Part III: The Political History of Italy Chapter 12: Modern Italy and its drive to unity


12.1 Napoleon invents Italy

It might have been partly a feeling. Born and raised in Corsica, just as the island was ceded by Genoa to France, and from a family of Tuscan origin, Napoleon Bonaparte may have had a special place in his heart for Italy, and certainly he was the first man to name a political entity “Italy.” After the Italian campaign in 1796, in which the 22-year-old general routed the strong and seasoned Austrian army, he proceeded to organize two small states in northern Italy, north and south of the Po River, and then a year later, he merged the two into the Cisalpine Republic, which was a client state of France. Napoleon also picked the colors of the first Cisalpine flag: white, red, and green. They were the colors of the French republic with a tiny substitution of green for blue. Two flags being close was meant to represent the kinship of the countries. The new Cisalpine statelet was carved to the west of France, as a vast neighbor on the west had gobbled up the former Piedmont territories, Tuscany, the Pontiff States in the south, and Venice in the east—all under Napoleonic control.

The fledgling Cisalpine republic became the Italian republic in 1802, keeping the same colors, but boasting for the first time the name “Italy” for a political and non-geographical entity. The new republic consisted primarily of the modern Italian regions of Lombardy, Emilia, and Romagna. It had a territory of about 42,500 square kilometers, and a population of 3,240,000 divided into 12 départements. Milan was the capital city, with 124,000 inhabitants in 1764. The country was prosperous despite the preceding centuries of plunder and wars. Its economy was based on agriculture and cattle, plus flourishing small industries, notably the production of silk.

In 1805, following Bonaparte’s assumption of the title of Emperor of France, the Italian Republic transformed into the Kingdom of Italy with Napoleon as king. The fact that the conquering hero of Europe, Napoleon, took personally the title of king of Italy was proof to the new “Italians” of the importance of their state.

That “Italy” surely was hardly worthy of its name, with a territory about 10% of what could be considered Italy in a geographic and historical sense. Yet those early Italians took their new motherland very seriously. The new state fielded six regiments of heavy infantry, three of light infantry, one of Dalmatian infantry, two regiments of dragoons, and two regiments of hussars for Napoleon. The Italian army fought in many Napoleonic campaigns including in Spain in 1808, where they captured Barcelona, and in the 1812 Russian campaign.[1]

At the end of the Napoleonic wars, these men then had a new idea, that of Italy, and the rich experience of having fought and bled for Italy for almost 20 years, from 1796 to 1815. This experience was not to be easily forgotten and could not be wiped off with a few treaties at the final defeat of Napoleon. The idea of a political Italy, the new sense of a nation both young and old that could imperviously trace back its history from Roman times through the Renaissance, had been planted. It would not stop growing easily.

Similarly, something else was to have long-lasting consequences. The English, in an attempt to contain Napoleon’s advance in Italy, started to get involved in southern Italy in alliance with the Russians.

In 1798 Napoleon had captured Malta from the Maltese knights who had held the islands south of Sicily for centuries. At the end of the Napoleonic wars, England took Malta for itself as a base, along with Gibraltar, for the control of the Mediterranean. This, although no longer strategically fundamental, was again a source of interest after Napoleon had conquered Egypt in 1798. The French general landed then in Egypt trying to gain control of the Suez area, not yet a canal, to cut off the English supply lines from their thriving colonies in India. Napoleon then saw two things that were crucial for future Italian developments: 1. The Turks were no longer the dominant power in the region, and Egypt could be taken from them to cast the whole Mediterranean in a new shape; 2, The old Silk Road, closed as we saw for the contemporary Turkish blockage of the eastern Mediterranean in the late 15th century and the discovery of America, could be largely reopened and maintained without middle eastern intermediaries.

The Mediterranean was no longer dominated by the eastern hegemony of the Turks. It was no longer a main source of traffic from the Far East, but the disappearance of the Turkish block made it now a new viable alternative to the old, far longer route through the Philippines and Central America. Moreover, an emerging power wanted to bathe in its waters and get involved in Italy: the Russians. Admiral Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov (February 24, 1745–October 14, 1817) had set up the first port and military base in Crimea in Sevastopol, and then during the Napoleonic wars, broke into the Mediterranean by seizing the former Venetian Greek Islands from the French. Ushakov also advanced into the Italian peninsula, laid siege to French-controlled Genoa and Ancona, and successfully attacked Naples and Rome.

In 1798, he and English admiral Horatio Nelson forced Napoleon to withdraw from Egypt. To push back the French in 1805–1806, Ushakov and his English allies intervened in the kingdom of Naples to make sure it would not back France. This then forced Napoleon to invade southern Italy and crown Joachim Murat its new king.

After the Napoleonic wars, however, England and Russia drifted apart. The English found common cause with the then-weaker France in stopping the Russian expansion near the Black Sea, part of the great Mediterranean basin.

By 1815, after Napoleon’s defeat, Italy had a new concept of its identity forged in wars, as we saw, and it was again part of a very large international game where the English and Russians, two newcomers to Mediterranean politics, had significant interests.

However, these two elements were to burden Italy’s future growth. The new Italian state, because of its strategic position and its history, received enormous attention from abroad that significantly affected its direction. Moreover, the Pontiff State, although no longer politically as relevant as in past centuries, was to play an important role in shaping Italy.

12.2 The early phase of the movement, from 1815 to 1821

The 1815 Congress of Vienna tried to re-impose the old Italian order prior to the Napoleonic wars by abolishing all the liberal constitutions proclaimed by Napoleon in Europe. The Congress reinstated the power of the absolute king against the ambition of the rising bourgeoisie, now socially and politically central in many states. It was a crippling order that did not take into consideration the social and political aspirations of the people who had fought with and were stirred by Napoleon.

The universal message spread by the French revolution had given rise to requests for independence and self-determination from all the people freed (or occupied, as we wish to see it) by the French. After being touched by the Napoleonic revolution, these people did not want to be ruled by the French and so they opposed the Napoleonic hegemony, but also did not want a return of the old order. There were strong new nationalist sentiments. According to these sentiments, countries were made of people recognizing themselves as different nations, each with their own language and customs, not just masses loyal to a sovereign chosen by God because of his birth. Of course, it was also the beginning of a series of problems lasting until today: what makes a nation and what doesn’t; why some people have nation-states and other nations do not.

