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Italy History Timeline

1700s - 1800s
  • (1737) Medici dynasty in Florence comes to an end
  • (1748) Excavation of Pompeii began
  • (1778) La Scala opened in Milan
  • (1783) Earthquake in Calabria killed 50,000
  • (1796) Napoleon conquered northern Italy, became part of French Empire
  • (1805) Napoleon declared himself Italian Emperor
  • (1814) Napoleon abdicated his throne; Italy divided into small kingdoms
  • (1840) First major railroad links established
  • (1820-50) Small revolutions occurred in kingdoms; Venice, Rome, Tuscany declared themselves Republics
  • (1849) Republic of Rome taken over by French troops
  • (1861) Kingdom of Italy established excluding Rome, Venice, San Marino; King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia became King of Italy
  • (1866) Italy obtained Venice from Austria
  • (1870) Italian forces occupied Rome
  • (1871) Rome named capital of Italy
1900s
  • (1908) Earthquake in Messina Strait caused tsunami, over 200,000 killed
  • (1915) Italy joined World War I on side of Allies
  • (1918) Allies won World War I
  • (1922) Fascists took control of Rome; Benito Mussolini named Prime Minister
  • (1925) Mussolini became Dictator of Italy
  • (1929) State of Vatican City created by Lateran Treaty
  • (1936) Mussolini formed anti-Communist Axis with Germany
  • (1940) Italy entered World War II as ally of Germany
  • (1943) Italy surrendered to Allied forces; Mussolini forced to resign; Italy declared war on Germany
  • (1944) Allied Armies liberated Rome
  • (1945) Mussolini executed by Italian partisans
  • (1946) Italians voted to end monarchy and established a republic
  • (1952) Italy became founding member of the European Economic Community
  • (1955) Italy joined United Nations
  • (1960) Olympic Games held in Rome
  • (1966) Flood waters from Arno River in Florence damaged many works of art
  • (1969) Bomb at Piazza Fontana in Milan killed 13, injured over 100
  • (1978) Prime Minister Aldo Moro kidnapped and assassinated by Red Brigades
  • (1980 Bomb at Bologna train station killed 84, injured over 200
  • (1981) Attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in Vatican City by Turkish man
  • (1982) Italian soccer team won World Cup in Spain
  • (1983) First Socialist Prime Minister, Bettino Craxi, formed government
  • (1984) Roman Catholicism lost status as state religion of Italy
  • (1986) 338 Mafia members convicted of criminal activities
  • (1990) World Cup held in Italy
  • (1992) Scandals of political corruption led to fall of Christian Democratic party; Judge Giovanni Falcone killed in Sicily by Mafia
  • (1994) Silvio Berlusconi elected Prime Minister by rightist coalition; forced to resign later in year due to financial irregularities in the coalition
  • (1996) Olive Tree, a leftist coalition voted into power; Romani Prodi elected Prime Minister; fire destroyed Venice theater La Fenice; earthquake in Assisi damaged Basilica di San Francesco, killed four
  • (1998) Italy joined the EU, or European Union
  • (1999) Italy adopted Euro as it currency; Carolo Ciampi elected President of Italy
2000s
  • (2001) Center-right coalition elected Silvio Berlusconi as Prime Minister
  • (2002) Euro replaced the lira; former Prime Minister, Giulio Andreotti, found guilty of ordering Mafia to murder a journalist
  • (2003) Multi-billion euros fraud at Parmalat food-manufacturing company exposed
  • (2006) Center-left coalition took over control of government, Romani Prodi elected Prime Minister; Giorgio Napolitano named President; Bernardo Provenzano, boss of Sicilian Mafia, caught and arrested; Italian soccer team won World Cup
  • (2007) Six Italian men murdered in Germany in Mafia hit; world renowned tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, died; police accidentally shot football fan when trying to stop violence between rival fans, violent protests erupted across the country
  • (2008) Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, resigned after losing vote of confidence, Silvio Berlusconi re-elected; Naples landfill sites closed to dumping due to overflow, trash piled up in streets, shops closed
  • (2009) Earthquake in Abruzzo region killed over 300; Silvio Berlusconi attacked at rally in Milan
  • (2010) African migrant workers rioted in southern Italy in protest of appalling living conditions and racism; riots broke out in Rome after Silvio Berlusconi survived confidence vote; parcel bombs exploded at Swiss and Chilean missions offices in Rome
  • (2011) Italian women held nationwide anti-Berlusconi demonstrations; Silvio Berlusconi accused of fraud and breach of trust; boat of Tunisian immigrants sunk off Italian coast, 150 missing

About Italy

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Italy regions & their capitals

Region Capital Quick Reference
Abruzzo L'Aquila
Aosta Valley Aosta
Apulia Bari
Basilicata Potenza
Calabria Catanzaro
Campania Napoli
Emilia-Romagna Bologna
Friuli-Venezia Giulia Trieste
Lazio Rome
Liguria Genoa
Lombardy Milano
Marche Ancona
Molise Campobasso
Piedmont Turin
Sardinia Cagliari Sardinia
Sicily Palermo Sicily
Trentino-South Tyrol Trento
Tuscany Florence
Umbria Perugia
Veneto Venice

Countries of Europe

This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.