The show, released in weekly 15/20 minute episodes, covers the history of the Italian peninsula from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, through the unification of Italy in 1861 to the present day.
162 - The Italian wars 2- opening hostilities and the Medici get kicked out
Charles VIII of France starts to head into Italy, beginning with the lands of Savoy where a 2-year-old duke leaves things to his mum to deal with the expensive guest who also asks her for a loan.Meanwhile, the Neapolitans try to go on the offensive by attacking locations along the Tuscan and Ligurian coast to no avail.Charles then meets with Ludovico il Moro, then the real duke of Milan Gian Galeazzo Sforza, who then dies a week after the meeting, saying goodbye to his dogs and horses at his deathbed.Then it is to Florence, where the son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, Piero, after sitting on the fence for a while, rolls over and gives Charles more than necessary and hets kicked out of Florence for it.Charles, however, fares no better with the new Florentine government and after a confusing argument about horns and bells, he makes his way to Rome with reduced results from the negotiation.
28/11/2023 • 22 minutes 6 seconds
161 - The Italian wars 1: setting up and setting off
We look at the background to the expedition by King Charles VIII of France into Italy to claim the throne of Naples. This takes us to explore the situation i Milan, with Duke Gian Galeazzo Sforza and his uncle Ludovico il Moro, then to Naples, where king Alphonse II has just succeeded his father Ferrante. We see the diplomatic and military preparation that once again sees the Italian powers, Milan, Venice, Florence, the Papal States and Naples have to decide which side to line up on, with the novelty of the most powerful army in Europe heading into the peninsula.This is the start of the Italian Wars, the conflict that really took Europe into the Modern Age.
14/11/2023 • 15 minutes 33 seconds
Recap 07 - Episodes 139 to 160
Before charging into the modern age, we take our usual look back on past episodes for a recap. In this case we look at the middle to late 15th century as the "big five" Naples, Milan, Venice, Florence and the Papal States struggle for dominance in a complicated balance, without forgetting interesting minor players, such as Savoy, Urbino and Trentino.
26/10/2023 • 27 minutes 16 seconds
Special: 9th October 1963 - Vajont, a man-made natural disaster
We go back to a quiet mountain valley of north-eastern Italy where the peace was forever broken by one of the country's most ambitious architerctural and engineering projects that ended in one of the worst disasters in the history of Italy in the 20th century.This is the story of how progress and profit was put before thousands of human lives, this is the story of Vajont, a story that must be remenered,
09/10/2023 • 33 minutes
Quick annoucement - demolition work in progress
Just a few seconds to let you knwo that we are almost ready to get back on track, but we need for the surroundings to go back so some minimal for of tranquility
03/10/2023 • 40 seconds
160 - Fedrico Da Montefeltro and bits getting cut off
We linger yet another episode in the Middle Ages to take a look at the Duchy of Urbino and in particular the "condottiero" Federico da Montefeltro, he of th eodd shped nose. There is also a murder mystery surrounding the death of his predessssor and some macbre pasrts with intimate bit being detatched.
12/09/2023 • 23 minutes 35 seconds
Summer announcement - listen even if you haven't cought up
Just a quick annoucement to update on goings on in the AHoI family life as well as plans for the near future
26/07/2023 • 5 minutes 48 seconds
159 - Life, death and sex in the middle ages
We take a look at what life was like in the middle ages for the average Giuseppe and Lucrezia, from birth to death, sickness, medicine, work, free time, travel and sex and all the naughtiness connected to it.
13/06/2023 • 35 minutes 21 seconds
158 - The Este of Ferrara
We take a look at a brief summary of one of the oldest dynasties in Europe, the House of Este who are the ancestors also of the House of Windsor rulers of the United Kingdom. In particular we look at the Italian branch, from their Carolingian roots to the year 1505 when Ercole D'Este was succeeded by his son Alfonso and daughter in law, Lucrezia Borgia.In between we'll see: a marquis acting like a brigand; nasty rebellions that end in cannibalism a non stop array of naughtiness in the bedroom, with one member of the house of Este cooking in at 800 lifetime lovers; a romantic love triangle than ends in a tragic beheading and much more
23/05/2023 • 25 minutes 6 seconds
We were lucky enough for Lori from the Her Half of History podcast to come and talk about the 17th century female Roman artist Artemisia Gentileschi.She overcame great trauma and injustice at a young age to become one of the most important and successful painters of her time and the centuries that followed.
