January 17 – A Delta II rocket carrying a military GPS payload explodes, shortly after liftoff from Cape Canaveral. January 18 – In northwest Rwanda, Hutu militia members kill 6 Spanish aid workers,3 soldiers, january 19 – Yasser Arafat returns to Hebron after more than 30 years, and joins celebrations over the handover of the last Israeli-controlled West Bank city. January 20 – Bill Clinton is sworn in for a term as President of the United States. January 22 – Madeleine Albright becomes the first female Secretary of State, january 23 – Mir Aimal Kasi is sentenced to death for a 1993 assault rifle attack outside CIA headquarters that killed 2 and wounded 3. January 27 – It is revealed that French museums had nearly 2,000 pieces of art that had been stolen by Nazis, february 4 On their way to Lebanon,2 Israeli troop-transport helicopters collide, killing 73. After at first contesting the results, Serbian President Slobodan Milošević recognizes opposition victories in the November 1996 elections, British Home Secretary Michael Howard informs Moors Murderer Myra Hindley that she will never be released from prison. Mr. Howard has made the decision in agreement with a made by his predecessor David Waddington in 1990. February 5 The so-called Big Three banks in Switzerland announce the creation of a $71 million fund to aid Holocaust survivors, morgan Stanley and Dean Witter Reynolds investment banks announce a $10 billion merger. February 10 The United States Army suspends Gene C, mcKinney, Sergeant Major of the Army, its top-ranking enlisted soldier, after hearing allegations of sexual misconduct. Sandline affair, Australian newspapers publish stories that the government of Papua New Guinea has brought mercenaries onto Bougainville Island, february 13 STS-82, Tune-up and repair work on the Hubble Space Telescope is started by astronauts from the Space Shuttle Discovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 7,000 for the first time, february 22 – In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that an adult sheep named Dolly had been successfully cloned, and was born in July 1996. February 23 – A small fire occurs on the Russian space station Mir, february 27 – Divorce becomes legal in the Republic of Ireland. February 28 – North Hollywood shootout, Two robbers wearing kevlar body armor armed with AK-47s containing armor-piercing bullets injure 17 police officers, the incident sparks debate on the appropriate firepower for United States patrol officers to have available in similar situations in the future. March 4 – U. S. President Bill Clinton bans federal funding for any research on human cloning, march 6 Pablo Picassos Tête de Femme is stolen from a London gallery. In Sri Lanka, Tamil Tigers overrun a military base and kill more than 200, march 13 Indias Missionaries of Charity chooses Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader. The National Peoples Congress of the Peoples Republic of China creates a new Chongqing Municipality, the Phoenix Lights, a series of UFOs, are seen over Phoenix, Arizona. March 16 – Sandline affair, On Bougainville Island, soldiers of commander Jerry Singirok arrest Tim Spicer and his mercenaries of the Sandline International. March 18 – The tail of a Russian An-24 charter plane breaks off while en route to Turkey, causing the plane to crash, killing all 50 on board, and resulting in the grounding of all An-24s
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars, artists and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France, Spain and Austria. Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, Italia, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned also by Aristotle and Thucydides. The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name also applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern world
The Italian Army is the land defence force of the Italian Armed Forces of the Italian Republic. The armys history dates back to the unification of Italy in the 1850s and 1860s, during the Cold War the army prepared itself to defend against a Warsaw Pact invasion from the east. Since the end of the Cold War the army has seen extensive peacekeeping service and combat in Afghanistan, the headquarters of the Army General Staff are located in Rome, at the back of the Presidential Palace. The army is a force of active-duty personnel, numbering 99,042 personnel in 2016. The Italian Army originated as the Royal Army which dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy following the seizure of the Papal States and the unification of Italy. In 1861, under the leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi, Victor Emmanuel II of the House of Savoy was invited to take the throne of the independent kingdom. Italian expeditions were dispatched to China during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, the Italian Royal Armys first real taste of modern warfare was during World War I. Most of the actions were fought in northern Italy and the Royal Army suffered many casualties, Italian discipline was also harsher, with punishments for infractions of duty of a severity not known in the German, French, and British armies. On paper, the Royal Army was one of the largest ground forces in World War II, though in reality it could not field the numbers claimed, due to their generally smaller size, many Italian divisions were reinforced by an Assault Group of two battalions of Blackshirts. Reports of Italian military prowess in the Second World War were, almost always and this perception was the result of disastrous