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Southern Italy ( it, Sud Italia or ) also known as ''Meridione'' or ''Mezzogiorno'' (), is a macroregion of the
Italian Republic Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, s ...
consisting of its southern half. The term ''Mezzogiorno'' today refers to regions that are associated with the people, lands or culture of the historical and cultural region that was once politically under the administration of the former Kingdoms of
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest city of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Repub ...
and
Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia , ) is the list of islands in the Mediterranean, largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy, regions of Italy. The Strait of Messina divides it from the region of Calabria in Southern Italy. I ...
(officially denominated as one entity ''Regnum Siciliae citra Pharum'' and ''ultra Pharum'', i.e. "Kingdom of Sicily on the other side of the Strait" and "across the Strait") and which later shared a common organization into Italy's largest pre-unitarian state, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The island of
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna, label= Italian, Corsican and Tabarchino ; sc, Sardigna , sdc, Sardhigna; french: Sardaigne; sdn, Saldigna; ca, Sardenya, label= Algherese and Catalan) is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea ...
, which had neither been part of said region nor of the aforementioned polity and had been under the rule of the Alpine House of Savoy that would eventually annex the Bourbon-led and Southern Italian Kingdom altogether, is nonetheless often subsumed into the ''Mezzogiorno''. The Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) employs the term " South Italy" (''Italia meridionale'' or also just ''Sud'') to identify one of the five statistical regions in its reportings without Sicily and Sardinia, which form a distinct statistical region denominated " Insular Italy" (''Italia insulare'' or simply ''Isole''). These same subdivisions are at the bottom of the Italian First level NUTS of the European Union and the Italian constituencies for the
European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of the legislative bodies of the European Union and one of its seven institutions. Together with the Council of the European Union (known as the Council and informally as the Council of Ministers), it ado ...
.


Etymology

In a similar fashion to
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
's ''
Midi MIDI (; Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a technical standard that describes a communications protocol A communication protocol is a system of rules that allows two or more entities of a communications system to transmit inf ...
'' ("midday" or "noon" in French), the Italian term ''Mezzogiorno'' refers to the intensity and the position of sunshine at midday in the South of the Italian peninsula. The term came into vogue after the annexation of the Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies by the mainland-based Savoyard
Kingdom of Sardinia The Kingdom of Sardinia,The name of the state was originally Latin: , or when the kingdom was still considered to include Corsica. In Italian it is , in French , in Sardinian , and in Piedmontese . also referred to as the Kingdom of Savoy-S ...
, and the subsequent
Italian unification The unification of Italy ( it, Unità d'Italia ), also known as the ''Risorgimento'' (, ; ), was the 19th-century political and social movement that resulted in the consolidation of different states of the Italian Peninsula into a singl ...
of 1861.


Regions

Southern Italy is generally thought to comprise the administrative regions that correspond to the geopolitical extent of the historical Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, including
Abruzzo , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1 ...
, Apulia,
Basilicata it, Lucano (man) it, Lucana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = ...
,
Calabria , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...
, Campania,
Molise it, Molisano (man) it, Molisana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 ...
, and
Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia , ) is the list of islands in the Mediterranean, largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy, regions of Italy. The Strait of Messina divides it from the region of Calabria in Southern Italy. I ...
. Some also include the southernmost and easternmost parts of
Lazio it, Laziale , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...
, (namely the districts of
Frosinone Frosinone (, local dialect: ) is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. It is the third-level administrative division of Italy, after regions ( ...
, Sora, Cassino, Gaeta, Cittaducale, Formia and Amatrice) within the ''Mezzogiorno''. The island of Sardinia, although being culturally, linguistically and historically less related to the aforementioned regions than any of them is to each other, is frequently included as part of the ''Mezzogiorno'', often for statistical and economical purposes.


