Robert I, Duke of Parma
Robert I was the last sovereign Duke of Parma and Piacenza from 1854 to 1859, when the duchy was annexed to Sardinia-Piedmont during the unification of Italy. He was a member of the House of Bourbon, descended from Philip, Duke of Parma the third son of King Philip V of Spain and Elizabeth Farnese. Born in Florence, Robert was the son of Charles III, Duke of Parma and Louise Marie Thérèse dArtois, daughter of Charles Ferdinand, duc de Berry and granddaughter of King Charles X of France. He succeeded his father to the throne in 1854 upon the latters assassination. When Duke Robert was eleven years old he was deposed, as Piedmontese troops annexed other Italian states, ultimately to form the Kingdom of Italy. Nonetheless, Roberts primary heir was Elias of Parma, the youngest son of his first marriage, Elias became the legal guardian of his six elder siblings. Some of his sons served in the Austrian armed forces. In 1869, in exile, he married Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and she was his half first cousin once removed, as her father and Roberts maternal grandmother were half-siblings, both children of Francis I of the Two Sicilies.
Maria Pia belonged to the deposed Royal Family of the Two Sicilies, Maria Antonia was his second cousin once removed, as her paternal grandmother and Roberts paternal great-grandmother were siblings, both children of Charles IV of Spain and Maria Luisa of Parma. She bore him another 12 children, List of Dukes of Parma Duchy of Parma
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchys capital was Florence, Tuscany was nominally a state of the Holy Roman Empire until the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797. Initially, Tuscany was ruled by the House of Medici until the extinction of its branch in 1737. The Medicis only advancement in the days of their existence was their elevation to royalty, by the Holy Roman Emperor. Francis Stephen of Lorraine, a descendant of the Medici, succeeded the family. Tuscany was governed by a viceroy, Marc de Beauvau-Craon, for his entire rule and his descendants ruled, and resided in, the grand duchy until 1859, barring one interruption, when Napoleon Bonaparte gave Tuscany to the House of Bourbon-Parma. Following the collapse of the Napoleonic system in 1814, the duchy was restored. The United Provinces of Central Italy, a client state of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, Tuscany was formally annexed to Sardinia in 1860, following a landslide referendum, in which 95% of voters approved.
In 1569, Cosimo de Medici had ruled the Duchy of Florence for 32 years, during his reign, Florence purchased the island of Elba from the Republic of Genoa, conquered Siena and developed a well-equipped and powerful naval base on Elba. Cosimo banned the clergy from holding positions and promulgated laws of freedom of religion. Cosimo was a supporter of Pope Pius V, who in the light of Florences expansion in August 1569 declared Cosimo Grand Duke of Tuscany. The international reaction to Cosimos elevation was bleak, Queen Catherine of France, though herself a Medici, viewed Cosimo with the utmost disdain. Rumours circulated at the Viennese court that had Cosimo as a candidate for King of England, Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and King Philip II of Spain reacting quite angrily, as Florence was an Imperial fief and declared Pius Vs actions invalid. However, Maximilian eventually confirmed the elevation with an Imperial diploma in 1576, during the Holy League of 1571, Cosimo fought against the Ottoman Empire, siding with the Holy Roman Empire.
The Holy League inflicted a defeat against the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto. Cosimos reign was one of the most militaristic Tuscany had ever seen, Cosimo experienced several personal tragedies during the years of his reign. His wife, Eleanor of Toledo, died in 1562, along with four of his due to a plague epidemic in Florence. These deaths were to him greatly, along with illness
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house of French origin, a branch of the Capetian dynasty. Bourbon kings first ruled France and Navarre in the 16th century, by the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty held thrones in Spain, Naples and Parma. Spain and Luxembourg currently have Bourbon monarchs, the royal Bourbons originated in 1268, when the heiress of the lordship of Bourbon married a younger son of King Louis IX. The house continued for three centuries as a branch, while more senior Capetians ruled France, until Henry IV became the first Bourbon king of France in 1589. Restored briefly in 1814 and definitively in 1815 after the fall of the First French Empire, a cadet Bourbon branch, the House of Orléans, ruled for 18 years, until it too was overthrown. The Princes de Condé were a branch of the Bourbons descended from an uncle of Henry IV. Both houses were prominent in French affairs, even during exile in the French Revolution, until their respective extinctions in 1830 and 1814.