09/05/2023 • 28 minutes 47 seconds
25th April - Liberation
On the 78th anniversary of Italy's liberation from Nazism and Fascism, we publish a repeat from 2020 on family memories and the importance of this day.
25/04/2023 • 19 minutes 16 seconds
157 - Venice out of the middle ages and into uncertainty (1454 - 1492)
After the peace of Lodi, the relative stability on the peninsula allows Venice to concentrate on the Ottomans again and the inevitable first war breaks out in 1463.Before that, we see one of the few doge's to actually be deposed, Francesco Foscari a record breaking doge for various reasons and sexy actor in "The Medici" Tv series.Then, when Venice reaches a rather humiliating peace with the Turks, it seems like a perfect time to them to start the war of Ferrara from 1480 to the peace of Bagnolo in 1484.Then it's time to make their way out of the Middle Ages with dark clouds looming on the horizon.
12/04/2023 • 19 minutes 27 seconds
156 - Venice tangles with the Turks and messes with Milan (1416 - 1454)
Venice, after trying to avoid it, goes to war with the Turks and at the Battle of Gallipoli a spectacular victory is won... but by who?Then, we see how Venice used an ex ,mercenary captain of Milan against his old employers, Carmagnola, but then, when the Serenissima started to suspect him, he met an unfortunate end.Finally we relive one of the most impressive feats of naval engineering of the age, before we get to the start of a relatively peaceful period with the peace of Lodi.
28/03/2023 • 18 minutes 14 seconds
155 - Venice has trouble with the neighbours (1400 - 1416)
We come round to Venice to see how they were doing at the start of the 15th century, dealing with neighbours such as the duchy of Milan under Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Padua under the Da Carrara and the formidable Sigismund king of Hungary and his general Pippo Spano. Before that we take some time to have a look at the political structure of the ruling oligarchy, from the doge whose wive has an amusing name down, and take a look at the city... and its pigs
14/03/2023 • 14 minutes 44 seconds
154 Trentino Alto Adige (up to 1509)
Since we have never been there in the podcast, we take some time to go back and give a very general overview of the northern Italian region of Trentino Alto Adige, perched up north between the duchy of Milan and the Republic of Venice with reference to the time we are in. We go through Romans, Goths, Byzantines, Lombards, Franks to get to the bishop-counts that characterise this area, such as George of Lichtenstein or Federico Vanga. We then see how Venice started to encroach and hear about a rather spectacular feat of overland fleet travel engineering.
28/02/2023 • 16 minutes 52 seconds
153 - The assassination of Galeazzo Maria and the Moore takes control (1468 - 1494)
Duke of Milan Galeazzo Maria Sforza continues with his expensive naughty ways until he is assassinated in 1476. His son Gian Galeazzo becomes duke under the regency of his mother, Bona of Savoy, until his uncle Ludovico, known as "il Moro" the Moore takes over as Italy heads towards the aptly named, "Italian Wars".Meanwhile a certain Leonardo da Vinci worked on a portrait of Ludovico Sforza's ladyfriend Cecilia Gallerani who is turned into "The lady with the ermine".
14/02/2023 • 24 minutes 45 seconds
152 - Duke Francesco Sforza and his sex-crazed son (1450 - 1568)
Shortly after becoming duke, Francesco Sforza has to deal with a war against Venice, but then the peace of Lodi and the Italic league allow him some time to consolidate his power and start building projects in Milan, as well as chase after women, ending his life with a total of 35 children, only 8 of which were legitimate. His son Galeazzo Maria takes over and the only things he seems good at are spending money and satisfying his desires.
31/01/2023 • 17 minutes 52 seconds
151 - Milan from Visconti to Sforza (1447 - 1450)
After the death of Duke Filippo Maria Visconti of Milan, a succession crisis has everyone in on the game and Venice gobbling up cities. In the end, will Bianca Maria Visconti and her husband, Francesco Sforza, manage to stake her claim?Also some naughtiness in the bedroom going on here.
