Italy is a country in Southern Europe, South of Alps, covering all Italian Peninsula.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

25
votes
6answers
58k views

Why did Italy abandon its alliance with Germany in WW1 and join the Allied side?

Before WW1 Italy was part of an alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, yet it didn't join them when the war started and it even joined the Allied side later during the war. Why did Italy do this? ...
24
votes
6answers
28k views

Why did so many Italians emigrate to Argentina?

On 13th of March, 2013, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, became new pope of Catholic Church. He was born and raised in Argentina with Italian origins. There are more than 24 ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Was the Italian campaign a strategic mistake?

Background In September 1943, the Allied forces invaded Southern Italy in combined amphibious operations in Reggio di Calabria (Operation Baytown), Salerno (Operation Avalanche) and Taranto (...
19
votes
3answers
8k views

Why wasn't San Marino unified with Italy?

Why wasn't San Marino unified with the Kindom of Italy during the unification process? Were there plans or efforts at the time to unify the two states? Did either government at any time try to annex ...
18
votes
1answer
812 views

When and how did classic “Italian” cuisine come to be?

Most people can recognize "Italian" food. Pasta, tomatoes, basil, etc. But many of the plants used in Italian food, didn't actually originate in Italy. Or even anywhere in the Old World. The ...
15
votes
3answers
376 views

What were the origins of Etruscan Civilisation?

Given the differences between Etruscan civilisation and other Italian peoples of the same period, is the conclusion that Etruscan civilisation was autochthonous sensible?
15
votes
1answer
282 views

The riddle of Marco's Millions

The question is asked in the context of theories about the use of 'millions' or 'milioni' in association with Marco Polo and the reason for the use of the word as the Italian title for his book, known ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What role did Lucky Luciano play in faciliting South Europe invasion?

On the night of July 9, 1943, 160,000 Allied troops landed on the extreme southwestern shore of Sicily. After securing a beachhead, Gen. George Patton's U.S. Seventh Army launched an offensive into ...
11
votes
2answers
385 views

What right/legitimacy did Normans have to a kingdom in Southern Italy?

In the eleventh century the Northmen conquered England and created a Norman state in Southern Italy. Why did Normans travel so far afield and what right/legitimacy did they have to a kingdom in ...
11
votes
3answers
642 views

Did Mussolini know that Hitler was going to attack Poland?

Did Hitler inform Mussolini of his decision to attack Poland in advance? Was Mussolini in favour?
11
votes
1answer
425 views

Did any Ethiopian leaders help the Italians?

Around the two Italo-Ethiopian wars, did any Ethiopian leaders side with the Italians? By "around", I mean anywhere from about 1890 to 1936. By "leaders", I mean noblemen, military officers, popular ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Why were balls used on the Medici coat of arms?

I've heard they represent the weighted balls used to measure goods, alluding to Florence's history as a commercial city and the Medici family's history as merchants and bankers. I've also heard that ...
10
votes
1answer
114 views

Did the Socialist and the Fascist party share the electoral programme in Italy?

I was taught that in the early twenties the Socialist and the Fascist parties programmes were more or less identical, except for just one nationalist clause in the Fascist party's programme. Despite ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

I recently heard a big claim from a Muslim, that the Italian Renaissance was largely caused by the positive Islamic influence on Europe via Spain or Al Andalus. I have my doubts about this claim, ...
9
votes
3answers
213 views

Rulers' titles in Middle Age Italy

For centuries in the Middle Ages, in many regions of Europe there were not kings, but dukes, archdukes, etc. For instance, in Italy one had the Archduke of Tuscany and the Duke of Piedmont (until 1720)...
9
votes
2answers
338 views

Why did Fakhr-al-Din seek a treaty with Tuscany, of all places?

In an interesting vignette, it turns out that the Druze emir of Lebanon, Fakhr-al-Din, had traveled in the early 17th century to Florence and tried to conclude a military alliance with the Grand Duchy ...
9
votes
1answer
590 views

Did France & Italy continue to develop and manufacture sophisticated military hardware once under German control?

Both France and Italy were designing and building advanced vehicle engines, motorcyles, aero engines and airframes through the 1930s and early 1940s. In the case of those advanced economies of ...
9
votes
1answer
333 views

Why was Villa Gaggia chosen as the setting for Hitler & Mussolini's July 1943 meeting?

Ian Kershaw's Hitler biography Nemesis describes Hitler's hurriedly arranged summit with Mussolini in July 1943: After landing at Treviso, Hitler and Mussolini travelled in the Duce's train to a ...
9
votes
3answers
441 views

What currently existing IT companies collaborated with Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy?

I am aware that IBM has designed the tabulator machines to calculate information dealing with the extermination of Jews, but are there any other currently existing corporations which have helped Nazi ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What do Florence, Genoa, Milan and Venice have in common?

This building, located in Genoa, Italy, displays the emblems of four cities: from left to right Florence, Genoa, Milan, Venice. It is currently an university building, but I don't know how long it ...
7
votes
4answers
561 views

Why did France make an alliance with the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in the 1850's?

