What would Italy be like today had it never been unified?

::What would Italy be like today had it never been unified?::

How it happened (or rather, didn't) is important. Did any or both of the Giuseppes (Garibaldi or Mazzini) die? Successful pro-Papal French or Austrian intervention? Cavour chokes on a chicken bone? Republicans led by Carlo Cattaneo fight against monarchists?

I'll try this last one: radical republicans decide that they want a republic first, an united Italy second. Their pettiness ends with the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia as the Lombard Republic, at odds with the Savoyard kingdom. This derails the unification impetus, and Italy ends divided between Savoy, Lombardy and the Two Sicilies as the main Italian powers; while the smaller states of Tuscany, Parma, Lucca and the Papal States form a confederacy to defend their independence.

Butterflies fly and there will not be a recognizable WWI, if it happens at all.


Perhaps today we would be looking at two countries, a north and south, and the Vatican or Rome as a Papal area as it is in our world. A bit like the Liga di Nord would like.

I don't know what they would be called - maybe "North Italy" and "South Italy".

Alternatively it could be Balkanised like Yugoslavia. There would be a Piedmont, a Lombardy, a Romagna, a Campania, a Calabria, a Friulia etc.

I think WW1 and maybe WW2 would still have happened, altho there would have been no Mussolini and Italian Fascism. Therefore I think the associations of the 19th century and earlier between parts of Italy and surrounding countries would have been broken. South Tyrol would not be part of Austria, the Kingdom of Savoy would not be too linked to France. After WW1 the principle of local linguistic nationalism was firmly put in place, so areas speaking an Italian language would have been given their own sovereignty rather than shackled to surrounding countries.

Depending how wars turned out Italy might have got Corsica back. I think Corsica might go with a North Italy but Sardinia and certainly Sicily with a South Italy.


Hi Cyrus,

thanks for the A2A.

In my opinion, Italy would probably look like this:

  • In the North-West, a stronger Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia (probably with more territories in Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and manybe Tuscany) under French influence;
  • In the North-East, Austrian territories would be either under a still living Austria-Hungary or under German control;
  • In the central areas of Italy, the Pope might still rule his own State - perhaps with a more secular outlook;
  • Finally, in the South, the Bourbon dynasty could be ruling under a constitutional monarchy.

Let's suppose that the idea of Carlo Cattaneo of a federation of States, similar to the Swiss Confederation would be the winning one. That's the one I like the most, anyway.

Cattaneo wrote that the Italian regions were too different (different languages, customs, currency, measurement systems, laws, schooling, economics, etc) after having been separated for centuries and they could not be easily unified.

Cavour, too, the man who acted for winning the second Independence War against the Austrians, was against a reunification and did not like at all the debark of Garibaldi in Sicily with his 1000 red shirts volunteers and the following conquest of Southern Italy in name of the king.

Both men starting from different political opinions arrived at the same conclusion: leave the South alone.


There were many unification attempts at the time... as example just before the departure of the 1000... sardinia and tho sicily almost reached a agreement to build a confederation annexing part of the papal country

Anyway without a unified italy...

1st scenario... a italy divided in three/four...

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wik...

2nd scenario a north italy under austria-hungary... except piedmont liguria and sardinia... and a central south italy like in the 1860 image


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