When the Bourbons inherited the strongest claim to the Spanish throne, the claim was passed to a cadet Bourbon prince, a grandson of Louis XIV of France, who became Philip V of Spain. The Spanish House of Bourbon has been overthrown and restored several times, reigning 1700–1808, 1813–1868, 1875–1931, Bourbons ruled in Naples from 1734–1806 and in Sicily from 1734–1816, and in a unified Kingdom of the Two Sicilies from 1816–1860. They ruled in Parma from 1731–1735, 1748–1802 and 1847–1859, all legitimate, living members of the House of Bourbon, including its cadet branches, are direct agnatic descendants of Henry IV. The term House of Bourbon is sometimes used to refer to this first house and the House of Bourbon-Dampierre, the second family to rule the seigneury. In 1268, Count of Clermont, sixth son of King Louis IX of France, married Beatrix of Bourbon, heiress to the lordship of Bourbon and their son Louis was made Duke of Bourbon in 1327. His descendant, the Constable of France Charles de Bourbon, was the last of the senior Bourbon line when he died in 1527.
Because he chose to fight under the banner of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and lived in exile from France, the remaining line of Bourbons henceforth descended from James I, Count of La Marche, the younger son of Louis I, Duke of Bourbon. With the death of his grandson James II, Count of La Marche in 1438, all future Bourbons would descend from James IIs younger brother, who became the Count of Vendôme through his mothers inheritance. In 1514, Count of Vendôme had his title raised to Duke of Vendôme and his son Antoine became King of Navarre, on the northern side of the Pyrenees, by marriage in 1555. Two of Antoines younger brothers were Cardinal Archbishop Charles de Bourbon, Louis male-line, the Princes de Condé, survived until 1830. Finally, in 1589, the House of Valois died out and he was born on 13 December 1553 in the Kingdom of Navarre
Piacenza listen is a city and comune in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Piacenza, modern forms of the name descend from Latin Placentia. The etymology is long-standing, tracing an origin from the Latin verb placēre, in French, and occasionally in English, it is called Plaisance. The name means a pleasant abode, or as James Boswell reported some of the etymologists of his time to have translated it and this was a name of good omen. Piacenza is located at a crossroads at the intersection of Route E35/A1 between Bologna and Milan, and Route E70/A21 between Brescia and Tortona. Piacenza is at the confluence of the Trebbia, draining the northern Apennine Mountains, Piacenza hosts two universities, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Polytechnic University of Milan. Before then, says Polybius, These plains were anciently inhabited by Etruscans before the Gauls took the entire Po Valley from them and Cremona were founded as Roman military colonies in May 218 BC.
The Romans had planned to them after the successful conclusion of the latest war with the Gauls ending in 219 BC. In the spring of 218 BC, after declaring war on Carthage, the reaction of the regions Gauls was swift, they drove the colonists off the lands. Taking refuge in Mutina, the latter sent for military assistance, a small force under Lucius Manlius was prevented from reaching the area. The Senate sent two legions under Gaius Atelius, collecting Manlius and the colonists, they descended on Piacenza and Cremona and successfully placed castra there of 480 square metres to support the building of the city. Piacenza must have been walled immediately, as the walls were in place when the Battle of the Trebia was fought around the city in December. There is no evidence either textual or archaeological of a settlement at that exact location, however. Piacenza was the 53rd colony to be placed by Rome since its foundation and it was the first among the Gauls of the Po valley. It had to be supplied by boat after the Battle of Trebbia, in 209 BC, Hasdrubal Barca crossed the Alps and laid siege to the city, but he was unable to take it and withdrew.
