July 13, 2012
0276 ITALY - The 150th anniversary of the Italian unification
On March 17, 1861, the Parliament met at Turin proclaimed the Kingdom of Italy, formed by merging the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, the United Provinces of Central Italy, and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, with Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont-Sardinia as king. Ten days after, Rome was declared Capital of Italy, even though it was not actually in the new Kingdom. The territories that remained unintegrated, the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia (found under Austrian rule) and the Papal State (reduced to Latium), will be annexed several years later, in 1866, respectively 1870, and Trieste and Trentino-Alto Adige / Südtirol only in 1919.
Il Risorgimento (the Resurgence), the movement that had as finality the unification of Italy, was part of a much larger movement, practically started with the Revolutions of 1848, and ending with the birth of several European countries, such as the German Empire (1871), or the Romanian United Principalities (1859, transformed in the Kingdom of Romania in 1881).
The creation of the Kingdom of Italy was the result of efforts by Italian nationalists (as Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi) and monarchists loyal to the House of Savoy (as Count Cavour), and was achieved more by military actions than by diplomacy, in three main stages: the First Italian War of Independence (1848-1849, between the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Austrian Empire), the Second Italian War of Independence (1859, the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia against the Austrian Empire), and the Third Italian War of Independence (between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austrian Empire).
About the uniform I can't say to much, except that the red shirts (camicie rosse) were started by Giuseppe Garibaldi, and the "French" pattern kepi was very usual in that time, both in Europe and the United States.
The first stamp is part of a definitive set depicting Donna nell'arte (Women in Art), about wich I wrote here.
The second is a commemorative one, issued on July 2, 2010 and designed by Silvia Isola, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the death of Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli, the Italian astronomer who contributed to the research on Planet Mars an was famous for the so-called "canals" on the red planet.
sender: Alma Veronica (direct swap)
sent from Como (Lombardy / Italy), on 22.02.2012