But what mattered then was that the Holy Alliance, made of kings who ruled over multi-ethnic empires, defeated Napoleon, but failed to see the rise of nations and simply ignored the problem. A further, future complication of the problem was the definition of people. Not everybody had rights to vote—in the beginning only rich men could vote and thus were considered “people”, similarly to what in ancient times happened with the roman citizen, who were the rich voting layer of the society. This definition of people was bound to expand in the following decades.

The mistake by the Holy Alliance of attempting to simply switch back to the past was important in all of Europe, but particularly in Italy. This place, despite lacking history as a unified political entity, had a strong history of cultural identity, and a non-so-distant history of fighting the German imperial power, of which the Austrians were the heirs.

The English had expanded their foothold in Malta (which was to remain the key English base in the Mediterranean for two centuries) and had some business ventures in Sicily, notably by helping to produce and sell the fortified sweet wine Marsala, which sold extremely well in England as an alternative to port and sherry. An English trader, John Woodhouse, discovered Marsala in 1773, and in 1796—thus in the middle of the French Revolution—he started its mass production and commercialization and continued it even after the French left Italy.[2]

Yet, after 1815, Austria was the dominant power in the peninsula, directly occupying now not just Milan but also Venice and stretching its hands well into the south. Governed by Prince Metternich, the mastermind of the Congress of Vienna, who drafted the new European order and turned down requests for a political entity named Italy, Austria was the main force maintaining the status quo on the continent.

Yet the status quo was hard to reinstate after 20 years of Napoleonic revolutions. The first challenge to the shaky post-Napoleonic peace came in January 1820 from Spain, when Napoleon was still alive and held prisoner on the island of St. Helen, plotting to escape the British. The newly established Spanish king wanted to reinforce his power in his former Latin American colonies. They had broken free during the Napoleonic wars, and Simon Bolivar was spreading his revolution, supported by the United States of America, which had calmly sustained the Napoleonic war efforts.

On January 1, 1820 in Cadiz, some Spanish troops refused to be shipped to America to fight Bolivar and instead requested the king to reinstate the 1812 constitution (granted by Napoleon). The troops roamed through the south of Spain and eventually reached Madrid in March. Here the king ordered his local garrison to move against the rebels, but even his garrison refused and pressed for the king to ratify the Constitution again.

News and inspiration from the successful uprising spread all over Europe, particularly in southern Italy, with traditionally close ties with Spain. Italy also had a very active secret society, the Carbonari (charcoal burners)[3]. Their goals had a patriotic and liberal focus, although they lacked a clear, immediate political agenda. They were a voice for those unhappy with the repressive political situation in Italy after 1815, especially in the south. In July 1820, a military revolt broke out under General Guglielmo Pepe, and king Ferdinand of Bourbon (related to the Spanish rulers) was terrorized into signing a constitution on the model of the Spanish Constitution of 1812. On the other hand, a revolt in Sicily, in favor of recovering its independence, was suppressed by Neapolitan troops.

The fear of a general break in the recently reestablished order pushed Metternich to persuade the Neapolitan king to allow an Austrian army to march into Naples “to restore order.” Pepe was defeated in March 1821, and the Austrians entered Naples and closed the recently established parliament.

Things in Spain were more difficult. In October 1822, at the Congress of Verona, the Holy Alliance (the powers that had defeated Napoleon) authorized the king of France to move into Spain and reinstate the absolute monarchy. France entered Spain the year after with a massive army of some 95,000 troops. Rebels captured the Spanish king and held out in Cadiz, but the port town fell to the French in August after a massive battle. The old order was reestablished all over Europe once again, and in southern Italy Austria imposed a firm grasp over Naples’ domestic and foreign policies. Count Charles-Louis de Ficquelmont was appointed as the Austrian ambassador to Naples, practically administering the country as well as managing the occupation and strengthening Austrian influence over Neapolitan elites.

Yet the rise of the Italian national sentiments was getting harder to suppress, and those sentiments were reignited again by France, when a successful revolution in 1830 toppled the Bourbon king and instated a new constitutional king, Louis Philip of Orleans, who ruled according to a constitution that revoked the king’s divine rights and stated that rule was established by an agreement between the people and their sovereign.

The new French state also triggered a revolution in Belgium, which gained its independence from Holland after negotiations between France and England (still very influential in Holland). Less successful was the Polish attempt to win independence from Russia. The young Polish officers, the Decemberists, did not receive French support and their revolution was quelled in blood in 1831[4].

It was a fate similar to the revolution that in Italy, which this time exploded around the northern independent city of Modena and spread to the Pontiff States. In February 1831, a republic was announced, the United Italian Provinces, and the future king of France Napoleon III, who was then wanted by the Austrian police, took part in the fight as “Carbonaro.” Again, the new French liberal king failed to intervene, and the Austrian army crushed the rebels.

But, more than in 1821, it was a military victory, not a political one. In fact, the Holy Alliance had already given up on absolute rule in France and Belgium.

12.3 The revolutions of 1848 and the second war of independence in 1855

The fragile order imposed on Europe after the Congress of Vienna resisted two previous crisis, as we saw in 1821 and 1831, but came tumbling down in 1848, a year so momentous that in Italian one still says “è un 48” (it is a 48) to mean it is a moment of great chaos.

The monarchy in France came down, and Napoleon III, who was wanted by the Austrian police in 1831, soon became president. Metternich, who had held the balance of power in Europe for 33 years, resigned; the Hungarians revolted against the Austrians, and although suppressed, this powerful attack was to transform the empire into Austria-Hungary, with bi-national rule. Marx and Engels saw in this wave of violent protests the dawn of communism, and thus published the Manifesto of the Communist Party, a pamphlet with important consequences for the world. The Swiss confederation adopted a constitution inspired by the US version, became a federal republic and beacon of liberalism in the heart of Europe.

In Italy for the first time, an alliance of Italian states coalesced to fight the Austrian power in the peninsula. It was the first war of Italian independence, but it was ill-conceived and failed.

In Italy actually sentiments began to simmer a few years before, in 1844 when the Bandiera brothers tried to kindle a revolution in Calabria, in southern Italy. They were betrayed by a Corsican comrade (a sign that Corsicans were still keen on the idea of Italy), and attacked by the local people who took them for Turkish pirates (a sign that Muslim piracy was still rampant in that region), and the Bandieras were soon summarily executed in Cosenza. The moral effect was enormous throughout Italy: the actions of the authorities were universally condemned, and the martyrdom of the Bandiera brothers bore fruit in the subsequent revolutions.