In 200 BC, the Gauls sacked and burned it, selling the population into slavery, the victorious Romans restored the city and managed to recover 2000 citizens. In 198 BC, a force of Gauls and Ligurians plundered the whole region. As the people had never recovered from being sold into slavery, in 190 BC they complained to Senate of underpopulation, the construction of the Via Aemilia in the 180s made the city easily accessible from the Adriatic ports, which improved trade and the prospects for timely defense
France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established.
The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity.
In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the Franks
Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma
For the illegitimate son of Ranuccio I Farnese, see Ottavio Farnese. Ottavio Farnese reigned as Duke of Parma and Piacenza from 1547, born in Valentano, he was the second son of Pier Luigi Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, grandson of Pope Paul III, and brother to Cardinal Ranuccio Farnese. On 4 November 1538 he married Margaret of Austria, the daughter of Charles V. Ottavio was 14 years old, while Margaret, recently widowed by the death of Alessandro de Medici, was 15, at first she disliked her youthful bridegroom, but when he returned wounded from an expedition to Algiers in 1541 her aversion was turned to affection. Farnese had become lord of Camerino in 1540, but he gave up that fief when his father became duke of Parma in 1545, after the Parmesan nobility assassinated Pierluigi Farnese in 1547, troops of the Emperor occupied Piacenza. Farnese attempted to seize Parma by force, and having failed, entered negotiations with Ferrante Gonzaga. This rebellion on the part of his grandson is believed to have hastened the Popes death on 10 November 1549.
This did not end Farneses quarrel with the Emperor Charles V, for Gonzaga refused to give up Piacenza and even threatened to occupy Parma, a French army came to protect Parma, the War of Parma broke out, and Gonzaga at once laid siege to the city. But the duke came to an arrangement with his father-in-law, by which he regained Piacenza, the rest of his life was spent quietly at home, where the moderation and wisdom of his rule won for him the affection of his people. At his death in 1586 his only legitimate son Alessandro succeeded him and he and his wife Margherita had two sons, Charles Farnese, heir to the Duchy of Parma. Alexander Farnese, 3rd Duke of Parma, married Infanta Maria of Portugal and had issue. He had two daughters, married to Torquato Conti and had issue, married to Renato Borromeo, Conte di Arona, first cousin of St. Charles Borromeo. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Hugh
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III, born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope from 13 October 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527. He convened the Council of Trent in 1545 and he was a significant patron of the arts and employed nepotism to advance the power and fortunes of his family. It is to Pope Paul III that Nicolaus Copernicus dedicated De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, alessandro’s humanist education was at the University of Pisa and the court of Lorenzo de Medici. Initially trained as a notary, he joined the Roman Curia in 1491. Farnese’s sister, Giulia was reputedly a mistress of Alexander VI, for this reason, he was sometimes mockingly referred to as the Borgia brother-in-law, just as Giulia was mocked as the Bride of Christ. More disparagingly he was referred to as Cardinal Fregnese, as Bishop of Parma, he came under the influence of his vicar general, Bartolomeo Guidiccioni. This led to the future pope breaking off the relationship with his mistress, under Pope Clement VII he became Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and dean of the College of Cardinals, and on the death of Clement VII in 1534, was elected as Pope Paul III.
As a young cleric, Alessandro lived a dissolute life, taking for himself a mistress. By Silvia Ruffini, he fathered Pier Luigi Farnese, whom he created Duke of Parma, others included Ranuccio Farnese, the fourth pope during the period of the Protestant Reformation, Paul III became the first to take active reform measures in response to Protestantism. Paul III first deferred for a year and discarded the whole project, in 1536, Paul III invited nine eminent prelates, distinguished by learning and piety alike, to act in committee and to report on the reformation and rebuilding of the Church. This report was printed not only at Rome, but at Strasburg, yet the Pope was in earnest when he took up the problem of reform. Yet it is clear that the Concilium bore no fruit in the situation. On the other hand, serious political complications resulted, in order to vest his grandson Ottavio Farnese with the dukedom of Camerino, Paul forcibly wrested the same from the duke of Urbino. He incurred virtual war with his own subjects and vassals by the imposition of burdensome taxes, renouncing its obedience, was besieged by Pauls son, Pier Luigi, and forfeited its freedom entirely on its surrender.
