History of Italy

Italy is bordered by Switzerland, France, Slovenia and Austria and parts of Italy are covered with mountains and valleys. Alps Mountains and Po valleys are well known examples of such mountains and valleys. Po valley is enriched by the famous Po River and the Alps mountains are part of Dolomite Mountains. Sicily and Sardinia are two major islands in Italy; Sicily is known for activities related with earthquakes and volcanoes while Sardinia is known for huge mountains.

Inhabitants from Indo-European origin migrated to Italy from 20th century B.C. to 10th century B.C. Romans ruled over Italy and disallowed Indo-Europeans. Romans ruled over Italy from 5th century B.C. to 5th century A.D. Though Italy’s culture and civilization made immense growth the Romans expended their territory. Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) was Roman dictator known for his invasions and his political reforms. Augusts (63 B.C – A.D. 14) contributed towards Italy’s economical growth. Italy had phenomenal growth in the fields of handicraft, agriculture, export. After Theodosius the Roman Empire becomes prone to invasions that divided it into a number of kingdoms. And Odoacer was the last Roman emperor who ruled over the united Roman Empire.

Italy remained a group of different kingdoms for a long period until 13th century. Though Italy was fragmented by a number of kingdoms; Roman Emperors, Normans, Catholic popes, and Saracens played a vital role in Italy’s remarkable growth during 13th century to the 15th century. But several foreign invasions during early 16th century lead to widespread destruction and damaged much of the architecture built during the Roman period.

Milan, Sardinia and Naples were invaded by the Austria after the Spanish war (1713). Napoléon unified Italy after he became king in 1805 A.D. During 1815, Austria dominated the disunited Italy and dominated them until 1831.

Giuseppe Mazzini struggled for unification of Italy and inspired Italy’s unification. Sardinia joined France and England during Crimean War against Austria and Lombardy become a part of Sardinia which later became united Italy in 1870. In 1860, Parma, Modena, Tuscany, Romagna, Naples, and Sicily joined Sardinia. Unification was completed with Venetia’s annexation (1866) and papal Rome’s annexation (1870) under constitutional monarchy.

During World War I Italy remained neutral until 1915 when joined Allies. Benito Mussolini became Italy’s prime minister on Oct. 28, 1922. Annexation of Ethiopia was the result of his invasion policies; and he joined Adolf Hitler in 1936. Mussolini's was executed on April 28, 1945. Italy became a republic after the June 1946 plebiscite.

Italy lost Ethiopia, Greece, Dodecanese islands and Alpine areas after the peace treaty (Sept. 15, 1947). After World War II Italy made economical growth and rebuilt its power. It became NATO member and suppressed terrorist activities (1970-1980).

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