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flag  History of Italy

Journey back in time to Italy

Visit Italy. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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 Italy - Tivoli in Italy Kellys New System of Universal Geography, 1828

In 1592, Galileo, of Italy, invented the thermometer, and in 1609, he invented the telescope.

Fun fact: In Italy, it is considered distasteful to ask for extra cheese. That is taken as a signal to the chef that you don't like the food.

Christmas: Instead of Santa Claus, gifts are delivered by a witch named La Befana. Nice kids get gifts and candies. Naughty kids get coal and garlic. People leave wine for her to drink.



There is MUCH more to discover about Italy. Read on!

Italy Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Tivoli in Italy
Kelly's New System of Universal Geography, 1828
Italy

Artwork
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Tivoli in Italy
Kelly's New System of Universal Geography, 1828
Bellagio
Italy

Postcard
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Bellagio
Lago di Como
Italy

Postcard
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Lago di Como
Verona
Italy

Postcard
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Verona
Firenze
Italy

Postcard
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Firenze

Italy

(IL) - Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois
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Italy

(IL) - Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois
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Italy

(IL) - Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois
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Italy

(IL) - Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois
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Italy

(IL) - Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois
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Italy

(IL) - Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois
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Rome
Hotel Pension
Villa Ludovisi
Italy

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Rome
Hotel Pension
Villa Ludovisi
Roma
Albergo Ristorante
Podio Bella Napoli
Italy

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Roma
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Podio Bella Napoli

Discover Italy: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1592 - The thermometer is invented (Galileo, Italy)
"The first thermometer was constructed by Galileo. It consisted of a small glass globe fitted with a long tube. The open end of the tube was inserted in water, and the globe was heated until some of the air was expelled from it. When it was allowed to cool, the pressure of the external air was greater than that of the air in the globe, and so a column of water was forced up the tube, until equilibrium was established. The air thus shut off in the globe formed what we may call the thermometric body, and the top of the water column determined its volume. In using this instrument, as in using any thermometer, it was assumed on the basis of general experience, that when two bodies whose temperature are different are brought into each other's presence, their temperatures will finally become equal. This equalization of temperature is brought about by a lowering of the temperature of the hotter body and a raising of the temperature of the hotter body. It was also assumed that a change in the ... Read MORE...


Read more about Galileo GALILEI
1609 - Galileo's telescope (Galileo, Italy)
"Galileo made his first telescope in 1609, modeled after telescopes produced in other parts of Europe that could magnify objects three times. He created a telescope later that same year that could magnify objects twenty times. With this telescope, he was able to look at the moon, discover the four satellites of Jupiter, observe a supernova, verify the phases of Venus, and discover sunspots. His discoveries proved the Copernican system which states that the earth and other planets revolve around the sun. Prior to the Copernican system, it was held that the universe was geocentric, meaning the sun revolved around the earth."
galileo.rice.edu

Read more about Galileo GALILEI
1693 - Earthquake in Sicily killed over 60,000, destroyed 45 cities

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1737 - March 12 - Galileo's body moved to Church of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy

onthisday.com

Read more about Galileo GALILEI
1796 - Napoleon Bonaparte assumes command of the Army of Italy

1800 - Electric storage battery is invented (Alessandro Volta, Italy)
...Probably the most important developments in the science of electricity started with the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta. This battery gave the world its first continuous, reliable source of electric current and led to all the important discoveries of the use of electricity.
Tucson Daily Citizen
Tucson, Arizona
March 18, 1960

Read more about Alessandro VOLTA photo of ancestor
1805 - Napoleon declared himself Italian Emperor

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1814 - Napoleon abdicated his throne; Italy divided into small kingdoms

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1849 - Republic of Rome taken over by French troops

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1861 - Kingdom of Italy established excluding Rome, Venice, San Marino; King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia became King of Italy

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1866 - Italy obtained Venice from Austria

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1870 - Italian forces occupied Rome

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1871 - Rome named capital of Italy

