Italy, San Marino and Malta; key historical events 9-20
Page last modified 2/9/2020
See also Roman Empire
See Earthquakes for major Italian earthquakes
Mussolini and World War Two
unification of Italy
Sicily – see Appendix i
Venice – see Appendix ii
Malta – see Appendix 1
San Marino – see Appendix 2
Vatican City, Papal States – see Appendix 3
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 workaboe coalition with the Centre-Left Democratic Party, and Guiseppe Conte remained as Prime Minister.
14/8/2018, 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.
27/5/2018, 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.
4/3/2018, 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.
22/10.2017, 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.
4/12/2016, Matteo Renzi, Italian Prime Minister, resigned after a referendum rejected his government reform proposals by over 60%.
13/2/2011, 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.
2005, Conscription into the armed forces ceased in Italy.
1/2002, Italy adopted the Euro, replacing the Lira.
20/7/2001, The 3-day 27th G8 talks began in Genoa, Italy, sparking major protests by anti-globalisation groups.
28/3/1994, Silvio Berlusconi became Prime Minister of Italy. He led a short-lived Rightist government.
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.
23/5/1992, In Italy, Judge Giovanni Falcone, the principal anti-Mafia investigator, was killed by a massive car bomb.
7/1/1990. 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.
1984, Roman Catholicism no longer the Italian State religion.
23/12/1984. Terrorist bomb killed 29 on a train in Bologna, Italy.
24/9/1983, In Italy, the executives responsible for the Seveso dioxin disaster were jailed.
4/8/1983. Bettino Craxi became Italy’s first Socialist Prime Minister.
18/3/1983, King Umberto II of Italy, in exile since 1946, died in a Geneva clinic aged 78.
3/9/1982, Anti-Mafia chief murdered in Rome.
17/5/1981, In a referendum, Italy voted to legalise abortion.
23/11/1980, A series of earthquakes in southern Italy killed 4,800 people, and left 300,000 homeless.
2/8/1980, A right-wing terrorist bomb hit the railway station at Bologna, Italy, killing 85 people and wounding over 200.
3/6/1979, In Italian general elections, the Communists lost ground.
9/5/1978. 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.
16/3/1978, In Rome, former Prime Minister Aldo Moro was kidnapped and murdered by the Red Brigade.
12/1/1978, Italy, the Andreotti government collapsed.
1976, Communist Party support in Italy peaked at 34% under Enrico Berlinguer, who was a proponent of ‘moderate’ Communist policies.
11/2/1976, In Italy, Aldo Moro formed a minority Christian Democrat Government.
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.
1970, The Red Brigades, extreme Left terrorists, were formed.
6/12/1964, Antonio Segni, Italian Prime Minister resigned for health reasons. He was succeedd on 28/12/1964 by Guiseppe Saragat.
9/10/1963, 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.
4/12/1962, Pietro Tomasi Della Torretta, Italian politician and diplomat, died aged 89.
6/5/1962, In Italy, Antonio Segni was elected President on the 9th ballot.
1957, Italy became a founder member of the EEC.
19/8/1954, Alcide de Gasperi, Italian statesman, died aged 73.
30/8/1953, 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.
27/1/1950, 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 and Republicans.
1949, Italy became a founder member of NATO.
18/4/1948, The Christian Democrats won an absolute majority in Italian elections, securing 305 out of 574 seats.
28/12/1947, Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy from 1900 until he abdicated in 1946, died.
15/9/1947, The Free Territory of Trieste was created as the Peace Treaty with Italy came into effect.
17/4/1947, 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.
1/2/1947, In Italy, Alcide de Gasperi formed a government of Christian Democrats, Communists and Left-Socialists.
28/6/1946, Enrico de Nicola became first President of Italy.
27/6/1946, Italy ceded the Dodecanese islands to Greece.
1945, Alcide de Gasperi (born 1881) organised the Christian Democratic party, and became Prime Minister of Italy.
15/9/1943, 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 war Mussolini made his announcement of a return to power from Adolf Hitler's headquarters at Rastenburg.
11/9/1943, 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.
9/9/1943. 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.
7/9/1943, 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.
19/7/1943, 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
4/5/1941, Emperor Haile Selassie returned to Ethiopia from exile in England, after the liberation of his country by British forces.
12/9/1940. Italian forces advanced on Egypt from Libya.
19/8/1940, British Somaliland fell to the Italians. See 4/8/1940.
12/8/1940. In Albania, a revolt against Italian occupation began.
9/8/1939, Romano Prodi, Prime Minister of Italy, was born.
4/8/1940. Italian troops began to invade British Somaliland from Ethiopia. See 19/8/1940.
