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Scuola Leonardo da Vinci: Has Rome always been the Capital of Italy

Published Lynne on Friday, July 2, 2021 12:00 AM

Scuola Leonardo Rome

We are all used to thinking of Rome as the "natural" capital of Italy. The Eternal City has always been at the center of the events of our peninsula: first with the Roman Empire, then with the State of the Church, which for centuries and centuries made Rome the beating heart of Christianity. Yet Rome was only one of the three capitals of Italy that have followed one another in history!

The first in chronological order was Turin, formerly the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia, proclaimed the capital of the new state despite the fact that Rome had already been elected "moral capital". Rome and a large part of Lazio in fact still constituted the State of the Church, under the papal sovereignty and the protection of the French troops of Napoleon III.

To obtain the withdrawal of French troops from the Papal State, on September 15, 1864, Italy signed the September Convention with France, in which it undertook not to invade Rome and to protect the Pope in case of external attacks.

In exchange, France asked to proclaim a new capital of Italy to demonstrate the end of interest in Rome. Florence was chosen, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy starting in 1865.

In 1870 Napoleon III was defeated and the constraints imposed by the September Convention fell. The Italian troops set out to conquer Rome, which was proclaimed the capital of Italy.

It is curious to note that the city of Rome obtained constitutional recognition of the status of capital only in 2001 with the reform of Title V of the Italian Constitution.

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