It is clear why Cavour wanted the alliance, but what benefits would France have from allying itself to a relatively weak (as far as I know) kingdom?
7
votes
1answer
299 views

What was the League of Sublime and Perfect Masters?

What was the League of the Sublime and Perfect Masters, created when the Congress of Viena was finished? What role did it play in Italian Reunification?
7
votes
1answer
366 views

Why did Austria cede Venetia at the end of the Third Italian War of Independence?

Looking at the wikipedia articles, they seemed to be winning (the Battle of Custoza and the naval battle of Lissa), and the war against Prussia was already finished. So why did it still cede Venetia ...
6
votes
2answers
325 views

Can the University of Bologna be considered the first university in the world?

There are usually two different opinions: the first group considers the University of Bolgona to be officially the first one, some others instead claim that there might have been other groups of ...
6
votes
1answer
127 views

Who besieged Karl IV at Siena?

According to Wikipedia article about the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV: His second journey to Italy took place in 1368, when he had a meeting with Pope Urban VI at Viterbo, was besieged in his ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

Is it true that Mussolini agreed to implement anti-Jewish laws in exchange for expulsion of Germans from Northern Italy?

Once I have read that Mussolini was reluctant to implement anti-Jewish legislation despite German pressure but agreed to do so in exchange for expulsion of Germans from Northern Italy (including South ...
5
votes
2answers
470 views

In 1861, few Italians spoke Italian?

The Economist claims Italy was created by a small elite at a time when more than 90% of the peninsula’s inhabitants did not speak Italian. (Source: Special Report on Italy, June 11th, 2011, p. 3) ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What was the reason for the Ottoman invasion of Otranto?

In 1480, the Ottomans invaded Otranto and briefly occupied it. However, it didn't seem that the city was strategically important or held particular value to the Ottomans, nor did they seem to follow ...
5
votes
2answers
766 views

Why was the water in roman fountains cold?

Why was the water from some aqueducts that fed the water to ancient Roman fountains(nasoni) cold?
5
votes
1answer
297 views

Why would Cavour ally with France instead of any enemy of Austria that wasn't looking to grab Nice and Savoy?

In 1858 during Italian unification, the Prime Minister of Sardinia-Piedmont, Cavour, entered into an alliance with France. In return for French aid against Austria, Cavour ceded Savoy and Nice to ...
5
votes
3answers
839 views

Italian History from 1870-1913: Why did Italy have such a hard time becoming a Great Power like Germany

Both Italy and Prussia-Germany were united from the years 1870-1871. Instead of small provinces, the country became united under one political leadership. Their unification received the help of France ...
5
votes
0answers
626 views

Why has bidet use not spread to the northern countries of Europe? [closed]

As wikipedia states, the bidet is quite common in southern European countries (in Italy for example, it is found in 95% of households), in the Middle East and in East Asia. Conversely, bidets are ...
4
votes
1answer
96 views

How were city government and law enforcement authorities organized in Northern Italy in the 17th century?

How was it all actually working there, in the dark 16xx-s? Who was the major of a town, what was his duties and capabilities? How were laws issued? How was organized the analog of police: a city ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

Did any of these artists ever meet?

Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (Raphael) and Donato Bardi (Donatello) are some of the most prominent and influential artists of the Renaissance period. Three of the four (...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

How historically accurate Life is Beautiful is when it comes to Jewish extermination?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Is_Beautiful It is portrayed, in the movie, how that protagonist jew is sent to extermination camp in Italy. I thought jews in Italy are not usually sent to ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What explanations have been given as to why the Jews were not killed in Italy?

Jews were mass murdered in Germany during World War II. Why did the same thing not happen in Italy?
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Did Italian irredentists ever lay claim to the Swiss Canton of Tessin?

The Italian irredentists wanted all Italian-speaking regions to be annexed by Italy, most specifically parts of Austria-Hungary, and this is why Italy joined the entente during the Great War, in order ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

When was the Western Facade on the Sant Andrea Basilica by Alberti constructed?

I've found conflicting answers on other website and was wondering if anyone knows.
2
votes
0answers
68 views

Why the different jail terms for the brigatisti involved in Aldo Moro's death?

Wikipedia's summary of the sentences applied to each of the brigatisti involved in Aldo Moro's death shows a wide range of jail terms. In particular Barbara Balzerani served 21 years until 2011 while ...
1
vote
3answers
484 views

How Likely Was a French Alliance with Italy or Japan in World War I? [closed]

My World History class is re-enacting World War I and I have been assigned France. I'm looking for countries who allied with France or were potential allies. Please help if you know any good alliances ...
1
vote
0answers
101 views

Did Amadeo Bordiga tell off Stalin this way?

I read somewhere that Amadeo Bordiga, Italian Communist, told said something along these lines to Stalins face: If the Soviet Union is the homeland of all proletarians and the revolution, then let ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Seeking history for object: Venetian Glass and Silverplate Claret Jug Wine Decanter

I have a Venetian Glass and Silverplate Claret Jug Wine Decanter. It looks exactly like the one on this site. https://www.rubylane.com/item/589451-RLES3724/Venetian-Glass-Silverplate-Claret-Jug-Wine. ...