Italian offensives against Egypt and the performance of the army in the Greco-Italian War. Both campaigns were ill-prepared and executed inadequately, Italian medium M11, M13, M14 and M15 tanks were at a marked disadvantage against the comparatively heavily armed American Sherman tanks, for example. There were too few weapons, obsolete anti-tank guns. When the Soviet offensive Operation Saturn began on December 12,1942 the Italian 8th Army was quickly crushed, in North Africa, the Italian 132 Armored Division Ariete and the 185 Airborne Division Folgore fought to total annihilation at the Second Battle of El Alamein. Although the battle was lost, the resistance of the Italian soldiers at the Battle of Keren in East Africa is still commemorated today by the Italian military. After the Axis defeat in Tunisia the morale of the Italian troops dropped, the sagging morale led to the overthrow of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini by King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy 15 days later. The Italian Co-Belligerent Army was the army of the Italian royalist forces fighting on the side of the Allies in southern Italy after the Allied armistice with Italy in September 1943. The Italian soldiers fighting in this no longer fought for Benito Mussolini as their allegiance was to King Victor Emmanuel and to Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio. The kingdom was replaced by a Republic in 1946 and the Royal Army changed its name to become the Italian Army, initially five infantry divisions were active, including the newly renamed Infantry Division Friuli
The Alpini, are an elite mountain warfare military corps of the Italian Army. They are currently organized in two brigades, which are subordinated to the Alpine Troops Headquarters. Established in 1872, the Alpini are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world and their original mission was to protect Italys northern mountain border with France and Austria. In 1888 the Alpini deployed on their first mission abroad, in Africa, during World War II, the Alpini fought alongside the Axis forces, mainly across the Eastern Front and in the Balkans Campaigns. After the end of the Cold War, the Italian Army was reorganised in the 1990s, three out of five Alpini brigades and many support units were disbanded. Currently, the Alpini are deployed in Afghanistan, in 1872, Captain Giuseppe Perrucchetti published a study in the May edition of the Military Review. In the study, he proposed to assign the defence of mountain borders of the recently established Kingdom of Italy to soldiers recruited locally, indeed, thanks to their knowledge of the surroundings and personal attachment to the area, they would be highly capable and better motivated defenders. Perrucchetti drew heavily on the work of Lieutenant General Agostino Ricci, five months after Perrucchettis article, the first 15 Alpini companies were formed by Royal decree no.1056. The units became active on October 15,1872, making the Alpini the oldest active Mountain Infantry in the world, at first the Alpini were organized as a militia, capable of defending Italy’s northern mountainous borders. Austrias surrender in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 resulted in Italy annexing the province of Venetia, prior to gaining the new northern borders, homeland defence was based on the so-called Quadrilatero strategy. That outdated strategy, however, ignored the geopolitics of the new Italian Kingdom and it called for primary defence of the Po Valley region farther to the southwest, but left the Alpine region undefended. Recruiting Italys mountain valleys locals and organising them into a corps was indeed an innovative idea. They possessed superior knowledge of mountain territory and greatest adaptability to Alpine conditions, at the beginning, the mountain regions were divided into seven military districts, each commanded by an Officer and home to at least two Alpini companies, each consisting of 120 personnel. Soldiers were equipped with the Vetterli 1870 rifle, in 1873 nine more companies were added, thus totalling 24. In 1875, the companies doubled in size, having 250 soldiers and 5 officers, on November 1,1882, the Alpini organisation doubled in size to 72 companies and a total of 20 Alpini battalions. The latter plus 8 Alpini mountain artillery batteries were now organized into six numbered Alpini regiments, Special Bn. and Fourth Bn. were issued blue tufts. Soldiers of the Mountain Artillery units were issued a green tuft with a patch in the middle onto which the number of the battery was written in golden numbers. On June 7,1883, the green flames collar patch was introduced, the Cappello Alpino, with its black raven feather, was also introduced at that time