On January 5, 1848, the revolution began with a civil disobedience strike in Lombardy, as citizens stopped smoking and playing the lottery in order to not pay the associated taxes to Austria. Then there were revolts in Sicily and Naples. In Tuscany, the archduke conceded the constitution, and on March 18, Milan and Venice revolted. After five days of street fighting—Cinque Giornate di Milano (“five days of Milan”) is a critical moment in Italian modern history—the Austrian troops withdrew from the city.

Austria seemed on the eve of a total collapse, as news of the resignation of Metternich and the Hungarian revolution spread to Italy. The ambitious Charles Albert, the King of Sardinia (who ruled Piedmont and Savoy), declared war on Austria, heading a coalition of volunteers from various cities plus Tuscany, the new Neapolitan state, and even the Pontiff States. The coalition won important battles against the Austrians in Goito and Peschiera. But then the coalition crumbled. The pope pulled out, arguing he could not fight a Catholic state like Austria, and on July 24 the Austrian marshal Joseph Radetzky won the crucial Battle of Custoza. Radetzky regained control of all of Lombardy-Venetia save Venice itself, where the Republic of San Marco was proclaimed under Daniele Manin.[5]

In November 1848, following the assassination of one of his ministers, Pope Pius IX fled just before Giuseppe Garibaldi (who gained extensive guerrilla fighting experience supporting rebels in Latin America) and other patriots arrived in Rome. On February 9, 1849, they proclaimed the Roman Republic. In early March 1849, Giuseppe Mazzini (the head of extensive underground network of revolutionaries in Italy) arrived in Rome and was appointed chief minister.

It seemed that the revolution regained momentum, and in Piedmont Charles Albert, whose army had been trained by the exiled Polish general Albert Chrzanowski, renewed the war with Austria. He was quickly defeated by Radetzky at Novara on March 23, 1849, abdicated in favor of his son, Victor Emmanuel II, and Piedmont’s ambitions to unite Italy or conquer Lombardy were, for the moment, brought to an end. In April Napoleon III, seeing an opportunity to play to his Catholic constituency in France, intervened in Rome and after a two-month siege restored the pope. Shortly thereafter, at end of August, the Austrians took Venice and publicly hanged the rebels. At this point Austrian troops moved to central Italy, restoring the old princes.

The revolutions were thus completely crushed, but the old order was clearly no more.

The victory in Goito proved that the Austrians could be beaten. Moreover the patriotic uprisings were no longer limited to southern Italy or Tuscany, but had spread all over the country. In Venice a Neapolitan general, Pepe, had fought with the local Venetians. In Rome, Garibaldi, born in Nice, under Genoa at the time, organized the local patriots.

Most important, the young semi-French state of Piedmont emerged onto the national scene. After the defeat, Piedmont saw clearly the opportunity to expand its power under the new Italian ideal. It could not face Austria alone, nor could it head a coalition of Italian states, since the Kingdom of Naples was bigger and richer. But it could craft new alliances by trying to squeeze its interests into the pattern of the changing politics in Europe.

Austrian power was in decline all over the continent; France had proved indomitable and was back on its feet under Bonaparte’s nephew, Napoleon III; and Russia was on the rise, trying to push back the declining Turkish Empire. At this moment an opportunity arose in Crimea, where the English and French had joined forces to support the Turks against the Russians in 1855. In 1856, the new active Piedmont Chief Minister Camillo Benso of Cavour sent Piedmontese troops to Crimea to aid the Anglo-Franco effort. This move said to the French and English that Piedmont was willing to play its role beside France and England in the new Europe these two countries were designing. Here, England, unlike during the Napoleonic wars, saw an opportunity to ally itself with France against Austria and Russia, which had come to dominate continental politics in recent decades.

France wanted to push back Austria and expand its foothold in Italy, and planned to do so with a territorial bargain: Paris would help Turin in a war against Austria, Piedmont would gain Lombardy and Venice in return, and Piedmont would cede to France the Alpine region of Savoy, the port city of Nice, and the surrounding area. In 1859 Piedmont started the war, and the Austrians, despite a much larger army, failed to move quickly to Turin. The Piedmontese were soon aided by the French, who defeated the Austrians in an indecisive manner. A peace, which was more of a compromise, came soon after that. The Austrians retained Venice, and in return for losing the historical city, Piedmont was given free rein to annex other regions of central Italy, north of the Pontiff States. They joined the Piedmont kingdom through rushed referendums.

Peace was still unstable, as Austria was a strong power in the peninsula, but Piedmont had vastly expanded its territory by adding rich areas of Lombardy, Emilia, and Tuscany. It was now the largest and richest single state in the peninsula, and by defeating Austria for the first time, winning a victory for the patriots, and volunteering to support the cause of Italian unity in the peninsula, Piedmont became the best bet to lead to a unitary state.

12.4 Garibaldi goes to the south, Italy is established in 1861

In 1860, in the wake of the second war of independence, Italy was still divided into four parts. The northeast was in the hands of the Austrians; the northwest and Lombardy, Tuscany, and Emilia was controlled by the newly ambitious Savoy, who still spoke French among themselves; the center was in the hands of the pope and protected by France, which had sponsored the Savoy expansion but had no interest in seeing a unitary Italy at its southern border; and in the south, there was the Kingdom of Naples with a mix of modernity (it built the peninsula’s first railway) and feudal customs. Savoy had another debt to be repaid after the Crimean war, this one with the English, who were in Malta. The English had started to produce sweet wine in Sicily and were keen on stopping both Russian and French encroachments in Italy.

The opportunity for the Savoy to expand and the English to secure their interests in Italy came shortly after the end of the war with the expedition to southern Italy led by Giuseppe Garibaldi. Garibaldi, born in 1807, had vast experience as a revolutionary and sea captain in South America and Italy. He fought with Uruguayan forces; lived in United States, North Africa, and England; and led the insurrection in Rome. But ultimately he pledged his allegiance to the Savoy. He thought only Piedmont could unify Italy, his ideal, and he stuck with the Savoy king even as he vehemently protested his motherland, Nice, being ceded to France after the second war of independence. There, he had fought for the Savoy and won the only significant battles, commanding only Italian forces.[6]

In 1860, with the support of the British, King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy, Camillo Benso of Cavour (then prime minister of Piedmont), republican leader Giuseppe Mazzini, and Garibaldi planned a daring operation to attack the Kingdom of Naples, ruled by the failing Bourbon Dynasty. It was the beginning of “the expedition of one thousand” (la spedizione dei Mille). A crucial role in the expedition was played by southern Italian patriots Francesco Crispi (a Sicilian who later became prime minister of Italy) and his Calabrian buddy Giovanni Nicotera (later the powerful minister of the interior). Nicotera had been condemned to death by the Bourbons, but his sentence was commuted thanks to pressure from the British. Crispi, of Albanian ancestry (he spoke Albanian at home), was to play an instrumental part in the insurrection as he mobilized Sicilian landowners and local strongmen, later known as Mafiosi, to support Garibaldi against the Bourbons.