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1895 - Italy
Italy, it'a-le, a kingdom in the S. of Europe, consisting of a peninsula, or continental portion, and numerous islands, of which Sicily and Sardinia are the most important. It extends from the extremity of Sicily to the Rhaetian Alps, between 36° 40' and 46° 37' N. lat. and between 6° 32' and 18° 32' E. lon. It is bounded E. by Austria and the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, S. by the Mediterranean, W. by France and the Mediterranean, and N. by Switzerland and Austria. Its natural confines are the Alps and the sea. Previous to 1859, Italy was divided into the kingdoms of Sardinia and the Two Sicilies (Naples and Sicily), the Pontifical States, or States of the Church, the Lombardo-Venetian provinces of the Austrian Empire, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and the Duchies of Parma and Modena....
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1900 - Population of Italy - 32,475,000

1906 - April 7 – Mount Vesuvius erupts and devastates Naples.

wikipedia.org
April 7, 1906
1913 - December 12 – Vincenzo Perugia tries to sell the Mona Lisa in Florence and is arrested.

wikipedia.org
December 12, 1913
1915 - Italy joined World War I on side of Allies

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1922 - Fascists took control of Rome; Benito Mussolini named Prime Minister

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1925 - Mussolini became Dictator of Italy

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1929 - February 11 - Independent State of Vatican City created by Lateran Treaty
Lateran Concordat of 1929
On February 11th, 1929, an historic treaty was signed between the Italian Government and the Vatican re-establishing the political power and diplomatic standing of the Catholic Church, which had been lost when Italy seized Rome, the last of the Papal States, on September 20th, 1870.
biblelight.net
February 11, 1929
1936 - Mussolini formed anti-Communist Axis with Germany

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1940 - Italy entered World War II as ally of Germany

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1943 - Italy surrendered to Allied forces; Mussolini forced to resign; Italy declared war on Germany

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1945 - Mussolini executed by Italian partisans

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
1955 - Italy joined United Nations

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ europe/ italy/ ittimeln.htm
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Italy, covering various regions and experiences:
Visit Rome: The capital city is a treasure trove of history and culture. Explore iconic sites like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Vatican City, home to St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.

Wander through Florence: Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance and boasts incredible art and architecture. Visit the Uffizi Gallery, Florence Cathedral, and see Michelangelo's David.

Relax in Venice: Take a gondola ride through the canals, visit St. Mark's Square, and explore the charming streets of this unique, water-bound city.

Explore the Amalfi Coast: The Amalfi Coast is famous for its stunning coastal views, colorful cliffside villages, and delicious seafood. Don't miss Positano and Amalfi itself.

Hike in Cinque Terre: This collection of five colorful villages on the Italian Riviera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hike the scenic trails, swim in crystal-clear waters, and savor fresh seafood.

Discover Tuscany: Tuscany is known for its rolling hills,... Read MORE...

Italian Surnames
Italy has around 350,000 surnames. Most of them derive from the following sources: patronym or ilk (e.g. Francesco di Marco, "Francis, son of Mark" or Eduardo de Filippo, "Edward belonging to the family of Philip"), occupation (e.g. Enzo Ferrari, "Heinz (of the) Blacksmiths"), personal characteristic (e.g. nicknames or pet names like Dario Forte, "Darius the Strong"), geographic origin (e.g. Elisabetta Romano, "Elisabeth from Rome") and objects (e.g. Carlo Sacchi, "Charles Bags"). The two most common Italian family names, Russo and Rossi, mean the same thing, "Red", possibly referring to the hair color.

Both Western and Eastern orders are used for full names: the given name usually comes first, but the family name may come first in administrative settings; lists are usually indexed according to the last name.
wikipedia.org

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Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Italy

We currently have information about 130 ancestors who were born or died in Italy.

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Buy it NOW!ITALY - Italian Roots Coffee Mug: Embrace Your Heritage with Every Sip! - Ceramic - 11oz

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Updated: 12/15/2023 3:24:42 PM