A corps is a military unit usually consisting of several divisions. Some military service branches are also called corps, such as the Military Police Corps, Royal Logistic Corps, Quartermaster Corps, a few civilian organizations use the name corps to imply a similar service level, such as the Peace Corps. In many armies, a corps is a formation composed of two or more divisions, and typically commanded by a lieutenant general. During World War I and World War II, due to the scale of combat. In Western armies with numbered corps, the number is indicated in Roman numerals. II Corps was also formed, with Militia units, to defend south-eastern Australia, sub-corps formations controlled Allied land forces in the remainder of Australia. I Corps headquarters was assigned control of the New Guinea campaign. In early 1945, when I Corps was assigned the task of re-taking Borneo, the Canadian Corps consisted of four Canadian divisions. After the Armistice, the peacetime Canadian militia was organized into corps and divisions. Early in the Second World War, Canadas contribution to the British-French forces fighting the Germans was limited to a single division, after the fall of France in June 1940, a second division moved to England, coming under command of a Canadian corps headquarters. This corps was renamed I Canadian Corps as a corps headquarters was established in the UK. I Canadian Corps eventually fought in Italy, II Canadian Corps in NW Europe, after the formations were disbanded after VE Day, Canada has never subsequently organized a Corps headquarters. The Chinese Republic had 133 Corps during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Corps became the basic tactical unit of the NRA having strength nearly equivalent to an allied Division. The French Army under Napoleon used corps-sized formations as the first formal combined-arms groupings of divisions with reasonably stable manning, Napoleon first used the Corps dArmée in 1805. The use of the Corps dArmée was an innovation that provided Napoleon with a significant battlefield advantage in the early phases of the Napoleonic Wars. The Corps was designed to be an independent military group containing cavalry, artillery and infantry and this allowed Napoleon to mass the bulk of his forces to effect a penetration into a weak section of enemy lines without risking his own communications or flank. This innovation stimulated other European powers to adopt similar military structures, the Corps has remained an echelon of French Army organization to the modern day. As fixed military formation already in peace-time it was used almost in all European armies after Battle of Ulm in 1805, in Prussia it was introduced by Order of His Majesty from November 5,1816, in order to strengthen the readiness to war
Bolzano is the capital city of the province of South Tyrol in northern Italy. With a population of 105,713, Bolzano is also by far the largest city in South Tyrol, Bolzano is the seat of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, where lectures and seminars are held in English, German and Italian. The city is home to the Italian Armys Alpini High Command and some of its combat. In 2014 version of the ranking of quality of life in Italian cities. Along with other Alpine towns in South Tyrol, Bolzano engages in the Alpine Town of the Year Association for the implementation of the Alpine Convention, the Convention aims to promote and achieve sustainable development in the Alpine Arc. Consequently, Bolzano was awarded Alpine Town of the Year 2009, the Romans built a settlement after the area had been conquered in 15 BC by General Nero Claudius Drusus. The military settlement, Pons Drusi, was named after this Roman General, during this time the area became part of the region Venetia et Histria of ancient Italy. In 1948, excavations of the current Cathedral led to the discovery of an ancient Christian basilica from the 4th century. Also discovered was a Roman cemetery, including the tomb of Secundus Regontius with Latin inscriptions dating to the 3rd century, making him the oldest known inhabitant of Bolzano. During the gradual decline of the Romans influence in the 7th century, Bavarian immigration took place, at that time, the Bavarians named the nearby villages around Bolzano Bauzanum or Bauzana. German populations have been present in the region of Tyrol since this time, in 1027 the area of Bolzano and the rest of the diocese was conferred, by the emperor Conrad II from the Salian dynasty, upon the bishops of Trent. In the late-12th century, the bishop founded a market town, the town therefore became an important trading post on the Transalpine Augsburg-Venice route over the Brenner Pass, elevation 1,371 metres above sea level, within the Holy Roman Empire. In 1277 Bolzano was conquered by Meinhard II, the Count of Tyrol, in 1363, the County of Tyrol fell under the influence of Habsburg Austria and the Holy Roman Empire. In 1381, Duke Leopold granted the citizens of Bolzano the privilege of a town council and this gradually eliminated the influence and power previously held by the bishops of Trent over the next few decades. In 1462, the bishops eventually resigned all their rights of jurisdiction over the town, from the 14th and 15th centuries onwards, a large market fair was organised four times per year to greet tradesmen and merchants en-route the Brenner Pass. The Mercantile Magistrate was therefore founded in 1635 by the Austrian duchess Claudia de Medici, during every market season, two Italian and two Germanic officers, who were appointed among the local tradesmen, worked in this magistrate office. The establishment of a trade organisation strengthened Bolzano as a cultural crossroad in the Alps. After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Bolzano became briefly part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy and was incorporated into the Dipartimento Alto Adige
Brigata alpina "Julia"