In May 1860, Garibaldi headed a small legion of 1,089 men, of whom 33 were foreigners, and of those four were Hungarians, and set sail to Sicily under the protection of the British fleet. They wore the characteristic red shirt, and from that the newly established communists took red as their color.

In Calatafimi on May 15, Garibaldi beat a poorly organized Neapolitan force of 2,000 and then moved to set siege to Palermo, defended by some 16,000 men. Palermo was led by a 75-year-old general, Ferdinando Lanza, and he and some of his officers were also possibly bribed by the British, who had been a powerhouse in the city for many years. Ferdinand Nandor Eber, an English correspondent of Hungarian origin for The Times, then joined Garibaldi with the rank of colonel. The resistance of Sicilian forces was shattered. The common people of Palermo rose up against the Bourbons, and Garibaldi proclaimed himself dictator. But the situation was still very uncertain and a counteroffensive by the Bourbons was staved off only by an intervention of the British and the surrender of Lanza.

The island was at this point divided, with Messina, leading to the mainland, in Bourbon hands. Garibaldi also had to face the failure of the levy that collected some 20,000 men, and violent peasant uprisings against the brutal local landowners. The peasants’ revolts were bloodily crushed by Garibaldi’s lieutenant Nino Bixio (who was to die 1873 in Aceh, Sumatra, basically as a pirate), thus showing that the new rulers did not want to change the social order of the island. The continuity of the political and social system in Sicily was later effectively described in the 1958 novel Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. A sentence in the novel summed up the perception of the outcome of Garibaldi’s conquest for many people in southern Italy: “change everything in order to change nothing.”

Cavour meanwhile had grown wary of Garibaldi’s successes and sent an envoy to take control of Sicily and annex the island to Piedmont. Garibaldi refused his proposal and sent back the first envoy. A second envoy, Agostino Depretis (later also prime minister of Italy), was accepted and became pro-dictator, but the island remained officially independent from Savoy, possibly to be still appealing to patriotic Neapolitans suspicious of Savoy’s ambitions.

On June 25, 1860, King Francis II of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies issued a constitution, but this belated attempt to appease his moderate subjects failed to rouse them to defend the regime, while liberals and revolutionaries were eager to welcome Garibaldi.

Garibaldi in the meantime had created the Southern Army with volunteers from Italy and some regular Piedmontese soldiers disguised as “deserters.” On July 20, Garibaldi attacked Milazzo still in Sicily with 5,000 men. The Neapolitan defense was gallant, but again the absence of coordination and the refusal of Clary, commander-in-chief of the army on the island, to send reinforcements from Messina granted the Mille another victory. Six days later, Clary surrendered the city of Messina to Garibaldi. The other strongholds surrendered by the end of September when Garibaldi was already in Naples.

This should have been the end of the expedition, according to Cavour at least. But on August 19, Garibaldi moved to Calabria. The Bourbons offered insignificant resistance, as numerous units disbanded spontaneously or even joined Garibaldi’s ranks. On August 30, a conspicuous Sicilian army, led by general Ghio, was officially disbanded at Soveria Mannelli, while only minor and dispersed units continued the fight. The Neapolitan fleet behaved in a similar way.

King Francis II was thus forced to abandon Naples and entrench himself in the formidable fortress of Gaeta, while a last stand was set up on the Volturno River, north of Naples. On September 7, Garibaldi took possession of Naples with little harm—he entered the city by train—hailed as a liberator by the population.

In the meantime, Piedmont invaded the Papal State conquering central Italy (Lazio excluded) through a few battles such as the Battle of Castelfidardo, and entered the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, joining Garibaldi. In the decisive Battle of the Volturnus (October 1–2), Garibaldi, with a force of 24,000 men, was not able to conclusively defeat the Neapolitan Army (about 25,000 men). Only the arrival of the Piedmontese army obliged the last organized Bourbon force to entrench in Gaeta.

The end of the expedition is traditionally set as the famous meeting on October 26, 1860 in Teano in northern Campania between Victor Emmanuel and Garibaldi. Others consider instead the end of the campaign as the king’s entrance into Naples on November 7.

However, the military campaign was not yet fully completed, as Francis II held out in Gaeta until February of the next year, when he finally surrendered to the Piedmontese army led by Enrico Cialdini, and left for exile in the Papal State. Shortly thereafter, in March 1861, the new Kingdom of Italy was formally established.

Garibaldi asked the king to remain in the former Two Sicilies for a year as a dictator. He also asked that his officers be integrated in the new Italian army. When Victor Emmanuel refused to accept his requests, he moved to the island of Caprera, in northern Sardinia, with a generous stipend.

Italy was then basically united, but the unity was born under several unfortunate stars. For decades, there was the suspicion of support from the Mafia for the new Italian government, with little or no knowledge of the situation in Sicily. Certainly, the old Sicilian aristocracy was quick in changing sides and embracing the northerners. Suspicion of corruption was fed also by the tragic and mysterious death of the young writer Ippolito Nievo, who had been the accountant of the expedition. Nievo, carrying the important payment logs to Garibaldi, died in 1861 in the gulf of Naples, not far from the coast. There were no survivors and no relics or corpses recovered from the sunken vessel. It was the first of a long series of mysteries that were to accompany the birth of this young nation. Later stories claimed that Nievo was bringing proof of the massive corruption of the Piedmontese troops in Sicily[7].

Certainly, people and favor were bought and sold in Sicily and southern Italy by the Piedmontese officials who took over a territory larger than their original area.

And certainly the social structure that gave power to large landowning families in Sicily held thanks to the private force of their campieri, hired bullies. In return also for keeping the local old social order, the earnings from southern Italy landowners were soon to be used to finance the modernization and industrialization of northern Italy. This brought financial returns to the old landlords without the burden of social changes caused by the industrialization occurring in the North.

