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Italians ( it, italiani ) are a
Romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong attraction towards another person, and the Court ...
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
native to the
Italian geographical region The Italian geographical region (aka Italian physical region or Italian region) is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( hu ...
and its neighboring insular territories. Italians share a common
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...
,
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
,
ancestry An ancestor, also known as a forefather, fore-elder or a forebear, is a parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker of a child (where "child" refers to offspring, not necessarily ...
and
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
.: The usage of Italian language, dialects and other languages in Italy
. Istat.it
Legally, Italian nationals are citizens of
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
, regardless of ancestry or nation of residence (in effect, however,
Italian nationality Italian nationality law is the law of Italy governing the acquisition, transmission and loss of Italian citizenship. Like many continental European countries it is largely based on ''jus sanguinis''. It also incorporates many elements that are se ...
is largely based on
jus sanguinis ( , , ; 'right of blood') is a principle of nationality law by which citizenship is determined or acquired by the nationality or ethnicity of one or both parents. Children at birth may be citizens of a particular state if either or both of th ...
) and may be distinguished from ethnic Italians in general or from people of Italian descent without Italian citizenship and ethnic Italians living in territories adjacent to the Italian peninsula without Italian citizenship. The majority of Italian nationals are native speakers of the country's official language, Italian, or a regional variety thereof. However, many of them also speak a
regional or minority language A regional language is a language spoken in an area of a sovereign state, whether it be a small area, a federated state or province or some wider area. Internationally, for the purposes of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages ...
native to Italy, the existence of which predates the national language. Although there is disagreement on the total number, according to UNESCO, there are approximately 30 languages native to Italy, although many are often misleadingly referred to as "Italian
dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') can refer to either of two distinctly different types of Linguistics, linguistic phenomena: * One usage refers to a variety (linguis ...
s". Since 2017, in addition to the approximately 55 million Italians in Italy (91% of the Italian national population), Italian-speaking autonomous groups are found in neighboring nations; about a half million are in
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
, as well as in France, the entire population of
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is a small country (and a European microstate) ...

San Marino
. In addition, there are also clusters of Italian speakers in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
, primarily in
Istria Istria ( ; Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also * Croatia (disambiguation) ...

Istria
, located between in modern
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
and
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, l ...

Slovenia
(see: ''
Istrian Italians Istrian Italians are an ethnic group from the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic region of Istria in modern northwestern Croatia and southwestern Slovenia. Istrian Italians descend from the original Latinized population of Roman Empire, Roman Istria#Early hist ...
''), and
Dalmatia Dalmatia (; hr, Dalmacija ; it, Dalmazia; see #Name, names in other languages) is a region on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, a narrow belt stretching from the island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south. The Dalmatian Hin ...

Dalmatia
, located in present day
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
and
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (fro ...

Montenegro
(see: ''
Dalmatian Italians Dalmatian Italians are the historical Italian national minority living in the region of Dalmatia, now part of Croatia and Montenegro. Since the middle of the 19th century, the community, counting according to some sources nearly 20% of all Dalmat ...
''). Due to the wide-ranging
diaspora A diaspora () is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories, specifically the dispersion ...
following
Italian unification The unification of Italy ( it, Unità d'Italia ), also known as the ''Risorgimento'' (, ; meaning "Resurgence"), was the 19th-century political and social movement that resulted in the Merger (politics), consolidation of List of historic stat ...

Italian unification
,
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, (with over 5 million Italian citizens that live outside of Italy) over 80 million people abroad claim full or partial Italian ancestry. This includes about 60% of Argentina's population (''
Italian Argentines Italian Argentines ( it, italo-argentini, es, ítalo-argentinos) are Argentine-born citizens of Italian descent or Italian-born people who reside in Argentina. Italian is the largest ethnic origin of modern Argentines, after the Spanish immigr ...
''), 1/3 of Uruguayans (''
Italian Uruguayans Italian Uruguayans (Spanish language, Spanish: ''ítalo-uruguayos''; Italian language, Italian: ''italo-uruguaiani'') are Uruguayans, Uruguayan-born citizens who are fully or partially of Italians, Italian descent or Italy, Italian-born people in U ...
''), 15% of Brazilians (''
Italian Brazilians , pt, ítalo-brasileiros) are Brazilian citizens of full or partial Italian descent. Italian Brazilians are the largest number of people with full or partial Italian ancestry outside Italy, with São Paulo São Paulo (, ; Portuguese for 'Sai ...
,'' the largest Italian community outside Italy), more than 5 million Venezuelans ( Italian Venezuelans), and people in other parts of
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
(e.g. '' Italians in Germany'' and ''
Italians in the United Kingdom Italians in the United Kingdom, also known as British Italians or colloquially Britalians, are citizens or residents of the United Kingdom of Italian heritage. The phrase may refer to someone born in the United Kingdom of Italian descent, someon ...
''), the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...

Americas
(such as ''
Italian Americans Italian Americans ( it, italoamericani or ''italo-americani'', ) are Americans Americans are the and of the .; ; ''Ricketts v. Attorney General''897 F.3d 491, 494 n.3 (3d Cir. 2018) (" and are not ous. While all citizens are nationals, ...
'', ''
Italian Canadians Italian Canadians ( it, italo-canadesi, french: italo-canadiens) comprise Canadians Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Ca ...
'', ''
Italian Mexicans An Italian-Mexican or Italo-Mexican ( es, italo-mexicano, it, italo-messicano), is a Mexican citizen of Italian descent or origin. The ancestors of most Mexicans of Italian descent arrived in the country during the late 19th century. Their desc ...
'' and ''
Italo-Venezuelans Italian Venezuelans are Venezuelan citizens of Italian descent. The word may refer to someone born in Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country ...
'', among others),
Australasia Australasia is a region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth ...

Australasia
(''
Italian Australians Italian Australians are people of Italian ancestry or origin living in Australia, and comprise the sixth largest ethnic group in Australia, with the 2016 census finding 4.6% of the population (1,000,013 people) claiming ancestry from Italy be ...
'' and ''
Italian New Zealanders Italian New Zealanders are New Zealanders New Zealanders, colloquially known as Kiwis (), are people associated with New Zealand, sharing a common History of New Zealand, history, Culture of New Zealand, culture, and language (New Zealand Eng ...
''), and to a lesser extent in the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
. Italians have influenced and contributed to fields like arts and music, science, technology, fashion, cinema, cuisine, restaurants, sports, jurisprudence, banking and business. Furthermore, Italian people are generally known for their attachment to their locale, expressed in the form of either regionalism or municipalism.


Name

Hypotheses for the etymology of the Latin name "Italia" are numerous.Alberto Manco, ''Italia. Disegno storico-linguistico'', 2009,
Napoli Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania it, Campano (man) it, Campana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , popul ...

Napoli
, L'Orientale,
One is that it was borrowed via
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
from the
Oscan Oscan is an extinct Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcontinent and th ...
''Víteliú'' 'land of calves' (''cf.'' ''vitulus'' "calf", Umb ''vitlo'' "calf"). Greek historian
Dionysius of Halicarnassus Dionysius of Halicarnassus ( grc, Διονύσιος Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἁλικαρνασσεύς, ; – after 7 BC) was a Greek historian Hellenic historiography (or Greek historiography) involves efforts made by Greeks to track and r ...
states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after
Italus Italus or Italos (from ) was a legendary king of the OenotriansThe Oenotrians ("tribe led by Oenotrus" or "people from the land of vines - Οἰνωτρία") were an ancient people who inhabited a territory in southern Italy Italy ( it, It ...
, mentioned also by
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
and
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
. According to
Antiochus of SyracuseAntiochus of Syracuse ( grc-gre, Ἀντίοχος ὁ Συρακούσιος) was a Greek historian, who flourished around 420 BC. Life Little is known of Antiochus' life, but his works, of which only fragments remain, enjoyed a high reputation be ...
, the term Italy was used by the Greeks to initially refer only to the southern portion of the Bruttium peninsula corresponding to the modern province of Reggio and part of the provinces of
Catanzaro Catanzaro (, or ; scn, label=Central-Southern Calabrian, Catanzarese, Catanzaru ; , or , ''Katastaríoi Lokrói''; la, Catacium), also known as the "City of the two Seas", is an Italy, Italian city of 91,000 inhabitants (2013), the capital of t ...
and
Vibo Valentia Vibo Valentia (; Monteleone before 1861; Monteleone di Calabria from 1861 to 1928; scn, label= Calabrian, Vibbu Valenzia or ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, ...

Vibo Valentia
in
southern Italy Southern Italy ( it, Sud Italia; nap, 'o Sudde; scn, Italia dû Sud), also known as ''Meridione'' or ''Mezzogiorno'' (, literally "Midday"; in nap, 'o Miezojuorno; in scn, Mezzujornu), is a macroregionA macroregion is a geopolitical subdivis ...
. Nevertheless, by his time the larger concept of
Oenotria The Oenotrians ("tribe led by Oenotrus" or "people from the land of vines - Οἰνωτρία") were an ancient people who inhabited a territory in southern Italy from Paestum to southern Calabria. By the sixth century BC, the Oenotrians had been ab ...
and "Italy" had become synonymous and the name also applied to most of
Lucania Lucania ( grc-gre, Λευκανία, Leukanía, Lefkanía (Modern Greek)) was a historical region of Southern Italy. It was the land of the Lucanians, Lucani, an Oscan people. It extended from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Gulf of Taranto. It borde ...

Lucania
as well. According to
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
's ''
Geographica The ''Geographica'' (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek ...
'', before the expansion of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
, the name was used by Greeks to indicate the land between the
strait of Messina The Strait of Messina ( it, Stretto di Messina, Sicilian: Strittu di Missina) is a narrow strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel o ...

strait of Messina
and the line connecting the
gulf of Salerno The Gulf of Salerno (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional It ...

gulf of Salerno
and
gulf of Taranto The Gulf of Taranto ( it, Golfo di Taranto; Tarantino: ; la, Sinus Tarentinus) is a gulf of the Ionian Sea The Ionian Sea ( el, Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, ''Iónio Pélagos'' ; it, Mar Ionio ; al, Deti Jon ) is an elongated bay of the Medi ...
, corresponding roughly to the current region of
Calabria it, Calabrese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demogr ...

Calabria
. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name "Italia" to a larger region In addition to the "Greek Italy" in the south, historians have suggested the existence of an "Etruscan Italy" covering variable areas of central Italy. The borders of Roman Italy are better established. Cato's ''
Origines (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...
'', the first work of
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
composed in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
, described Italy as the entire peninsula south of the
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt ...

Alps
. According to Cato and several Roman authors, the Alps formed the "walls of Italy". In 264 BC, Roman Italy extended from the
Arno The Arno is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reach ...

Arno
and
Rubicon The Rubicon ( la, Rubico; it, Rubicone ; rgn, Rubicôn ) is a shallow river in northeastern Italy, just north of Rimini. It was known as Fiumicino until 1933, when it was identified with the ancient river Rubicon, Crossing the Rubicon, famous ...