The burghers of Colonna were duly vanquished, and Ascanio was banished, after this the time seemed ripe for annihilating heresy. In 1540, the Church officially recognized the young society forming about Ignatius of Loyola, the second visible stage in the process becomes marked by the institution, or reorganization, in 1542, of the Congregation of the Holy Office of the Inquisition. On another side, the Emperor was insisting that Rome should forward his designs toward a recovery of the German Protestants
House of Bourbon-Parma
The House of Bourbon-Parma is an Italian cadet branch of the House of Bourbon. It is thus descended from the French Capetian dynasty in male line, the name of Bourbon-Parma comes from the main name and the other from the title of Duke of Parma. The title was held by the Spanish Bourbons as the founder was the great-grandson of Duke Ranuccio II Farnese, Duke of Parma. The Duchy of Parma was created in 1545 from that part of the Duchy of Milan south of the Po River, as a fief for Pope Paul IIIs illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, centered on the city of Parma. In 1556, the second Duke, Ottavio Farnese, was given the city of Piacenza, becoming thus Duke of Piacenza and he ruled until 1735 during the War of the Polish Succession, when Parma was ceded to Emperor Charles VI in exchange for the Two Sicilies. The Habsburgs only ruled until the conclusion of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, as duke Philip, he became the founder of the House of Bourbon-Parma. In 1796, the duchy was occupied by French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte, in the Treaty of Aranjuez of 1801, duke Ferdinand formally agreed to cede the duchy to Napoleon.
In 1814, the duchies were restored under Napoleons Habsburg wife, Marie Louise, the duchy was renamed the duchy of Parma and Guastalla, the name that it retained until the end. After Marie Louises death in 1847, the duchy was restored to the Bourbon-Parma line, the Bourbons ruled until 1859, when they were driven out by a revolution following the Sardinian victory in their war against Austria. The House of Bourbon continues to claim the title of duke of Parma to this day, carlos-Hugo held the title from 1977 to his death. His son now claims the title, during the French ownership of the Duchy of Parma, the title of Duke of Parma was used as an honorary form and style. From 1808, the title was used by Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès and he kept the style of Duc de Parme till 1814. Only in 1847 was the title restored to the Bourbons, after a period of being held by Marie Louise of Austria, wife of Napoleon I. Jean was the son of Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma, a son of Robert I of Parma. Charlottes descendants have reigned as the continued dynasty of Nassau.
In October 2000 Jean abdicated the Luxembourgian throne in favour of his eldest son, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was the largest of the states of Italy before the Italian unification. It was formed as a union of the Kingdom of Sicily and the Kingdom of Naples, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies lasted from 1815 until 1860, when it was annexed by the Kingdom of Sardinia to form the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. The capitals of the Two Sicilies were in Naples and in Palermo, the kingdom extended over the Mezzogiorno and the island of Sicily. Many went to the United States and Argentina, the kingdom was heavily agricultural, like the other Italian states, the church owned 50–65% of the land by 1750. The name Two Sicilies originated from the division of the medieval Kingdom of Sicily, until 1285, the island of Sicily and the Mezzogiorno each formed part of the Kingdom of Sicily. As a result of the War of the Sicilian Vespers, the King of Sicily lost the island of Sicily to the Crown of Aragon, but remained ruler over the peninsular part of the realm. Although his territory became known as the Kingdom of Naples, he and his successors never gave up the title of King of Sicily, at the same time, the Aragonese rulers of the island of Sicily called their realm the Kingdom of Sicily as well.