12.5 The third war of independence in 1866 and the occupation of Rome in 1870

In 1861, when Italy was proclaimed for the first time, its birth was accompanied by many unusual features. Its king continued to be called Vittorio Emmanuel II—that is, his title continued to referrer to Piedmont and not the Italian state, where he would be the Vittorio Emmanuel I. In other words, right in his name he claimed that the new Italian state, even in symbols, was just a continuation and expansion of Piedmont, not really a new identity.

Except for this king all major players of the previous successes were out of the picture. Cavour, the prime minister who had woven the complex international fabric of relations that had made the unity possible, died shortly before unity happened; Garibaldi was confined in the island of Caprera and Mazzini was in exile. Perhaps they were no longer necessary, as the Italian unity was achieved, but new unforeseen challenges shook the young kingdom.

Soon after unification with the south, this territory larger than the former Piedmontese administration with centuries of common history and tradition—very different from history and traditions of the semi-French kingdom largely peripheral to Italian history—rose in a virtual war of independence.

With a core of former Bourbon or Garibaldi low-ranking soldiers, bands of brigands rebelled against the Piedmontese troops, who then reacted as an occupation force. The new Piedmontese authority had relied heavily on the local feudal upper class for law and order in the south. It was a strange situation with an unholy alliance between the local feudal privileged class, now basically unbound by the former restraints of the old Neapolitan state, and the northern new administrators, who moved in the south with interpreters, without knowledge of the local dialects, in all but in name foreigners.

Then the lower classes—peasants without land and former soldiers of the disbanded Bourbon and Garibaldi armies—revived the old tradition of brigandage and banditry, common in all of Italy. This time it was not a series of incidents but a real movement that swept southern Italy for years and was crushed in blood. Towns in Calabria and Campania, guilty of harboring rebels, were bombarded with cannon fire. Thousands were summarily executed, and even more were forced to move out, starting the wave of migration to America that was to play an immense role in the building of modern Italy.

Among the brigands there were also some nobles, farmers who had fled due to extortionate Italian taxes, and peasants who wanted land reforms—both men and women took up arms. The Pica legislation in 1863 provided an extremely strong-armed repression tool against the brigands. It allowed the execution of relatives and those suspected with collaborating with or helping a brigand[8]. At the height of the repression, two-fifths of the Italian army was deployed in the south. By the sheer size of the crackdown, it was in all aspects a civil war.

But the brigands were also supported by some foreign powers. Some foreigners, mostly French and Spanish, were sentenced after being captured with brigand bands. It is possible that France, which was protecting what remained of the Pontiff States, wanted to thwart further Italian ambitions to occupy Rome. But their role was in reality minimal, and in a few years, without arms, money, solid organization, or a common goal, the brigand bands fell apart and their chieftains were arrested and executed one by one.

The experience of brigandage and especially the repression of the brigands, in which local landowners hired native thugs to serve as guides and interpreters for the Italian troops, created a network and rhetoric that was to help spread the myth of organized crime and the Mafia in Sicily.

By 1865 brigandage had been successfully cracked down upon and order had been restored through the use of troops with special powers, especially the military police (Carabinieri) and the help of the local gentry. This latter group, after some initial hesitation, came out in favor of the new Italian state, put off by the savagery of the brigands, who mostly had little or no education and were often unwilling or unable to work with the local gentry.

Meanwhile, the ambitious king didn’t lose track of furthering his expansion, and the increasing discord between Austria and Prussia over who should rule the rest of Germany turned into open war in 1866. On April 8, 1866, the Italian government signed a military alliance with Prussia, through the mediation of Emperor Napoleon III of France, to capture Venice and its territory. France was keen on further weakening Austria both in Germany and in Italy. Italian armies were to engage the Austrians on the southern front, while simultaneously, taking advantage of their perceived naval superiority, the Italians planned to threaten the Dalmatian coast and seize Trieste. Things did not go as planned.

The Italian military was hampered by the problematic amalgamation of the armies of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the two largest components of the new Kingdom of Italy. There were disputes among the chain of command as former enemies were now serving alongside one another. Basically, resentful southern troops were considered almost cannon fodder. An even stronger rivalry broke out between the two navies, where the Neapolitan, though conquered, had been the majority.

For Italy, the war began on June 19, 1866. Immediately things did not go well for the Italians who were defeated by the Austrians. However, Prussians won a decisive battle in Bohemia that forced the Austrians to redeploy three army corps to Vienna and withdraw troops from Trentino, the passage from Italy to Austria. In July Napoleon brokered a compromise: the Austrians were willing to concede Venice, but the Italians felt humiliated by the offer and continued hostilities, attacking the vastly inferior Austrian navy in Lissa. Here the Italians were badly disgraced on July 20 with an utter defeat. On land the army didn’t make much progress and Austrians were now redeploying troops in the south. Napoleon intervened again and brokered a peace that, although conceding Venice to Italy, was still dishonoring as the young kingdom did not win its conquests in battle. Austria in fact gave Venice to France (because Austria had not been defeated by Italy), and France later presented it to Italy as a gift.

For France and Napoleon III, it was a moment of vindication for the disgrace of his great uncle, Napoleon I. France was again shaping the borders of Europe assisting the rise of two new powers (one which turned out to be bigger than the other): Prussia-led Germany and Piedmont-led Italy.

Yet for Napoleon this glory was, as for his forefather, short-lived. In a short and very effective war in 1870, Germany crushed the French army and imposed the new continental rule of Prussian Germany in Europe. France could no longer defend Rome. So on September 11, 1870, an Italian army of 50,000 troops crossed into the Pontiff States, facing an army of 13,157 Swiss guards and volunteers from France, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, and other countries. On September 20, after a cannonade of three hours breached the Aurelian Walls at Porta Pia, Piedmont’s infantry corps of Bersaglieri entered Rome. 49 Italian soldiers and 19 papal troops died. Rome, including the Vatican, seat of the pope, was occupied on September 21.[9]

Italy was basically made, now it was time to make the Italians, as a famous phrase went at the time. Only a tiny minority of the population spoke Italian, and most had, and would go on to have, greater allegiance to their locality, region, and city, than to the new unitary state.

12.6 Dreaming of great power: Italy faces scandals, industrializes, and goes to Africa

In 1870, as Germany was beating France and became the strongest power in Europe, Italy was invading Rome and confining the pope to what are now the Vatican Palaces. The victory over France had been a major feat: it ended centuries of French power in continental Europe and it ushered in what was to become at least a century and half of German power. The Italian occupation of Rome conversely did not mean the new Italian state was powerful, but more simply that Rome’s political power in Europe had dramatically declined.