Rubicon
rivers of the centre-north to the entire south. The northern area of
Cisalpine Gaul Cisalpine Gaul ( la, Gallia Cisalpina, also called ''Gallia Citerior'' or ''Gallia Togata'') was the part of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Ital ...
was occupied by Rome in the 220s BC and became considered geographically and ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
'' part of Italy, but remained politically and ''
de jure In law and government, ''de jure'' ( ; , "by law") describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, ("in fact") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally ...
'' separated. It was legally merged into the administrative unit of Italy in 42 BC by the triumvir
Octavian Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate (the first phase of the Roman Empire) has consolidated ...
as a ratification of
Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman people, Roman general and statesman. A member of the First Triumvirate, Caesar led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before defeating his political rival Pompey Caesar's C ...

Caesar
's unpublished acts (''Acta Caesaris''). Under Emperor
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
the Roman region called "Italia" was further enlarged with the addition in 292 AD of the three big islands of the western
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
:
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
(with the Maltese archipelago),
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , ...

Sardinia
and
Corsica Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north ...

Corsica
, coinciding with the whole
Italian geographical region The Italian geographical region (aka Italian physical region or Italian region) is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( hu ...
. All its inhabitants were considered ''Italic'' and ''Roman''.
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
, ''
Geographica The ''Geographica'' (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek ...
'', V, 1,1.
The Latin term ''Italicus'' was used to describe "a man of Italy" as opposed to a
provincial Provincial may refer to: Government & Administration * Provincial capitals, an administrative sub-national capital of a country * Provincial city (disambiguation) * Provincial minister (disambiguation) * Provincial Secretary, a position in Canadi ...
. For example,
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, includi ...

Pliny the Elder
notably wrote in a letter ''Italicus es an provincialis''? meaning "are you an Italian or a provincial?". The adjective ''italianus'', from which are derived the Italian (and also French and English) name of the Italians, is
medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
and was used alternatively with Italicus during the
early modern period The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, and since the History of writing, adve ...
. After the
fall of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Ro ...
, which was caused by the invasion of the
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: P ...
, the
Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II en, Victor Emmanuel Mario Albert Eugene Ferdinand Thomas , house = House of Savoy, Savoy , father = Charles Albert o ...
was created. After the
Lombard The term Lombard refers to members of or things related to Lombardy (man) it, Lombarda (woman) lmo, Lombard (man) lmo, Lombarda (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 ...
invasions, "Italia" was retained as the name for their kingdom, and for its successor kingdom within the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
, which nominally lasted until 1806, although it had ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
'' disintegrated due to factional politics pitting the empire against the ascendant city republics in the 13th century.


History


Roman era

The
Italian peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Reg ...
was divided into a multitude of tribal or ethnic territory prior to the
Roman conquest of Italy The Roman expansion in Italy covers a series of conflicts in which Rome grew from being a small Italian city-state to be the ruler of the Italian peninsula. Roman tradition attributes to the Roman Kingdom, Roman kings the first war Rape of the ...
in the 3rd century BC. After a series of wars between
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...

Greeks
and
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () of ancient Italy The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civilization, Etruscans, and Celts ha ...

Etruscans
, the
Latins The Latins were originally an Italic tribe in ancient central Italy from Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Definition La ...
, with
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
as their capital, gained the ascendancy by 272 BC, and completed the conquest of the Italian peninsula by 218 BC. This period of unification was followed by one of conquest in the Mediterranean, beginning with the
First Punic War The First Punic War (264–241 BC) was the first of three wars fought between Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (m ...
against
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
. In the course of the century-long struggle against Carthage, the Romans conquered Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Finally, in 146 BC, at the conclusion of the
Third Punic War The Third Punic War (149–146 BC) was the third and last of the Punic Wars The Punic Wars were a series of wars (taking place between 264 and 146BC) that were fought between the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūbli ...
, with Carthage completely destroyed and its inhabitants enslaved, Rome became the dominant power in the Mediterranean. The process of Italian unification, and the associated
Romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspec ...
, culminated in 88 BC, when, in the aftermath of the Social War, Rome granted its fellow Italian allies full rights in
Roman society The culture of ancient Rome existed throughout the almost 1200-year history of the civilization of Ancient Rome. The term refers to the culture of the Roman Republic, later the Roman Empire, which at its peak covered an area from present-day Lo ...
, extending
Roman citizenship Citizenship Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its ci ...
to all fellow
Italic peoples The Italic peoples were an ethnolinguistic group identified by their use of Italic languages, a branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family. The Italic peoples are descended from the Indo-European speaking peoples who inh ...
. From its inception, Rome was a republican city-state, but four famous civil conflicts destroyed the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
:
Lucius Cornelius Sulla Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; 138–78 BC), commonly known as Sulla, was a Ancient Romans, Roman List of Roman generals, general and Politician, statesman. He won the first large-scale civil war in Roman history, and became the first man of Rom ...
against
Gaius Marius Gaius Marius (; – 13 January 86 BC) was a Roman general and statesman. Victor of the Cimbric and Jugurthine wars, he held the office of consul Consul (abbrev. ''cos.''; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging t ...
and his son (88–82 BC),
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
against
Pompey Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (; 29 September 106 BC – 28 September 48 BC), known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a leading Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization f ...
(49–45 BC),
Marcus Junius Brutus Marcus Junius Brutus (; 85 BC – 23 October 42 BC), often referred to simply as Brutus, was a Roman politician, orator, and the most famous of the assassins of Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a ...
and
Gaius Cassius Longinus Gaius Cassius Longinus (3 October, c. 86 BC – 3 October 42 BC), often referred to as simply Cassius, was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD ...

Gaius Cassius Longinus
against
Mark Antony Marcus Antonius (14 January 1 August 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark Antony, was a Ancient Rome, Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the Crisis of the Roman Republic, transformation of the Roman Republic f ...
and Octavian (43 BC), and Mark Antony against
Octavian Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate (the first phase of the Roman Empire) has consolidated ...

Octavian
. Octavian, the final victor (31 BC), was accorded the title of
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...
by the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...

Senate
and thereby became the first Roman Emperor. Augustus created for the first time an administrative region called ''Italia'' with inhabitants called "Italicus populus", stretching from the
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt ...

Alps
to
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
: for this reason historians like
Emilio Gentile Emilio Gentile (born 1946, in Bojano) is an Italian historian specializing in the ideology and culture of fascism. Gentile is considered one of Italy's foremost cultural historians of fascist ideology. He studied under Renzo De Felice and wrote ...
called him ''Father of Italians''. In the 1st century BC, ''Italia'' was still a collection of territories with different political statuses. Some cities, called ''
municipia Municipium (pl. municipia) was the Latin language, Latin term for a town or city. Etymologically the ''municipium'' was a social contract among ''municipes'', the "duty holders," or citizens of the town. The duties, or ''munera'', were a communal ob ...
'', had some independence from Rome, while others, the ''
coloniae A Roman colonia (plural ''coloniae'') was originally a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *' ...
'', were founded by the Romans themselves. Around 7 BC,
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
divided Italy into eleven ''regiones''. During the
Crisis of the Third Century The Crisis of the Third Century, also known as Military Anarchy or the Imperial Crisis (235–284 AD), was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed. It ended due to the military victories of Aurelian and with the ascension of Dioclet ...
, the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of invasions, military anarchy and civil wars, and hyperinflation. In 284, emperor
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
restored political stability. The importance of Rome declined, because the city was far from the troubled frontiers. The seats of the Caesars became
Augusta Treverorum Trier Trier ( , ; lb, Tréier ), formerly known in English as Trèves ( ;) and Triers (see also Names of Trier in different languages, names in other languages), is a city on the banks of the Moselle (river), Moselle in Germany. It lies in a v ...

Augusta Treverorum
(on the River
Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many s ...

Rhine
frontier) for
Constantius Chlorus Flavius Valerius Constantius "Chlorus" ( – 25 July 306), also called Constantius I, was a Roman emperor The Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). T ...
and
Sirmium Sirmium was a city in the Roman province of Pannonia, located on the Sava river, on the site of modern Sremska Mitrovica in northern Serbia Serbia (, ; sr, Србија, Srbija, ),, * cs, Srbsko, * ro, Serbia * rue, Сербия *germa ...

Sirmium
(on the River
Danube The Danube ( ; ) is the List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest river in Europe, after the Volga in Russia. It flows through much of Central Europe, Central and Southeastern Europe, from the Black Forest into the Black Sea. It ...

Danube
frontier) for
Galerius Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus (; c. 258 – May 311) was from 305 to 311. During his reign he campaigned, aided by , against the , sacking their capital in 299. He also campaigned across the against the , defeating them in 297 and 300. ...

Galerius
, who also resided at
Thessaloniki Thessaloniki (; el, Θεσσαλονίκη, ), also known as Thessalonica (), Saloniki or Salonica () is the second-largest city in Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in So ...

Thessaloniki
. Under Diocletian, Italy became the ''Dioecesis Italiciana'', subdivided into thirteen provinces, now including
Raetia Raetia ( ; ; also spelled Rhaetia) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, firs ...

Raetia
. Under
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ...

Constantine the Great
, Italy became the
Praetorian prefecture of Italy Praetorian is an adjective derived from the ancient Roman office of praetor Praetor ( , ), also spelled prætor or pretor in English, was a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may si ...
(''praefectura praetoria Italiae''), and was subdivided into two dioceses. ''Diocesis Italia annonaria'' (Italy of the
annona ''Annona'' (from ''annon'') is a of s in the / family, . It is the second largest genus in the family after ', containing approximately 166
, governed from Milan) and ''Diocesis Italia Suburbicaria'' (Italy "under the government of the '' urbs''", i.e. governed from Rome).
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...
became the Roman state religion in AD 380, under Emperor
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
. The last Western emperor,
Romulus Augustulus Romulus Augustus ( 465 – after 511?), nicknamed Augustulus, was Roman emperor of the Western Roman Empire, West from 31 October 475 until 4 September 476. Romulus was placed on the imperial throne by his father, the ''magister militum'' Orest ...
, was deposed in 476 by a Germanic foederati general in Italy,
Odoacer Flavius Odoacer ( ; – 493 AD), also spelled Odovacer or Odovacar ( grc, Ὀδόακρος, translit=Odóakros), was a soldier and statesman of Barbarian kingdoms, barbarian background, who deposed the child emperor Romulus Augustulus and bec ...

Odoacer
. His defeat marked the end of the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican ...

Western Roman Empire
, and the end of the political unification of Italy until the establishment of the modern Kingdom of Italy in 1861. File:Escipión africano.JPG,
Scipio Africanus Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (, , ; 236/235–183 BC) was a Roman general and statesman, most notable as one of the main architects of Rome's victory against Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side ...
, Roman general best known for having defeated
Hannibal Hannibal (; xpu, 𐤇𐤍𐤁𐤏𐤋, ''Ḥannibaʿl''; 247 – between 183 and 181 BC) was a Carthaginian general and statesman who commanded the forces of Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern ...

