Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Dogaressa was the official title of the spouse of the Doge of Venice. The position of the dogaressa was regulated by the laws of the Republic, which specified which duties and rights she had, what was prohibited for the title holder; these rights changed several times during the history of the Republic. The first bearer of the title was Dogaressa Carola in the 800s, the last was Elisabetta Grimani in the 1790s. Just like the Doge, the dogaressa crowned, made a Solemn Entry, gave a vow of loyalty to the republic upon her coronation; the symbols of her rank was a crown in a similar shape as that of the doge. Similar to a queen, the dogaressa was provided with a household of ladies-in-waiting; the coronation of the dogaressa was abolished during certain periods. Formally, the dogaressa had not political rights whatsoever, her task was to participate in the representational life of the republic and official ceremonies and rituals designed to personify the glory of the state, had as such a visible public role.
She was expected to act as the formal protector of certain guilds and trades, could as such play in important part in the role of this trades within the state, something several dogaressas are known to have done. Alicia Giustiniani, for example, played an important part in Venetian commerce business because of this role. Though law refused any influence over state affairs from the dogaressa, there were dogaressas who wielded a great deal of influence over the affairs of state in practice, notably Felicia Cornaro; when the dogaressa became a widow, she was expected to become a nun. However, there was no actual law to require this, some widowed dogaressas refused to follow this custom, though it was considered scandalous. During the centuries, the regulations around the dogaressa introduced laws to restrict her rights: in the 13th-century, the dogaressa was banned from receiving dignitaries and make public donations on her own, in 1342, a law banned her from conducting business affairs of her own.
The coronation ceremony of the dogaressa did not occur between that of Taddea Michiel in 1478 and Zilia Dandolo in 1556. The last dogaressa to be crowned was Elisabetta Querini in 1694, after which the ceremony was permanently abolished. After the tenure of Elisabetta Querini, most other ceremonial privileges of the dogaressa was abolished as well: in 1700, she was refused to wear a crown and receive gifts from dignitaries. In 1763, the Solemn Entry was revived by the wish of the Doge for Pisana Conaro, who were the last dogaressa to perform it. 804-811: Carola, wife of Obelerio degli Antenori 811-827: Elena 827-830: Felicita 888-912: Angela Sanudo 942–959: Arcielda Candiano 959–966: Giovanniccia Candiano 966–976: Waldrada of Tuscany 976–978: Felicia Malipiero 979-991: Marina Candiano 991-1009: Maria Candiano 1009–1026: Grimelda of Hungary 1075–1083: Theodora Anna Doukaina Selvo 1084-1096: Cornella Bembo 1096–1102: Felicia Cornaro 1102–1116: Matelda Faliero 1116–1130: Alicia Michele 1148-1156: Sofia 1156–1172: Felicita Maria di Boemondo 1172-1178: Cecilia 1192-1205: Felicita Bembo 1205–1229: Constance of Sicily, Dogaressa of Venice 1229–1249: Valdrada of Sicily 1252-1268: Loicia da Prata 1268-1271: Agnese Ghisi 1272-1275: Marchesina di Brienne 1275-1280: Jacobina 1280-1289: Caterina 1289-1310: Tommasina Morosini 1310-1312: Agnese 1312-1329: Franchesina 1329-1339: Elisabetta 1339-1342: Giustina Cappello 1342-1354: Isabella de Fieschi 1354–1355: Aluycia Gradenigo 1355-1356: Marina Cappello 1361-1365: Marchesina Ghisi 1365-1367: Caterina Corner 1382-1382: Cristina Condulmiero 1382-1400: Agnese 1400–1413: Marina Galina 1423–1457: Marina Nani 1457–1462: Giovanna Dandolo 1462–1471: Cristina Sanudo 1471-1472: Aliodea Morosini 1473-1474: Contarina Contarini Morosini 1474-1476: Laura Zorzi 1476-1478: Regina Gradenico 1478-1485: Taddea Michiel 1485-1486: Lucia Ruzzini 1486-1501: Elisabetta Soranzo 1501-1521: Giustina Guistiniani 1521-1523: Caterina Loredan 1523-1538: Benedetta Vendramin 1538-1545: Maria Pasqualigo 1545–1553: Alicia Giustiniani 1556–1559: Zilia Dandolo 1559-1567: Elena Diedo 1567-1570: Maria Cappello 1570–1577: Loredana Marcello 1577-1578: Cecilia Contarini 1578-1585: Arcangela Canali 1585-1595: Laura Morosini 1595–1606: Morosina Morosini 1618-1623: Elena Barbarigo 1625-1629: Chiara Delfino 1655-1656: Paolina Loredano 1656-1656: Andreana Priuli 1656-1658: Elisabetta Pisano 1658-1659: Lucia Barbarigo 1694–1700: Elisabetta Querini 1709-1722: Laura Cornaro 1735-1741: Elena Badoero 1763–1769: Pisana Conaro 1771–1779: Polissena Contarini Da Mula 1779–1789: Margherita Dalmet 1789–1792: Elisabetta Grimani Staley, Edgcumbe: The dogaressas of Venice (The wives of the doges, London: T. W. Laurie, 1910
Nobility of Italy
The Nobility of Italy comprises individuals and their families of the Italian peninsula, the islands linked with it, recognized by sovereigns, such as the Holy Roman Emperor, the Holy See, the Kings of Italy, certain other Italian kings and sovereigns, as members of a class of persons enjoying hereditary privileges which distinguished them from other persons and families. They held lands as fiefs and were sometimes endowed with hereditary titles or nobiliary particles. From the Middle Ages until 1871, "Italy" was not a single country but was a number of separate kingdoms and other states, with many reigning dynasties; these were related through marriage to each other and to other European royal families. Before Italian Unification there was a large nobility in Italy. Indeed, in the mid-19th century, the existence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Duchy of Parma, the Duchy of Modena, the Duchy of Savoy, the Duchy of Milan, the Papal States, various republics and the Austrian and French dependencies in Northern Italy led to parallel nobilities with different traditions and rules.