4/7/1940, Three weeks after Italy entered the War, Italian forces invaded Sudan, occupying Kassala, 300 kilometers east pf Khartoum, They also occupied Gallabat, further south.
10/6/1940. Italy declared war on France and Britain.
2/4/1940. All Italians aged over 14 were mobilised.
For main European events of World War Two see France-Germany
7/4/1939. 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 28/10/1940. 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 11/1/1946.
11/1/1939. Neville Chamberlain visited Mussolini to discuss recognition of the Franco regime in Spain.
17/12/1938, Italy denounced the Franco-Italian agreement of 1935.
14/12/1938, The Italian Parliament was replaced by a Fascist Chamber.
30/11/1938, Speeches in the Italian Chamber claimed Nice and Corsica for Italy.
3/5/1938. Hitler and Mussolini met in Rome.
16/4/1938, Chamberlain, British PM, sought to dissuade Italy from allying with Germany.
11/12/1937. Italy left the League of Nations.
6/11/1937. Italy joined the anti-Communist pact between Germany and Japan. See 25/11/1936.
2/6/1937, German War Minister Werner von Blomberg began a three-day visit to Italy to discuss German-Italian military ties.
2/1/1937, The UK and Italian governments made an agreement, to curb dangerous levels of friction between the two in the Mediterranean.
15/7/1936, The League of Nations raised sanctions against Italy.
1/11/1936. Mussolini announced an anti-Communist ‘axis’ with Germany, and urged France and Britain to join.
3/3/1936. Mussolini nationalised the Italian banks.
18/12/1935, 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.
19/10/1935, 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.
24/1/1935. Mussolini dismissed the Italian Cabinet.
18/9/1934. Mussolini said all Italians from the age of 8 must have military training.
15/6/1934. The dictators Hitler and Mussolini met for the first time, in Venice.
20/10/1933. Mussolini denounced Roosevelt as a dictator.
19/3/1933, Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister of Italy, proposed a pact with Britain, France and Germany.
2/1933, 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.
28/10/1932. 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.
6/11/1931, The Italian government awarded prizes to the country's biggest families.
20/4/1929. The first Italian Parliament composed exclusively of Fascists led by Benito Mussolini was opened by King Victor Emmanuel III.
24/3/1929. 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.
20/9/1928, In Rome the supreme legislative body, the Chamber of Deputies, was taken over by the Fascists.
12/5/1928. The Italian electorate was reduced from 10 million to 3 million, under Mussolini.
12/1/1928, The Italian press was banned from reporting suicides or sensational crimes.
6/1/1928, Italian Finance Minister Giuseppe Volpi banned industries from taking out foreign loans without government approval.
5/4/1927, 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.
15/1/1927. Winston Churchill met Mussolini in Italy.
15/12/1926. 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.
27/11/1926, 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.
8/11/1926, 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.
31/10/1926. An attempt was made on Mussolini’s life. This gave him the excuse to remove more civil liberties.
7/10/1926. Mussolini decreed the Fascist party to be the state Party; all opposition was banned.
25/9/1926, Italy began a campaign against the Mafia in Sicily.
2/9/1926, Italy agreed a treaty with Yemen; Italy was attempting to control the eastern coast of the Red Sea.
4/8/1926, 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.
29/6/1926. In Italy, Mussolini increased the working day by one hour.
7/4/1926. Mussolini survived an assassination attempt.
3/4/1926, 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.
12/2/1926. Mussolini outlawed strikes in Italy.
7/1/1926, The Royal Academy of Italy was created.
4/12/1925, The Italian Chamber of Deputies passed a law allowing the government to regulate rates of industrial production based on the needs of the country.
5/11/1925. In Italy, Mussolini banned all left-wing parties.
3/1/1925. Mussolini assumed full dictatorial control in Italy. He nominated his cabinet on 5/1/1925.
17/9/1924, Italy abrogated the Treaty of Rapallo (made 12/11/1920).
10/6/1924, 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 30/5/1924 he denounced the Italian elections of April 1924, in which Mussolini’s Fascists had done well, as fraudulent.
6/4/1924. 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.
27/1/1924. Mussolini signed a pact with Yugoslavia, and Italy annexed the free city of Fiume.
24/1/1924, All non-Fascist Trades Unions were banned in Italy.
14/11/1923, 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.
16/7/1923.Mussolini banned gambling in Italy.
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.
21/2/1923, 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’.
25/11/1922, The Italian Parliament granted Mussolini temporary emergency powers to force through reforms.
31/10/1922, Mussolini’s supporters organised a mass rally in Rome.
30/10/1922. Benito Mussolini took power in Italy.
29/10/1922, 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 28/7/1943.
