Italy has 20 regions or “States”. Each region has its own traditions, dialect (form of Language) and its own history. As well as this each region also has unique culinary (cooking) traditions, architecture, geography (how the countryside looks) Italy is like many small countries within one nation. The following slide contains a map displaying the twenty modern regions of Italy.
The development of Italy’s regions can be traced as far back as ancient Roman times, right through the medieval times, to the modern times. Italy as a “Nation” is young- just like Australia. Infact it was only united after a brief civil war which was lead by the famous Italian general “Garibaldi”, and the capital of the nation Rome was proclaimed in 1870. (For a comparison, Australia was united as a nation in 1901).
Red: Duchy of Savoy; Yellow: Republic of Genoa; White: Duchy of Milan; Dark Green: Venetian Republic; Frost: Grand Duchy of Tuscany; Dark Gray: Papal States; Blue: Kingdom of Naples(Under the control of the Spanish Hapsburg Crown); Orange: Kingdom of Sicily(Under the control of the Spanish Hapsburg Crown); Pink: Sardinia(Annexed to Hapsburg Spain).
As you can see in the previous slide, before Italy was united as a nation in 1870 with the capital of Rome, you can think of Italy being like a giant “Cake” that was divided up between the Pope and the catholic Church (The Roman/Papal states), foreign powers- such as France and Spain- And other local overlords and rulers, such as the Medici in Florence and the Sforza in Milan, and smaller independent republics- such as the maritime republic of Venice, which had its own ceremonial head of state like the Pope known as the “Doge”.
General Garibaldi’s assistant and Torino’s governor Cavour came from Piemonte.
Bilingual region of Italy (French/Italian) that has both Italian and Frankish History.
Trentino Alto-Adige is an autonomous region of Italy separated into 2 separate halves- Trentino, the southern half with the capital city of Trento (Trent), and Alto-Adige in the north, with the capital city of Bolzano. The two separate parts of the region take it in turns to govern the region. In Alto-Adige the population speaks fluent German, and before the end of World War 1, Trentino-AltoAdige was a region of Austria, but was ceded to Italy after the war.
The Council of Trent (Latin: Concilium Tridentinum) was an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Churchs most important councils. It convened in Trent (then capital of the Prince- Bishopric of Trent of the Holy Roman Empire, in Italy) between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods.
The Council issued condemnations on what it defined as Protestant heresies and defined Church teachings in the areas of Scripture and Tradition, Original Sin, Justification, Sacraments, the Eucharist in Holy Mass and the veneration of saints. It issued numerous reform decrees.By specifying Catholic doctrine on salvation, the sacraments, and the Biblical canon, the Council was answering Protestant disputes.The Council entrusted to the Pope the implementation of its work; as a result, Pope Pius IV issued the Tridentine Creed in 1565; and Pope Pius V issued in 1566 the Roman Catechism, in 1568 a revised Roman Breviary, and in 1570 a revised Roman Missal, thus standardizing what since the 20th century has been called the Tridentine Mass (from the citys Latin name Tridentum), and Pope Clement VIII issued in 1592 a revised edition of the Vulgate.
Another Autonomous region of Italy. It’s Capital Trieste, was the busiest port of the old Austrian empire before being ceded to Italy after world war 1. It is also composed of 2 smaller historical regions “Friuli” and “Venezia Giulia” which in English is known as “Julian March”- named after the Julian Alps, local to the region.
Lombardia was named after the german tribe the “Lombards” who settled the region after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th Century AD. It is also home to Italy’s most contraversial separatist right-wing political party “The Northern League” (circa 1990) who claim that the rich industrious north of Italy should separate and from the more impoverished agricultural south, claiming mythical Celtic origins, and they have named this land “Padania”.
The geographical map of (invented??) Padania and the flag proposed by the separatist Northern League.
Castello Sforzesco- a 13th Century Palace built for Milan’s then ruling family, the Sforza.
La Scala is the most famous Opera house in the world, perhaps more so than Sydney’s. The Italians invented Opera in the 1600s.
Capital City- Venice “Venezia’. Venice is famous for it’s masked “Carnivale” and its long proud tradition of glass works.
Home of Shakespeare’s “Romeo andJuliette”. Below- The House of Romeo e Giulietta- Messages of Love.
Previous Slides- Verona’s intact and ancient Roman Amptheatre.
Apart from it’s capital city Genova (Genoa in Italian), Liguria is also famous for it’s second city “La Spezia” and the mountaineering- hiking trail which passes through 5 small towns known as the “Cinque Terre” (5 lands)
Emilia Romagna’s Capital city Bologna, is famous for inventing “Spaghetti Bolognese” which they simply call “Ragu”. Parma, another city in Emilia Romagna, invented Parmasan cheese. Modena, yet another city, is famous for inventing Balsamic vinegar. Bologna in the medieval times, had many towers that dominated its skyline, but now only 2 principle towers remain. Bologna is also famous for its covered archways.
