Visiting Historical Italy
Whilst Italy’s position as a single political unit is somewhat recent (1861), its strategic Mediterranean location made it an object for pioneers and settlers quite early on in human history. The Etruscans were the first people to control the peninsula, incoming somewhere between the 12th and 8th century BC. They were finally takn in by the mighty Roman Empire, leaving a few cultural proofs, other than the weird tomb.
The olden Greeks, their social groups, created a few colonies alongside the southern coast that became acknowledged as Magna Graecia and urbanized into independent city states. Thus the bigger magnificence that was Rome was itself the fruit of Etruscan and Greek cultures.
The first Roman Republic was established in 509 BC, and at the end left us the thought of a mutual European identity, a language that has initiated many of Europe’s social groups tongues and one of the biggest empires the world has ever seen. The Republic’s victory over of Carthage (near present-day Tunis) and Hellenic Macedonia in the period of three Punic Wars widely open the way for final expansion into Spain, Britain, North Africa and present-day Iraq.
In the meantime, relative peace at home made possible for the infrastructure of civilization – roads, aqueducts, cities – to spread. A slave-driven way of life and economy accomplishments over the idea of people power, and the control of the Republic were increasingly taken in hand by the military and, finally, the dictatorship.
Travel to Italy.. The empire developed so big; it was finally divided into eastern and western sectors. Already, nonetheless, the vicious dramas of king murders and conspiracy were planting the seeds of its concluding destruction. Christianity was adopted by Constantine in 313, and the empire’s capital was moved from Rome to Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). The western arm of the empire was defeated by disease, starvation and ethnic attacks from the north, and was legitimately declared null and without legal power in 476 when Odovacar, a German warrior, called himself ruler. The Eastern Roman Empire moved on, even flourishing in fits and starts, until swamped by the Turks in 1453.
Visiting Historical Italy
After the down of Rome the peninsula went into the Dark Ages and experienced recurring barbarian attacks. Among the more effective of these gangs were the Lombards who successfully had power over huge parts of the north before being beaten by the Franks. In 800, the Frankish king Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor as representative Christian successor to ancient Rome. The south came to be dominated by Muslims until taken over by Normans in the early 11th century.
This ethnic mixture began to resolve in the 12th century, just when the next important chapter in textbook history started to happen. strongly aggressive and competitive city states came up in the north, supporting either the Pope, who symbolized spiritual power in Christianity but also had significant political power within Italy (the Papal States), or the Holy Roman Emperor, a foreign leader who declared secular power over all Christian Europe (including Italy).
The growth of cities and a merchant class concluded in the Renaissance of the 15th century. Painters, architects, poets, philosophers and sculptors created incomparable works of genius, despite the chaos of intercity conflict and attack by countries to the north. First Spain and then Austria ruled the peninsula during the subsequent centuries, followed for a moment by Napoleon’s imperial flourish.
The post-Napoleon unexpected defeat led to the urge for unification of the 19th century, led by Garibaldi, Cavour and Mazzini. The Kingdom of Italy was declared in 1861, even though Venice was not freed from Austria until 1866 and papal claims stayed as an issue until 1870, when Rome formally joined the young nation. No tag of union, however, could conceal the enormous cultural and social gaps that divide the modern north from the deprived south.
Economic crisis and inconsistent politics beleaguered the new nation in the subsequent decades, as Italy jumbled through WWI and became challenged with industrial turbulence in the early 1920s. In a unforgettably foolish employment decision, the king asked one Benito Mussolini to take the wheels of government under the support of his Fascist Party.
Il Duce quickly became head of state, banned the opposition, controlled the press and trade unions and slashed franchise by two-thirds. His relationship with Hitler got bitterer after a series of military tragedies during WWII and Italian submission in 1943, eventually concluded in a fatal dose of harsh justice at the hands of partisans in April 1945.
The postwar years were filled by extremism: the extreme hostility of terrorists such as the Brigatte Rosse (Red Brigades), extreme centre-right politics, extreme economic boom and economic crisis, extreme corruption and bribery in extremely high places – and an extremely pessimistic and tired public.