Tag: Italy (Modern Period)
After the unification, Italy had a lot of problems. And the politicians loved to distract from them. A reliable means: showing strength and winning colonies. The Italians plunged into the power adventures in Africa – and got a bloody nose.
The new state of Italy is growing together, however, the “heart” of the country – Rome – is controlled by the Pope. When France withdraws its protective hand from the Holy See, the patriots are already in the starting blocks to storm the Eternal City.
In 1860, Italy was gripped by national fever: Giuseppe Garibaldi “liberated” the south and Victor Emmanuel II became king of all Italy – well, almost. The first thing the new kingdom got was a uniform currency with really nice coins.
In the middle of the 19th century, Italy was made up of numerous small states that had their own currencies. However, the Count of Cavour came along and united the country by means of diplomatic skill and passion.
The Tuscan Medici family are not only good for soap operas, they transformed the republic of Florence into a duchy ruled by them. One tool of power was art. How diligently they used some of the most celebrated artists of Italian Renaissance illustrates an exhibition at The Met.
Genoa has played a major role in Italy’s history as a centre of commerce. Genoese coins testify of the many shifts, from Republic to monarchy, as rival of Pisa and under the dominion of Napoleon. An exhibition explores Genoa’s permanent supreme power: “King Money”.