Tuesday, April 05, 2005

King Victor Emanuel honored throughout Italy

King Victorio Emanuelle II is honored on monuments throughout Italy. King Victor Emanuel II of Savoia achieved the unification of Italy in 1870.

In the wake of the Napoleonic Wars Italy was divided into a patchwork of kingdoms and duchies. The famous composer Verdi, a fervent adherent of liberal nationalism, was widely perceived as a figurehead for the unification movement (the Risorgimento). Although staunchly anti-clerical and a republican, he agreed with those who argued that the best prospect for unification lay in accepting Victor Emanuel, the liberal King of Piedmont, as the monarch of a united Italy. 'Viva Verdi' became a national rallying cry, his name being an acronym of 'Vittorio Emanuele Re d'Italia' (King of Italy). - Adapted from Verdi, The People's Opera

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