Hannibal
in Africa, a victory that earned him the surname ''Africanus''. File:Bust of Cicero (1st-cent. BC) - Palazzo Nuovo - Musei Capitolini - Rome 2016.jpg,
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
, Roman orator and lawyer who served as consul and exposed the
Second Catilinarian conspiracy The second Catilinarian conspiracy, also known simply as the Catiline conspiracy, was a plot, devised by the Roman senator Catiline, Lucius Sergius Catilina (or Catiline), with the help of a group of fellow Aristocracy (class), aristocrats and disa ...
. One of the greatest Latin philosophers along with
Lucretius Titus Lucretius Carus ( , ; 99 – c. 55 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Rom ...
and
Seneca Seneca may refer to: People and language *Seneca (name), a list of people with either the given name or surname *Seneca the Elder, a Roman rhetorician, writer and father of the stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger *Seneca the Younger, a Roman Stoi ...
. File:Gaius Iulius Caesar (Vatican Museum).jpg,
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
, member of the
Populares The Populares (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...

Populares
, nephew of
Gaius Marius Gaius Marius (; – 13 January 86 BC) was a Roman general and statesman. Victor of the Cimbric and Jugurthine wars, he held the office of consul Consul (abbrev. ''cos.''; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging t ...
, politician, writer, general, and Dictator, introduced the
Julian Calendar The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century B ...
. First of
the Twelve Caesars ''De vita Caesarum'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
. File:Augustus Bevilacqua Glyptothek Munich 317.jpg,
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
, first
Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Politica ...
. The golden age of Rome, known as
Pax Romana The ''Pax Romana'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to ...
due to the relative peace established in the Mediterranean world, began with his reign. File:Parco della Grotta di Posillipo5 (crop).jpg,
Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan period. He composed three ...

Virgil
, author of three of the most famous poems in Latin literature: the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid. File:Statuia lui Ovidiu.jpg,
Ovid Pūblius Ovidius Nāsō (; 20 March 43 BC – 17/18 AD), known in English as Ovid ( ), was a Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom ...

Ovid
, author of the
Metamorphoses The ''Metamorphoses'' ( la, Metamorphōsēs, from grc, μεταμορφώσεις: "Transformations") is an 8 AD Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured syste ...
and one of three main Augustan poets along with
Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan period. He composed three ...

Virgil
and
Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus (; 8 December 65 – 27 November 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace (), was the leading Roman Empire, Roman Lyric poetry, lyric poet during the time of Augustus (also known as Octavian). The rhetoricia ...

Horace
.


The Middle Ages

Odoacer ruled well for 13 years after gaining control of Italy in 476. Then he was attacked and defeated by
Theodoric Theodoric is a Germanic given name. First attested as a Gothic name in the 5th century, it became widespread in the Germanic-speaking world, not least due to its most famous bearer, Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Overview The name ...
, the king of another Germanic tribe, the
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: P ...
. Theodoric and Odoacer ruled jointly until 493, when Theodoric murdered Odoacer. Theodoric continued to rule Italy with an army of Ostrogoths and a government that was mostly Italian. After the death of Theodoric in 526, the kingdom began to grow weak. By 553, emperor
Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
expelled the Ostrogoths, and Italy was included into the
Byzantine Empire under the Justinian dynasty The Byzantine Empire had its first golden age under the Justinian Dynasty, which began in 518 AD with the Accession of Justin I. Under the Justinian Dynasty, particularly the reign of Justinian I, the Empire reached its largest territorial point, ...
. Byzantine rule in Italy collapsed by 572 as a result of invasions by another Germanic tribe, the Lombards. The peninsula was now dominated by the Kingdom of the Lombards, with minor remnants of Byzantine control, especially in the south. During the 5th and 6th centuries, the popes increased their influence in both religious and political matters in Italy. It was usually the popes who led attempts to protect Italy from invasion or to soften foreign rule. For about 200 years the popes opposed attempts by the Lombards, who had captured most of Italy, to take over Rome as well. The popes finally defeated the Lombards with the aid of two Frankish kings, Pepin the Short and Charlemagne. Using land won for them by Pepin in 756, the popes established political rule in what were called the Papal States in central Italy. The Lombards remained a threat to papal power, however, until they were crushed by Charlemagne in 774. Charlemagne added the Kingdom of the Lombards to his vast realm. In recognition of Charlemagne's power, and to cement the church's alliance with him, Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III in 800. After Charlemagne's death in 814, his son Louis the Pious succeeded him. Louis divided the empire among his sons, and Frankish Italy became part of Middle Francia, extending as far south as
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
and Spoleto. This Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire), Kingdom of Italy became part of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
in the 10th century, while southern Italy was under the rule of the
Lombard The term Lombard refers to members of or things related to Lombardy (man) it, Lombarda (woman) lmo, Lombard (man) lmo, Lombarda (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 ...
Principality of Benevento or of the Byzantine Empire, in the 12th century absorbed into the Kingdom of Sicily.


Rise of the city-states and the Renaissance

From the 11th century on, Italian cities began to grow rapidly in independence and importance. They became centres of political life, banking, and foreign trade. Some became wealthy, and many, including Florence,
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
, Genoa, Milan, Pisa, Siena and Venice, grew into nearly independent city-states. Each had its own foreign policy and political life. They all resisted the efforts of noblemen and emperors to control them. The emergence of identifiable Italo-Dalmatian languages, Italian dialects from Vulgar Latin, and as such the possibility of a specifically "Italian" ethnic identity, has no clear-cut date, but began in roughly the 12th century. Modern standard Italian derives from the written vernacular of Tuscany, Tuscan writers of the 12th century. The recognition of Italian vernaculars as literary languages in their own right began with ''De vulgari eloquentia'', an essay written by Dante Alighieri at the beginning of the 14th century. During the 14th and 15th centuries, some Italian city-states ranked among the most important powers of Europe. Venice, in particular, had become a major maritime power, and the city-states as a group acted as a conduit for goods from the Byzantine and Islamic empires. In this capacity, they provided great impetus to the developing Renaissance, began in Florence in the 14th century, and led to an unparalleled flourishing of the arts, literature, music, and science. However, the city-states were often troubled by violent disagreements among their citizens. The most famous division was between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. The Guelphs supported supreme rule by the pope, and the Ghibellines favoured the emperor. City-states often took sides and waged war against each other. During the Renaissance, Italy became an even more attractive prize to foreign conquerors. After some city-states asked for outside help in settling disputes with their neighbours, King Charles VIII of France marched into Italy in 1494; he soon withdrew, showing that the Italian peninsula's delicate equilibrium could be taken advantage of. After the Italian Wars, Spain emerged as the dominant force in the region. Venice, Milan, and other city-states retained at least some of their former greatness during this period, as did Savoy-Piedmont, protected by the Alps and well defended by its vigorous rulers. File:Marco Polo Mosaic from Palazzo Tursi.jpg, Marco Polo, Italian merchant traveler who introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China File:Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus.jpg, Christopher Columbus, early European explorer of the New World. File:Domenico ghirlandaio, amerigo vespucci, ognissanti, Firenze.jpg, Amerigo Vespucci, geographer and traveler from whose name the word Americas, America is derived.


The French Revolution and Napoleon

The French Revolution and Napoleon influenced Italy more deeply than they affected any other outside country of Europe. The French Revolution began in 1789 and immediately found supporters among the Italian people. The local Italian rulers, sensing danger in their own country, drew closer to the European kings who opposed France. After the French king was overthrown and France became a republic, secret clubs favouring an Italian republic were formed throughout Italy. The armies of the French Republic began to move across Europe. In 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte led a French army into northern Italy and drove out the Austrian rulers. Once again, Italy was the scene of battle between the House of Habsburg, Habsburgs and the French. Wherever France conquered, Italian republics were set up, with constitutions and legal reforms. Napoleon made himself emperor in 1804, and part of northern and central Italy was unified under the name of the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as king. The rest of northern and central Italy was annexed by France. Only Sicily, where Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, the Bourbon king had taken refuge upon the French invasion of Naples, and the island of Sardinia, which had been ceded to the Alpine House of Savoy in 1720 and had remained under their rule ever since, were not under French control. French domination lasted less than 20 years, and it differed from previous foreign control of the Italian peninsula. In spite of heavy taxation and frequent harshness, the French introduced representative assemblies and new laws that were the same for all parts of the country. For the first time since the days of ancient Rome, Italians of different regions used the same money and served in the same army. Many Italians began to see the possibility of a united Italy free of foreign control.


The Kingdom of Italy

After the Battle of Waterloo, the reaction set in with the Congress of Vienna allowed the restoration of many of the old rulers and systems under Austrian domination. The concept of nationalism continued strong, however, and sporadic outbreaks led by such inveterate reformers as Giuseppe Mazzini occurred in several parts of the peninsula down to 1848–49. This ''Italian unification, Risorgimento'' movement was brought to a successful conclusion under the guidance of Camillo Benso, conte di Cavour, prime minister of Piedmont. Cavour managed to unite most of Italy under the headship of Victor Emmanuel II of the house of Savoy, and on 17 March 1861, the Proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed with Victor Emmanuel II as king. Giuseppe Garibaldi, the popular republican hero of Italy, contributed much to this achievement and to the subsequent incorporation of the Papal States under the Italian monarch. Italian troops occupied Rome in 1870, and in July 1871, this formally became the capital of the kingdom. Pope Pius IX, a longtime rival of Italian kings, stated he had been made a "prisoner" inside the Vatican City, Vatican walls and refused to cooperate with the royal administration. Only in 1929 did the Roman Pope accept the unified Italy with
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
as capital.
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
has been interpreted as completing the process of Italian unification, with the annexation of Trieste,
Istria Istria ( ; Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also * Croatia (disambiguation) ...

Istria
, Trentino-Alto Adige and Zadar, Zara. After World War I, Italy emerged as one of the Big Four (World War I), four great powers after the victory of the Allies of World War I, Allies. In the decades following unification, Italy began creating colonies in Africa, and under Benito Mussolini's Fascist Italy (1922-1943), fascist regime conquered Ethiopian Empire, Ethiopia, founding the Italian Empire in 1936. The population of Italy grew to 45 millions in 1940 and the economy, which had been based upon agriculture until that time, started its industrial development, mainly in northern Italy. But
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
soon destroyed Italy and its colonial power.


The Italian Republic

Between 1945 and 1948, the outlines of a new Italy began to appear. Victor Emmanuel III gave up the throne on 9 May 1946, and his son, Umberto II, became king. On 2 June Italy held its first free election after 20 years of Fascist rule (the so-called ''Ventennio''). Italians chose a republic to replace the monarchy, which had been closely associated with Fascism. They elected a Constituent Assembly of Italy, Constituent Assembly to prepare a new democratic constitution. The Assembly approved the constitution in 1947, which came into force on 1 January 1948. Under the Treaty of Peace with Italy, 1947,
Istria Istria ( ; Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also * Croatia (disambiguation) ...

