American/Italian Club News

Frank Nechvatal

In February, the Italian Club decided to have a luncheon meeting, inasmuch as the HOA scheduled the second of two townhall meetings on the 11th. The club lunched at The Old Spaghetti Factory by Chandler Mall. We ordered from the menu and had a great deal of fellowship. Our March meeting on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, will return to the Lakeview Room at 6 p.m. The election of officers for the club will be held during the business meeting. After the meeting, we will again have a video on modern Rome as a follow-up to our last video about ancient Rome. We will again have the usual movie goodies available, along with coffee and water. Special note: Our April Patio Party has been bumped to the third Tuesday in April. That date is Tuesday, April 17, at 5 p.m.

In our continuing review of the Italian Regions (states), our next look is at Lazio. It is the second most-populated region of Italy with over 5.9 million people. Rome is the capital city and is the most-populated city in Italy. The region is mostly flat with small mountainous areas in the eastern and southern portions of the area. The Italian word Lazio is derived from the Latin word Latium. The largest early peoples to live in this area were known as Latini. Of course, their native tongue was Latin. The area was multi-ethnic Etruscans, and other Italics lived in the area; however, the Latini became the dominant group. The Latin language grew to be the dominant language in the growing city of Rome and would become the language of the Roman Empire.

After the Gothic conquest of Italy at the end of the 5th century, Lazio became part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom. After the end of the Gothic war with the Byzantine Empire, Lazio regained its freedom and became known as “The Roman Duchy.” By 728, the Bishop of Rome acquired the first territory in the region beyond the Duchy of Rome. This territory would grow into the Papal State. The resulting growth of a religious and ecclesiastical aristocracy led to continuous power struggle between the secular lords (Baroni) and the Pope until the middle of the 16th century. The papacy politically unified Lazio with Papal States. On Sept. 20, 1870, the capture of Rome, during the reign of Pope Pius IX, and the defeat of France at Sedan, completed the unification of Italy. Lazio was incorporated into the Kingdom Italy, where it has remained as a region until present day.