SunBird American Italian Club news

Frank Nechvatal

Our April baked potato buffet meeting in the Ballroom marked the end of the 2014/2015 season. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, October 13 at 6:00 p.m. in the Horizon Room. Everyone enjoyed the dishes brought by the members along with the chili made by Chris Nechvatal and Emily Hardy for the potatoes. President Sciaretta conducted a short meeting. Shirley Montanaro brought up a proposal to bring back an annual pasta dinner put on by the Club. Some discussion ensued but final action will wait for the fall.

We will end the season with a short presentation on “Early Modern” history of Italy. As the renaissance faded Italy faced foreign domination and economic decline. The first to dominate was the Hapsburg Spain (1559 to 1713) followed by the Hapsburg Austria ((1713 to 1796). With the rise of Napoleon, Italy was invaded by France and divided into client states. This remained in effect until the Congress of Vienna in 1814 restored the situation. However, this effort was overturned by the movement of Italian Unification. A series of civil wars erupted in Italy until March of 1861. Italy became a nation-state united under King Victor Emmanuel of the House of Savoy. The men who directly orchestrated unification were Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, the Chief Minister of Victor Emmanuel, and Giuseppe Garibaldi, a general and national hero. In 1866 Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck offered Victor Emmanuel an alliance with Prussia in the Austro-Prussian War. For siding with Prussia against Austria, Prussia offered to allow Italy to annex Venice. With the defeat of Austria, Venice became an official part of unified Italy. The only remaining piece of ground left was Rome. In 1870 the Franco-Prussian War caused France to remove her soldiers from Rome where France had been able to maintain control over the Papacy. With this sudden void Italy marched in immediately to secure Rome and Italian Unification was complete.

In the fall we will continue with Italy between the great wars of the 20th century.