What is Italy? In 1814 Austrian Chancellor M. de Metternich dismissed it as a mere "geographical expression," because political control of the peninsula had long been divided among self-governing cities, possessions of foreign dynasties, and the Vatican. Prior to that, Italy had formed the "home base" of the Roman Empire. It was not until 1861 that a united Italy emerged. This concise, and clearly written account explores Italian history and culture from the Etruscans to the present day.
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