Istria
, Kvarner Gulf, Kvarner, most of the Julian March as well as the
Dalmatia Dalmatia (; hr, Dalmacija ; it, Dalmazia; see #Name, names in other languages) is a region on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, a narrow belt stretching from the island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south. The Dalmatian Hin ...

Dalmatia
n city of Zadar, Zara was annexed by Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia causing the Istrian-Dalmatian exodus, which led to the emigration of between 230,000 and 350,000 of local ethnic Italians (
Istrian Italians Istrian Italians are an ethnic group from the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic region of Istria in modern northwestern Croatia and southwestern Slovenia. Istrian Italians descend from the original Latinized population of Roman Empire, Roman Istria#Early hist ...
and
Dalmatian Italians Dalmatian Italians are the historical Italian national minority living in the region of Dalmatia, now part of Croatia and Montenegro. Since the middle of the 19th century, the community, counting according to some sources nearly 20% of all Dalmat ...
), the others being ethnic Slovenians, ethnic Croatians, and ethnic Istro-Romanians, choosing to maintain Italian citizenship.


Culture

From the Etruscans and the Magna Graecia period to the 17th century, the inhabitants of the Italian peninsula were at the forefront of Western culture, being the fulcrum and origin of the
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () of ancient Italy The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civilization, Etruscans, and Celts ha ...

Etruscans
, Magna Graecia, Ancient Rome, the Catholic Church, Humanism, the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Counter-Reformation, Baroque, and Neoclassicism. Italy also became a seat of great formal learning in 1088 with the establishment of the University of Bologna, the List of oldest universities in continuous operation, first university in the Western World. Many other Italian universities soon followed. For example, the Schola Medica Salernitana, in southern Italy, was the first medical school in Europe. These great centres of learning presaged the ''Rinascimento'': the European Renaissance began in Italy and was fueled throughout Europe by Italian painters, sculptors, architects, scientists, literature masters and music composers. Italy continued its leading cultural role through the Baroque period and into the Romantic period, when its dominance in painting and sculpture diminished but the Italians re-established a strong presence in music. Italian explorers and navigators in the 15th and 16th centuries left a perennial mark on human history with the modern "discovery of America", due to Christopher Columbus. In addition, the name of the Americas, American continents derives from the geographer Amerigo Vespucci's first name. Also noted, is explorer Marco Polo who travelled extensively throughout the eastern world recording his travels. Due to comparatively late national unification, and the historical autonomy of the regions that comprise the Italian peninsula, many traditions and customs of the Italians can be identified by their regions of origin. Despite the political and social isolation of these regions, Italy's contributions to the cultural and historical heritage of the Western world remain immense. Famous elements of Italian culture are its opera and music, its iconic gastronomy and food, which are commonly regarded as amongst the most popular in the world, its Italian film, cinema (with filmmakers such as Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Mario Monicelli, Sergio Leone, Alberto Sordi, etc.), its collections of priceless works of art and its fashion (Milan and Florence are regarded as some of the few fashion capitals of the world).


Philosophy

Over the ages, Italian literature had a vast influence on Western philosophy, beginning with the Greeks and Romans, and going onto Renaissance, Age of Enlightenment, The Enlightenment and modern philosophy. Italian Medieval philosophy was mainly Christian, and included several important philosophers and theologians such as St Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas was the student of Albertus Magnus, Albert the Great, a brilliant Dominican Order, Dominican experimentalist, much like the Franciscans, Franciscan, Roger Bacon of Oxford in the 13th century. Aquinas reintroduced Aristotelianism, Aristotelian philosophy to Christianity. He believed that there was no contradiction between faith and secular reason. He believed that Aristotle had achieved the pinnacle in the human striving for truth and thus adopted Aristotle's philosophy as a framework in constructing his theological and philosophical outlook. He was a professor at the prestigious University of Paris. Italy was also affected by the Enlightenment, a movement which was a consequence of the Renaissance and changed the road of Italian philosophy. Followers of the group often met to discuss in private salons and coffeehouses, notably in the cities of Milan, Rome and Venice. Cities with important universities such as Padua, Bologna and Naples, however, also remained great centres of scholarship and the intellect, with several philosophers such as Giambattista Vico (1668–1744) (who is widely regarded as being the founder of modern Italian philosophy) and Antonio Genovesi. Italian society also dramatically changed during the Enlightenment, with rulers such as Leopold II of Tuscany abolishing the death penalty. The church's power was significantly reduced, and it was a period of great thought and invention, with scientists such as Alessandro Volta and Luigi Galvani discovering new things and greatly contributing to Western science. Cesare Beccaria was also one of the greatest Italian Enlightenment writers and is now considered one of the fathers of Classical school (criminology), classical criminal theory as well as modern penology. Beccaria is famous for his masterpiece ''On Crimes and Punishments'' (1764), a treatise (later translated into 22 languages) that served as one of the earliest prominent condemnations of torture and the death penalty and thus a landmark work in anti-death penalty philosophy. Some of the most prominent philosophies and ideologies in Italy during the late 19th and 20th centuries include anarchism, communism, socialism, futurism, fascism, and Christian democracy. Both futurism and fascism (in its original form, now often distinguished as Italian fascism) were developed in Italy at this time. From the 1920s to the 1940s, Italian Fascism was the official philosophy and ideology of the Italian government led by Benito Mussolini. Giovanni Gentile was one of the most significant 20th-century Idealist/Fascist philosophers. Meanwhile, anarchism, communism, and socialism, though not originating in Italy, took significant hold in Italy during the early 20th century, with the country producing numerous significant Anarchism in Italy, Italian anarchists, socialists, and communists. In addition, anarcho-communism first fully formed into its modern strain within the Italian section of the First International.Nunzio Pernicone, ''Italian Anarchism 1864–1892'', pp. 111–113, AK Press 2009. Antonio Gramsci remains an important philosopher within Marxist and communist theory, credited with creating the theory of cultural hegemony.


Literature

Italian literature may be unearthed back to the Middle Ages, with the most significant poets of the period being Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, and Giovanni Boccaccio. During the Renaissance, humanists such as Leonardo Bruni, Coluccio Salutati and Niccolò Machiavelli were great collectors of antique manuscripts. Many worked for the organized Church and were in holy orders (like Petrarch), while others were lawyers and chancellors of Italian cities, like Petrarch's disciple, Salutati, the Chancellor of Florence, and thus had access to book copying workshops. One of the most remarkable poets of the early 19th and 20th century writers was Giacomo Leopardi, who is widely acknowledged to be one of the most radical and challenging thinkers of the 19th century. Italo Svevo, the author of ''La coscienza di Zeno'' (1923), and Luigi Pirandello (winner of the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature), who explored the shifting nature of reality in his prose fiction and such plays as ''Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore'' (''Six Characters in Search of an Author'', 1921). Federigo Tozzi and Giuseppe Ungaretti were well-known novelists, critically appreciated only in recent years, and regarded one of the forerunners of existentialism in the European novel. File:Portrait de Dante.jpg, Dante Alighieri File:French School - Petrarch (1304–1374) (Francesco Petrarca) - 851990 - National Trust.jpg, Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) File:Italian (Florentine) School - Boccaccio (1313–1375) (Giovanni Boccaccio) - 355512 - National Trust.jpg, Giovanni Boccaccio File:Vincenzo Catena 016 detail.jpg, Ludovico Ariosto File:Leopardi, Giacomo (1798-1837) - ritr. A Ferrazzi, Recanati, casa Leopardi.jpg, Giacomo Leopardi File:Francesco Hayez - Ritratto di Alessandro Manzoni.jpg, Alessandro Manzoni File:Giosuè Carducci2.jpg, Giosuè Carducci, first Italian to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature File:Gabriele D'Anunnzio.png, Gabriele D'Annunzio File:Eugenio montale 2.jpg, Eugenio Montale File:Italo-Calvino.jpg, Italo Calvino File:Dario Fo-Cesena.jpg, Dario Fo File:Umberto Eco 04.jpg, Umberto Eco


Law and justice

Since the Roman Empire, most western contributions to Western legal culture was the emergence of a class of Roman jurists. During the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas, the most influential Western world, Western scholar of the period, integrated the theory of natural law with the notion of an eternal and Biblical law. During the Renaissance, Prof. Alberico Gentili, the founder of the science of international law, authored the first treatise on public international law and separated secular law from canon law and Catholic theology. Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment's greatest legal theorists, Cesare Beccaria, Giambattista Vico and Francesco Mario Pagano, are well remembered for their legal works, particularly on criminal law. Francesco Carrara (jurist), Francesco Carrara, an advocate of abolition of the death penalty, was one of the foremost European criminal lawyers of the 19th century. During the last periods, numerous Italians have been recognised as the prominent prosecutor magistrates. File:Lorenzo de Medici2.jpg, Lorenzo de Medici File:Saint Thomas Aquinas.jpg, Thomas Aquinas File:Dr Sir Albericus Gentilis (Father of international law).png, Alberico Gentili File:Cesare Beccaria.jpg, Cesare Beccaria File:Enrico De Nicola.jpg, Enrico De Nicola File:Cesare Terranova.jpg, Cesare Terranova


