecchi inni
sbocciati appunto in quell'anno per ogni
terra d'Italia, da quello del Meucci, di Roma,
musicato dal Magazzari - Del nuovo anno
già l'alba primiera - al recentissimo del
piemontese Bertoldi - Coll'azzurra coccarda
sul petto - musicata dal Rossi.
In quel mezzo entra nel salotto un nuovo
ospite, Ulisse Borzino, l'egregio pittore che
tutti i miei genovesi rammentano.
Giungeva egli appunto da Genova; e voltosi
al Novaro, con un foglietto che aveva
cavato di tasca in quel punto: - To' gli disse;
te lo manda Goffredo. - Il Novaro apre il
foglietto, legge, si commuove. Gli chiedono
tutti cos'è; gli fan ressa d'attorno. - Una
cosa stupenda! - esclama il maestro; e
legge ad alta voce, e solleva ad entusiasmo
tutto il suo uditorio. - Io sentii - mi diceva il
Maestro nell'aprile del '75, avendogli io
chiesto notizie dell'Inno, per una
commemorazione che dovevo tenere del
Mameli - io sentii dentro di me qualche
cosa di straordinario, che non saprei
definire adesso, con tutti i ventisette anni
trascorsi. So che piansi, che ero agitato, e
non potevo star fermo.
Mi posi al cembalo, coi versi di Goffredo sul
leggio, e strimpellavo, assassinavo colle
dita convulse quel povero strumento,
sempre cogli occhi all'inno, mettendo giù
frasi melodiche, l'un sull'altra, ma lungi le
mille miglia dall'idea che potessero
adattarsi a quelle parole. Mi alzai scontento
di me; mi trattenni ancora un po' in casa
Valerio, ma sempre con quei versi davanti
agli occhi della mente. Vidi che non c'era
rimedio, presi congedo e corsi a casa. Là,
senza neppure levarmi il cappello, mi buttai
al pianoforte.
Mi tornò alla memoria il motivo strimpellato
in casa Valerio: lo scrissi su d'un foglio di
carta, il primo che mi venne alle mani: nella
mia agitazione rovesciai la lucerna sul
cembalo e, per conseguenza, anche sul
povero foglio; fu questo l'originale dell'inno
Fratelli d'Italia."
Il testo dell'Inno nazionale
La cultura di Mameli è classica e forte
è il richiamo alla romanità. È di
Scipione l'Africano, il vincitore di
Zama, l'elmo che indossa l'Italia
pronta alla guerra
Una bandiera e una speranza (speme)
comuni per l'Italia, nel 1848 ancora
divisa in sette Stati
In questa strofa, Mameli ripercorre
sette secoli di lotta contro il dominio
straniero. Anzitutto,la battaglia di
Legnano del 1176, in cui la Lega
Lombarda sconfisse Barbarossa. Poi,
l'estrema difesa della Repubblica di
Firenze, assediata dall'esercito
imperiale di Carlo V nel 1530, di cui fu
simbolo il capitano Francesco Ferrucci.
Il 2 agosto, dieci giorni prima della
capitolazione della città, egli sconfisse
le truppe nemiche a Gavinana; ferito
e catturato, viene finito da Fabrizio
Maramaldo, un italiano al soldo
straniero, al quale rivolge le parole
d'infamia divenute celebri "Tu uccidi
un uomo morto"
Ogni squilla significa "ogni campana".
E la sera del 30 marzo 1282, tutte le
campane chiamarono il popolo di
Palermo all'insurrezione contro i
Francesi di Carlo d'Angiò, i Vespri
Fratelli d'Italia
L'Italia s'è desta,
Dell'elmo di Scipio
S'è cinta la testa.
Dov'è la Vittoria?
Le porga la chioma,
Ché schiava di Roma
Iddio la creò.
Stringiamci a coorte
Siam pronti alla morte
L'Italia chiamò.
Noi siamo da secoli
Calpesti, derisi,
Perché non siam popolo,
Perché siam divisi.
Raccolgaci un'unica
Bandiera, una speme:
Di fonderci insieme
Già l'ora suonò.
Stringiamci a coorte
Siam pronti alla morte
L'Italia chiamò.
Uniamoci, amiamoci,
l'Unione, e l'amore
Rivelano ai Popoli
Le vie del Signore;
Giuriamo far libero
Il suolo natìo:
Uniti per Dio
Chi vincer ci può?
Stringiamci a coorte
Siam pronti alla morte
L'Italia chiamò.
Dall'Alpi a Sicilia
Dovunque è Legnano,
Ogn'uom di Ferruccio
Ha il core, ha la mano,
I bimbi d'Italia
Si chiaman Balilla,
Il suon d'ogni squilla
I Vespri suonò.
Stringiamci a coorte
Siam pronti alla morte
L'Italia chiamò.
Son giunchi che piegano
Le spade vendute:
Già l'Aquila d'Austria
Le penne ha perdute.
Il sangue d'Italia,
Il sangue Polacco,
Bevé, col cosacco,
Ma il cor le bruciò.
Stringiamci a coorte
Siam pronti alla morte
L'Italia chiamò
La Vittoria si offre alla nuova Italia e a
Roma, di cui la dea fu schiava per
volere divino. La Patria chiama alle
armi: la coorte, infatti, era la decima
parte della legione romana
Mazziniano e repubblicano, Mameli
traduce qui il disegno politico del
creatore della Giovine Italia e della
Giovine Europa. "Per Dio" è un
francesismo, che vale come
"attraverso Dio", "da Dio"
Sebbene non accertata storicamente,
la figura di Balilla rappresenta il
simbolo della rivolta popolare di
Genova contro la coalizione austropiemontese. Dopo cinque giorni di
lotta, il 10 dicembre 1746 la città è
finalmente libera dalle truppe
austriache che l'avevano occupata e
vessata per diversi mesi
L'Austria era in declino (le spade
vendute sono le truppe mercenarie,
deboli come giunchi) e Mameli lo
sottolinea fortemente: questa strofa,
Il Passato Prossimo
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Il Passato