24/10/1922, A mass rally of 40,000 Fascists at Naples.
4/8/1922, Fighting in Italy between Fascists and Socialists in several cities; disturbances continued until 8/8/1922.
31/7/1922, 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.
14/1/1922, Antonino Gullotti, Italian Christian Democrat politician, was born.
7/11/1921, 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.
26/6/1921, In Italy, Prime Minister Giolitti fell. He was succeeded by Ivanoe Bonomi.
5/6/1921, Italy and Yugoslavia signed an agreement over control of Fiume.
14/5/1921. Fascists won 35 seats in Italian elections.
27/2/1921. Communists and Fascists rioted in Italy.
12/11/1920, 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 12/11/1920). Italy, however had hoped for more, such as some of Germany’s former colonies.
19/11/1919, In Italy, Benito Mussolini and 37 Fascists were arrested after rioting at the election of the Socialists.
16/11/1919, 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.
12/9/1919, An unofficial Italian army under Gabriele d’Annunzio seized Fiume, before it was incorporated in Yugoslavia.
21/6/1919. Francesco Nitti became Prime Minister of Italy.
23/3/1919 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.
14/1/1919, Giulio Andreotti, Italian politician, was born (died 2013).
4/11/1918, Italian troops occupied Trieste. Under the Treaty of London (25/4/1915), 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.
28/8/1916. Italy declared war on Germany.
9/8/1916. Italian troops took Glorizia.
17/6/1916, In Italy a coalition government was formed, including the Catholics and Reformed Socialists, under Paolo Boselli.
24/5/1915. The Austrian fleet bombarded Ancona, N.E. Italy.
23/5/1915, Italy entered the war on the Allied side.
4/5/1915, Italy denounced the Triple Alliance (Italy, Germany, Austro-Hungary). This was a preparatory move to her entering the War on the Allied side on 23/5/1915.
For main European events of World War One see France-Germany
25/4/1915. 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 24/5/1915, 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.
25/1/1915, Mussolini formed the Fasci d’Azione Rivoluzionara in Milan.
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 their gaolers in Naples in the 1820s, the Camorra entered Italian politics in 1848.
29/9/1911. 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.
18/3/1911, Italian Prime Minister Luzzatti resigned.
19/11/1910, Alessandro Mussolini, father of the Italian dictator, died, aged 56.
24/4/1904, The French President Emile Loubert and Foreign Minister Theophile Delcasse visited King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. The Papacy was annoyed at the visit.
1/11/1902, Italy signed the Franco-Italian entente with Italy. Italy assured France it would remain neutral if France was attacked.
4/1/1902, 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’.
7/2/1901, The Italian Government of Guiseppe Saracco was overthrown, for its weak response to a dock strike in Genoa.
16/12/1900, France and Italy agreed to respect each other’s sphere of influence in North Africa.
30/7/1900. 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.
7/8/1898, Enrico Cosenz, Italian soldier, died (born 12/1/1812).
24/5/1898, Benedetto Brin, Italian naval engineer who laid the basis for the Italian navy, died (born 17/5/1833).
6/3/1898, Felice Cavallotti, Italian politician, died (born 6/11/1842)
12/5/1896, Henri Cernuschi, Italian politician, died (born 1821).
27/12/1894, Former King Francis II of Naples died/
3/1/1894, 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.
26/11/1892, Simone St-Bon, Italian admiral, died (born 20/3/1823).
8/9/1892, Enrico Cialdini, Italian politician, died (born 10/8/1811).
11/4/1890, Birth of Donna Rachele Mussolini, wife of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (died 1979)
1/1/1890, The Kingdom of Italy established the colony of Eritrea in Africa.
8/8/1889, Benedetto Cairoli, Italian statesman, died (born 28/1/1825).
4/10/1888, Cesare Correnti, Italian Revolutionary, died (born 3/1/1815).
9/4/1888, Lodovico Corti, Italian diplomat, died (born 28/10/1823).
27/2/1888, As Italian-French relations deteriorated, France imposed selective duties against Italian products. Italy retaliated in kind on 1/3/1888.
29/7/1887, Agostino Depretis, Italian politician, died (born 31/1/1813)..
30/4/1886, Agostino Bertani, Italian revolutionary, died (born in Milan 19/10/1812).
14/3/1884, Quintino Sella, Italian statesman, died (born 7/7/1827).
29/7/1883, 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.
2/6/1882, Guiseppe Garibaldi, Italian soldier and politician who helped form the Kingdom of Italy, died aged 74.
12/5/1881,) 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.
9/1/1878, 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.
6/11/1876, Giacomo Antonelli, Italian Cardinal, died (born 2/4/1806 in Sonnino).