Thus, there were two kingdoms calling themselves Sicily, the Two Sicilies, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies resulted from the re-unification of the Kingdom of Sicily with the Kingdom of Naples, by King Alfonso V of Aragon in 1442. The two states had functioned as separate realms since the War of the Sicilian Vespers in 1282, in 1501, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, son of John II, conquered Naples and reunified the two kingdoms under the authority of the newly united Spanish throne. The Kings of Spain bore the title King of Both Sicilies or King of Sicily, at the end of that war, the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 granted Sicily to the Duke of Savoy until the Treaty of Rastatt in 1714 left Naples to the Emperor Charles VI. In 1720 the Emperor and Savoy exchanged Sicily for Sardinia, thus reuniting Naples and Sicily. In 1734, Duke of Parma, son of Philip V of Spain, took the Sicilian crown from the Austrians and became Charles VII & V, giving Parma to his younger brother, Philip. Apart from an interruption under Napoleon, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies remained under the Bourbon line continually until 1860.
In January 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte, in the name of the French Republic, captured Naples and proclaimed the Parthenopaean Republic, King Ferdinand fled from Naples to Sicily until June of that year. In 1806, Napoleon, by French Emperor, again dethroned King Ferdinand and appointed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, throughout this Napoleonic interruption, King Ferdinand remained in Sicily, with Palermo as his capital. The Congress of Vienna restored King Ferdinand in 1815 and he established a concordat with the Papal States, which previously had a claim to the land. The expedition resulted in a series of defeats for the Sicilian armies facing the growing troops of Garibaldi. After the capture of Palermo and Sicily, Garibaldi disembarked in Calabria and moved towards Naples, the last battles took place at Volturnus in 1860 and at the siege of Gaeta, where King Francis II had sought shelter, hoping for French help, which never came
The lira was the distinct currency of Parma before 1802 and again from 1815 to 1859. The Duchy of Parma issued its own currency until it was annexed to France in 1802 and this lira was subdivided into 20 soldi, each of 12 denari, with the sesino worth 6 denari and the ducato was worth 7 lire. The currency was replaced by the French franc, after the re-establishment of Parman independence, a national currency was introduced in 1815. Also called the lira, it was subdivided into 20 soldi or 100 centesimi, this lira was equal to the French franc and the Sardinian lira, and it circulated alongside the latter. It weighed 5 grams, and had a purity of 9/10 of silver, since 1860, Parma has used the equivalent Italian lira. In the late 18th century, circulation coins included copper 1 sesino, billon 5,10 and 20 soldi, silver ½,1,3 and 6 lire, and 1/14, 1/7, ½, and 1 ducato. Gold coins were issued in denominations of 1 zecchino and ½,1,3,4,6 and 8 doppia. In 1815, silver coins were introduced in denominations of 5 and 10 soldi,1,2 and 5 lire, copper 1,3 and 5 centesimi were added in 1830.
All coins until the death of Marie Louise were minted by the Austrian State in Milan, when the House of Bourbon rose to the throne in 1847, the Parman mint was re-opened
Parma listen is a city in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its prosciutto, architecture and surrounding countryside. It is home to the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world, Parma is divided into two parts by the stream of the same name. The district on the far side of the river is Oltretorrente, Parmas Etruscan name was adapted by Romans to describe the round shield called Parma. The Italian poet Attilio Bertolucci wrote, As a capital city it had to have a river, as a little capital it received a stream, which is often dry. Parma was already an area in the Bronze Age. In the current position of the city rose a terramare, the terramare were ancient villages built of wood on piles according to a defined scheme and squared form, constructed on dry land and generally in proximity to the rivers. During this age the first necropolis were constructed, diodorus Siculus reported that the Romans had changed their rectangular shields for round ones, imitating the Etruscans.