Geography

Southern Italy forms the lower part of the Italian "boot", containing the ankle ( Campania), the toe (
Calabria , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...
), the arch (
Basilicata it, Lucano (man) it, Lucana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = ...
), and the heel ( Apulia),
Molise it, Molisano (man) it, Molisana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 ...
(north of Apulia) and
Abruzzo , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1 ...
(north of Molise) along with Sicily, removed from Calabria by the narrow Strait of Messina. Separating the "heel" and toe of the "boot" is the Gulf of Taranto, named after the city of Taranto, which is at an angle between the heel and the boot itself. It is an arm of the Ionian Sea. The island of
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna, label= Italian, Corsican and Tabarchino ; sc, Sardigna , sdc, Sardhigna; french: Sardaigne; sdn, Saldigna; ca, Sardenya, label= Algherese and Catalan) is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea ...
, situated to the west of the Italian peninsula and right below the French island of
Corsica Corsica ( , Upper , Southern ; it, Corsica; ; french: Corse ; lij, Còrsega; sc, Còssiga) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin ...
, may also often be included. On the eastern coast is the Adriatic Sea, leading into the rest of the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surf ...
through the Strait of Otranto (named after the largest city on the tip of the heel). On the Adriatic, south of the "spur" of the boot, the peninsula of Monte Gargano; on the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Gulf of Salerno, the Gulf of Naples, the Gulf of Policastro and the Gulf of Gaeta are each named after a large coastal city. Along the northern coast of the Salernitan Gulf and on the south of the Sorrentine Peninsula runs the Amalfi Coast. Off the peninsula's tip is the isle of Capri. The climate is mainly
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surf ...
( Köppen climate classification Csa), except at the highest elevations (Dsa, Dsb) and the semi-arid eastern stretches in Apulia and Molise, along the Ionian Sea in
Calabria , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...
and the southern stretches of Sicily (BSw). The largest city of Southern Italy is
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest city of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Repub ...
, an originally Greek name that it has historically maintained for millennia.
Bari Bari ( , ; nap, label= Barese, Bare ; lat, Barium) is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, southern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Re ...
, Taranto,
Reggio Calabria Reggio di Calabria ( scn, label=Central-Southern Calabrian, Southern Calabrian, Riggiu; el, label=Calabrian Greek, Ρήγι, Rìji), usually referred to as Reggio Calabria, or simply Reggio by its inhabitants, is the List of cities in Italy, ...
, Foggia, and Salerno are the next largest cities in the area. The region is geologically very active, except for
Salento Salento ( Salentino: ''Salentu'', Salentino Griko: ''Σαλέντο'') is a cultural, historical and geographic region at the southern end of the administrative region of Apulia in Southern Italy. It is a sub-peninsula A peninsula (; ) is ...
in Apulia, and highly seismic: the 1980 Irpinia earthquake killed 2,914 people, injured more than 10,000 and left 300,000 homeless.


History


Prehistory and antiquity

In the 8th and 7th centuries BCE, for various reasons, including demographic crisis (famine, overcrowding, etc.), the search for new commercial outlets and ports, and expulsion from their homeland,
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or ...
began to settle in Southern Italy. Also during this period, Greek colonies were established in places as widely separated as the eastern coast of the
Black Sea The Black Sea is a marginal mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia, east of the Balkans, south of the East European Plain, west of the Caucasus, and north of Anatolia. It is bounded by Bulgaria, Geor ...
, Eastern Libya and Massalia (
Marseille Marseille ( , , ; also spelled in English as Marseilles; oc, Marselha ) is the prefecture of the French department of Bouches-du-Rhône and capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Situated in the camargue region of southern F ...
). They included settlements in Sicily and the southern part of the Italian Peninsula. The first Greek settlers found Italy inhabited by three major populations: Ausones, Oenotrians and Iapyges (these last ones were subdivided into three tribes: Daunians, Peucetians and Messapians). The relationships between the Greek settlers and the native peoples were initially hostile (especially with the Iapygian tribes). The Hellenic influence eventually shaped their culture and way of life. The Romans used to call the area of Sicily and coastal Southern Italy '' Magna Graecia'' ("Great Greece") since it was so densely inhabited by the
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or ...
; the ancient geographers differed on whether the term included Sicily or merely Apulia and
Calabria , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus) was a term employed by the Romans for anyone whose eyes were distorted or deformed. The father of Pompey was called " Pompeius Strabo". A native of Sicily so clear-sighted that he could s ...
being the most prominent advocate of the wider definitions. With this colonisation, Greek culture was exported to Italy, in its dialects of the Ancient Greek language, its religious rites and its traditions of the independent ''
polis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, πόλις, ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J ...
''. An original Hellenic civilization soon developed, later interacting with the native Italic and Latin civilisations. The most important cultural transplant was the Chalcidean/ Cumaean variety of the
Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language Greek ( el, label= Modern Greek, Ελληνικά, Elliniká, ; grc, Ἑλληνική, Hellēnikḗ) is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native t ...
, which was adopted by the
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () was developed by a people of Etruria Etruria () was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what are now most of Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note ...
; the Old Italic alphabet subsequently evolved into the
Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans to write the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European ...
, which became the most widely used alphabet in the world. Many of the new Hellenic cities became very rich and powerful, like ''Neapolis'' (Νεάπολις,
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest city of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Repub ...
, "New City"), ''Syrakousai'' (Συράκουσαι, Syracuse), ''Akragas'' (Ἀκράγας, Agrigento), and '' Sybaris'' (Σύβαρις, Sibari). Other cities in Magna Graecia included '' Tarentum'' (Τάρας), '' Metapontum'' (Μεταπόντιον), '' Heraclea'' (Ἡράκλεια), '' Epizephyrian Locri'' (Λοκροὶ Ἐπιζεφύριοι), '' Rhegium'' (Ῥήγιον), '' Croton'' (Κρότων), '' Thurii'' (Θούριοι), '' Elea'' (Ἐλέα), ''
Nola Nola is a town and a municipality in the Metropolitan City of Naples, Campania, southern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the midd ...
'' (Νῶλα), '' Syessa'' (Σύεσσα), ''
Bari Bari ( , ; nap, label= Barese, Bare ; lat, Barium) is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, southern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Re ...
'' (Βάριον), and others. After Pyrrhus of Epirus failed in his attempt to stop the spread of Roman hegemony in 282 BCE, the south fell under Roman domination and remained in such a position throughout the barbarian invasions (the Gladiator War is a notable suspension of imperial control). It was restored to Eastern Roman control in the 530s after the fall of Rome in the West in 476, and some form of imperial authority survived until the 1070s. Total East Roman rule was ended by the
Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774. The medieval Lombard historian Paul the Deacon Paul the Deacon ( 720s 13 April in 796, 797, 798, or 799 AD), ...
by Zotto's conquest in the final quarter of the 6th century.