16/12/1873, Nino Bixio, Italian soldier, died (born 2/10/1821).
Map of Italian Unification here – Source, Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol.15, p.38, 1910
20/2/1846, Francis IV, Duke of Modena, died
30/5/1845, Ferdinando Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, Italy, was born (died 18/1/1890).
14/3/1844, Umberto I, King of Italy, was born in Turin, the son of King Victor Emmanuel I.
6/11/1842, Felice Cavallotti, Italian politician, was born (died 6/3/1898).
27/10/1842, Giovanni Giolitti, Italian statesman, was born.
27/6/1835, Domenico Comparetti, Italian scholar of mediaeval studies, was born in Rome (died 1929).
28/8/1834, Mussolini’s paternal grandfather, Luigi Mussolini, was born.
17/5/1833, Benedetto Brin, Italian naval engineer who laid the basis for the Italian navy, was born (died 24/5/1898).
1831, Italy adopted the current red, green and white flag. Before then it was a red, blue and black Flag of Revolution.
7/7/1827, Quintino Sella, Italian statesman, was born (died 14/3/1884).
8/8/1826, Count Nicolas Robilant, Italian diplomat, was born (died 17/10/1888).
28/1/1825, Benedetto Cairoli, Italian statesman, was born (died 8/8/1889).
4/1/1825, Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies, died aged 73. He was succeeded 47-year old son, Francesco I.
24/1/1824, Ercole Consalvi, Italian statesman, died (born 8/6/1757).
28/10/1823, Lodovico Corti, Italian diplomat, was born (died 9/4/1888).
2/10/1821, Nino Bixio, Italian soldier, was born (died 16/12/1873).
14/3/1820, Victor Emmanuel II, King of Sardinia and first King of a united Italy, was born.
4/10/1819, Francesco Crispi, Italian statesman, was born (died 12/8/1901).
12/12/1816, 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 23/1/1806), 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.
13/10/1815, Joachim Murat, King of the Two Sicilies, was executed.
Murat – see also Napoleonic France
28/9/1815, Joachim Murat, former King of Naples, landed with only 30 men at Pizzon to try and regain the throne. He was soon captured.
3/1/1815, Cesare Correnti, Italian Revolutionary, was born (died 4/10/1888).
31/1/1813, Agostino Depretis, Italian politician, was born (died 29/7/1887).
19/11/1812, Agostino Bertani, Italian revolutionary, was born in Milan (died 30/4/1886).
22/10/1812, Luigi Farini, italian statesman, was born (died 1/8/1866).
12/1/1812, Enrico Cosenz, Italian soldier, was born (died 7/8/1898).
10/8/1811, Enrico Cialdini, Italian politician, was born (died 8/9/1892).
10/8/1810, Count Cavour, Italian politician who played a major role in the unification of Italy, born in Turin.
12/1/1810, Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies, was born (died 22/5/1856).
4/7/1807, Giuseppe Garibaldi, soldier who played a major role in the unification of Italy, was born.
2/4/1806, Giacomo Antonelli, Italian Cardinal, was born in Sonnino (died 6/11/1876).
23/1/1806, 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.
4/4/1804, Nicola Fabrizi, Italian patriot, was born (died 31/3/1885).
For Napoleonic campaign in Italy, 1800s, see France
23/2/1802, Luigi Cibrario, Italian politician, was born (died 10/1870).
30/6/1799, Francesco Caracciolo, Neapolitan Admiral and revolutionary, died (born 18/1/1732).
2/10/1798, Albert Charles, King of Sardinia, was born (died 28/7/1849).
4/6/1798, Casanova, Italian adventurer, lover, and romancer, died at his Castle of Waldstein, Bohemia.
3/2/1792, Guiseppe Cerutti, Italian politician, died (born 13/6/1738).
11/7/1781, Bartolommeo Borghesi, Italian antiquarian, was born near Rimini (died in San Marino 16/4/1860).
1778, Inauguration of La Scala opera house, Milan.
4/11/1768, Maria Francesco Appendini, Italian historian, was born (died 1837).
25/3/1767, Joachim Murat, king of Naples, was born.
8/6/1757, Ercole Consalvi, Italian statesman, was born (died 24/1/1824).
16/6/1752, Giulio Alberoni, Italian statesman, died (born 31/5/1664 near Piacenza).
12/1/1751, Ferdinand IV, King of Naples, was born (died 4/1/1825).
8/6/1743, Alessandro Cagliostro, Italian alchemist and impostor, was born (died 1795).
13/6/1738, Guiseppe Cerutti, Italian politician, was born (died 3/2/1792).