16th-, 17th- and 18th-century Italy was home to myriad noble families that had risen to prominence via judicial appointment, election to the various regional senates or appointment to Catholic Church office. There were families, part of Italian nobility for many decades or centuries. Writing in the 19th century, Leopold von Ranke recorded: In the middle of the seventeenth century there were computed to be fifty noble families in Rome of three hundred years' standing, thirty-five of two hundred, sixteen of one hundred years. None were permitted to claim a more ancient descent, or were traced to an obscure, or a low origin. During this period, throughout Italy, various influential families came to positions of power through the election of a family member as Pope or were elevated into the ranks of nobility through ecclesiastic promotion; these families intermarried with aristocratic nobility. Like other noble families, those with both papal power and money were able to purchase comunes or other tracts of land and elevate family patriarchs and other relatives to noble titles.
Hereditary patriarchs were appointed Duke and Prince of various 16th- and 17th-century principalities. According to Ranke: Under Innocent X, there existed for a considerable time, as it were, two great factions, or associations of families; the Orsini, Borghese, Aldobrandini and Giustiniani were with the Pamphili. Popes elevated members of prominent families to the position of Cardinal. Popes elevated their own family members – nephews – to the special position of Cardinal-Nephew. Prominent families could purchase curial offices for their sons and did, hoping that the son would rise through Church ranks to become a Bishop or a Cardinal, from which position they could dispense further titles and positions of authority to other family members; the period was famous for papal nepotism and many families, such as the Barberini and Pamphili, benefited from having a papal relative. Families, limited to agricultural or mercantile ventures found themselves, sometimes within only one or two generations, elevated to the Roman nobility when a relative was elected to the papal throne.
Modern Italy is dotted with the fruits of their success – various family palazzi remain standing today as a testament to their sometimes meteoric rise to power. Modern Italy became a nation-state during the Risorgimento on 17 March 1861, when most of the states of the peninsula and Kingdom of the Two Sicilies were united under King Victor Emmanuel II of the Savoy dynasty, hitherto monarch of the Kingdom of Sardinia, a realm that included Piedmont; the architect of Italian unification was Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, the Chief Minister of Victor Emmanuel. Rome itself remained for a further decade under the Papacy, became part of the Kingdom of Italy only in 1870. In September of that year, invading Italian troops entered the city, the ensuing occupation forced Pope Pius IX to his palace where he declared himself a prisoner in the Vatican, as did his successors, until the Lateran Pacts of 1929. Under the united Kingdom of Italy a new national nobility, with an attempt to impose a uniform nobiliary law, was created, including male succession, some acknowledgement by the King of Italy of titles conferred by Francis II of the Two Sicilies in exile by making new grants in the same name.
Those nobles who maintained allegiance to the pope became known as the Black Nobility. After the unification, the kings of Italy continued to create titles of nobility to eminent Italians, this time with a validity for all of the Italian territory. For example, General Enrico Cialdini was created Duca di Gaeta for his role during the unification; the practice continued until the 20th century, when nominations would be made by the Prime Minister of Italy and approved by the Crown. In the aftermath of the First World War, most Italians who were ennobled received their titles through the patronage of the Mussolini government. Examples include General Armando Diaz, Admiral Paolo Thaon di Revel, Commodore Luigi Rizzo, Costanzo Ciano, Dino Grandi (Conte di Mordan
Michele Steno was a Venetian statesman who served as the 63rd Doge of Venice from December 1, 1400 until his death. Steno was born in Venice into a family of some, though not great and had lived a dissolute life in youth, he served as proveditor of Venice, proved a capable diplomat. In 1400 he was elected as doge as a compromise choice. Upon becoming Doge he took to dressing like Lorenzo Celsi, known for his elegance of dress. In his accession's year, Venice begun a successful war against Padua and its lord, Francesco da Carrara, leading to a substantial expansion of the republic in the Italian mainland. During the Christian schism of 1408, Venice sided with Pope Alexander V. An old and ill man in his late years, Steno died in 1413, was interred in the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, a traditional burial place of the doges. Steno was succeeded as Doge by Tommaso Mocenigo. Michele Steno is honored as the dedicatee of Johannes Ciconia's motet, "Venecia, mundi splendor/Michael, qui Stena domus," on the occasion of Padua's submission to Venetian rule.