Science and technology

Italians have been the central figures of countless inventions and discoveries and they made many predominant contributions to various fields. During the Renaissance, Italian polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), Michelangelo (1475–1564) and Leon Battista Alberti (1404–72) made important contributions to a variety of fields, including biology, architecture, and engineering. Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), a physicist, mathematician and astronomer, played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include the invention of the thermometer and key improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and ultimately the triumph of Nicolaus Copernicus, Copernicanism over the Ptolemaic model. Other astronomers such as Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625–1712) and Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835–1910) made many important discoveries about the Solar System. Physicist Enrico Fermi (1901–54), a Nobel prize laureate, led the team in Chicago that built the Chicago Pile-1, first nuclear reactor and is also noted for his many other contributions to physics, including the co-development of the quantum mechanics, quantum theory. He and a number of Italian physicists were forced to leave Italy in the 1930s by Italian Racial Laws, Fascist laws against Jews, including Emilio G. Segrè (1905–89) (who discovered the elements technetium and astatine, and the antiproton), and Bruno Rossi (1905–93), a pioneer in Cosmic Rays and X-ray astronomy. Other prominent physicists and scientists include: Amedeo Avogadro (most noted for his contributions to molecular theory, in particular Avogadro's law and the Avogadro constant), Giulio Natta (the inventor of the first catalyst for the production of isotactic propylene and among the fathers of macromolecular chemistry, for which he won the Nobel prize for chemistry along with Karl Ziegler), Evangelista Torricelli (inventor of the barometer), Alessandro Volta (inventor of the electric battery), Guglielmo Marconi (inventor of radio), Antonio Meucci (known for developing a voice-communication apparatus, often credited as the inventor of the first telephone before even Alexander Graham Bell), Galileo Ferraris (one of the pioneers of AC power system, invented the first induction motor), Ettore Majorana (who discovered the Majorana fermions), and Carlo Rubbia (1984 Nobel Prize in Physics for work leading to the discovery of the W and Z particles at CERN). In biology, Francesco Redi was the first to challenge the theory of spontaneous generation by demonstrating that maggots come from eggs of flies and he described 180 parasites in detail; Marcello Malpighi founded microscopic anatomy; Lazzaro Spallanzani conducted important research in bodily functions, animal reproduction, and cellular theory; Camillo Golgi, whose many achievements include the discovery of the Golgi complex, paved the way to the acceptance of the Neuron doctrine; Rita Levi-Montalcini discovered the nerve growth factor (awarded 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine); Angelo Ruffini first described the Ruffini endings and was known for his work in histology and embryology; Filippo Pacini discovered the Pacinian corpuscles and was the first to isolate the cholera bacillus ''Vibrio cholerae'' in 1854, before Robert Koch's more widely accepted discoveries 30 years later. In chemistry, Giulio Natta received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963 for his work on high polymers. Giuseppe Occhialini received the Wolf Prize in Physics for the discovery of the pion or pi-meson decay in 1947. File:Francesco Melzi - Portrait of Leonardo - WGA14795.jpg, Leonardo da Vinci, a father of paleontology and architecture, has been the most influential polymath. File:Galileo Galilei 2.jpg, Galileo Galilei, the father of science and modern physics, one of the key figures in astronomy, pioneered the thermometer and made significant works in other fields of science. File:Elena Piscopia portrait.jpg, Elena Cornaro Piscopia, the first woman to obtain a doctoral degree. File:Evangelista Torricelli by Lorenzo Lippi (circa 1647, Galleria Silvano Lodi & Due).jpg, Evangelista Torricelli, the inventor of barometer, made various advances in optics and work on the method of indivisibles. File:Alessandro Volta.jpeg, Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the Battery (electricity), electrical battery and discover of methane, did substantial work with electric currents. File:Antonio Meucci.jpg, Antonio Meucci, who was for a long time involved in a struggle with Alexander Graham Bell over the invention of the telephone, but was later recognised as "the winner". File:Guglielmo Marconi.jpg, Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the radio and the father of the wireless communication.Guglielmo Marconi: The Nobel Prize in Physics 1909
. nobelprize.org
File:Enrico Fermi 1943-49.jpg, Enrico Fermi, builder of Chicago Pile-1, the first nuclear reactor. File:Federico Faggin (cropped).jpg, Federico Faggin, the designer of the first commercial microprocessor, the Intel 4004.


Mathematics

During the Middle Ages, Leonardo Fibonacci, the greatest Western mathematician of the Middle Ages, introduced the Hindu–Arabic numeral system to the Western world. He also introduced the sequence of Fibonacci numbers, which he used as an example in ''Liber Abaci''. Gerolamo Cardano established the foundation of probability and introduced the binomial coefficients and the binomial theorem; he also invented several mechanical devices. During the Renaissance, Luca Pacioli introduced accounting to the world, publishing the first work on Double-entry bookkeeping system. Galileo Galilei made several significant advances in mathematics. Bonaventura Cavalieri's works partially anticipated integral calculus and popularized logarithms in Italy. Jacopo Riccati, who was also a jurist, invented the Riccati equation. Maria Gaetana Agnesi, the first woman to write a mathematics handbook, become the first woman mathematics professor at a university. Gian Francesco Malfatti, posed the problem of carving three circular columns out of a triangular block of marble, using as much of the marble as possible, and conjectured that three mutually-tangent circles inscribed within the triangle would provide the optimal solution, which are now known as Malfatti circles. Paolo Ruffini is credited for his innovative work in mathematics, creating Ruffini's rule and co-creating the Abel–Ruffini theorem. Joseph-Louis Lagrange, who was one of the most influential mathematicians of his time, made essential contributions to analysis, number theory, and both classical mechanics, classical and celestial mechanics. Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro invented tensor calculus and absolute differential calculus, which were popularized in a work he co-wrote with Tullio Levi-Civita, and used in the development of the theory of relativity; Ricci-Curbastro also wrote meaningful works on algebra, infinitesimal analysis, and papers on the theory of real numbers. Giuseppe Peano, was a founder of mathematical logic and set theory; alongside John Venn, he drew the first Venn diagram. Beniamino Segre is one of the major contributors to algebraic geometry and one of the founders of finite geometry. Ennio de Giorgi, a Wolf Prize in Mathematics recipient in 1990, solved Bernstein's problem about minimal surfaces and the Hilbert's nineteenth problem, 19th Hilbert problem on the regularity of solutions of elliptic partial differential equations. File:Cardano.jpg, Gerolamo Cardano File:Luca Pacioli (Gemaelde).jpeg, Luca Pacioli File:Bonaventura Cavalieri.jpeg, Bonaventura Cavalieri File:Jacopo Francesco Riccati (1676-1754).jpg, Jacopo Francesco Riccati File:Maria Gaetana Agnesi.jpg, Maria Gaetana Agnesi File:Gianfrancesco Malfatti.jpg, Gian Francesco Malfatti File:Langrange portrait.jpg, Joseph-Louis Lagrange File:Ricci Curbastro (cropped).jpg, Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro File:Giuseppe Peano.jpg, Giuseppe Peano File:Levi-civita.jpg, Tullio Levi-Civita File:Beniamino Segre.jpg, Beniamino Segre


Architecture

As Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (51) to date and it is home to half the world's great art treasures, Italians are known for their significant architectural achievements, such as the construction of arches, domes and similar structures during ancient Rome, the founding of the Renaissance architecture, Renaissance architectural movement in the late-14th to 16th centuries, and being the homeland of Palladianism, a style of construction which inspired movements such as that of Neoclassical architecture, and influenced the designs which noblemen built their country houses all over the world, notably in the UK, Australia and the US during the late 17th to early 20th centuries. Several of the finest works in Western architecture, such as the Colosseum, the Milan Cathedral and Florence cathedral, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the building designs of Venice are found in Italy. Italian architecture has also widely influenced the architecture of the world. British architect Inigo Jones, inspired by the designs of Italian buildings and cities, brought back the ideas of Italian Renaissance architecture to 17th-century England, being inspired by Andrea Palladio. Additionally, Italianate architecture, popular abroad since the 19th century, was used to describe foreign architecture which was built in an Italian style, especially modelled on Renaissance architecture. File:Uffizi Giotto.jpg, Giotto File:Cinque_maestri_del_rinascimento_fiorentino,_XVI_sec,_Filippo_Brunelleschi.JPG, Filippo Brunelleschi File:Palladio filtered.jpg, Andrea Palladio File:Luigi Vanvitelli-transparent.png, Luigi Vanvitelli File:Aulenti02 (cropped).jpg, Gae Aulenti File:Engineer Renzo Piano.jpg, Renzo Piano


Music

From Italian folk music, folk music to European classical music, classical, music has always played an important role in Italian culture. Instruments associated with classical music, including the piano and violin, were invented in Italy, and many of the prevailing classical music forms, such as the symphony, concerto, and sonata, can trace their roots back to innovations of 16th- and 17th-century Italian music. Italians invented many of the musical instruments, including the piano and violin. Most notable Italians composers include the Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Claudio Monteverdi, the List of Baroque composers, Baroque composers Alessandro Scarlatti, Scarlatti, Arcangelo Corelli, Corelli and Antonio Vivaldi, Vivaldi, the List of Classical era composers, Classical composers Niccolò Paganini, Paganini and Gioachino Rossini, Rossini, and the List of Romantic-era composers, Romantic composers Giuseppe Verdi, Verdi and Giacomo Puccini, Puccini, whose operas, including ''La bohème'', ''Tosca'', ''Madama Butterfly'', and ''Turandot'', are among the most frequently worldwide performed in the List of important operas, standard repertoire. Modern Italian composers such as Luciano Berio, Berio and Luigi Nono (composer), Nono proved significant in the development of experimental music, experimental and electronic music. While the classical music tradition still holds strong in Italy, as evidenced by the fame of its innumerable opera houses, such as La Scala of Milan and Teatro di San Carlo, San Carlo of Naples, and performers such as the pianist Maurizio Pollini and the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti, Italians have been no less appreciative of their thriving contemporary music scene. Italians are amply known as the mothers of opera. Italian opera was believed to have been founded in the early 17th century, in Italian cities such as Mantua and Venice. Later, works and pieces composed by native Italian composers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini, are among the most famous operas ever written and today are performed in opera houses across the world. La Scala operahouse in Milan is also renowned as one of the best in the world. Famous Italian opera singers include Enrico Caruso and Alessandro Bonci. Introduced in the early 1920s, jazz took a particularly strong foothold among Italians, and remained popular despite the xenophobic cultural policies of the Fascist regime. Today, the most notable centres of jazz music in Italy include Milan, Rome, and Sicily. Later, Italy was at the forefront of the progressive rock movement of the 1970s, with bands like Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM and Goblin (band), Goblin. Italy was also an important country in the development of disco and electronic music, with Italo disco, known for its futuristic sound and prominent usage of synthesizers and drum machines, being one of the earliest electronic dance genres, as well as European forms of disco aside from Euro disco (which later went on to influence several genres such as Eurodance and Nu-disco). Producers and songwriters such as Giorgio Moroder, who won three Academy Awards for his music, were highly influential in the development of Electronic dance music, EDM (electronic dance music). Today, Italian pop music is represented annually with the Sanremo Music Festival, which served as inspiration for the Eurovision song contest, and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto. Singers such as traditional pop, pop diva Mina (Italian singer), Mina, classical crossover artist Andrea Bocelli, Grammy winner Laura Pausini, and European chart-topper Eros Ramazzotti have attained international acclaim. File:Vivaldi.jpg, Antonio Vivaldi File:Rossini-portrait-0.jpg, Gioachino Rossini File:Giuseppe Verdi by Giovanni Boldini.jpg, Giuseppe Verdi File:Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli 1960cr.jpg, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli File:Anna Maria Mazzini (1972).jpg, Mina (Italian singer), Mina File:Laura Pausini 2009.04.30 047-2.jpg, Laura Pausini File:Giorgio Moroder (2).jpg, Giorgio Moroder File:Bocelli.jpg, Andrea Bocelli File:Eros Ramazzotti.JPG, Eros Ramazzotti


Cinema

Since the development of the Italian film industry in the early 1900s, Italian filmmakers and performers have, at times, experienced both domestic and international success, and have influenced film movements throughout the world. Following the Fascist era, characterized by the Telefoni Bianchi genre, they got international critical acclaim through the Italian neorealism, Neorealist genre, and starting from the 1960s through the Commedia all'italiana genre as well as through a number of auteurs such as Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni and Roberto Rossellini. Actresses such as Sophia Loren, Giulietta Masina and Gina Lollobrigida achieved international stardom during this period.Katz, Ephraim, "Italy," ''The Film Encyclopedia'' (New York: HarperResource, 2001), pp. 682–685. Since the early 1960s they also popularized a large number of genres and subgenres, such as Peplum film genre, Peplum, Macaroni Combat, Musicarello, Poliziotteschi and Commedia sexy all'italiana. The Spaghetti Western achieved popularity in the mid-1960s, peaking with Sergio Leone's ''Dollars Trilogy'', which featured enigmatic film score, scores by composer Ennio Morricone. Erotic Italian thrillers, or ''Giallos'', produced by directors such as Mario Bava and Dario Argento in the 1970s, influenced the horror genre worldwide. In recent years, directors such as Ermanno Olmi, Bernardo Bertolucci, Giuseppe Tornatore, Gabriele Salvatores, Roberto Benigni, Matteo Garrone, Paolo Sorrentino and Luca Guadagnino brought critical acclaim back to Italian cinema. So far, Italy has won list of countries by number of Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, 14 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, the most of any country, and 12 Palme d'Or, the second-most of any country.