The Alpini Brigade Julia is a light Infantry brigade of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. Its core units are the Alpini, the infantry corps of the Italian Army. The brigade’s name Julia alludes to the Julian Alps were the brigade is based, the Brigade carries on the name and traditions of the 3rd Alpine Division Julia. The Brigade supplies the headquarters and most units to the Multinational Land Force, component parts from the other two countries are the Slovenian 10th Motorized Battalion and the Hungarian 1st Light Infantry Battalion. The Julia was constituted on 15 October 1949 in the city of Udine, for the next 30 years the Julia remained the largest brigade of the Italian Army. In 1975 the regimental level was abolished by the Italian Army, the remaining units came under direct control of the Julia Brigade. Each Alpini battalion had 5 companies and a strength of around 1,000 men, with the exception of the Val Tagliamento Alpini Battalion. The Val Tagliamento fielded no less than 16 full strength companies for a strength of almost 2,500 men. The only brigade which would have seen combat in such a case would have been the Julia, the other Alpini brigades would remain static. The Cadore would have defended the Piave valley and the Tridentina the Puster valley, while the Orobica had a special mission and the Taurinense would remain in reserve. The Julia Brigade however was expect to the first Italian unit to encounter enemy forces as it was based closest to the line of advance of Warsaw Pact forces. Both battalions were to be supported by the Belluno Mountain Artillery Group in Pontebba, the Gemona was tasked with blocking the Canal Valley right at the border, while the Cividale was tasked with defending the Naßfeld Pass and thus securing the left flank of the Gemona battalion. The biggest battalion of the Italian Army the Val Tagliamento Alpini Battalion was based in Tolmezzo shortly before the Southern end of the Canal Valley, the Val Tagliamento was supported by the Conegliano Mountain Artillery Group and Udine Artillery Group based in Udine and Tolmezzo. An attack through the Canal valley was considered to be the most likely scenario, W33 Nuclear shells for the 27th group were stored in Reana del Rojale at the Italian Army ammunition depot San Bernardo. The 27th group was ordered to turn the Canal valley into a fiery hell if the Julia would have been overrun, the group fielded two firing batteries with 4 artillery systems per battery and had 140 nuclear artillery shells to fulfil its task. In the 1980s the W33 nuclear artillery shells were replaced with fewer, to aid in the defence of the narrow mountain valleys the 4th Army Corps re-activated some fortifications of the World War II era Alpine Wall. In the area of operation of the Julia the task of maintaining and manning the fortifications fell to the Val Tagliamento Alpini Battalion, on 26 September 1992 the Val Tagliamento Battalion was dissolved. In August 1992 the battalions took the names of historical Alpini regiments to carry on the regimental traditions, each regiment consisted of one of the brigades Alpini battalions and an additional support company
Brigata alpina "Taurinense"
The Alpine Brigade Taurinense is a light Infantry brigade of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. Its core units are the Alpini, the infantry corps of the Italian Army. The brigade’s name Taurinense alludes to the Roman name Augusta Taurinorum of the city of Turin around which the brigade is based, the Brigade carries on the name and traditions of the 1st Alpine Division Taurinense. The Taurinense was constituted on 15 April 1952 in the city of Turin, on 1 April 1964 the Alpini Parachutist Platoon merged with the other four Alpini Brigades Parachutist Platoons to form an Alpini Parachutist Company under direct command of the IV Army Corps. In 1970 the Mondovi Mountain Artillery Group was raised and added to the 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment, the remaining units came under direct control of the Taurinense Brigade. The 2nd Alpini Training Regiment had already dissolved in 1974. In 1975 the Taurinense Logistic Battalion was formed, the only such unit in the Italian Army. The only brigade which would have seen combat in such a case would have been the Julia, the other Alpini brigades would remain static. The Julia would have defended the Canal valley, the Cadore the Piave valley, on 23 March 1991 the Pinerolo Mountain Artillery Group was dissolved. On 1 August 1992 the Saluzzo Battalion was integrated in the reactivated 2nd Alpini Regiment, the same month the Anti-tank Company was disbanded. On 19 September 1992 the Aosta Artillery Group was integrated in the reactivated 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment, with the entry of the Susa Battalion into the reactivated 3rd Alpini Regiment on 23 October 1993 the reorganization of the brigade was for the time completed. Both Alpini regiments consisted of one battalion and a support company, the Command and Signal Battalion was merged with the Engineer Company into the newly formed Command and Tactical Support Battalion. At the same time the Mondovi Alpini Training Battalion was dissolved, a fate shared by Taurinense Logistic Battalion 2002. The 2nd Battalion of the Railway Engineer Regiment was reorganized as the 32nd Engineer Battalion and in 2004 renamed 32nd Alpini Engineer Regiment and subordinated to Taurinense. Today the brigade is based in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, the brigade headquarters is in the city of Turin and part of the Division Tridentina. The mortar companies of the Alpini regiments are equipped with 120mm mortars, the Cavalry regiment is equipped with a mix of Centauro tank destroyers and Puma 4x4 wheeled armored personnel carriers. The artillery regiment of the brigade fields 18x FH-70 towed howitzers, Italian Army Homepage, History of the Alpine Brigade Taurinense