17/01/2023 • 20 minutes 14 seconds
On 3rd January we celebrated the 5th anniversary of the "A History of Italy" podcast.In this special episode we will talk about:How the podcast is doing and where it's goingThe Italian 2022 elections and Meloni governmentCorrespondence from listenersA short version of my life storyAnd we end with the acclaimed sketch of San Marino
10/01/2023 • 24 minutes 45 seconds
150 - Decline of the Savoy and the Holy Shroud of Turin (1451 - 1490)
We go back to the north west to visit with Piedmont and the house of Savoy to take them out of the 15th century as they go through a period of decline with the rising power of France threatening their independence. It is in this period, in 1553, that the Savoy acquire the Holy Shroud, which was supposed to have been the burial cloth of Jesus Christ himself... or was it just one of histories most elaborate middle aged hoaxes?
20/12/2022 • 19 minutes 7 seconds
149 The Genoa of Columbus (1442 - 1492)
We close out the 15th century for Genoa with things not looking too great thanks to the advancing Ottomans in the Eastern Mediterranean and in parallel follow the life of one of Genoa's most famous sons, Christopher Columbus in his early life and follow the adventures of his body after his death before reflecting on his legacy.
13/12/2022 • 17 minutes 17 seconds
148 - Peak and twilight of the Magnificent (1478 - 1492)
After the failed Pazzi conspiracy and its bloody vengeful aftermath, Lorenzo has to face war against pope Sixtus IV AND Naples AND Urbino. As if that wasn't enough also plague and more plots.Then, would you believe it, another war, the salt war of Ferrara and once all that is over, a good old teenage Cardinal is on the way
06/12/2022 • 17 minutes 9 seconds
147 - The conpiracy of the crazies (1476 - 1478)
Things heat up as the animosity between the Medici and pope Sixtus IV leads to one of the most infamous conspiracies in history: the Pazzi conspiracy, set up to kill Giuliano and Lorenzo De Medici and overthrow the Signoria, the government of Florence
15/11/2022 • 19 minutes 24 seconds
Interview with Philippa Gregory on Maria Beatrice D'Este
We got the chance to talk to bestselling author, Philippa Gregory, about one of the characters of her new book, Dawnlands,Maria Beatrice D'Este, a real historical figure as well as a character, daughter of Duke Alfonso IV of Modena and Reggio Emilia and Queen of England, married to King James II.Philippa has written many historical novels whch include "The other Boleyn girl" and "The White Queen"
08/11/2022 • 17 minutes 47 seconds
Halloween special: Azzurrina, the ghost of Montebello
We imagine the story behind the ghost of Montebello Castle, supposedly that of Gwendalina, nicknamed "Azzurrina", (little blue) due to her strange blueish hair. The little girl is said to have vanished without a trace in 1375, leaving many legends behind.
31/10/2022 • 20 minutes 46 seconds
F100: 04 The March on Rome
One hundred years ago, a series of events between 24th and 31st October 1922 culminated in Fascist leader Benito Mussolini taking power in what is known as "The March on Rome". Did the Black shirts actually take Rome by force? Why did the government not put a stop to the events? Together we will take a look at the fateful days in which Fascism came to power.
28/10/2022 • 30 minutes 22 seconds
146 - Lorenzo vs Sixtus and America's beautiful cousin (1471 - 1476)
The rivalry between Lorenzo de Medici and pope Sixtus IV, Francesco della Rovere starts to heat up as they clash over lands and resources, reaching very dangerous levels. Meanwhile the Medici brothers find time for another great tournament and Giuliano finds love with the most beautiful woman in Florence, the "living Venus" Simonetta Vespucci, whose name leads us into a digression on where America got its name.
18/10/2022 • 19 minutes 59 seconds
145 - Fleeting youth, Lorenzo de Medici's early years (1468 - 1471)
Before the responsibility of government is handed over to him at his father's death and before getting married the statesman, banker, lover of philosophy and poet Lorenzo De Medici takes a few last opportunities at carefree youth with a tournament and party that would never be forgot.
04/10/2022 • 16 minutes 27 seconds
144 - A sickly father, a magnificent mother amd balls (1464 - 1468)
Piero De Medici takes over the shadow government of Florence at the death of his father and with the help of his wife and son manages to hold the reigns, overcome a plot on his life and a war with a rather interesting character, Bartolomeo Colleoni
20/09/2022 • 18 minutes 16 seconds
143 Cosimus Medices Pater Patriae (1429 - 1464)
We finally get into the Medici in style with the man who is considered the founder of the family's great fortune and political dominance. We follow Cosimo de Medici as he slowly asserts his power over the Republic of Florence with careful internal and external political manoeuvring to form what some have called the "crypto-signoria" of the Medici, all the whole increasing theri vast wealth in the face of many perils.
