The Italian Republic & Peninsula and the Flag of Italy.
Welcome to the Italy Page of Onward To Our Past®. Here you will find what I hope will be useful information, insights, and links into genealogy and family history in Italy.
My goal here is not for this location to be the ‘be all and end all’ of your search for your Italian roots and family history. Rather I plan for this to be a knowledge hub from which you can learn, link from, find additional resources, and return with questions, ideas, and new findings.
Since I am a Genealogical Historian, I will begin with a bit of history of Italy for us.
From a genealogical perspective there are a few key historical time lines and issues you should be aware of regarding the Italian Republic. First, it is important to remember that while Italy does include the islands of Sardinia and Sicily; San Marino and the Vatican are independent enclaves within the Republic.
While Italy has a long and immensely storied history, it is good to know that from about the 8th Century B.C. to the 6th Century A.D., what we now call Italy (and beyond) was what we now call the Roman Empire.
This period was then followed by the Middle Ages in the 6th through about 14th Centuries and finally, with its’ birthplace in Florence, the Renaissance in the 14th to 16th Centuries. Following a series of what are often called The Italian Wars, Italian unification is most often said to have begun with the Congress of Vienna in 1816 and after the end of the Franco-Prussian Wars in 1871 was basically completed. What we consider the modern Italian Republic began with the overthrow of Mussolini in 1945.
As you move through the countryside of Italy, it will be helpful to understand the governmental structure and organization that you will encounter. In Italy there are:
- 20 Regioni (Regions),
- 110 Province (Provinces), and
- 8,094 Comuni (Communes or Cities)
There will be much more to come on Italy and genealogy here, so watch this space!
Onward To Our Past®