Italy celebrated 150 years of its unification

Italy celebrated 150 years of its unification

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TheItaly celebrated this Thursday the 150th anniversary of its unification. From 1859 to 1861, the king of Piedmont-Sardinia Victor-Emmanuel II and his minister Cavour in the north, Garibaldi and his red shirts in the south, undertook, with the support of Napoleon III's France, to unify the Italian nation. "There are huge divisions but the desire to be a single nation remains there, despite the controversies in the north of the country", declared Prince Emanuele Filiberto, grandson of the last king of Italy, on the occasion of this celebration.

Rid of its multiple foreign occupiers, Italy was born in Turin on March 17, 1861 in the form of a kingdom; Victor-Emmanuel II is crowned on April 27, after a vote in Parliament. However, Rome and Venice are not yet part of it. Garibaldi, unhappy that Nice is returning to France, falls out with Cavour on the subject of the Papal States. He attempted a coup on Rome which failed and the royal troops arrested him in Aspromonte in August 1862. Cavour died in 1861 and his successors reinforced the power of the North, which saw its opposition with the South increase.

To mark this historic day, the monuments were illuminated or decorated with national colors. Even the summit of Etna, in Sicily, was entitled to its tricolor. On the night of Wednesday to Thursday, thousands of Italians, their faces painted green white red, celebrated by waving the national flag. In Rome, some 100,000 of them strolled through the historic center and listened to the opera arias by Verdi or Puccini performed outdoors.

Video: 150 years of Italian unification