06/09/2022 • 19 minutes 30 seconds
142 - pope-ing out of the Middle ages (1447 - 1492)
We accompany the last set of popes of the middle ages, from Nicholas V to Innocent VIII as they take us out of th middle ages with the usual intrigue in the Italian peninsula with Naples,Florence, Milan and Venice as well as many others as the city of Rome takes the shape we would start to recognise today.
30/08/2022 • 19 minutes 59 seconds
141 - The popes are back in business (1417 - 1447)
After the healing of the western schism in 1417, new pope Martin V must get his papal state sunder control which means dealing with a whole load of issue such as brigands, mercenary captains, pushy neighbours, unruly lords and a lack of cash. We then see how his successor, Eugene IV managed to muck everything up before managing to sort tit all out again, more or less.
09/08/2022 • 21 minutes 46 seconds
140 - King Ferdinand's woes (1458 - 1492)
After the death of Alphonse the Magnanimous, his son, Ferdinad, has quite a time managing to hold on to the kingdom of Naples what with revolting Barons, meddling popes and even an Ottoman invasion! Will the poor man ever get any peace and quiet?
02/08/2022 • 19 minutes 56 seconds
AMM: Paolo Borsellino and Rita Atria
On the 30th anniversary of his death, we look at the life and struggle of anti-mafia investigative magistrate Paolo Borsellino up to his tragic killing and how he crossed path with a brave young girl of only 17, willing to give up the life she had known in search of justice, Rita Atria.
19/07/2022 • 23 minutes 46 seconds
139 - King Alphonse of Naples (1436 - 1458)
We go back a little to see how Alphonse V of Aragon actually got onto the throne of Naples and what he had to put up with once he got there dealing with Milan, Venice, Genoa and Florence, before a rather unprecedented alliance in 1454 under the "Italic League"
12/07/2022 • 23 minutes 25 seconds
138 - Aragonese Sardinia and Sicily (1410 - 1500)
We take a quick look at some of the situations and key events in Sardinia and Sicily in the 15th century as the Aragonese consolidate their hold over their new possessions
21/06/2022 • 17 minutes 29 seconds
137 - The Republic of San Marino
While attempting to catch up with our studies, we go outside (or inside) Italy to look at a foreign country within our borders up to the 15th century and find out why we have yet another independent country on the peninsula.
07/06/2022 • 18 minutes 25 seconds
Special: Anti-Judaism in Medieval Italy - The case of Simonino da Trento with Lorenzo Paluan
We explore a tragic travesty of justice as we look into the anti-jewish case of Simonino da Trento, a young boy who was found dead in 1475 and whose murder was blamed on the local Jewish community with no tangible proof, leading to their very rapid trial and execution.
31/05/2022 • 43 minutes 5 seconds
Recap 06: Episode 101 - 136
After quite a long tour (36 episodes) we take our routine look back to recap what we have been over, moving around Italy and back and forth in time
25/05/2022 • 32 minutes 25 seconds
136 - Savoy from count to duke to pope (1391 - 1451)
We follow little count Amedeo VIII as he comes to power and manages to not only expand, consolidate and organise first his county and then duchy, but even has a go at being pope for a while!
10/05/2022 • 17 minutes 49 seconds
Anti-mafia martyrs - Pio La Torre, the mafia fighting communist
We take a look at the life and struggle of Sicilian communist party leader Pio La Torre, who spent his whole life trying to oppose Cosa Nostra for the good of the opressed, even when it meant going against his own party.
03/05/2022 • 17 minutes 49 seconds
F100: Before Evil - Interview with Brandon Gauthier on Benito Mussolini
As we finish celebrating the 77th anniversary of our liberation from the Fascist government and Nazi occupiers, I talk to author Brandon Gauthier about his new book, which explores the early lives of notirious dictators such as Hitler, Stalin and Kim.
26/04/2022 • 42 minutes 12 seconds
135 - Savoy - different coloured counts and a murder mystery (1255 - 1391)
We continue catching up with the house of Savoy picking up in 1255 and, after some zig-zagging succession, see the "colourful" green count Amedeo VI and then try to discover what really happened to his son, Amedeo VII the Red count, as the counts slowly continue to expand their lands and influence in France and north-west Italy.
12/04/2022 • 19 minutes 19 seconds
Announcement: 200th upload, new platform, new logo and happy birthday!