The powers that had routinely taken up the Roman cause and defended the Pontiff States (Spain, Austria, and France) had been defeated, and the new dominant powers of Europe (Germany in the continent, England in on seas, and Russia in the east) all had different but converging scores to settle with Rome. None of their elites were catholic, and all were quite hostile to Catholics. England was Anglican, Prussia Lutheran, and Russia Orthodox. In this, the popes had failed to realize the new political environment in Europe and had been slow and hesitant to find new allegiances in non-Catholic Europe. But also the church itself and many individual Catholics were tired of being tied to the cause of the Pontiff States and wanted to keep their faith while reserving their political allegiance for their new, booming European nation-states.

In this new Europe, young Italy dreamed of itself as a power. Old Piedmont’s generals reorganized the army according to Prussian standards and extended compulsory conscription. Every able-bodied man of 18 had to serve two years in the army or navy. Between 1860 and 1940, about one third of the Italian budget was earmarked for defense[10], thus heavily straining the weak Italian economy. The aggressive posture was certainly a domestic imperative. Stressed by the aftermath of the bloody civil war in the south, the easy solution was to give the new citizens a sense of Italian identity in the dream of reconquering Trento and Trieste (the two cities with a majority Italian population that remained under Austrian control) and later expanding its colonial empire, just like other European powers were doing at the time.

Most Italians were still illiterate, and the vast majority, especially in the recently reunited south, could speak little or no Italian at all. Conscription into the army was a way to teach the youth some basic rudiments of Italian sentiment and build an Italian ideology. This was not far different from the Prussian state eagerly pursuing wide-ranging policies of better education and better working conditions for its new citizens, something that did indeed contribute to improving the general economic and industrial development of the country and also gave citizens a sense of being really German.

But the application of the ideas was different in Italy and Germany. The German administration was much better than the Italian one, which remained inefficient and corrupt, from north to south. In fact, starting from Cavour, many of the Piedmont’s politicians were keen businessmen mixing private and public interests in a very confused and confusing manner. Cavour was a successful landowner who introduced new agricultural techniques, went into cereal mills and then into trade and banking, and followed his private interests even when in politics.[11] The northerners were keen on playing to the needs of the southerner landowners, and right after the unification siphoned resources and savings from the south for investment in the industrialization of the north.

The program of industrialization of Italy got off on a wrong foot, however. Italy was ready to industrialize in the 1870s, when Europe and then America got engulfed in the first truly international financial crisis, the Long Depression, which lasted from 1873 to 1895. The collapse of the Vienna Stock Exchange that began on May 8, 1873 spread to the Americas in September after the failure of the banking house of Jay Cooke and Company over the Northern Pacific Railway. For over a decade Europe was faltering, and Italy fared even worse. In 1887, a ten-year tariff war broke out between France and Italy, damaging Franco-Italian relations, which had prospered for many decades. As France was Italy’s biggest investor, the liquidation of French assets in the country was especially damaging.

Historians tend to believe that the depression was caused by three factors: technological progress increased the production of goods; progressively industrialized countries contributed to the glut of goods, and a policy of low salaries depressed the total consumption[12]. More and cheaper goods plus cheaper salaries created unemployment that cut consumption even further and fueled a situation from which capitalism seemed unable to free itself for twelve long years. Labor got more organized and became militant, and their opposition to the capitalists was growing violent. The clash of the interests of the two classes, plus the continuing poor performance of the economy, seemed to promise the end of the capitalist world. For the newly born communists, it was proof that capitalism was in its last days and communism was about to dawn.

For Italy the threat was not communism but a wave of scandals laced with activities of the then almost unknown organized crime group called Mafia.

Everything burst with the scandal of the Banca Romana in 1889. In 1874 the bank was made one of the six national institutes authorized to issue currency. Due to rising inflation and easy credit, the Banca Romana and the five other issue banks had steadily increased their note circulation. In 1887 five of the issue banks had exceeded their legal limit, a fact well known to the government and in banking and financial circles. However, restricting credit in that international crisis and with the demand for fast industrialization was considered politically impossible[13]. Peasants, especially in the south, were rising up. Fast urbanization plans for the new Italian cities were running out of steam.

In 1889 three Turin banks, heavily involved in real estate speculation in Rome, suspended payments. The issuing banks were persuaded by the government to intervene, in order to avert a major disaster. In June 1889 a careful inspection of the Banca Romana revealed that 91% of the assets of the bank were illiquid. Moreover, the bank’s directors had committed a criminal offense by permitting an additional number of banknotes with double numbering to be printed. Prime Minister Francesco Crispi and Treasury Minister Giovanni Giolitti knew of the 1889 government inspection report, but feared that publicity might undermine public confidence and suppressed it. Over the next three years there was much talk of the need for a single issuing bank and for a reduction in note circulation. But neither Crispi nor his successors had the courage to face the political storms that any serious attempt at banking reform was bound to precipitate.

Moreover, despite the economic crisis, Italy since 1886 had embarked on a costly and ambitious colonial program in Africa. At first, Italy had managed to carve up the Ethiopian empire annexing, Eritrea and then Somalia. Eventually in 1896 at the battle of Adwa, the Ethiopians badly beat the Italians in one of the most disastrous defeats of the European colonial wars in the continent.

The defeat took place in a stormy situation in Rome. In 1892 the long-suppressed report on Banca Romana surfaced in Italy, and in 1893 Giolitti was forced to appoint an expert commission to investigate the issue and reform the banks. The main priority of the reform was to rapidly solve the financial problems of the Banca Romana, as well as to cover up the scandal, which involved the political class, rather than to design a new national banking system. Regional interests were still strong, hence the compromise of the plurality of note issuance. The reform did not immediately restore confidence nor establish a single bank of issue, as envisaged by Finance Minister Sidney Sonnino, but it was nevertheless pretty sound. The political fallout kindled a bitter fight between Giolitti and Crispi, each blaming the other for the scandal until 1895.

Right in the middle of the scandal and of the fight between Sicilian Crispi and Piedmontese Giolitti, there was the first daring act that brought the Mafia to national and international notoriety. On February 1, 1893, Emanuele Notarbartolo was stabbed 27 times and killed on a train. He was the first illustrious victim of the Mafia. The ex-mayor of Palermo, a volunteer for Garibaldi, had been in charge of the Banca di Sicilia since 1876, which Notarbartolo had rescued from bankruptcy. During the government of Depretis (the Piedmontese co-dictator with Garibaldi during the southern expedition, who, as we saw, had possibly since the 1860s been in cahoots with unsavory people in Sicily), there as a change. Prime minister Depretis put on the bank’s board many people hostile to Notarbartolo, namely a deputy at the Italian parliament named Raffaele Palizzolo, who was linked with the Mafia. Palizzolo used the bank funds for speculation, creating problems for Notabartolo and the bank. Palizzolo pressured Notarbartolo to cover up the losses but to no avail. The assassination was the ultimate and extreme measure to solve the matter.