Sport

Italians have a long tradition in sport. In numerous sports, both individual and team, Italy has been very successful. Football in Italy, Association football is the most popular sport in Italy. Italian national football team, Italy is one of the most successful national teams in association football having four FIFA World Cups, two UEFA European Championship and one Olympic tournament. Amongst the players who won the FIFA World Cup there are Giuseppe Meazza, Silvio Piola (to date the highest goalscorer in Italian first league history), Dino Zoff, Paolo Rossi, Marco Tardelli, Bruno Conti, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Del Piero, Andrea Pirlo and Francesco Totti. Amongst those who did not win the World Cup but laureated as European champions are Gianni Rivera, Luigi Riva (to date Italy's leading scorer of all time), Sandro Salvadore, Giacomo Bulgarelli, Pietro Anastasi and Giacinto Facchetti. Other prominent players who achieved success at club level are Giampiero Boniperti, Romeo Benetti, Roberto Boninsegna, Roberto Bettega, Roberto Baggio and Paolo Maldini. Of the above-mentioned, the goalkeeper Dino Zoff, who served in the National team from 1968 to 1983, is to date the only Italian player to have won both the European championship (in 1968) and the FIFA World Cup (in 1982), apart from being the oldest winner ever of the World Cup. At club level, to date Italy has won a total of 12 European Cup / Champions' Leagues, 9 UEFA Europa League, UEFA Cups / UEFA Europa League and 7 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Motorcycle racers such as Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi are recognized as some of the greatest sportstars of all time. Federica Pellegrini, one of the few female swimmers to have set world records in more than one event has been one of the world's most successful swimmers. Italian athletes have won 549 medals at the Summer Olympic Games, and another 114 medals at the Winter Olympic Games. Jessica Rossi scored a Shooting sport world record of 75 in the qualification and a world record of 99. As for Olympic games, 663 Italians won medals, particularly in Swordsmanship, which makes them the 6th most successful ethnic group in Olympic history. There are more than 2,000,000 Italian skiers in the world, most of them, thanks to the presence of the
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt ...

Alps
and the Apennines, in Northern Italy, Northern and in Central Italy. Italian skiers received good results in the Winter Olympic Games, World Cup, and World Championships. Italians are the second of the most who have won the World Cycling Championship more than any other country after Belgium. The Giro d'Italia is a world-famous long-distance cycling race held every May, and constitutes one of the three Grand Tour (cycling), Grand Tours, along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, each of which last approximately three weeks. Tennis has a significant following near courts and on television. Italian professional tennis players are almost always in the top 100 world ranking of male and female players. Beach tennis#Beach tennis with paddle racket, Beach tennis with paddle racquet was invented by Italians, and is practised by many people across the country. Volleyball is played by a lot of amateur players and professional players compete in the Italian Volleyball League, regarded as the best and most difficult volleyball league in the world. The Italy national volleyball team, male and Italy women's national volleyball team, female national teams are often in the top 4 ranking of teams in the world. Athletics (sport), Athletics is a popular sport for Italians, as the Italian World and Olympic champions are very celebrated people. In wrestling, one of the most remarkable wrestlers is Bruno Sammartino, who held the record of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, WWWF (World) Heavyweight Championship for over 11 years across two reigns, the first of which is the longest single reign in the promotion's history. Rugby union was imported from France in the 1910s and has been regularly played since the 1920s; the Italy national rugby union team, National team has progressed slowly but significantly during the decades and thanks to the good results achieved in the second half of the 1990s, when they managed to beat historical teams like Scotland national rugby union team, Scotland, Ireland national rugby union team, Ireland and eventually France national rugby union team, France, Italy gained the admission to the Five Nation Championship, later renamed Six Nations Championship, Six Nations; Italy has taken part to the Rugby World Cup since its inauguration in 1987 and never missed an edition though to date has never gone past the group stage.


Ethnogenesis

Due to historic demographic shifts in the Italian peninsula throughout history, its geographical position in the center of the Mediterranean Sea as well as Italy's regional ethnic diversity since ancient times, modern Italians are genetically diverse. This includes Pre-Indo-European languages, pre-Indo-European-speaking peoples, such as the
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () of ancient Italy The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civilization, Etruscans, and Celts ha ...

Etruscans
, Rhaetians, Camuni, Nuragic civilization, Nuragics, Sicani, Elymians and the Ligures, and pre-Roman Indo-European-speaking peoples, like the Celts (Gauls), the
Italic peoples The Italic peoples were an ethnolinguistic group identified by their use of Italic languages, a branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family. The Italic peoples are descended from the Indo-European speaking peoples who inh ...
throughout the peninsula (such as the Latino-Faliscan languages, Latino-Faliscans, the Osco-Umbrian languages, Osco-Umbrians, the Sicels and the Adriatic Veneti, Veneti), and a significant number of
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...

Greeks
in
southern Italy Southern Italy ( it, Sud Italia; nap, 'o Sudde; scn, Italia dû Sud), also known as ''Meridione'' or ''Mezzogiorno'' (, literally "Midday"; in nap, 'o Miezojuorno; in scn, Mezzujornu), is a macroregionA macroregion is a geopolitical subdivis ...
and Sicily (Magna Graecia). The Italians originate mostly from these two primary elements and, like much of the Romance-speaking Southern Europe, share a common Latin heritage and history. The Italians, specifically in the island of Sicily, were also influenced by the Arabs, particularly during the Emirate of Sicily. Sicilians and Southern Italians are closest to the Greeks (as the historical region of ''Magna Graecia'', "Great Greece", bears witness to), while the Northern Italians are closest to the Spaniards and Southern France, southern French. There is also Bronze/Iron Age Middle Eastern admixture in Italy, with a lower incidence in Northern Italy compared to Central Italy and Southern Italy. North African admixture is also found in Southern Italy and
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , ...

Sardinia
, with the highest incidence being in
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
. A 2018 genetic study, focusing on the Y-chromosome and haplogroups lineages, their diversity and their distribution by taking some 817 representative subjects, gives credit to the traditional northern-southern division in population, by concluding that due to Neolithic migrations southern Italians "show a higher similarity with Middle Eastern and Southern Balkan populations than northern ones; conversely, Northern Italians, northern samples are genetically closer to North-West Europe and Northern Balkan groups". Haplogroup R is the most frequent (50.1%) with its two main branches, Haplogroup R1a, R1a (4.7%) and Haplogroup R1b, R1b (45.3%), the latter mainly accounted for by R1b-U152 (49.5% of the total R1b); R2 was not observed. Next is haplogroup J (19.2%), mostly observed as Haplogroup J-M172, J2 (17.6%), and third is haplogroup E, as E1b (14.6%), mostly represented by its ‘Balkan’ sub-clade E1b-V13. The other main haplogroups show frequencies lower than 10%: Haplogroup G-M201, haplogroup G (8.4%) and Haplogroup I-M170, haplogroup I (4.8%).


Ancient history

The earliest Human, modern humans inhabiting Italy are believed to have been Paleolithic peoples that may have arrived in the Italian Peninsula as early as 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. Italy is believed to have been a major Ice-age refuge from which Paleolithic humans later colonized Europe. The Neolithic colonization of Europe from Western Asia and the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
beginning around 10,000 years ago reached Italy, as most of the rest of the continent although, according to the demic diffusion model, its impact was most in the southern and eastern regions of the European continent.


Indo-European

Starting in the 4th millennium BC as well as in the Bronze Age, the first wave of migrations into Italy of Indo-European languages, Indo-European-speaking peoples occurred, with the appearance of the Bell Beaker culture. These were later (from the 18th century BC) followed by others that can be identified as Italo-Celtic, Italo-Celts, with the appearance of the Celtic Canegrate culture and the Italic Proto-Villanovan culture, both deriving from the Proto-Italo-Celtic Urnfield culture. Later, Celtic La Tène culture, La Tène and Hallstatt culture, Hallstatt cultures have been documented in Italy as far south as Umbria and Latium in Central Italy, also inhabited by the Rutuli and the Umbri, closely related to the Ligures. Italic peoples, Italics occupied northeastern, southern and central Italy: the "West Italic" group (including the
Latins The Latins were originally an Italic tribe in ancient central Italy from Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Definition La ...
) were the first wave. They had cremation burials and possessed advanced metallurgical techniques. Major tribes included the Latins and Falisci in Lazio; the Oenotrians and Italii in
Calabria it, Calabrese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demogr ...

Calabria
; the Ausones, Aurunci and Opici in Campania; and perhaps the Adriatic Veneti, Veneti in Veneto and the Sicels in Sicily. They were followed, and largely displaced by the East Italic (Osco-Umbrian languages, Osco-Umbrians) group.


Pre-Roman

By the beginning of the Iron Age Italy, Iron Age the Etruscan civilization, Etruscans emerged as the dominant civilization on the Italian peninsula. The Etruscans, whose primary home was in Etruria, expanded over a large part of Italy, covering a territory, at its greatest extent, of roughly what is now Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio, as well as what are now the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy, southern Veneto, and western Campania. . On the origins of the Etruscans, the ancient authors report Etruscan origins, several hypotheses, one of which claims that the Etruscans come from the Aegean Sea. Modern archaeological and genetic research concluded that the Etruscans were Villanovan culture, autochthonous and they had a genetic profile similar to their Latin neighbors. Both Etruscans and Latins joined firmly the Europen cluster lacking recent admixture with Anatolia or the Eastern Mediterranean. The Ligures are said to have been one of the oldest populations in Italy and Western Europe, possibly of Pre-Indo-European origin. According to Strabo they were not Celts, but later became influenced by the Celtic culture of their neighbours, and thus are sometimes referred to as Celticized Ligurians or Celto-Ligurians. Their language had affinities with both Italic languages, Italic (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
and the Osco-Umbrian languages) and Celtic languages, Celtic (Gaulish language, Gaulish). They primarily inhabited the regions of Liguria, Piedmont, northern Tuscany, western Lombardy, western Emilia-Romagna and northern
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , ...