Whether the Etruscan encampment was so named because it was round, like a shield, the Roman colony was founded in 183 BC, together with Mutina,2,000 families were settled. Parma had an importance as a road hub over the Via Aemilia. It had a forum, in what is today the central Garibaldi Square, in 44 BC, the city was destroyed, and Augustus rebuilt it. During the Roman Empire, it gained the title of Julia for its loyalty to the imperial house, the city was subsequently sacked by Attila, and given by the Germanic king Odoacer to his followers. During the Gothic War, Totila destroyed it and it was part of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna and, from 569, of the Lombard Kingdom of Italy. Under Frankish rule, Parma became the capital of a county, like most northern Italian cities, it was nominally a part of the Holy Roman Empire created by Charlemagne, but locally ruled by its bishops, the first being Guibodus. In the subsequent struggles between the Papacy and the Empire, Parma was usually a member of the Imperial party, two of its bishops became antipopes, Càdalo, founder of the cathedral, as Honorius II, and Guibert, as Clement III.
An almost independent commune was created around 1140, a treaty between Parma and Piacenza of 1149 is the earliest document of a comune headed by consuls, the struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines was a feature of Parma too. In 1213, her podestà was the Guelph Rambertino Buvalelli, after a long stance alongside the emperors, the Papist families of the city gained control in 1248. The city was besieged in 1247–48 by Emperor Frederick II, who was crushed in the battle that ensued. Parma fell under the control of Milan in 1341, after a short-lived period of independence under the Terzi family, the Sforza imposed their rule through their associated families of Pallavicino, Sanvitale and Da Correggio
Second Italian War of Independence
The Piedmontese, following their defeat by Austria in the First Italian War of Independence, recognised their need for allies. In the peace conference at Paris following the Crimean War, Cavour attempted to bring attention to efforts for Italian unification, private talks between Napoleon III and Cavour after the conference identified Napoleon as the most likely, albeit still uncommitted, candidate for aiding Italy. On 14 January 1858, Felice Orsini, an Italian, led an attempt on Napoleon IIIs life, being unable to get the French help unless the Austrians attacked first, provoked Vienna with a series of military manoeuvers close to the border. The French army for the Italian campaign had 170,000 soldiers,2,000 horsemen and 312 guns, the Imperial Guard was commanded by Auguste Regnaud de Saint-Jean dAngély. The Sardinian army had about 70,000 soldiers,4,000 horsemen and 90 guns and it was divided into five divisions, led by Castelbrugo, Manfredo Fanti, Giovanni Durando, Enrico Cialdini, and Domenico Cucchiari.
Two volunteer formations, the Cacciatori delle Alpi and the Cacciatori degli Appennini, were present, the commander in chief was Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, supported by Alfonso Ferrero la Marmora. The Austrian army fielded more men, it was composed of 220,000 soldiers,824 guns and 22,000 horsemen and was led by Field Marshal Ferenc Graf Gyulay. At the declaration of war, there were no French troops in Italy, the Austrian forces counted on a swift victory over the weaker Sardinian army before French forces could arrive in Piedmont. Unfortunately for him, very heavy rains began to fall as soon as he did this, allowing the Piedmontese to flood the fields in front of his advance. On 14 May Napoleon III arrived in Alessandria, taking the command of the operations, the initial clash of the war was at Montebello on 20 May, a battle between an Austrian Corps under Stadion and a single division of the French I Corps under Forey. The Austrian contingent was three times as large, but the French were victorious, making Gyulai still more cautious, in early June, Gyulai had advanced to the rail center of Magenta, leaving his army spread out.
Napoleon III attacked the Ticino head on with part of his force while sending another large group of troops to the north to flank the Austrians. The plan worked, causing Gyulai to retreat east to the fortresses in Lombardy. Replacing Gyulai was Emperor Franz Josef I himself and he planned to defend the well-fortified Austrian territory behind the Mincio River. The Piedmontese-French army had taken Milan and slowly marched further east to finish off Austria in this war before Prussia could get involved, the Austrians found out that the French had halted at Brescia, and decided that they should counterattack along the river Chiese. The two armies met accidentally around Solferino, precipitating a series of battles. A French corps held off three Austrian corps all day at Medole, keeping them from joining the battle around Solferino, after a day-long battle. Ludwig von Benedek with the Austrian VIII Corps was separated from the main force and this they did successfully, but the entire Austrian army retreated after the breakthrough at Solferino, withdrawing back into the Quadrilateral