The case dragged on for years without substantial progress but it opened the first public debate on the Mafia and its political links. Only six years after the assassination, in 1899, the Italian Parliament authorized the trial against Palizzolo as the mastermind of the assassination. In 1901 he was found guilty, but in 1905 he was acquitted on appeal for lack of sufficient evidence.

The years after the scandal were momentous as the first fight against the Mafia. In 1898, on the eve of Palizzolo’s trial, Ermanno Sangiorgi was sent to be chief of police in Palermo. He drafted the first exhaustive analysis of the Mafia and its workings[14]. In Palermo there had been a Mafia war, and had not been a simple fight between gangs, he argued. It involved a complex organization with a very structured decision-making process. Sangiorgi also found that the two richest families in Palermo, Florio and Whitaker, who had made their fortunes with the sweet Marsala wine, lived side by side with the Mafia men of the orange and lemon orchards next to Palermo, where control of the water flow was crucial for the harvest.

Sangiorgi got confessions that revealed a system of protection money for land and that there were eight groups in the Palermo and Trapani area with territorial frontiers. These confessions and investigations resulting in a report of 485 pages, and in April 1900 Sangiorgi arrested 280 mafia members. However, a year later the main confession was retracted and only 32 defendants were found guilty of minor charges, so all were soon released. Sangiorgi was later transferred and his work was forgotten for decades.

It is possible that political debts contracted by Italian politicians during the conquest of Sicily in 1860 were still paying off. Depretis and Crispi, two of the main political players of Italy in those years, had been actively involved in the conquest of Sicily, attained also thanks to the complicity with the local powers and mafia. These links could not be easily and simply severed even after forty years. No political patronage and link existed in Naples, where a similar criminal organization was effectively disbanded in the same years, as we shall see.

12.7 Finding Italy in America: the wave of Italian migration at the turn of the century

In the first decades of Italy’s existence, few Italians considered themselves such, but paradoxically the massive emigration to the Americas helped to create an Italian identity among the emigrants and their family back home. Moreover, especially in the south, unification broke down the old feudal land system that had survived since the Middle Ages, where land had been the inalienable property of aristocrats, religious bodies, or the king. This brought about a vast redistribution of land that went mostly to the new class of large landowners and partly to the old aristocracy. Many small farmers and peasants who lived off the king’s or church’s land (de facto communally managed) were left jobless and landless.

The list of causes of the migration is long, including the government’s allocation of much more of its resources to the industrialization of the north than to that of the south, an inequitable tax burden on the south, tariffs on the products of the south, soil exhaustion and erosion, and military conscription lasting at times seven years. The poor economic situation following unification became untenable for many sharecroppers, tenant farmers, small business, and small landowners. Droves chose to emigrate rather than face the prospect of deepening poverty. After unification, and especially after the southern uprising, a new policy encouraged these people to go to the Americas. Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela were the main destinations in the south and the United States in the north.

The migrants moved to the Americas permanently or temporarily, and their remittances home made up a substantial part of the state income and sustained the Italian industrialization drive. On the other hand, their imports to America of Italian products like olive oil or pasta, the staple food of southern Italians, helped to create a bond and an identity among people whose dialects were often mutually incomprehensible.

Between 1860 and 1915, some 9,000,000 Italians left, almost a third of the Italian population[15]. The flow of migration was stemmed only by World War 1 and new restrictions after the war, when the United States passed the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and the Immigration Act of 1924. Similar restrictions were also applied by the fascist government of the 1920s and ’30s, when Italy thought that a large population would fit its imperial dreams.

At the beginning the process for emigration was indiscriminate, which led to vast abuses, and probably created a hotbed for criminal organizations to recruit new hands and control the migrants. This also coincided with the end of the anti brigand war, so many bandits tried to escape the Italian police by changing identity and moving abroad, something that fed on the growth of crime. In 1888 Italy passed the first migration law to bring the many emigration agencies under state control and regulate the flow of people and remittances.

The one American country with the most pervasive Italian influence is Argentina, where up to 50-60% of the population have full or partial Italian ancestry. Brazil has the largest number of people with full or partial Italian ancestry outside of Italy, with São Paulo being the city with the greatest population of people with Italian ancestry in the world. The highest percentage of Italians in Brazil is in the southeastern state of Espírito Santo (60-75%).

But from the late 19th century until the 1930s, the United States became a main destination for Italian immigrants, most settling originally in the New York metropolitan area, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Approximately 7,000 Italian-Americans served in the Civil War, both as soldiers and as officers, and Garibaldi was asked by Lincoln to lead the Union Army after its first disastrous defeats at the hands of the south. Garibaldi turned down the offer, as Lincoln at the time was not prepared to abolish slavery in the entire United States.

There were a series of elements that helped to create or enhance the Italianness of these people: the difficulties abroad, the common voyage in stark conditions across the Atlantic, and the recognition by themselves and by others as “Italians,” especially in the USA, where linguistic and cultural differences with the local population were stronger than in South America.

The Italian male immigrants in “Little Italy”s were most often employed in manual labor or the public works being carried out at the time in northeastern cities, such as the construction of roads, sewers, subways, and bridges. Jobs were handed out by recruiters, often fellow Italians. The women frequently worked as seamstresses in the garment industry or in their homes. Many established small businesses in the “Little Italy”s to satisfy the day-to-day needs of fellow immigrants.

Italian immigrants organized theater, band concerts, choral recitals, puppet shows, mutual-aid societies, and social clubs. The “festas” for different patron saints became for many an important connection to the traditions of their ancestral villages in Italy. The festa involved an elaborate procession through the streets in honor of a saint or the Virgin Mary in which a large statue was carried by a team of men with musicians marching behind. Accompanied by food, fireworks, and general merriment, the festa became an important occasion that helped give the immigrants a sense of unity and common identity. A flow of priests came from Italy to assist with the religious needs of the immigrants, mostly Catholic. They also distinguished themselves in banking, as an Italian meritoriously founded the Bank of America and even invented the elaborate scam known thereafter as a “Ponzi scheme,” from the name of its sly inventor. Today almost 10% of the U.S. population claims total or partly Italian origin, and Italian pizza and noodles have become ubiquitous American foods.