Tuscany, and it’s capital, Florence, are the heart of the Italian renaissance, the standard Italian language, as well as many Italian geniuses such as Dante Alighieri (the 14th Century Italian version of Shakespeare- he wrote the famous novel “L’inferno”) (Hell) which was used as the basis for the italian language. Leonardo Da Vinci, Michealangelo, Brunelleschi, Petrarca, Botticelli and many other renaissance masters were based here. Tuscany is also home to the leaning tower of Pisa, and the ancient Roman ruins of Arezzo.
Lesser Known Region of Italy- Main feautres- it’s capital city Ancona (below)and and the Appenine Mountains, which make part of its geography.
Umbria is the only “Landlocked” region of Italy- it has no coast line. It is the setting of a famous American Movie “My house in Umbria (2003) starring Maggie Smith. It’s capital Perugia, is home to a famous Italian University for foreigners, and the Patron Saint Francis of Assisi, lived in nearby Assisi, and he invented the Franciscan order of Monks and was one of the first people to write sacred music of the western tradition (Laude/Cantici) in the 13th century.
Lazio is the heart of the ancient Latin world and the Roman Empire, with Rome as the state capital. Rome was founded on the Mythical tale of twins Romulus and Remus, who suckled from a she-wolf after they were abandoned by their mother. The Roman empire sought to re-create the glory of the even earlier Greek classical states, and modern Italian, French, Spanish and Romanian all developed from Latin. It is height, the Roman empire controlled nearly all of Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa- except Germany, which was ruled by barbaric tribes. London was originally a Roman outpost called “Londinium”. The Roman empire was partly democratic with it’s own Forum (the ruins still remain in Rome) and at other times was ruled by a series of emporers known as “Caeser”. This is where the term “Ceaser Salad” comes from. The Colosseum was famous for staging shows and battles for the citizens of Rome, using gladiators, and at times filling the venue with water to stage ship battles. Before the Roman Empire converted to Christianity in the 4th Century AD, Christians were often thrown to the Lions here. Istanbul, Capital of Modern Turkey, was also a part of the Roman Empire and was originally called “Constantinople”, after the famous Roman Emporer, Constantine. When the Roman empire became to large, it split in half, and the eastern half was called the “Byzantium Empire”, and it out-lived it’s eastern half for nearly 1000 years, before being overrun by the Islamic Turks. From roughly 350-1453 however, the Byzantine empire and Constantinople (Istanbul) was a Christian Empire, and kept the light of Christian Civilisation alive after the collapse of the western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and the beginning of what is known as the “middle” ages.
Abruzzo was the home of a shocking earthquake in 2009 in the capital L’Aquila that killed over 200 students because university dorm-room buildings were constructed using dodgy Mafia-labour. Apart from that it is well known for good skiing in the Appenine mountain range, its national parks and its wine producing.
Molise is one of the smallest and least populated regions of Italy, and has mainly an agricultural economy and some fantastic ruins.
Campania is the region that’s famous for giving the world the Mafia known locally in Naples as the “Camorra”, and Naples, the city that invented the Pizza. In Naples “Napoli” you will also find more ancient underground Roman Ruins. The bay of Naples is seated infront of the Volcano Mt. Vesuvius, which in Ad.59 erupted and buried the ancient city of Pompeii, however leaving beautifully preserved city structures and plaster casts of its victims.
APOLLO TEMPLE Before the Eruption, and Asfter.
Puglia is one of Italy’s direst and flattest regions, though also one of the most industrialized southern regions. Puglia is home to the “Trulli” at the town Alberobello (BeautifulTree)- conical round shaped houses, as well as four major cities- Foggia, Lecce, Brindisi and Bari.
A small mountainous agricultural region renowned for its traditional crafts such as weaving, woodwork and pottery. It’s capital is called Potenza.
Calabria contains Italy’s first settled city, Reggio Calabria, originally called Rhegion, a greek, Pre-latin settlement. This is also the ancient meaning of the modern english word “region”. The greeks settled here until they were defeated by the romans in the 3rd century AD. The famous greek mathematician Pythagoras and his followers are also said to have settled at Crotone, another city of the region.
Sicily is also an ancient greek settlement, but at times as nearly taken over by muslim raiders in the middle ages. They left their heritage there in the form of architecture. Sicily’s capital, Palermo, is home to some wonderful baroque architecture, and its own local mafia known as the “Cosa Nostra” or “Our Thing”. It is one of the least developed regions of Italy.
Sardegna’s history goes back as far as the stone age. In English it’s called “Sardinia”. This is where the name for the fish “Sardines” comes from. Someone said to be from Sardinia is called a “Sardo”. Sardegna’s is also home to the famous Emerald coast, where Europe’s billionaire’s go to play and a cup of coffee can cost over $200!!!
This concludes the end of our exploration of what is surely one of the most fascinating countries on earth. I hope you enjoyed your trip into marvel and wonder. * * *