Italian Regency of Carnaro

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Italian Regency of Carnaro
Reggenza Italiana del Carnaro
Unrecognized entity seeking unification with Italy
Map of the "Italian Regency of Carnaro" (later the Free State of Fiume).
Capital Fiume
Languages Italian
Government Provisional authoritarian republic
Comandante Gabriele d'Annunzio
Legislature Arengo del Carnaro
 •  Upper house Consiglio degli Ottimi
 •  Lower house Consiglio dei Provvisori
Historical era Interwar period
 •  Coup d'état 12 September 1919
 •  Constitution 8 September 1920
 •  Treaty of Rapallo 12 November 1920
 •  Conquered 30 December 1920
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Corpus separatum (Fiume)
Free State of Fiume

The Italian Regency of Carnaro (Italian: Reggenza Italiana del Carnaro) was a self-proclaimed state in the city of Fiume (now Rijeka, Croatia) led by Gabriele d'Annunzio between 1919 and 1920. It is also known by its lyrical name in Italian: Fiume Endeavour (Impresa di Fiume).

Impresa di Fiume[edit]

1919 Fiume postage stamp.

During World War I (1914–1918), Italy made a pact with the Allies, the Treaty of London (1915), in which it was promised all of the Austrian Littoral, but not the city of Fiume. After the war, at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, this delineation of territory was confirmed, with Fiume remaining outside of Italian borders, instead joined with adjacent Croatian territories into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

Gabriele d'Annunzio was angered by what he considered to be handing over of the city of Fiume, on 12 September 1919 he led around 2,600 troops, mostly shell-shocked veterans of the Battles of the Isonzo . They were drawn from the Royal Italian Army (the Granatieri di Sardegna), Italian nationalists and irredentists, this force staged a seizure of the city, forcing the withdrawal of the inter-Allied (American, British and French) occupying forces. Their march from Ronchi dei Legionari to Fiume became known as the Impresa di Fiume ("Fiume Endeavour").

Gabriele d'Annunzio (in the middle with the stick) with some legionaries (components of the Arditi's department of the Italian Royal Army) in Fiume in 1919. To the right of d'Annunzio, facing him, Lt. Arturo Avolio (commander of the Ardit's department of Bologna Brigade).

On the same day, d'Annunzio announced that he had annexed the territory to the Kingdom of Italy, he was enthusiastically welcomed by the Italian population of Fiume.[1] This move was opposed by the Italian government and d'Annunzio tried to resist pressure from Italy, the plotters sought to have Italy annex Fiume, but were denied. Instead, Italy initiated a blockade of Fiume while demanding that the plotters surrender, during his time in Fiume in September 1919, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti called the leaders of the Exploit "advance-guard deserters" (disertori in avanti).


Ensign of Carnaro

On 8 September 1920, d'Annunzio proclaimed the city to be under the Italian Regency of Carnaro with a constitution foreshadowing some of the later Italian Fascist system, with himself as dictator, with the title of Comandante.

The name Carnaro was taken from the Golfo del Carnaro (Kvarner Gulf), where the city is located. It was temporarily expanded by d'Annunzio in order to include the island of Veglia, the only other State to recognize the Italian Regency of Carnaro was the Soviet Union.[citation needed]


d'Annunzio on a 1920 Fiume postage stamp.

The Charter of Carnaro (Carta del Carnaro in Italian) was a constitution that combined anarchist, proto-fascist, and democratic republican ideas. D'Annunzio is often seen as a precursor of the ideals and techniques of Italian fascism, his own explicit political ideals emerged in Fiume when he coauthored the charter with syndicalist Alceste De Ambris. De Ambris provided the legal and political framework, to which d'Annunzio added his skills as a poet, the charter designates music a "religious and social institution."


The constitution established a corporatist state,[2] with nine corporations to represent the different sectors of the economy, where membership was mandatory, plus a tenth corporation devised by d'Annunzio, to represent the "superior individuals" (e.g. poets, "heroes" and "supermen"). The other nine were as follows:

  • Industrial and Agricultural Workers
  • Seafarers
  • Employers
  • Industrial and Agricultural Technicians
  • Private Bureaucrats and Administrators
  • Teachers and Students
  • Lawyers and Doctors
  • Civil Servants
  • Co-operative Workers


The executive power would be vested in seven ministers (rettori):

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Treasury
  • Education
  • Police and Justice
  • Defense
  • Public Economy
  • Labor


The legislative power was vested in a bicameral legislature. Joint sessions of both councils (Arengo del Carnaro), would be responsible for treaties with foreign powers, amendments to the constitution, and appointment of a dictator in times of emergency.

  • Council of the Best (Consiglio degli Ottimi) – Elected by universal suffrage for a 3-year term – 1 councilor per 1000 population Responsible for legislation concerning civil and criminal justice, police, armed forces, education, intellectual life and relations between the central government and communes
  • Council of Corporations (Consiglio dei Provvisori) – 60 members chosen by nine corporations for a 2-year term – Responsible for laws regulating business and commerce, labor relations, public services, transportation and merchant shipping, tariffs and trade, public works, medical and legal professions


Judicial power vested in the courts

  • Supreme Court, (Corte della Ragione, literally "Court of Reason")
  • Communal Courts, (Buoni Uomini, literally "Good Men")
  • Labour Court (Giudici del Lavoro)
  • Civil Court (Giudici Togati, literally "Judges in toga")
  • Criminal Court (Giudici del Maleficio)


Benito Mussolini was influenced by the Fascist portions of the constitution, and by d'Annunzio's style of leadership as a whole. As the Fascist movement came to power in Italy, d'Annunzio moved towards it, and became close with Mussolini.[citation needed] De Ambris, however, was a staunch opponent of Fascism, calling the movement "a filthy pawn."


The approval of the Treaty of Rapallo on 12 November 1920 turned Fiume into an independent state, the Free State of Fiume.

D'Annunzio ignored the Treaty of Rapallo and declared war on Italy itself, on 24 December 1920 the Italian army and a bombardment by the Royal Italian Navy forced the Fiuman legionnaires to evacuate and surrender the city.

The Free State of Fiume would officially last until 1924, when Fiume was formally annexed to the Kingdom of Italy under the terms of the Treaty of Rome. The administrative division was called the Province of Carnaro.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Images of Fiume welcoming d'Annunzio Archived 2011-03-16 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Parlato, Giuseppe (2000). La sinistra fascista (in Italian). Bologna: Il Mulino. p. 88. 

External links[edit]