Middle Ages

Following the
Gothic War (535–554) The Gothic War between the Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle ...
, and until the arrival of the
Normans The Normans ( Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were a population arising in the medieval Duchy of Normandy from the intermingling between Norse Viking Vikings ; non, víkingr is the modern name ...
, much of Southern Italy's destiny was linked to the fortunes of the Eastern Empire, even though Byzantine domination was challenged in the 9th century by the
Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774. The medieval Lombard historian Paul the Deacon Paul the Deacon ( 720s 13 April in 796, 797, 798, or 799 AD), ...
, who annexed the area of Cosenza to their
Duchy of Benevento The Duchy of Benevento (after 774, Principality of Benevento) was the southernmost Lombard duchy in the Italian Peninsula that was centred on Benevento, a city in Southern Italy. Lombard dukes ruled Benevento from 571 to 1077, when it was co ...
. Consequently, the Lombard and the Byzantine areas became influenced by Eastern monasticism, and much of Southern Italy experienced a slow process of orientalisation in religious life (rites, cults and liturgy), which accompanied a spread of Eastern churches and monasteries that preserved and transmitted the Greek and Hellenistic tradition (the Cattolica monastery in Stilo is the most representative of these Byzantine monuments). From then to the Norman conquest of the 11th century, the south of the peninsula was constantly plunged into wars between the Byzantines, Lombardy, and the Aghlabid Dynasty. The latter established two Emirates in southern Italy: the Emirate of Sicily and, for 25 years, the Emirate of Bari. Amalfi, an independent republic from the 7th century until 1075, and to a lesser extent Gaeta, Molfetta and Trani, rivalled other Italian maritime republics in their domestic prosperity and maritime importance. From 999 to 1139, the
Normans The Normans ( Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were a population arising in the medieval Duchy of Normandy from the intermingling between Norse Viking Vikings ; non, víkingr is the modern name ...
occupied all the Lombard and Byzantine possessions in Southern Italy, ending a millennium of imperial Roman rule in Italy, and eventually expelled the Muslims from Sicily. The Norman Kingdom of Sicily under Roger II was characterised by its competent governance, multi-ethnic nature and religious tolerance. Normans, Jews, Muslim Arabs, Byzantine Greeks, Lombards and "native" Sicilians lived in relative harmony. However, the Norman domination lasted only several decades before it formally ended in 1198 with the reign of Constance of Sicily, and was replaced by that of the Swabian Hohenstaufen dynasty, thanks to Constance's marriage to Henry VI, member of this family. In Sicily,
King King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen, which title is also given to the consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemporary indigenous peoples, the ...
Frederick II endorsed a deep reform of the laws culminating with the promulgation of the Constitutions of Melfi (1231, also known as '' Liber Augustalis''), a collection of laws for his realm that was remarkable for its time and was a source of inspiration for a long time after. It made the Kingdom of Sicily a centralised state and established the primacy of written law. With relatively small modifications, the'' Liber Augustalis'' remained the basis of Sicilian law until 1819. His royal court in Palermo, from around 1220 to his death, saw the first use of a literary form of an Italo-Romance language, Sicilian, that had a significant influence on what was to become the modern
Italian language Italian (''italiano'' or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family that evolved from the Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is the range of non-formal registers of Latin Lat ...
. During this period, he also built the Castel del Monte, and in 1224, he founded the University of Naples, now called, after him, Università Federico II. In 1266, conflict between the Hohenstaufen house and the
Papacy The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, 'father'), also known as supreme pontiff ( or ), Roman pontiff () or sovereign pontiff, is the bishop of Rome (or historically the patriarch of Rome), head of the worldwide Cathol ...
led to Sicily's conquest by Charles I, Duke of Anjou. Opposition to French officialdom and taxation combined with incitement of rebellion by agents from the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
and the Crown of Aragon led to the Sicilian Vespers insurrection and successful invasion by king Peter III of Aragon in 1282. The resulting
War of the Sicilian Vespers The War of the Sicilian Vespers or just War of the Vespers was a conflict that started with the insurrection of the Sicilian Vespers against Charles of Anjou in 1282 and ended in 1302 with the Peace of Caltabellotta. It was fought in Sicily ...
lasted until the Peace of Caltabellotta in 1302, dividing the old Kingdom of Sicily in two. The island of Sicily called the "Kingdom of Sicily beyond the Lighthouse" or the Kingdom of Trinacria, went to Frederick III of the
House of Barcelona The House of Barcelona was a medieval dynasty that ruled the County of Barcelona continuously from 878 and the Crown of Aragon from 1137 (as kings from 1162) until 1410. They descend from the Bellonids, the descendants of Wifred the Hairy. ...
, who had been ruling it. The peninsular territories, contemporaneously called Kingdom of Sicily, but called Kingdom of Naples by modern scholarship, went to Charles II of the House of Anjou, who had likewise been ruling it. Thus, the peace was formal recognition of an uneasy ''status quo''. Despite the king of Spain being able to seize both the two crowns starting from the 16th century, the administrations of the two halves of the Kingdom of Sicily remained separated until 1816 when they were reunited in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies.