19/9/1734, The Battle of Luzzara.
29/6/1734, The Battle of Parma.
25/5/1734, The Battle of Bitonto.
18/1/1732, Francesco Caracciolo, Neapolitan Admiral and revolutionary, was born (died 30/1/1799).
31/5/1664, Giulio Alberoni, Italian statesman, was born near Piacenza (died 16/6/1752)
See also Spain-Portugal, 1700-1718, for events related to the War of the Spanish Succession
12/12/1602, 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.
18/2/1564. Michelangelo Buonarotti died in Rome, aged 89.
10/8/1557, 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.
2/8/1553, Battle of Marciano. A French army invading Tuscany was defeated.
15/4/1542, Leonardo da Vinci was born. His father, Piero da Vinci, was a notary and his mother, Caterina da Vinci, was a peasant
1/2/1542, Girolamo Aleandro, Italian Cardinal, died in Rome (born 13/2/1480 in Motta, near Venice).
6/1/1537, Alessandro de Medici was assassinated
24/10/1535, Francesco Sforza II, Duke of Milan, died aged 45 without a successor. Milan became a suzerainty of Charles V.
23/2/1530, Carlos I of Spain was crowned Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Italy by Pope Clement V.
5/5/1529, Paulus Aemilius, Italian historian, died in Paris (born in Verona).
22/6/1527. Nicolo Macchiavelli died in Florence, Italy, aged 58.
6/5/1527, 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.
24/7/1526, The Spanish captured Milan.
24/2/1525. 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.
2/10/1523, Alessandro Alessandri, Italian jurist, died in Rome.
24/6/1519, Lucrezia Borgia, Italian noblewoman from a corrupt family, illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VII, died.
29/4/1507, Louis XII, King of France, led his troops into Genoa.
29/12/1503, 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.
13/5/1503, The Spanish captured Naples.
21/4/1503, The Battle of Cerignola, Italy. 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.
25/9/1496, Piero Capponi, Florentine statesman, died.
7/9/1496, Ferdinand II, King of Naples, died.
18/12/1495, Alfonso II, King of Naples, died.
6/7/1495, 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.
28/6/1495, At the Battle of Seminara, Cordoba and Ferrante were defeated by a French army under Bernard Stewart, Lord of Aubigny.
26/5/1495, A Spanish army under Gonzalo de Cordoba landed in Calabria, to oust the French and restore Ferrante II to the throne of Naples.
22/2/1495, 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.
14/6/1493, Ermolao Barbaro, Italian scholar, died in Rome (born in Venice 21/5/1454).
12/1/1492, Andrea Alcati, Italian jurist, was born in Alzano, near Milan.
8/4/1492, Lorenzo de Medici, patron of learning and the arts, died aged 43, after a 23 year reign of cultural enlightenment.
10/9/1481, Alphonso II of Naples recaptured the city of Otranto.
18/4/1480, Lucrezia Borgia, Italian noblewoman, illegitimate daughter of Rodrigo Borgia (later Pope Alexander VI) was born in Rome.
13/2/1480, Girolamo Aleandro, Italian Cardinal, was born in Motta, near Venice (died 1/2/1542 in Rome).
1469, Lorenzo de Medici took control of Florence. He promoted the arts and culture.
3/5/1469, Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian statesman and historian, was born in Florence.
7/10/1468, Sigismondo Malatesta, tyrant and soldier, died.
1//8/1464, Cosimo de Medici died aged 75 in Florence. He was succeeded as head of the banking family by his son, Piero.
9/4/1454, Three rival Italian powers – Venice, Milan, and Florence – agreed to unite in an ‘Italian league’. Rome and Milan also seemed likely to join.
11/2/1435, Joanna II, Queen of Naples, died.
1416, At the naval Battle of Gallipoli, Venice defeated the Ottoman fleet.
7/8/1409, The Council of Pisa was dissolved.
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
29/4/1380, 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.
8/10/1354, Cola di Rienzi, reformer, was murdered.
1299, Construction of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, began (completed 1301)
28/11/1284, Florence began to extend its city walls. The first stone of the new walls was blessed this day.
30/3/1282. 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.
4/9/1260, The Battle of Montaperti.
2/12/1254, The Battle of Foggia.
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.
24/7/1177, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa effected a reconciliation with Pope Alexander III at Venice.
29/5/1176, 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.
8/8/1173, The construction of what is now known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa began.
27/4/1167, 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 29/5/1176 Frederick was decisively defeated at Legnano.
10/1/1072, The Normans conquered Palermo, Sicily.
16/4/1071. The Norman, Robert Guiscard, took Bari after a three year siege. This ended Byzantine rule in Italy, which had lasted five centuries. On 10/1/1072 Robert Guiscard and his brother Roger took Palermo in Sicily.