Sardinia
, but are believed to have once occupied an even larger portion of ancient Italy as far south as
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
. They were also settled in
Corsica Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north ...

Corsica
and in the Provence region along the southern coast of modern France. During the Iron Age, prior to Roman rule, the peoples living in the area of modern Italy and the islands were: *
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () of ancient Italy The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civilization, Etruscans, and Celts ha ...

Etruscans
(Camunni, Lepontii, Raeti); * Sicani; * Elymians; * Ligures (Apuani, Bagienni, Briniates, Corsi people, Corsi, Friniates, Garuli, Hercates, Ilvates, Insubres, Orobii, Laevi, Lapicini, Marici (Ligures), Marici, Statielli, Taurini); * Italic tribes, Italics (
Latins The Latins were originally an Italic tribe in ancient central Italy from Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Definition La ...
, Falisci, Marsi, Umbri, Volsci, Marrucini, Osci, Aurunci, Ausones, Campanians, Paeligni, Sabines, Bruttii, Frentani, Lucanians, Lucani, Samnites, Pentri, Caraceni (tribe), Caraceni, Caudini, Hirpini, Aequi, Fidenae, Fidenates, Hernici, Picentes, Vestini, Morgantina, Morgeti, Sicels, Adriatic Veneti, Veneti); *Iapygians (Messapians, Daunians, Peucetians); * Cisalpine Gaul, Celts (Allobroges, Ausones, Boii, Carni, Cenomani (Cisalpine Gaul), Cenomani, Ceutrones, Graioceli, Lepontii, Lingones, Segusini, Senones, Salassi, Veragri, Vertamocorii); * Magna Graecia, Greeks of Magna Graecia; * Sardinians (Nuragic civilization, Nuragic List of Nuragic tribes, tribes), in
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , ...

Sardinia
; Italy was, throughout the pre-Roman period, predominantly inhabited by Italic tribes who occupied the modern regions of Lazio, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Basilicata,
Calabria it, Calabrese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demogr ...

Calabria
, Apulia and
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
. Sicily, in addition to having an Italic population in the Sicels, also was inhabited by the Sicani and the Elymians, of uncertain origin. The Adriatic Veneti, Veneti, most often regarded as an Italic tribe, chiefly inhabited the Veneto, but extended as far east as Friuli-Venezia Giulia and
Istria Istria ( ; Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also * Croatia (disambiguation) ...

Istria
, and had colonies as far south as Lazio. Beginning in the 8th century BC, Greeks arrived in Italy and founded cities along the coast of southern Italy and eastern Sicily, which became known as Magna Graecia ("Greater Greece"). The Greeks were frequently at war with the native Italic tribes, but nonetheless managed to Hellenization, Hellenize and assimilate a good portion of the indigenous population located along eastern Sicily and the Southern coasts of the Italian mainland. According to Karl Julius Beloch, Beloch the number of Greek citizens in south Italy at its greatest extent reached only 80,000–90,000, while the local people subjected by the Greeks were between 400,000 and 600,000.''La popolazione del Mondo Greco-Romano'', Karl Julius Beloch By the 4th and 3rd century BC, Greek power in Italy was challenged and began to decline, and many Greeks were pushed out of peninsular Italy by the native Oscans, Oscan, Brutti and Lucanians, Lucani tribes. The Gauls crossed the Alps and Roman-Gallic wars#Cisalpine, invaded northern Italy in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, settling in the area that became known as
Cisalpine Gaul Cisalpine Gaul ( la, Gallia Cisalpina, also called ''Gallia Citerior'' or ''Gallia Togata'') was the part of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Ital ...
("Gaul on this side of the Alps"). Although named after the Gauls, the region was mostly inhabited by indigenous tribes, namely the Ligures, Etruscans, Veneti and Euganei. Estimates by Beloch and Peter Brunt, Brunt suggest that in the 3rd century BC the Gaulish settlers of north Italy numbered between 130,000 and 140,000 out of a total population of about 1.4 million.Luuk De Ligt, ''Peasants, Citizens and Soldiers: Studies in the Demographic History of Roman Italy 225 BC – AD 100''. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. p. 43-44 According to Pliny the Elder, Pliny and Livy, after the invasion of the Gauls, some of the Etruscans living in the Po Valley sought refuge in the Alps and became known as the Raeti. The Raeti inhabited the region of Trentino-Alto Adige, as well as eastern
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
and Tyrol (state), Tyrol in western Austria. The Ladin people, Ladins of north-eastern Italy and the Romansh people of Switzerland are said to be descended from the Raeti.


Roman

The Ancient Rome, Romans—who according to legend originally consisted of Roman tribe, three ancient tribes: Latins, Sabines and Etruscans—would go on to Roman conquest of Italy, conquer the whole Italian peninsula. During the Roman period hundreds of cities and colonies were established throughout Italy, including Florence, Turin, Como, Pavia, Padua, Verona, Vicenza, Trieste and many others. Initially many of these cities were colonized by Latins, but later also included colonists belonging to the other Italic tribes who had become Latinized and joined to Rome. After the Roman conquest of Italy "the whole of Italy had become Latinized". After the Cisalpine Gaul#Gallic expansion and Roman conquest, Roman conquest of Cisalpine Gaul and the widespread confiscations of Gallic territory, much of the Gaulish population was killed or expelled.Strabo, 5.1.10 Many colonies were established by the Romans in the former Gallic territory of Cisalpine Gaul, which was then settled by Roman and Italic people. These colonies included Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Parma, Piacenza, Cremona and Forlì. According to
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
:
"The greater part of the country used to be occupied by the Boii, Ligures, Senones, and Gaesatae; but since the Boii have been driven out, and since both the Gaesatae and the Senones have been annihilated, only the Ligurian tribes and the Roman colonies are left."
The Boii, the most powerful and numerous of the Gallic tribes, were expelled by the Romans after 191 BC and settled in Bohemia. Population movement and exchange among people from different regions was not uncommon during the Roman period. Latin colonies were founded at Rimini, Ariminum in 268 and at Fermo, Firmum in 264, while large numbers of Picentes, who previously inhabited the region, were moved to Paestum and settled along the river Sele (river), Silarus in Campania. Between 180 and 179 BC, 47,000 Ligures belonging to the Apuani tribe were removed from their home along the modern Ligurian-Tuscan border and deported to Samnium, an area corresponding to inland Campania, while Latin colonies were established in their place at Pisa, Lucca and Luni, Italy, Luni. Such population movements contributed to the rapid Romanization and Latinization of Roman Italy, Italy.


Middle Ages and modern period

A large Germanic confederation of Sciri, Heruli, Turcilingi and Rugians, led by
Odoacer Flavius Odoacer ( ; – 493 AD), also spelled Odovacer or Odovacar ( grc, Ὀδόακρος, translit=Odóakros), was a soldier and statesman of Barbarian kingdoms, barbarian background, who deposed the child emperor Romulus Augustulus and bec ...

Odoacer
, invaded and settled Italy in 476. They were preceded by Alemanni, including 30,000 warriors with their families, who settled in the Po Valley in 371, and by Burgundians who settled between Northwestern Italy and Southern France in 443. The Germanic tribe of the
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: P ...
led by Theoderic the Great conquered Italy and presented themselves as upholders of Latin culture, mixing Romano-Germanic culture, Roman culture together with Gothic culture, in order to legitimize their rule amongst Roman subjects who had a long-held belief in the superiority of Roman culture over foreign "barbarian" Germanic culture. Since Italy had a population of several million, the Goths did not constitute a significant addition to the local population. At the height of their power, there were several thousand Ostrogoths in a population of 6 or 7 million. Before them, Radagaisus led tens of thousands of Goths in Italy in 406, though figures may be too high as ancient sources routinely inflated the numbers of tribal invaders. After the Gothic War (535–554), Gothic War, which devastated the local population, the Ostrogoths were defeated. But in the sixth century, another Germanic tribe known as the Lombards, Longobards invaded Italy, which in the meantime had been reconquered by the East Roman or Byzantine Empire. The Longobards were a small minority compared to the roughly four million people in Italy at the time.Antonio Santosuosso, ''Barbarians, Marauders, and Infidels: The Ways of Medieval Warfare'', Westview Press 2004, p. 44. They were later followed by the Bavarian dynasty, Bavarians and the Franks, who conquered and ruled most of Italy. Some groups of Slavs settled in parts of the northern Italian peninsula between the 7th and the 8th centuries. Following Roman rule, Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia were conquered by the Vandals, then by the Ostrogoths, and finally by the Byzantines. At one point, Sardinia grew increasingly autonomous from the Byzantine rule to the point of organizing itself into Sardinian medieval kingdoms, four sovereign Kingdoms, known as "Judicates", that would last until the Kingdom of Aragon, Aragonese conquest in the 15th century. Corsica came under the influence of the Kingdom of the Lombards and later under the maritime Republics of Republic of Pisa, Pisa and Republic of Genoa, Genoa. In 687, Sicily became the Byzantine Sicily (theme), Theme of Sicily; during the course of the Arab–Byzantine wars, Sicily gradually became the Emirate of Sicily (831–1072). Later, a series of conflicts with the Norman conquest of southern Italy, Normans would bring about the establishment of the County of Sicily, and eventually the Kingdom of Sicily. The Lombards of Sicily (not to be confused with the ''Longobards''), coming from Northern Italy, settled in the central and eastern part of Sicily. After the marriage between the Norman Roger I of Sicily and Adelaide del Vasto, descendant of the Aleramici family, many Northern Italian colonisers (known collectively as ''Lombards'') left their homeland, in the Aleramici's possessions in Piedmont and Liguria (then known as ''Lombardy''), to settle on the island of Sicily. Before them, other ''Lombards'' arrived in
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
, with an expedition departed in 1038, led by the Byzantine commander George Maniakes, which for a very short time managed to snatch Messina and Syracuse, Sicily, Syracuse from Arab rule. The Lombards who arrived with the Byzantines settled in Maniace, Randazzo and Troina, while a group of Genoa, Genoese and other ''Lombards'' from Liguria settled in Caltagirone. During the subsequent Swabian rule under the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, who spent most of his life as Kingdom of Sicily, king of Sicily in his court in Palermo, Muslims was progressively eradicated until the massive deportation of the last Muslims of Sicily. As a result of Arab expulsion, many towns across Sicily were left depopulated. By the 12th century, Swabian kings granted immigrants from northern Italy (particularly Piedmont, Lombardy and Liguria), Latium and Tuscany in central Italy, and France, French regions of Normandy, Provence and Brittany (all collectively known as ''Lombards''.) settlement into Sicily, re-establishing the Latin element into the island, a legacy which can be seen in the many Gallo-Italic of Sicily, Gallo-Italic dialects and towns found in the interior and western parts of Sicily, brought by these settlers. It is believed that the Lombard immigrants in Sicily over a couple of centuries were a total of about 200,000. An estimated 20,000 Swabians and 40,000 Normans settled in the southern half of Italy during this period. Additional Tuscan migrants settled in Sicily after the Florentine conquest of Pisa in 1406. Some of the expelled Muslims were deported to Lucera (Lugêrah, as it was known in Arabic). Their numbers eventually reached between 15,000 and 20,000, leading Lucera to be called ''Lucaera Saracenorum'' because it represented the last stronghold of Islamic presence in Italy. The colony thrived for 75 years until it was sacked in 1300 by Christian forces under the command of the Capetian House of Anjou, Angevin Charles II of Naples. The city's Muslim inhabitants were exiled or sold into slavery, with many finding asylum in Albania across the Adriatic Sea. After the expulsions of Muslims in Lucera, Charles II replaced Lucera's Saracens with Christians, chiefly Burgundy (region), Burgundian and Provence, Provençal soldiers and farmers, following an initial settlement of 140 Provençal families in 1273. A remnant of the descendants of these Provençal colonists, still speaking a Franco-Provençal language, Franco-Provençal dialect, has survived until the present day in the villages of Faeto and Celle di San Vito. Substantial migrations of Lombards to Naples, Rome and Palermo, continued in the 16th and 17th centuries, driven by the constant overcrowding in the north. Beside that, minor but significant settlements of Slavs (the so-called Schiavone, Schiavoni) and Arbëreshë people, Arbereshe in Italy have been recorded. The geographical and cultural proximity with Southern Italy pushed Albanians to cross the Strait of Otranto, especially after Skanderbeg's death and the conquest of the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
by the Ottoman Empire, Ottomans. In defense of the Christian religion and in search of soldiers loyal to the Spanish crown, Alfonso V of Aragon, also king of Naples, invited Arbereshe soldiers to move to Italy with their families. In return the king guaranteed to Albanians lots of land and a favourable taxation. Arbereshe and Schiavoni were used to repopulate abandoned villages or villages whose population had died in earthquakes, plagues and other catastrophes. Albanian soldiers were also used to quell rebellions in Calabria. Slavic colonies were established in eastern Friuli,
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
and Molise (Molise Croats). Between the Late Middle Ages and the
early modern period The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, and since the History of writing, adve ...
, there were several waves of immigration of Albanians into Italy, in addition to another in the 20th century. The descendants of these Albanian emigrants, many still retaining the Albanian language, the Arbëresh language, Arbëresh dialect, have survived throughout southern Italy, numbering about 260,000 people,Ethnobotany in the New Europe: People, Health and Wild Plant Resources, vol. 14, Manuel Pardo de Santayana, Andrea Pieroni, Rajindra K. Puri, Berghahn Books, 2010
, , p. 18.
with roughly 80,000 to 100,000 speaking the Albanian language.Handbook of ethnotherapies, Christine E. Gottschalk-Batschkus, Joy C. Green, BoD – Books on Demand, 2002
, p. 110.