Early modern history

In 1442, however, Alfonso V conquered the Kingdom of Naples and unified Sicily and Naples once again as dependencies of the Crown of Aragon. At his death in 1458, the kingdom was again split Ferrante, Alfonso's illegitimate son, inherited Naples. When Ferrante died in 1494,
Charles VIII of France Charles VIII, called the Affable (french: l'Affable; 30 June 1470 – 7 April 1498), was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. He succeeded his father Louis XI at the age of 13.Paul Murray Kendall, ''Louis XI: The Universal Spider'' (N ...
invaded Italy, using the Angevin claim to the throne of Naples, which his father had inherited on the death of King René's nephew in 1481, as a pretext, thus beginning the Italian Wars. Charles VIII expelled
Alfonso II of Naples Alfonso II (4 November 1448 – 18 December 1495) was Duke of Calabria and ruled as King of Naples from 25 January 1494 to 23 January 1495. He was a soldier and a patron of Renaissance architecture and the arts. Heir to his father ...
from Naples in 1495. However, he was soon forced to withdraw due to the support of Ferdinand II of Aragon to his cousin, Alfonso II's son Ferrantino. Ferrantino was restored to the throne but died in 1496 and was succeeded by his uncle, Frederick IV. The French, however, did not give up their claim and, in 1501, agreed to a partition of the kingdom with Ferdinand of Aragon, who abandoned his cousin, King Frederick. The deal soon fell through, however, and the Crown of Aragon and France resumed their war over the kingdom, ultimately resulting in an Aragonese victory leaving Ferdinand in control of the kingdom by 1504. The kingdom remained disputed between France and Spain for the next several decades. The French efforts to gain control of it became feebler as the decades went on, and Spanish control was never genuinely endangered. The French finally abandoned their claims to the kingdom by the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559. With the Treaty of London (1557), the new client state of the so-called ''Presidi'' ("state of the garrisons") was established and governed directly by Spain, as part of the Kingdom of Naples. The administration of the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, as well as the Duchy of Milan, was run by the Council of Italy. The island of Sardinia, which had fully come to be under Iberian sovereignty in 1409 upon the fall of the last indigenous state, was an integral part of the Council of Aragon instead and remained as such until the first years of the XVIII° century, when Sardinia was ceded to Austria and eventually handed over to the Alpine-based House of Savoy in 1720. After the
War of the Spanish Succession The War of the Spanish Succession was a European great power conflict that took place from 1701 to 1714. The death of childless Charles II of Spain in November 1700 led to a struggle for control of the Spanish Empire between his heirs, P ...
in the early 18th century, possession of the kingdom again changed hands. Under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713,
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest city of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Repub ...
was given to Charles VI, the Holy Roman Emperor. He also gained control of
Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia , ) is the list of islands in the Mediterranean, largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy, regions of Italy. The Strait of Messina divides it from the region of Calabria in Southern Italy. I ...
in 1720, but Austrian rule did not last long. Both Naples and Sicily were conquered by a Spanish army during the War of the Polish Succession in 1734, and Charles, Duke of Parma, a younger son of King Philip V of Spain was installed as King of Naples and Sicily from 1735. When Charles inherited the Spanish throne from his older half-brother in 1759, he left Naples and Sicily to his younger son, Ferdinand IV. Despite the two kingdoms being in a personal union under the House of Bourbon from 1735 onwards, they remained constitutionally separated.


