Modern Italy, the state that we all know in our own times was created around the state of Savoy. Savoy was a small, ancient l duchy nestled into the Alpine valleys between northern Italy and southeastern France. The duchy had always straddled the Alps with a French and an Italian side. The ruling family, one of the oldest in the world, ruled from the capital of Turin. By the early Nineteenth Century, the family now carried the title of "king"  of not only Savoy, but also the Italian province of Piedmont as well as the island Sardinia.  From within this old European family emerged Vittorio Emanuele II who became King in 1849. He was the man who was indispensable in the unification movement.  You see him here on the page dressed in his military uniform: Vittorio Emanuele II, 1820-1878, son of the King of Sardinia, Carlo Alberto (1798-1849), King of Sardinia, 1849-1861, King of Italy, 1861-1878, succeeded by his son, Umberto I (1844-1900), King of Italy, 1878-1900.


Giuseppe Di Lampedusa,

The Leopard: A Novel,

Pantheon; Reprint edition (November 6, 2007),

ISBN 0375714790

Christopher Duggan,

A Concise History of Italy,

Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (January 20, 2014),

ISBN 0521747430