The Aosta Valley is a mountainous semi-autonomous region in northwestern Italy. It is bordered by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France to the west, Valais, Switzerland to the north, covering an area of 3,263 km2 and with a population of about 128,000 it is the smallest, least populous, and least densely populated region of Italy. It is the only Italian region that is not sub-divided into provinces, provincial administrative functions are provided by the regional government. The region is divided into 74 comuni, the Aosta Valley is an Alpine valley which with its tributary valleys includes the Italian slopes of Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and the Matterhorn, its highest peak is Mont Blanc. The region is cold in the winter, especially when compared with other places in the Western Alps. Winter temperatures average around −3 °C or −4 °C, and summers between 13 °C and 15 °C, the snow season starts in November and lasts until March. Mist is common during the morning from April until October, the main communities in this area are Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Brusson and Gressoney-La-Trinité. The valleys above 1600 metres usually have a Cold Continental Climate, in this climate the snow season is very long, as long as 8 or 9 months at the highest points. During the summer, mist occurs almost every day and these areas are the wettest in the western Alps. Temperatures are low, between −7 °C and −3 °C in January, and in July between 10 °C and 13 °C. In this area is the town of Rhêmes-Notre-Dame. which may be the coldest town in the Western Alps, areas between 2000 metres and 3500 metres usually have a Tundra Climate, where every month has an average temperature below 10 °C. Temperature averages in Pian Rosà, at 3400 metres high, are −11.6 °C in January and 1.4 °C in July and it is the coldest place in Italy where the climate is verifiable. In the past, above 3500 metres, all months were having a temperature below freezing. In recent years there was a rise in temperatures. See as an example the data for Pian Rosà, the first inhabitants of the Aosta Valley were Celts and Ligures, whose language heritage remains in some local placenames. Thus, the name Valle dAosta literally means Valley of Augustus, saint Anselm of Canterbury was born in Aosta in 1033 or 1034. In the mid-13th century Emperor Frederick II made the County of Aosta a duchy, the region remained part of Savoy lands, with the exceptions of French occupations from 1539 to 1563, later in 1691, then between 1704 and 1706. As part of the Kingdom of Sardinia it joined the new Kingdom of Italy in 1861 and it was also ruled by the First French Empire between 1800 and 1814
Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, its capital is Genoa. The region is popular with tourists for its beaches, towns, Liguria is bordered by France to the west, Piedmont to the north, and Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany to the east. It lies on the Ligurian Sea, the narrow strip of land is bordered by the sea, the Alps and the Apennines mountains. Some mountains rise above 2,000 m, the line runs at an average altitude of about 1,000 m. The highest point of the region is the summit of Monte Saccarello, the winding arched extension goes from Ventimiglia to La Spezia. Of this,3,524.08 km2 are mountainous and 891.95 km2 are hills, Ligurias natural reserves cover 12% of the entire region, or 600 km2 of land. They are made up of one national reserve, six large parks, the continental shelf is very narrow, and so steep it descends almost immediately to considerable marine depths along its 350-kilometre coastline. Except for the Portovenere and Portofino promontories, it is not very jagged. At the mouths of the biggest watercourses there are small beaches, the ring of hills lying immediately beyond the coast together with the sea account for a mild climate year-round. Average winter temperatures are 7 to 10 °C and summer temperatures are 23 to 24 °C, rainfall can be abundant at times, as mountains very close to the coast create an orographic effect. Genoa and La Spezia can see up to 2,000 mm of rain in a year, evidence of Neanderthals living in the area was discovered in the region of Loano, whereas in Ventimiglia, in the grotto of Balzi Rossi, numerous remains were found of Cro-Magnon. According to Classical sources, the Ligurians, once lived in a far broader territory than present-day Liguria, for example, the Greek colony of Massalia, modern Marseille was recorded to lie in Ligurian territory. During the first Punic War, the ancient Ligurians were divided, some of them siding with Carthage, under Augustus, Liguria was designated a region of Italy stretching from the coast to the banks of the Po River. The great Roman roads helped strengthen territorial unity and increase communication, important towns developed on the coast, of which evidence is left in the ruins of Albenga, Ventimiglia and Luni. Between the 4th and the 10th centuries Liguria was dominated by the Byzantines, the Lombards of King Rothari and it was also invaded by Saracen and Norman raiders. In the 10th century, once the danger of pirates decreased, in the 11th and 12th centuries the marches were split into fees, and then with the strengthening of the bishops’ power, the feudal structure began to partially weaken. The main Ligurian towns, especially on the coast, became city-states, inland, however, fiefs belonging to noble families survived for a very long time. Between the 11th century and the 15th century, the Republic of Genoa experienced a political and commercial success