Early 19th century

Being a member of the House of Bourbon, King Ferdinand IV was a natural opponent of the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended with the formation of the French Consulate in November 1799. Many of its ideas are consid ...
and
Napoleon Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader wh ...
. In January 1799,
Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader who ...
, in the name of the French Republic, captured Naples and proclaimed the Parthenopaean Republic, a French client state, as successor to the kingdom. King Ferdinand fled from Naples to Sicily until June of that year. In 1806, Bonaparte, by then French Emperor, again dethroned King Ferdinand and appointed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, as King of Naples. In the Edict of Bayonne of 1808, Napoleon removed Joseph to Spain and appointed his brother-in-law, Joachim Murat, as King of the Two Sicilies, though this meant control only of the mainland portion of the kingdom. Throughout this Napoleonic interruption, King Ferdinand remained in Sicily, with Palermo as his capital. After Napoleon's defeat, King Ferdinand IV was restored by the Congress of Vienna of 1815 as Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. He established a concordat with the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio, ), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus;), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign rule of the pope ...
, which previously had a claim to the land. There were several rebellions on the island of
Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia , ) is the list of islands in the Mediterranean, largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy, regions of Italy. The Strait of Messina divides it from the region of Calabria in Southern Italy. I ...
against the King Ferdinand II, but the end of the kingdom was only brought about by the Expedition of the Thousand in 1860, led by Garibaldi, an icon of the Italian unification, with the support of the House of Savoy and their
Kingdom of Sardinia The Kingdom of Sardinia,The name of the state was originally Latin: , or when the kingdom was still considered to include Corsica. In Italian it is , in French , in Sardinian , and in Piedmontese . also referred to as the Kingdom of Savoy-S ...
with its economic, political and cultural powerhouse in Northern Italy. The expedition resulted in a striking series of defeats for the Sicilian armies against the growing troops of Garibaldi. After the capture of Palermo and Sicily, he disembarked in Calabria and moved towards Naples, while in the meantime the Piedmontese also invaded the Kingdom from the
Marche Marche ( , ) is one of the twenty regions of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea The Medite ...
. The last battles fought were that of the Volturnus in 1860 and the siege of Gaeta, where King Francis II had sought shelter, hoping for French help, which never came. The last towns to resist Garibaldi's expedition were
Messina Messina (, also , ) is a harbour city and the capital of the Italian Metropolitan City of Messina. It is the third largest city on the island of Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia , ) is the list of islands in the Mediterranean, largest island i ...
(which capitulated on 13 March 1861) and Civitella del Tronto (which capitulated on 20 March 1861). The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was dissolved and annexed to the new
Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861, when Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna, label= Italian, Corsican and Tabarchino ; sc, Sardigna , sdc, Sardhigna; french: Sardaigne; ...
, founded in the same year.