Among other rhetorical flourishes, the text praises Michele for his celibate life
Marino Faliero was the 55th Doge of Venice, appointed on 11 September 1354. He was sometimes referred to as Marin Falier or Falieri, he was executed for attempting a coup d'etat. Faliero was a naval and military commander and a diplomat before being elected doge in succession to Andrea Dandolo; the populace of Venice was at that time disenchanted with the ruling aristocrats who were blamed for a recent naval defeat by the fleet of the Republic of Genoa at the 1354 Battle of Portolungo during the Third Venetian–Genoese War. Faliero learned of his election. Within months of being elected, Faliero attempted a coup d'etat in April 1355, aiming to take effective power from the ruling aristocrats. According to tradition, this came about because the dogaressa, Faliero's second wife, Aluycia Gradenigo, had been insulted by Michele Steno, a member of an aristocratic family, but in a study of doges of Venice Antonella Grignola suggests that Faliero's move was consistent with a prevailing trend in Italian cities to move away from oligarchic government to absolute, dynastic rule.
The plot was badly organised, with poor communication between the conspirators, was discovered. Faliero pleaded guilty to all charges and was beheaded on 17 April and his body mutilated. Ten additional ringleaders were hanged on display from the Doge's Palace in St Mark's Square. Faliero was condemned to damnatio memoriae, accordingly his portrait displayed in the Sala del Maggior Consiglio in the Doge's Palace was removed and the space painted over with a black shroud, which can still be seen in the hall today. A Latin language inscription on the painted shroud reads: Hic est locus Marini Faletro decapitati pro criminibus; the story of Faliero's failed plot was made into plays by Lord Byron and Casimir Delavigne. The latter's version was adapted into an eponymous opera scored by Gaetano Donizetti in 1835. All three present the traditional story. Prussian author E. T. A. Hoffmann Dogess. Ashbrook, William. "Marino Faliero". The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Brown, H.. Studies in the History of Venice.
London: John Murray. Grignola, Antonella; the Doges of Venice. Venice: Demetra. ISBN 9788844014131. Norwich, John Julius. A History of Venice. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-101383-1. Lazzerini, V. Genealogia d. M. Faliero. Archivio Veneto. — "M. Faliero avanti ii Dogado," ibid. — "M. Faliero, la Congiura," ibid. Romanin, S.. Storia documentata di Venezia. Lib. ix. Venice. Sanudo, M.. Le Vite dei Dogi. Citta di Castello
Pietro Gradenigo was the 49th Doge of Venice, reigning from 1289 to his death. When he was elected Doge, he was serving as the podestà of Capodistria in Istria. Venice suffered a serious blow with the fall of Acre, the last Crusader stronghold in the Holy Land, to the Mamluks of Egypt in 1291. A war between Venice and Genoa began in 1294, Venice sustained some serious losses: it lost a naval battle, its possessions in Crete were pillaged and the Byzantine emperor, Andronikos II, arrested many Venetians in Constantinople. In response, the Venetian fleet sacked Galata and threatened the imperial palace of Blachernae, but in 1298 they lost again - this time at Curzola. In 1299 the two republics signed a peace treaty. Doge Gradenigo was responsible for the so-called Serrata del Maggior Consiglio, the Locking of the Great Council of Venice; this new law, passed in February 1297, restricted membership of the future Councils only to the descendants of those nobles who were its members between 1293 and 1297.
This move created a oligarchic system, disenfranchising a great majority of the citizens and provoking some unrest. In 1308, during Gradenigo's reign as doge, Venice became involved in war with the Papacy over the control of Ferrara and on 27 March 1309 the Republic was excommunicated by Pope Clement V, barring all Christians from trading with Venice; the Doge's policy, seen by many as disastrous, led to a plot to depose him and the Great Council, led by Bajamonte Tiepolo and other members of the aristocratic families. On 15 June 1310, the coup failed and its leaders were punished. Tiepolo's plot led to the creation of the Council of Ten as a temporary institution, which evolved into the permanent body which in reality governed the Republic. On 13 August 1311, Gradenigo died, since Venice was under interdict and the religious ceremonies could not be held, he was buried in an unmarked grave on Murano, he was married first to Tomasina Morosini and to Agnese Zantani