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This posture appears to have been particular to Napoleon III. Previous French rulers preferred to capture pieces of Italy, specifically Piedmont and Lombardy, even if it meant dividing the country with the Hapsburgs (e.g. giving Austria Venice, or the "two Sicilies" to Spain. These rulers included Napoleon Bonaparte, and before him, several of the Kings ...


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An alliance with the Sardinia-Piedmont was a good way to weaken the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and to win an potentially strong ally on the Alpine south-east border of France, betting on the unification of the Italian peninsula by the kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont. A weak Sardinia-Piedmont Kingdom meant that France could be threatened by an invasion from the ...


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The most romantic (and far-fetched) explanation of the origin of the palle is that the balls are actually dents in a shield, inflicted by the fearsome giant Mugello on one of Charlemagne's knights, Averardo (from whom, legend claims, the family were descended). The knight eventually vanquished the giant and, to mark his victory, Charlemagne permitted ...



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