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.
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.
10/8/843, The Treaty of Verdun divided the Holy Roman Empire into three equal shares The 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.
840, Muslim Arabs attacked the mainland of Italy. See 916.
5/5/840, 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.
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.
749, Aistulf became Kong of Lombardy (died 756).
1/4/568. 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 4/9/569 and Lombard rule was established in northern Italy.
552, King Totila, Ostrogoth, killed fighting Byzantium (King Narses) at the Battle of Taginae. In 553 Narses again took Roma and Naples for Byzantium.
550, The Ostrogoth King Totila reconquered Rome.
540, The Ostroghtic King Totila took Italy from Byzantium.
2/10/534. 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.
15/3/493, Odoacer was killed by Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths.
26/2/493, Ravenna capitulated to Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths.
30/9/489, Theodoric conquered Verona.
401, The Visigoths invaded Italy.
See also Roman Empire
Appendix i – Sicily
10/2013, Governor of Sicily declared a State of Emergency after hundreds of migrants had died at sea attempting tocross to Italy from Africa.
1893, 40,000 troops had to be sent to Sicily to quell unrest there caused by poverty.
1850, Sicilian agriculture was being transformed after James Lind, surgeon for the British Navy, calculated in the mid 18th century that scurvy had done more damage to the British Navy than the French and Spanish fleets combined. Lemon juice was found to prevent scurvy, and Sicily was one of the few places in Euripe where they could be reliably cultivated. Sicialian exports of lemon juice rose 740 barrels in 1837 to 20,707 in 1850.
3/9/1848, Carlo Filangieri landed at Messina, Sicily, to suppress a movement on the island to secede from Naples. The independence forces were crushed by 5/1849, with much loss of life.
13/4/1848.Sicily declared itself independent from Naples.
12/1/1848, In Palermo, an uprising began against the misrule of Ferdinand II of Naples.
7/1831, A temporary volcanic island, called Grahame’s Island, appeared 50 km off Sciacca, Sicily. It attained a height of 50 metres and a circumference of 2 km before volcanic action ceased in August. Thereafter, erosion totally obliterated the new island.
17/11/1617, A naval battle between Sicily and Venice ended inconclusively.
31/3/1282, The French were massacred in Sicily (Sicilian Vespers). The Sicilians resented Angevin rule.
26/2/1266, Manfred, King of Sicily, killed in the Battle of Benevento. This was during the long-running power struggle in Italy between the Guelfs, who supported the Papacy, and the Ghibelines, who supported the Holy Roman Empire. The death of Manfred, son of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, was a severe blow to the Germans.
1194, Norman rule in Sicily ended with the death of King Tancred of Lecce, son of Roger III, who had seized the throne of Sicily in 1189 when William II died. Tancred was succeeded by his youngest son, William III. However 8 months later Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI, husband of Roger III’s daughter Constance, invaded sicily and was crowned in Palermon Cathedral on 25/12/1194. On 26/12/1194 Constance gave birth to the future Frederick II.
26/2/1154. King Roger II of Sicily died and was succeeded by his son William the Bald.
25/12/1130, The Norman King Roger II was crowned King of Sicily in Palermo Cathedral by the anti-Pope Anacletus, who thereby gained a powerful supporter for his claim on the Papacy against the Pope Innocent II.
1101, Roger I of Sicily died. He had finally subdued the whole of Sicily, taking the town of Enna from the Muslims in 1087 and expelling the Muslims from SE Sicily in 1091. Roger I was succeeded by his eldest son, Simon; however Simon died in 1105 and was succeeded by his younger brother, Roger II.
10/1/1072, The Normans conquered Palermo, Sicily.
1/8/902. The Arabs captured Taormina, which completed their conquest of Sicily from Byzantium.
878, Taormina, Sicily, fell to the Saracens.
831, Palermo, Sicily, fell to the Saracens.
827, First Islamic incursion into Sicily.
740, The Saracen invasions of Sicily began.
Appendix ii – Venice
1/12/2019, In 1926 Mussolini merged the constituency of Venice with the mainland towns of Mestre and Marghera. At the time, Venice was still the largest settlement, but in the 50 years to 2019 the population of Venice fell from 150,000 to 50,000, whereas the two mainland towns grew to 180,000 over the same period. This political balance means most money spent in the region now goes to projects in Mestre. Meanwhile the project to protect Venice from flooding has been put back successively, from 1995 to, currently, 2021. On 1st December 2019 Venice holds a referendum on administratively splitting off from the mainland.
