Italian History Timeline

706 B.C.- A group of men who were born from out of wedlock mothers were exiled out of Greece for good. They ended up in Southern Italy and founded the city of “Taras” which was named after the Greek sea God because the city was next to a large body of water. The city was later named Taranto. It is located in very Southern Italy next to The Gulf of Taranto. From then on, the men expanded and began to control all different parts of Italy.

540 B.C.-An ancient Greek city of Elea is founded in Southern Italy. The city was known for housing many famous philosophers. The city is now called Velia.

79-Mount Vesuvius, a volcano in Napes, Italy erupts and destroys many Roman Settlements.

365-A massive Earthquake with a magnitude of eight hits a Greek island, and affects all of the Eastern Mediterean. A large amoiunt of Sicilians from Sicily, Italy died.


476- Flavius Odercer was a soldier who fought in many battles during Italy’s early beginning. During his time as King, he was known as a peaceful leader. He had a lot of support from the Roman Senate so he was able to distribute land peacefully as he pleased, he almost never interfered in the affairs between the Orthodox church and the Roman Empire even though he was considered an Arain Christian. Odoacer had such a peacefully ruling with no wars that his soldiers were uneasy and unleashed their violence  on each other.

The Italian Wars:

1494-France decided to invade Italy after being persuaded by Milan who wanted to gain the city of Venice. This began the first Italian War. For several months, 25,000 men slowly invaded Italy and constantly defeated anyone they came up against because the Italian city-state’s armies could not resist them. Charles IIV, who was King of France at the time, successfully invaded  Pisa, Florence and Rome. He then attempted to invade Naples and sent soldiers in to defeat the troops stationed at the castle. The troops killed the French soldiers and sent their bodies back to France. The French army retaliated by setting the castle in Naples on fire and killing everyone inside. That led to the French also taking over Naples.  The brutal killing led the Italian government to create the League of Venice. The League of Venice was created specifically to resist the French army. The League of Venice continued to grow in Italy and soon became to consist of Venice, MIlan,  The Holy Roman Empire, The Republic of Venice and Spain. While this League was getting created, Charles IIV of France was setting up a French-like government system in Naples. While leaving Naples, in a small town called, Fornovo, Charles met The League of Venice waiting for him. This run in led to the Battle at Fornovo. The League of Venice eventually led for the French to leave Italian soil. However, this ended in a lot of casualties for the League. So many died that they were not able to recover and continue The League. Throughout many months, the French way of government was not enforced in other Italian city states except for Naples. Then later in 1495, the King of Naples joined together with Spain and were able to resist and defeat the French in Naples. Becuase of this, Charles IIV of France lost all of his land in Italy.

1499– King Charles’s IIV successor, Louis XII of France invaded France seized Milan stating that he was justified to occupy Milan because of a marriage agreement with his grandfather. He then had is eyes set on trying again to occupy Naples. After getting consent from The Pope, The French and Spanish signed an agreement to share the city of Milan. The King of Naples was killed by Spain and sent as a captive to France. France appointed a French Duke to become leader of Naples. However, he was not fair in carrying out laws and only seemed to want to extend French ideas and he did not care about implementing Spanish ideas. These disagreements obviously caused tension for France and Spain and even led to a war. The Spanish were left in control of Milan when Louis XXI of France was defeated by Spain in two battles at the end of 1503.

1508– The French still wanted to gain territory in Italy and many were worried about The Venetians, from Venicde taking over Nothern Italy. Soon,  the Pope formed a “League of Cambrai” to restrict the Venetians form taking over any more land. This League was formed of Spain, Ferarra and The Holy Roman Empire. France thought this alliance was strange and was concerned they would team up and try to defeat France. Beucase of this, France changed sides and began to form an alliance with Venice. Eventually, the League of Cambrai continued to grow and began to defeat France. In 1513, Pope Julius II died and left the League of Cambria without any leadership and it eventually fell apart. This led to all of Northern Italy including Milan to be controlled by The French and The Venetians.