Southern and Northern Italy in 1860

At the time of Italian unification, the gap between the former Northern states of
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, s ...
and the Southern two Sicilies was significant: Northern Italy had about 75,500 kilometers of roads and 2,316 kilometers of railroads, combined with a wide range of canals connected to rivers for freight transportation; iron and steel production was 17,000 tons per year. By contrast, in the former Bourbon Southern state, there were 14,700 kilometers of roads, 184 kilometers of railroads (only around Naples), no canals connected to rivers and iron and steel production was 1,500 tons per year. In 1860, illiteracy rates on the Italian peninsula averaged 75%, with the lowest level of 54% in the northwestern
Kingdom of Sardinia The Kingdom of Sardinia,The name of the state was originally Latin: , or when the kingdom was still considered to include Corsica. In Italian it is , in French , in Sardinian , and in Piedmontese . also referred to as the Kingdom of Savoy-S ...
(also known as "
Piedmont Piedmont ( ; it, Piemonte, ) is a region of Northwest Italy, one of the regions of Italy, 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to th ...
"), and the highest in the south, where illiteracy in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies reached 87%. In 1860 the southern merchant navy amounted to 260,000 tons, whereas the northern merchant navy came to 347,000 tons, apart from the Venetian navy annexed in 1866 and assessed at 46,000 tons. In 1860 the whole Italian merchant navy was the fourth largest in Europe at about 607,000 tons. The Southern merchant navy was made up of sailing vessels mainly for fishing and coastal shipping in the Mediterranean Sea and it had very few steamships, even if one of the first steamers was built and fitted out in Naples in 1818. Both merchant and military navy were insufficient compared to the great coastal extent of Southern Italy defined by the Italian historian Raffaele De Cesare: "… a great pier towards the South". In the article "This is Not Italy! Ruling and Representing the South", it is clear how the Northern elites considered the South. The Piedmontese North felt the need to invade the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and establish a new form of governance based on the Northern system, since they viewed the South as under-developed and lacking in social capital. These views of the South can largely be attributed to the letters of correspondents in southern Italy who sent biased letters to leaders of the North, specifically Camillo Benso, urging the invasion and reformation of the South. Although these views of the South were condescending, they also came with a genuine belief that in order to create a unified Italy, help from the North was necessary. Viewing southern Italy as barbaric served as a sort of justification to allow the "civilized, Piedmontese north" (167) to intervene. Another view however was marked by disdain for Southern Italy. According to the article, "such manifestations of the south's difference threaten the glowing and gloating sense of northern superiority" (167). These viewpoints clearly indicate the divide between Northern and Southern Italy in the 1860s. In an attempt to explain the striking difference between the annexed territory of the former Two Sicilies and the economic and political powerhouse centred in the North, racist theories were postulated, suggesting that such a divide had its roots in the coexistence of two mostly incompatible races. Denis Mack Smith, British historian, describes the radical difference between Northern and the newly annexed Southern Italy in 1860, for these two halves were on quite different levels of civilization, pointing out that the Bourbon in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies were staunch supporters of a feudal system and that they had feared the traffic of ideas and had tried to keep their subjects insulated from the agricultural and industrial revolutions of northern Europe. The above-mentioned study by Denis Mack Smith is confirmed by the Italian historian and left wing politician Antonio Gramsci in his book "The Southern Question", by which the author emphasizes the "absolutely antithetical conditions" of Northern and Southern Italy at the time of Italian unification in 1861, when South and North were united again after more than one thousand years. Gramsci remarks that, in the North of Italy, the historical period of the Comunes had given a special boost to history and in Northern Italy existed an economic organization similar to that of the other states of Europe, propitious to further development of capitalism and industry, whereas in Southern Italy history had been different and the fatherly Bourbon administrations produced nothing of value; the bourgeois class did not exist, agriculture was primitive and insufficient to satisfy the local market, there were no roads, no ports, the few waterways that the region had were not exploited, due to its special geographical features. The living conditions of the people of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies are also illustrated by Raffaele De Cesare, who reports that the king of Naples Ferdinand II had no interest in doing useful works to improve the neglected condition of public hygiene, particularly in the provinces where scarcity of sewer systems and often water shortages were known issues. The problem of brigandage is explained in the book ''Heroes and Brigands'' by the southern Italian historian and politician Francesco Saverio Nitti, outlining that brigandage was endemic in Southern Italy, since the Bourbons themselves relied on it as their military agent. Unlike Southern Italy, there was little brigandage in the other annexed states of northern and central Italy, like the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, the Duchy of Parma, the Duchy of Modena, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio, ), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus;), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign rule of the pope ...
. According to the southern Italian historian Giustino Fortunato, and Italian institutional sources the problems of Southern Italy existed way before Italian unification, and Giustino Fortunato emphasizes that the Bourbons were not the only ones responsible for the problems of the South, which had ancient and deep origins also in previous centuries of poverty and isolation, caused by foreign domination and foreign governments. In literature, the period of 1860 was depicted by Sicilian writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa in his famous novel ''Il Gattopardo'' ('' The Leopard''), set in
Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia , ) is the list of islands in the Mediterranean, largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy, regions of Italy. The Strait of Messina divides it from the region of Calabria in Southern Italy. I ...
at the time of
Italian unification The unification of Italy ( it, Unità d'Italia ), also known as the ''Risorgimento'' (, ; ), was the 19th-century political and social movement that resulted in the consolidation of different states of the Italian Peninsula into a singl ...
. In a famous final scene, Prince Salina, when invited to join the senate of unified Italy, tells a high-ranking Piedmontese officer "…the Sicilian will never want to change, because the Sicilian feels perfect…" With these and other words the author underscores the problem Sicilians had, having to change their old lifestyle while remaining on their island. The novel was adapted by Luchino Visconti for his homonymous 1963 film '' The Leopard''.


After 1861

The southern economy greatly suffered after the
Italian unification The unification of Italy ( it, Unità d'Italia ), also known as the ''Risorgimento'' (, ; ), was the 19th-century political and social movement that resulted in the consolidation of different states of the Italian Peninsula into a singl ...
and the process of industrialisation was interrupted. Poverty and organised crime were long-standing issues in Southern Italy as well and it got worse after unification. Cavour stated the basic problem was poor government, and believed the solution lay in the strict application of the Piedmontese legal system. The main result was an upsurge in brigandage. Because of this, the South experienced great economic difficulties resulting in massive emigration leading to a worldwide Italian diaspora, especially to
North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-la ...
,
South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere at the northern tip of the continent. It can also be described as the sou ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country b ...
, and other parts of Europe. Many natives also relocated to the industrial cities in northern Italy, such as
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; lij, Zêna ). is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria Liguria (; lij, Ligûria ; french: Ligurie) is a Regions of Italy, region of north-western Italy; its Capital city, capital is Genoa. Its territory is cro ...
,
Milan Milan ( , , Lombard: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy (man), (woman) lmo, lumbard, links=no (man), (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = ...
and
Turin Turin ( , Piedmontese language, Piedmontese: ; it, Torino ) is a city and an important business and cultural centre in Northern Italy. It is the capital city of Piedmont and of the Metropolitan City of Turin, and was the first Italian capital ...
. A relative process of industrialisation has developed in some areas of the "Mezzogiorno" after World War II. In the 1946 referendum after the war, the region voted to keep the monarchy, with its greatest support coming in Campania. Politically, it was at odds with northern Italy, which won the referendum to establish a republic. Today, the South remains less economically developed than the northern and central regions, which enjoyed an " economic miracle" in the 1950s and 1960s and became highly industrialized.