12/11/2019, Venice suffered its worst flooding since 1966 as an acqua alta reached 1.54 metres, amidst heavy rain.
6/9/1987. The historic Venice regatta was held without gondoliers for the first time since 1315. The gondoliers were on strike as a protest against the damage to the fabric of Venice caused by powerboats.
25/5/1915. The Austrians bombarded Venice.
1802, Ludovico Manin, last Doge of Venice (born 1726), died. He was elected as Doge in March 1789. He both antagonised the French by allowing sanctuary to those fleeing it, and refused to join the league of Italian states proposed by Victor Amadeus III to counter French ambitions. The French forced the Republic of Venice to capitulate in 1797 with overwhelming military force.
2/4/1725. Giovanni Casanova, Italian adventurer, gambler, secret agent, and ‘world’s greatest lover’, was born in Venice.
17/11/1617, A naval battle between Sicily and Venice ended inconclusively.
1592,The Rialto Bridge, Venice, was completed
14/5/1509, French victory over Venice at the Battle of Agnadello, near Milan.
25/8/1499, The Venetian fleet was defeated at the Battle of Zonchia by the Ottomans. This was the first time cannon had been used in a naval battle. The Venetian-Ottoman War, 1499-1503, started. Venetian sea-power in the Mediterranean was an obstacle to Ottoman expansion. Ottoman Turkey gained the upper hand, and by 1503 Ottoman cavalry raids were reaching into Venetian territory. Venice was forced to recognise Turkish gains.
14/4/1489, The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sold her kingdom to Venice.
8/1/1465, Lorenzo Giustiniani, Bishop of Venice, died (born 1380).
1457, Death of Francesco Foscari, Doge of Venice from 1423. He pursued an aggressive policy on the Italian mainland, gaining territories for the Republic of Venice. However his rule was too nepotistic and despotic for the citizens of Venice, who deposed him in 1457, shortly before his death from grief.
21/5/1454, Ermolao Barbaro, Italian scholar, was born in Venice (died in Rome 14/6/1493).
5/5/1432, Francesco Carmagnola, Italian soldier of fortune, was executed in Venice (born 1390).
14/6/1380, Venice gained victory over Genoa, which had to surrender its fleet. In May 1379, one Venetian fleet had been destroyed by the Genoese; the rest of the Venetian fleet, under Carlo Zeno, was far away in the eastern Mediterranean, and Venice seemed open to a Genoese attack. The Genoese fleet entered the venetian lagoon, and with its allies Hungary and Padua, blockaded Venice by land and sea. However venice struck back and trapped the Geonese fleet; Carlo Zeno’s fleet arrived back, and routed the Genoese. Genoa never recovered,allowing Venice to dominate the eastern Mediterranean.
17/4/1355, Marino Falieri, born 1279, was executed for plotting to overthrow the government of Venice.
1339, Venice conquered Treviso, gaining its first mainland possession.
11/9/1298, The Governing Body of Venice, the Great Council, accepted a further amendment (see 5/10/1286) that entrenched the position of the existing ruling families.
1291, Venice moved its glass ovens to the island of Murano, initially to limit the risk of fire to the city. However this also facilitated restrictions on the movement of glass-makers, who were forbidden under strict penalties to jeopardise Venice’s monopoly in fine glassware by taking their secrets abroad.
5/10/1286, The Governing Body of Venice, the Great Council, accepted an amendment that effectively confirmed membership amongst the families of existing families (an earlier proposed amendment on 3/10/1286 had failed). The governance of Venice began to become more exclusive and autocratic, see 11/9/1298.
14/3/1272, Enzio, former King of Sardinia, died in captivity by the Bolognese.
7/10/1259, Eccelino da Romano, Ghibelline leader and supporter of Frederick II, died (born 25/4/1194).
26/5/1249, The King of Sardinia, Enzio, was captured by the Bolognese at Fossalta.
25/4/1194, Eccelino da Romano, Ghibelline leader and supporter of Frederick II, was born (died 7/10/1259).
26/11/1160, 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 2/7/1159, 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.
1094, First record of gondolas in Venice.
29/5/1176, The Battle of Legnano; In Spring 1176 Holy Roman Emperor Barbarossa was campaigning in Italy, but withdrawal of support by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, significantly reduced Barbarossa’s army strength. Meanwhile Milan and the other cities of the Lombard League had built up their defences. The Italian foot soldiers maintained a tight formation against Barbarossa’s cavalry, and the horsemen broke on the foot soldier’s pikes. Then Barbarossa was unhorsed and disappeared from view; his soldiers believed he had been killed, however he turned up in Pavia three days later, where they were mourning his death. However the result was that the 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.