1526– After many years of Peace, Spain began to team up with the Holy Roman Empire to continue to try and occupy all of Italy. The current pope at this time, Pope Clement VII started to get worried about the Empire controlling this much of Italy so he formed a League of Cognac. Members of this were Venice, Milan and Florence. These city-states were not well connected and began to fall apart shortly after allying together. Venice had technically won, but since they had lost so much during all the wars, they decided to stop any further advancement into Northern Italy.

1551– King Henry II of France was new to the throne and wanted to be the one to occupy the rest of Italy. In 1554, France was defeated by Florence in the Battle of Maricano when France tried to gain control of Tuscany. After multiple loses, the French decided to stop their efforts of trying to occupy Italy and instead set their eyes on occupying different parts of England.

Italian Independence:

1848- Austria began to slowly take control of all of Italy. The Italian cities of Vienna, Milan and Vennice all revolted when under Austrian rule. The Piedomontese army from Piedomont, Italy wanted to declare war against Austria but they needed more support. The Duke of Tuscany also decided to join in against Austria and they were able to fight and take back Milan.  Throughout the year of 1848, many revolutions in Europe were taking place which led to many countries fighting for their own Independence. The political leaders in Europe wanted to create a separate country called “Italy”, but they were no sure who they should have control. It was either the French or Austria. Eventually, no decision was made and major parts of Italy were still controlled by Austria. The Piedomont army along with the Tuscan army entered in the cities that were still controlled by Austria and began to fight. This led to The Battle of Coratone and The Battle of Goito taking place. Both of these battles ended with the Piedomont army losing. These loses led the Austrians to take back the city of Milan.

1858– The Peidmont Army realized that if they wanted to take back their Italian land, they were going to need to have allies. The Prime Minister of Peidmont tried to create an alliace with different parts in Europe, but the only one who was wiling to help was Napolean III of France. France adn Peidmont signed a secret treaty against Austria. This alliance helped both parties; it helped unite the country of Italy and it helped destroy the Austrian Army who was considered a long term threat for France.  At The Battle of Montebello, the Austriaan army went up against the French Piedmont army. Though the Austrian army was three times as big in size, the French won the battle and that left many parts of Italy to be without any real control from either country.

1865– By this time, half of the country was controlled by Austria still, parts were somewhat controlled by Italy and many parts were under no control.  On June 23 1866, Italy declared war on Austria as they tried to regain all of their country. The Italian Army was split into two. One half was set as a defense against the Austrians and the other half was issued to move through Italy and try and conquer the land they didn’t have. The situation ended with an embarrassment on Italy’s part as they failed to conquer any land for a year. Then, during the Battle of Bezzecca, the Italians took home a surprising victory. The Italian King ordered his army to pull out of the war in fear that he would lose too many soldiers. The Italians pulling out led to The Treaty of Vienna in October 1866.  Some of these terms agreed to allowing the Italians to take over control of Venice, a city they have been trying to occupy. The Italians were also allowed to take over the city of Rome, which was released by Austrian power.


1870- Though technically, the Italians had gained the city of Rome, it was still an unoccupied city that the Italians need to lead better because there were still French soldier and ideas in it.  After the French-Prussian war, the French had to leave all of Rome and return back to Franch for good. The Italians then were able to capture Rome by breaking down the Porta Pia, a gate surroiunding Rome that often kepy many Italians out. Due to the size and historic greatness that was in Rome, the Italian government moved the capital city of Italy from Florence to Rome.


World War I and World War II:

1915– Italy was part of the Allies with France and Great Britain. Italy fought mainly in the Northern region and they fought against the Austria-Hungarian army, but they made little progress doing so for several years. Finally in 1918, the Austrian army was defeated and the Italians made their way through Austria. This led to a victory for the allies.

1940– Germany tried to occupy France for several years and after many loses, France decided to surrender to Germany. Then, Italy decided to invade France and occupy all of the open land. This new leadership took place all throughout World War II.


1949- Italy joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization along with Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Porugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.

1955– Italy joined the United Nations

2002– The new official currency of Italy becomes the Euro