Demography


Population


Economy

Starting from the unification of Italy in 1861–1870, a growing economic divide between the northern provinces and the southern half of Italy became evident. In the early decades of the new kingdom, the lack of effective land reform, heavy taxes, and other economic measures imposed on the South, along with the removal of protectionist tariffs on agricultural goods imposed to boost northern industry, made the situation nearly impossible for many tenant farmers, small businesses and land owners. Multitudes chose to emigrate rather than try to eke out a meagre living, especially from 1892 to 1921. In addition, the surge of brigandage and mafia provoked widespread violence, corruption and illegality. Prime Minister
Giovanni Giolitti Giovanni Giolitti (; 27 October 1842 – 17 July 1928) was an Italian statesman. He was the Prime Minister of Italy five times between 1892 and 1921. After Benito Mussolini, he is the second-longest serving Prime Minister in Italian history. A ...
once conceded that places existed "where the law does not operate at all". After the rise of Benito Mussolini, the "Iron Prefect", Cesare Mori, tried to defeat the already powerful criminal organizations flowering in the South, with some degree of success. However, when connections between mafia and the Fascists emerged, Mori was removed and the Fascist propaganda declared the mafia defeated. Economically, Fascist policy aimed at the creation of an
Italian Empire The Italian colonial empire ( it, Impero coloniale italiano), known as the Italian Empire (''Impero Italiano'') between 1936 and 1943, began in Africa in the 19th century and comprised the colonies, protectorates, concessions and dependenc ...
and Southern Italian ports were strategic for all commerce towards the colonies. Naples enjoyed a demographic and economic rebirth, mainly due to the interest of King Victor Emmanuel III, who was born there. Starting from the 1950s, the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno was set up as a huge public master plan to help industrialise the South, that aimed to do this in two ways: by land reforms creating 120,000 new small farms, and through the "Growth Pole Strategy" whereby 60% of all government investment would go to the South, thus boosting the Southern economy by attracting new capital, stimulating local firms, and providing employment. However, the objectives were largely missed, and as a result the South became increasingly subsidised and state-dependent, incapable of generating private growth itself. Presently, huge regional disparities still persist. Problems still include pervasive organised crime and very high unemployment rates. Due to Southern Italy's lack of progress in bettering the area, it has had record numbers of emigration. The most prevalent issue in Southern Italy is its inability to attract businesses, and therefore create jobs. Between 2007 and 2014, 943,000 Italians were unemployed. From this figure, 70% were Italians from the South. Employment in the South is ranked the lowest when compared to countries in the European Union. Italians from the South are also ranked the lowest in terms of financial contributions into the economy of the Italy from immigrants. In Southern Italy tourism, distribution, food industries, wood furniture, whole sale, vehicle sales, sales in mineral and artisan fields are among the leading areas contributing to the projected employment growth. The economy of the South heavily relies on tourism. It attracts tourists through its rich historical background. A report published in July 2015 by the Italian organization ''SVIMEZ'' shows that Southern Italy has had a negative GDP growth in the last seven years, and that from the year 2000 it has been growing half as much as Greece. In 2016, Southern Italy's GDP and economy was growing twice as much as Northern Italy's. According to
Eurostat Eurostat ('European Statistical Office'; DG ESTAT) is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in the Kirchberg quarter of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Eurostat's main responsibilities are to provide statistical information ...
figures published in 2019, Southern Italy is the European area with the lowest employment percentages: in Apulia, Sicily, Campania and Calabria, less than 50% of the people aged between 20 and 64 had a job in 2018. This is largely due to the low participation of women in the workforce, as slightly more than 30% of the women are employed, compared to a national and European average of 53.1% and 67.4%, respectively. In southern Italy, which contains eight cohesion areas (
Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia , ) is the list of islands in the Mediterranean, largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy, regions of Italy. The Strait of Messina divides it from the region of Calabria in Southern Italy. I ...
,
Calabria , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...
, Campania,
Molise it, Molisano (man) it, Molisana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 ...
, Puglia,
Abruzzo , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1 ...
and
Basilicata it, Lucano (man) it, Lucana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = ...
), a public-private partnership known as SMEI Italy serves as a catalyst for private investment and supports economic growth and employment creation. Over €1 billion in finance has been catalyzed in these eight locations to far, supporting almost 5 000 SMEs and small mid-caps.


Per capita GDP by region

Today,
Abruzzo , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1 ...
it is the richest of the regions of Southern Italy, while
Calabria , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...
appears as the poorest.