18/6/1053, Battle of Civitate, Italy. The Normans established domination over southern Italy, defeating a Papal, Byzantine and Swabian force.
801, Venice gained full independence from the Byzantine Empire.
607, Venice elected its first Doge, and began its rise to become a major power in the Mediterranean. The fish and salt trade, and Venice’s central location, helped it become very wealthy. Moreover Venice persistently defied orders from both the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperors not to trade with Muslim states.
452, Venice had become a thriving merchant city, founded by refugees from the Huns invading Italy.
25/3/421, Venice was founded at twelve o'clock noon (according to legend) with the dedication of the first church, San Giacomo, on the islet of Rialto (Italy).
Appendix 1 – Malta
1/1/2008, Malta adopted the Euro.
2004, Malta joined the EU.
2003, In a referendum, Malta voted in favour of joining the EU.
1998, Early elections restored the Nationalist Party under Fenech Adami to power
1996, A modernised Malta Labour Party was elected under Alfred Sant. It halted talks on accession to the EU, and weakened trade union links. Hopwevert it only had a small majority, reducing its powers.
10/5/1987, In elections in Malta, the Nationalist Party (NP) defeated the ruling Labour Party. The NP favoured free markets and deregulation. Fenech Adami, NP Prime Minister, began talks to join the EU.
22/12/1984, Dom Mintoff resigned as President of Malta.
31/3/1979, The British Royal Navy finally withdrew from Malta.
13/12/1974. Malta became a republic within the Commonwealth.
26/3/1972, Britain and NATO agreed to pay Malta £14 million a year for use of military bases there.
1971, The Malta Labour Party under Dom Mintoff was elected. He promoted Malta’s non-aligned status, ended the UK’s naval presence in Malta, forged closer links with Libya (which advised and trained the Maltese Army, and nationalised several major industries.
21/9/1964. Malta became independent of Britain, after 164 years of British rule.
21/4/1958, Dom Mintoff, Labour Prime Minister of Malta, found Britain’s terms for integration unacceptable. The British Governor-General, Sir Robert Laycock, assumed control, and declared a State of Emergency on 30/4/1958 after demonstrations in Valetta.
30/12/1957, Malta, fearing that Britain will not maintain investment in the island, passed a resolution that Malta had no obligations to the UK unless Britain found employment for discharged dock workers.
11/2/1956. A Maltese referendum favoured integration with Britain.
7/3/1955, In Malta, Dom Mintoff, Labour Party, won elections on the platform of seeking greater integration with Britain.
1947, Malta became self-governing.
11/2/1942, Ugo Pasquale Mifsud, two-time prime minister of Malta, died aged 52.
For main events of World War Two in Europe see France-Germany
1941, Malta was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe, and withstood a harsh siege, until Allied forces arrived in 1942.
1929, Mussolini made territorial claims on the British colony of Malta.
12/2/1928. The British colony of Malta gained Dominion status.
6/8/1916, Dom Mintoff, Labour politician and Prime Minister of Malta, was born.
30/3/1913, Censu Tabone, President of Malta, was born.
1814, The Treaty of Paris gave Malta to Britain. This was confirmed at the 1815 Congress of Vienna.
1800, Britain took control of Malta.
1798, Napoleon captured Malta from the Knights of St John, with scarcely a shot nbeing fired. Napoleon was aided from within by a ‘fifth column’ of Maltese.
1565, Suleiman the Magnificent sent a fleet of 40,000 men in 200 ships to besiege and capture Malta from the Knights of St John. The Knights has been using Malta as a base to raid Ottoman shipping in the Mediterranean. Malta held out for four months until a relief force arrived from Sicily. By this time just 1,000 of the original 9,000 Knights survived unwounded. The Ottomans withdrew, having lost half their men, and never attempted an attack on the western Mediterranean again.
26/10/1530, The Knights of Malta were formed when the Knights Hospitaller were given Malta by Charles V.
1530, The Knights of St John, driven from Rhodes by the Turks, found a new home on Malta. They were given the island by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. In fact the island was only ‘rented’ to the Knights, in return for an annual payment of one falcon.
1522, After a prolonged siege, the Ottoman Turks captured Rhodes.
1282, Aragon, Spain, ruled Malta after the Maltese chose Aragonese King Peter III as their monarch.
1090, The Normans captured Malta.
869, The Arabs captured Malta.
534, Malta taken by Byzantium (who held it until 870).
200 BC, The original capital of Malta, Mdina (Arabic, ‘Medina’ = ‘the city’) was founded.
Appendix 2 – 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.
3/9/301, The republic of San Marino was established (traditional date) by stonemasons from Dalmatia, who took refuge here.
9/6/1923, 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.