On the other hand, pizza and noodles, which in the late 19th century were not widespread in all of Italy, also became a sign of the Italian identity back home.

12.8 The invention of Italian food and its music

Chinese think that the first evidence of interest for their country, and the first sense of a “Chinese” identity, began with their food, which is distinctively Chinese and different from Western food. Yet Chinese food has many regional cuisines and food from some Southeast Asian countries is very similar, so it is sometimes hard to draw a clear line. Moreover, there was never a conscious effort to link food with identity.

Conversely, in Italy the way to the stomach became a conscious effort by the establishment to build a national identity through food. Before 1891, when renowned literary critic Pellegrino Artusi wrote La Scienza in cucina e l’Arte di mangiar bene (“Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well”)[16], there was really no Italian food per se. It was Artusi that collated various regional dishes and promoted previously humble pasta as a national food. Before that each region or locality had its own foodstuff. The staple in the north would mostly be polenta, a corn porridge, thick or thin according to need, and the south would have pasta, made of durum wheat.

Even bread, basic diet for all people, was different in different places. It was soft and without salt in Tuscany, in made in small loaves in Rome, and flat and mixed with common flour and durum wheat in the south. The north cooked with butter; the south with olive oil. Citrus was expensive produce from the south, and the north had rice that fetched a high price. Cheeses were also different. In the south was “pasta filata,” obtained by working the cheese in hot serum and water so that the dough would be made of strings and not compact. Hard cheeses were made from goat or sheep milk. In the north, cheeses were quite similar to those in France or the Southern Alps, harder or creamy, not reworked in serum, and basically with cows’ milk.

Good, high-end food was basically very similar to French food. After all, since the Renaissance Florence gave France two queens and legions of cooks, and even after that bakers traveled back and forth between Italy and France, exchanging and transplanting recipes for centuries.

But it was the American experience that brought a sense of identity through food. Italians in the USA (mostly southerners, as we saw) were identified with their spices—garlic, first of all—and their new foods, pasta, pizza, and later olive oil. In return the Italians in Italy—even those from the north originally without pasta or garlic, started feeling Italian with this food[17].

Another, very sentimental path for finding Italian identity was music and the bel canto (“good singing”) of the opera. Opera, as a musical genre, was an Italian invention of the 17th century. In the 18th century, it remained an Italian preserve, to the point that a German-language composer like Mozart used Italian lyrics for most of his works. In the 19th century, a group of Italian composers spun opera in a different direction by stressing the role of the voices and thus the characters of the persons on the stage. Bel canto lines are typically florid and intricate, requiring supreme agility and pitch control. Examples of famous operas in the bel canto style include Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola, as well as Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.

Following the bel canto era, a more direct, forceful style was rapidly popularized by Giuseppe Verdi, beginning with his biblical opera Nabucco, in which Italians identified with the oppressed Jews of the opera. Verdi’s operas resonated with the growing spirit of Italian nationalism, and he quickly became an icon of the patriotic movement. In the early 1850s, Verdi produced his three most popular operas: Rigoletto, Il trovatore, and La traviata. But he continued to develop his style, composing perhaps the greatest French Grand Opera, Don Carlos, and ending his career with two Shakespeare-inspired works, Otello and Falstaff, which reveal how far Italian opera had grown in sophistication since the early 19th century.

After Verdi, the sentimental “realistic” melodrama of verismo appeared in Italy. This was the style—introduced by Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci—that came to virtually dominate the world’s opera stages with such popular works as Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot.

All these works had Italian words, and their melodies and lyrics also enhanced the sense of national identity, especially after the beginning of the 20th century, when conductor Arturo Toscanini and singer Enrico Caruso brought Italian opera, previously thought secondary the more complex German music, to a new level of sophistication. Again their recognition at home and in the world came from their success in the United States.

[1] See for this section Pagano, Emanuele. Enti locali e Stato in Italia sotto Napoleone. Repubblica e Regno d’Italia, 1802-1814. Rome: Carocci, 2007. Zaghi, Carlo. L’Italia di Napoleone. Rome, 1989.

[2] See Enoteca 2006: Mariani Sheds Light on Marsala. Italian Trade Commission: New York, 2006.

[3] See for this section Smith, Denis Mack. The Making of Italy. 1968.

[4] See Traniello, Francesco. Lezioni di storia. Vol. 2, book II (“L’Ottocento”). Torino: SEI, 1998. 85–89.

[5] For this section see Banti, Alberto Mario. La nazione del Risorgimento: parentela, santità e onore alle origini dell’Italia unita. Torino, Einaudi, 2000. Banti, Alberto Mario. Il Risorgimento italiano. Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2004. Ghisalberti, Carlo. Istituzioni e società civile nell’età del Risorgimento. Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2005.

[6] For this part see also Smith, Denis Mack. Italy and Its Monarchy. 1990.

[7] See for instance the novel Il prato in fondo al mare (1974), written by his grandson Stanislao Nievo.

[8] Maffei, A. Brigand Life in Italy: A History of Bourbonist Reaction. ca. 1865. Lupo, Salvatore. The History of the Mafia, New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

[9] De Sauclières, Hercule. Il Risorgimento contro la Chiesa e il Sud. Intrighi, crimini e menzogne dei piemontesi. Naples, Controcorrente, 2003. Montanelli, Indro. L’Italia dei Notabili. RCS, 1999.

[10] See Smith, Denis Mack. Storia d’Italia Laterza. 2000. 147–148.

[11] See for this Romeo, Rosario. Vita di Cavour, Rome-Bari: Laterza, 2004.

[12] Hobsbawm, Eric Hobsbawm. The Age of Empire (1875–1914). New York: Vintage Books. 1989. 35.

[13] Seton-Watson, Christopher. Italy from liberalism to fascism, 1870-1925, New York: Taylor & Francis, 1967.

[14] For this section see Lupo, Salvatore. Storia della mafia: Dalle origini ai nostri giorni. Rome: Donzelli, 1993.

[15] Favero, Luigi and Graziano Tassello, Graziano. Cent’anni di emigrazione italiana (1876-1976). Rome: Cser, 1978. Sori, Ercole. L’emigrazione italiana dall’Unità alla seconda guerra mondiale. Bologna: Il Mulin, 1979.

[16] See in English Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. University of Toronto Press, 2003.

[17] See La Cecla, Franco. La pasta e la pizza. Il Mulino, 2002.