Enter a world of cloak-and-dagger intrigue and military rivalry, secret societies and revolution!The story opens with the rise and fall of the glorious Roman Empire, to be followed by the unceasing wave of invasions, in particular France, Spain and Austria. The rising city communes transform into powerful and wealthy city-states which, against the background of the flowering Renaissance, begin to resist foreign interlopers, whilst the Papacy vies with the Habsburg emperors for control of the Peninsula.The scene shifts to the Age of Enlightenment which not only kick-starts the foundations of the Italian economy, but also motivates the quest for independence. Masterminded by the revolutionary Mazzini, revolts snowball. Cavour’s international wheeler-dealings are followed by Garibaldi’s clinching victory over the Austrians at Volturno in 1860, by which he presents half of Italy to his king, Vittorio Emanuele II. The creation of a united and independent Italy is, at last, achieved.A ‘must’ for invaluable reading for those who seek a deeper understanding of Italy and the Italians.
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