Italian surnames

Most of Italian name#Surnames, Italy's surnames (''cognomi''), with the exception of a few areas marked by linguistic minorities, derive from Italian and arose from an individual's peculiar (physical, etc.) qualities (e.g. ''Rossi'', ''Bianchi'', ''Quattrocchi'', ''Mancini'', ''Grasso'', etc.), occupation (''Ferrari'', ''Auditore'', ''Sartori'', ''Tagliabue'', etc.), relation of fatherhood or lack thereof (''De Pretis'', ''Orfanelli'', ''Esposito'', ''Trovato'', etc.), and geographic location (''Padovano'', ''Pisano'', ''Lecce, Leccese'', ''Lucca, Lucchese'', etc.). Some of them also indicate a remote foreign origin (''Greeks, Greco'', ''Germans, Tedesco'', ''Moors, Moro'', ''Albanians, Albanese'', etc.).


Italian diaspora

Italian migration outside Italy took place, in different migrating cycles, for centuries. A
diaspora A diaspora () is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories, specifically the dispersion ...
in high numbers took place after Italy's unification in 1861 and continued through 1914 with the beginning of the First World War. This rapid outflow and migration of Italian people across the globe can be attributed to factors such as the internal economic slump that emerged alongside Italy's unification, family, and the industrial boom that occurred in the world surrounding Italy. Italy after its unification did not seek nationalism but instead sought work. However, a unified state did not automatically constitute a sound economy. The global economic expansion, ranging from Britain's Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and through mid 19th century, to the use of slave labor in the Americas did not hit Italy until much later (with the exception of the "industrial triangle" between Milan, Genoa and Turin) This lag resulted in a deficit of work available in Italy and the need to look for work elsewhere. The mass industrialization and urbanization globally resulted in higher labor mobility and the need for Italians to stay anchored to the land for economic support declined. Moreover, better opportunities for work were not the only incentive to move; family played a major role and the dispersion of Italians globally. Italians were more likely to migrate to countries where they had family established beforehand. These ties are shown to be stronger in many cases than the monetary incentive for migration, taking into account a familial base and possibly an Italian migrant community, greater connections to find opportunities for work, housing etc. Thus, thousands of Italian men and women left Italy and dispersed around the world and this trend only increased as the First World War approached. Notably, it was not as if Italians had never migrated before; internal migration between North and Southern Italy before unification was common. Northern Italy caught on to industrialization sooner than Southern Italy, therefore it was considered more modern technologically, and tended to be inhabited by the bourgeoisie. Alternatively, rural and agro-intensive Southern Italy was seen as economically backward and was mainly populated by lower class peasantry. Given these disparities, prior to unification (and arguably after) the two sections of Italy, North and South were essentially seen by Italians and other nations as separate countries. So, migrating from one part of Italy to next could be seen as though they were indeed migrating to another country or even continent. Furthermore, large-scale migrations phenomena did not recede until the late 1920s, well into the Fascist regime, and a subsequent wave can be observed after the end of the Second World War. Another wave is currently happening due to the ongoing Italian government debt, debt crisis. Over 80 million people of full or part Italian descent live outside Europe, with over 60 million living in South America (mostly in Brazil, which has the largest number of Italian descendants outside Italy, and Argentina, where over 62.5% of the population have at least one Italian ancestor), 20 million living in North America (United States and Canada) and 1 million in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand). Others live in other parts of Europe (primarily the Italians in the United Kingdom, United Kingdom, Italians in Germany, Germany, Italians in France, France and Italians in Switzerland, Switzerland). Most Italian citizens living abroad live in other nations of the European Union. A historical Italian community has also existed in History of the Genoese in Gibraltar, Gibraltar since the 16th century. To a lesser extent, people of full or partial Italian descent are also found in Africa (most notably in the former Italian colonies of Italian Eritreans, Eritrea, which has 100,000 descendants, Italian Somalis, Somalia, Italian Libyans, Libya, Italians of Ethiopia, Ethiopia, and in others countries such as Italian South Africans, South Africa, with 77,400 descendants, Italian Tunisians, Tunisia and Italian Egyptians, Egypt), in the Middle East (in recent years the Italians in the United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates has maintained a desirable destination for Italian immigrants, with currently 10,000 Italian immigrants), and Asia (Singapore is home to a sizeable Italian community). Regarding the diaspora, there are many individuals of Italian descent who are possibly eligible for Italian citizenship by method of jus sanguinis, which is from the Latin meaning "by blood." However, just having Italian ancestry is not enough to qualify for Italian citizenship. To qualify, one must have at least one Italian-born citizen ancestor who, after emigrating from Italy to another country, had passed citizenship onto their children before they naturalized as citizens of their newly adopted country. The Italian government does not have a rule regarding on how many generations born outside of Italy can claim Italian nationality.


Autochthonous Italian communities outside Italy

In both the Slovenian and Croatian portions of
Istria Istria ( ; Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also * Croatia (disambiguation) ...

Istria
, in
Dalmatia Dalmatia (; hr, Dalmacija ; it, Dalmazia; see #Name, names in other languages) is a region on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, a narrow belt stretching from the island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south. The Dalmatian Hin ...

Dalmatia
as well as in the city of Rijeka, Italian refers to autochthonous speakers of Italian (
Istrian Italians Istrian Italians are an ethnic group from the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic region of Istria in modern northwestern Croatia and southwestern Slovenia. Istrian Italians descend from the original Latinized population of Roman Empire, Roman Istria#Early hist ...
and
Dalmatian Italians Dalmatian Italians are the historical Italian national minority living in the region of Dalmatia, now part of Croatia and Montenegro. Since the middle of the 19th century, the community, counting according to some sources nearly 20% of all Dalmat ...
) and various Italo-Dalmatian languages, natives in the region since before the inception of the Republic of Venice. In the aftermath of the Istrian–Dalmatian exodus following the Second World War, most Italian-speakers are today predominantly located in the west and south of Istria, and number about 30,000. The number of inhabitants with Italian ancestry is likely much greater but undeterminable. In the first Austrian census carried out in 1870 the number of Italian Dalmatians varied between 40,000 and 50,000 amongst the about 250,000 inhabitants of
Dalmatia Dalmatia (; hr, Dalmacija ; it, Dalmazia; see #Name, names in other languages) is a region on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, a narrow belt stretching from the island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south. The Dalmatian Hin ...

Dalmatia
, or 20% of the total Dalmatian population. In the French County of Nice, autochthonous speakers of regional languages of Italy (Ligurian language (Romance), Ligurian and Piedmontese language, Piedmontese), are natives in the region since before annexation to France in 1860, an event that caused the Niçard exodus, that was the emigration of a quarter of the Niçard Italians to Italy. The number of inhabitants with Italian ancestry is generally indeterminable, and the use of French language is now ubiquitous. In addition, Corsica was a part of the Republic of Genoa until 1768 and most of the islanders still have a certain level of proficiency of Corsican language, Corsican, a language of the Italo-Dalmatian family closely related to Tuscan dialect, Tuscan. The Italian language ceased to have official status in Corsica in 1859 when it was supplanted by French and a process of de-Italianization of Corsican Italians was started by the French government in Corsica (and in 1861 the County of Nice, Niçard area). A similar process happened in Malta, where the Maltese Italians have practically disappeared in the last two centuries after Britain took control of the island during Napoleon times. However, the Italian language is today spoken and understood by 66% of the population. Swiss Italian is spoken as natively by about 350,000 people in the canton of Ticino and in the Italian Graubünden, southern part of Graubünden (Canton Grigioni). Swiss-Italian also refers to the Italian speaking population in this region (southern Switzerland) close to the border with
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
. Swiss Italian dialects are spoken in emigrant communities around the world, including in Swiss Italians of Australia, Australia. Due to the presence of the autochthonous Italian communities outside Italy, Italian irredentism originated. Italian irredentism was a Nationalism, nationalist Political movement, movement during the late 19th and early 20th centuries with irredentism, irredentist goals which promoted the Italian unification, unification of geographic areas in which indigenous peoples considered to be ethnic Italians and/or Italian-speaking individuals formed a majority, or substantial minority, of the population.


See also

* Demographics of Italy * List of Italians * List of Sardinians * List of Sicilians


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Italian People Ethnic groups in Italy Italian people, Romance peoples