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Italy

  • Italy: Topic Page
    Country in southern Europe, bounded north by Switzerland and Austria, east by Slovenia, Croatia, and the Adriatic Sea, south by the Ionian and Mediterranean seas, and west by the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian seas and France. It includes the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Sicily.
  • Cosmo de' Medici: Topic Page
    Italian merchant prince, first of the Medici family to rule Florence.
  • Florence (Italy): Topic Page
    apital of Tuscany, northern Italy, on the River Arno. It has printing, engineering, and optical industries; many crafts, including leather, gold and silver work, and embroidery; and its art and architecture attract large numbers of tourists. Notable medieval and Renaissance citizens included the writers Dante and Boccaccio, and the artists Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo.
  • Francesco Guicciardini: Topic Page
    Italian historian and statesman. His major work Storia d'Italia/History of Italy (1561) – covering events from the first French invasion to the death of Pope Clement VII (in other words 1494–1534)–represents an important advance in historical scholarship, especially in the scrupulously critical use of sources. Its psychological depth reflects his own very wide experience of Italian political life.
  • Italian Wars: Topic Page
    From 1494-1559, a series of regional wars brought on by the efforts of the great European powers to control the small independent states of Italy.
  • Lorenzo de’ Medici: Topic Page
    Italian merchant prince, called Lorenzo il Magnifico [the magnificent]. One of the towering figures of the Italian Renaissance, he was an astute politician, firm in purpose, yet pliant and tolerant; a patron of the arts, literature, and learning; and a reputable scholar and poet.
  • Niccolò Machiavelli: Topic Page
    Niccolò Machiavelli has exerted an extraordinary influence on modern thought and practice throughout the world. His writings and career are subject to varied interpretations, but the most common have given rise to a word found in most languages, Machiavellianism, suggesting deceit, tyranny, and the dictum that the end justifies the means.
  • Papal States: Topic Page
    Lo Stato della Chiesa, from 754 to 1870 an independent territory under the temporal rule of the popes, also called the States of the Church and the Pontifical States.
  • Risorgimento: Topic Page
    In 19th-century Italian history, period of cultural nationalism and of political activism, leading to unification of Italy.
  • Rome (Italy): Topic Page
    The cultural, financial, and transportation center of Italy; printing and publishing; chemicals; motion-picture production; tourism; in ancient times of the Roman Empire (q.v.) and later of the Papal States.
  • Vatican City: Topic Page
    Independent state within the city of Rome, Italy, and the residence of the pope, who is its absolute ruler.
  • Venice (Italy): Topic Page
    Venice is a tourist, commercial, and industrial center, located within a lagoon in the Gulf of Venice (an arm of the Adriatic Sea).
  • Victor Emmanuel II, King of Italy, 1820-1878: Topic Page
    King of Sardinia (1849-61) and first king of united Italy (1861-78).
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