In 1861, Italy was unified into the country that we know and love today, meaning that Italy is officially 150 years old! Celebrations and festivals honoring the unification have been going on the entire year, but it’s never too late to celebrate! Therefore, we thought we’d honor the anniversary by providing you with some facts about the unification and Italy since then:
1. Although the 150th anniversary has been a year round celebration, the official date of Italy’s unification was March 17th.
2. Turin became the first capital of the unified Italy and remained capital for four years.
3. Before Italy was unified, it was mostly a collection of city-states under the control of various rulers.
4. Italy was established as a kingdom at the time of unification, with its first king being Vittorio Emanuele II.
5. Because Turin was the first capital, each significant anniversary (50th, 100th, 150th) has been celebrated there with different events and exhibitions.
6. Even though we all know Rome as the capital of Italy today, at the time of unification, Rome wasn’t even part of the country.
7. In fact, Rome didn’t become the capital for another 10 years, and in between Turin and Rome, Florence served as the capital.
8. The national anthem of the country is called “The Song of the Italians” (“Il Canto degli Italiani“), but it is also known as “Mameli’s Hymn” (“L’Inno di Mameli“) and “Brothers of Italy” (“Fratelli D’Italia“).
9. Goffredo Mameli wrote the lyrics of the anthem in 1847, but it wasn’t actually adopted as the country’s anthem for around another 100 years.
10. You can find the official website for Italy’s 150th unification here: http://eng.italia150.it/
So congratulations, Italy, and here’s to another 150 years!