Culture

The regions of Southern Italy were exposed to some different historical influences than the rest of the peninsula, starting most notably with
Greek colonisation Greek colonization was an organised colonial expansion by the Archaic Greeks into the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Med ...
. Greek influence in the South was dominant until Latinisation was completed by the time of the Roman Principate. Greek influences returned by the late Roman Empire, especially following the reconquests of Justinian and the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
.
Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia , ) is the list of islands in the Mediterranean, largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy, regions of Italy. The Strait of Messina divides it from the region of Calabria in Southern Italy. I ...
, a distinctive Norman-Arab-Byzantine culture throughout the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ...
, was captured by Muslims and turned into an Emirate for a period, and elements of Arab culture were introduced via Sicily to Italy and Europe. The rest of the mainland was subject to a struggle of power among the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn R ...
s,
Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774. The medieval Lombard historian Paul the Deacon Paul the Deacon ( 720s 13 April in 796, 797, 798, or 799 AD), ...
, and
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the Lower Rhine and the Ems River, on the edge of the Roman Empire The Rom ...
. In addition, the Venetians established outposts as trade with Byzantium and the
Near East The ''Near East''; he, המזרח הקרוב; arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ; fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik; tr, Yakın Doğu is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental region in Western Asia, that was once the hist ...
increased. Until the Norman conquests of the 11th and 12th centuries much of the South followed Eastern rite (Greek)
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or o ...
. The Normans who settled in
Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia , ) is the list of islands in the Mediterranean, largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy, regions of Italy. The Strait of Messina divides it from the region of Calabria in Southern Italy. I ...
and Southern Italy in the Middle Ages significantly impacted the architecture, religion and high culture of the region. Later, Southern Italy was subjected to rule by the new European nation states, first the Crown of Aragon, then
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
, and then
Austria Austria, , bar, Östareich officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political ent ...
. The Spanish had a major impact on the culture of the South, having ruled it for over three centuries.
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture an ...
communities lived in
Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia , ) is the list of islands in the Mediterranean, largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy, regions of Italy. The Strait of Messina divides it from the region of Calabria in Southern Italy. I ...
and Southern Italy for over 15 centuries, but in 1492 King Ferdinand II of Aragon proclaimed the Edict of expulsion. At their height, Jewish Sicilians probably constituted around one tenth of the island's population. After the Edict, they partially converted to
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or o ...
and some moved to the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University ...
and other places in Italy and Europe. In the 19th century, street musicians from
Basilicata it, Lucano (man) it, Lucana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = ...
began to roam worldwide to seek a fortune, most of them would become professional instrumentalists in symphonic orchestras, especially in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territor ...
. Southern Italy has many major tourist attractions, such as the Palace of Caserta, the Amalfi Coast,
Pompeii Pompeii (, ) was an ancient city located in what is now the ''comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. It is the third-level administrative division of ...
, Sassi di Matera, Trulli di Alberobello and other archaeological sites (many of which are protected by
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization Globalization is social change associated with incre ...
). There are also many
ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the ancient world Ancient history is a time period from the beginning of writing and recorded human history to as far as late antiquity. The s ...
cities in Southern Italy, such as Sybaris and
Paestum Paestum ( , , ) was a major Ancient Greece, ancient Greek city on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Magna Graecia (southern Italy). The ruins of Paestum are famous for their three ancient Greek temples in the Doric order, dating from about 550 ...
, which were founded several centuries before the start of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Res publica Romana ) was a form of government of Rome and the era of the classical Roman civilization when it was run through public representation of the Roman people. Beginning with the overthrow of the Roman K ...
. Some of its beaches, woodlands and mountains are preserved in several National Parks; a major example is the Pollino, between Basilicata and Calabria, that hosts the largest national park in Italy. In recent years, Southern Italy has experienced a revival of its traditions and
music Music is generally defined as the art of arranging sound to create some combination of form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise expressive content. Exact definitions of music vary considerably around the world, though it is an a ...
, such as the Neapolitan song and the Tarantella. Italo-Dalmatian Southern Italian" mode="packed" style="font-size:88%; line-height:150%" heights="150"> File:Neapolitan noborders.jpg, Range of the Southern Italian dialects ( Neapolitan) File:Dialetti italiani meridionali estremi.svg, Range of the Extreme Southern Italian dialects


See also

* Italian NUTS level 1 regions ** Central Italy ** Northeast Italy ** Northwest Italy * Meridionalism * Southern Italy autonomist movements


References


Further reading

* Albanese, Salvatore Nicodemo. ''Gramsci and the Southern Question'' (1980) * Schneider, Jane. ''Italy's 'Southern Question': Orientalism in One Country'' (1998) * Dal Lago, Enrico, and Rick Halpern, eds. ''The American South and the Italian Mezzogiorno: Essays in Comparative History'' (2002) * Doyle, Don. ''Nations Divided: America, Italy, and the Southern Question'' (2002) * Moe, Nelson. ''The View from Vesuvius: Italian Culture and the Southern Question'' (2002) * Spagnoletti, Angelantonio. ''Storia del Regno delle Due Sicilie'' (2008) * Nitti, Francesco Saverio. ''Eroi e briganti'' (1899-2015) * Di Lampedusa, Tomasi. ''Il gattopardo'' (1958-2018) * Pinto, Carmine. ''La guerra per il Mezzogiorno. Italiani, borbonici e briganti 1860-1870'' (2019) {{Authority control Geography of Italy Society of Italy Regions of Italy