We have reached the 200th upload ( regular episodes plus extras) and have moved to a new platform. To celebrate this as well as my 45th birthday we are unveiling the new "A History of Italy" logo
05/04/2022 • 7 minutes 35 seconds
134 - Piedmont and the rise of the house of Savoy
We catch the region of piedmont up to the 13th century and then start to take a look at the rise of the house of Savoy, beginning with its founder Umberto Biancamano, he of the white hand (for some reason).
22/03/2022 • 17 minutes 55 seconds
F100: 03b The occupation of Fiume part 02
The second part of our chat on the occupation of Fiume where we look at the occupation itself and the life of D'Annunzio after the endeavor
15/03/2022 • 26 minutes 24 seconds
F100: 03a The occupation of Fiume - part 01
We draw a profile of the Italian poet and activist Gabriele D'Annunzio up to the time in which he takes command of an expedition to take the city of Fiume, the current day Croatian city of Rijeka. We take a look at his extreme lifestyle of women, drugs and excesses such as being the first recognised Italian toappear naked in a photo! We also have a look at the situation in Italy between WWI and the expedition to Fiume in 1919.
08/03/2022 • 20 minutes 16 seconds
F100 Memories of Ukraine - an Italian ode to Odessa
In honour of the Ukrainian people, I look back at my fond memories of Ukraine in the "Italian" city of Odessa.
01/03/2022 • 27 minutes 20 seconds
133 – catching up with Genoa… again (1310 – 1442)
and 15th century Genoa to catch up on all their wars with Venice and the Aragonese as well as all the internal infighting between the various Doria, Spinola, Fieschi, Grimaldi and Campofregaso for which external rulers are constantly called in, the, Anjou, Milan, France, Monferrato, milan again and so on.
22/02/2022 • 18 minutes 35 seconds
F100: The crystallisation of totalitarianism
We take a break from our narrative of the history of Fascism to talk about the definition of Totalitarianism with Jackson Van Uden. Jackson is a Historian, Author and Podcaster. He hosts the History with Jackson YouTube channel and Podcast where he speaks about History from across the ages, and interviews historians about their research. As an author he has written several articles on a variety of different topics and has also recently published a book entitled the ’The Crystallisation of Totalitarianism’.
08/02/2022 • 35 minutes 55 seconds
132 The end of the Visconti- how to lose a duchy
Filippo Maria Visconti, now sole Duke of Milan, has a bit of time to take a breather, before the chaos of the wars of Lombardy vs Venice and Florence, with special guest stars
01/02/2022 • 24 minutes 18 seconds
131 – Milan, chaos in the duchy (1402 – 1412)
After the untimely death of the first duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the duchy is thrown into turmoil as the widow, Caterina Visconti attempts to hold onto the realm of her sons, Giovanni Maria and Filippo Maria through internal intrigue and external military pressure from Florence, Venice and many others trying to take advantage of Milan's moment of weakness.
25/01/2022 • 19 minutes 27 seconds
130 – The father of the father of the nation: the rise of the Medici (1402 – 1428)
We follow the life and times of Giovanni di Bicci De Medici, shrewd banker and able politician as he navigates the complicated waters of early 15th century Florentine politics as the republic prepares to kick of an age of unprecedented cultural renewal: the Renaissance
13/01/2022 • 20 minutes 47 seconds
4th anniversary episode
We celebrate our 4th anniversary by announcing a new podcast: The K-Rock Chelsea Hotel; the 1 millionth global listen and a guest episode about 14th century Italy on The History of England podcast.
04/01/2022 • 52 minutes 53 seconds
Re-release: 129 – Catherine of Siena – Medieval UN ambassador
In this episode we follow the last part of the life of St Catherine of Siena as her fame and influence grows to International levels and she deals with princes and popes alike, going through the war of the eight saints, the Ciompi revolt and the Great Western Schism, all the while battling against her own body.
29/12/2021 • 20 minutes 17 seconds
Happy Whatever episode
Just to wish you a Merry Christmas, happy Kwanza, Sol Invictus, Saturnalia, to hope you had a good Diwali or Hanukah and in general to wish you a merry whatever this period is for you, even if it's nothing at all.We come bearing audio gifts!AUGURI
25/12/2021 • 10 minutes 38 seconds
129 – Catherine of Siena – Medieval UN ambassador
In this episode we follow the last part of the life of St Catherine of Siena as her fame and influence grows to International levels and she deals with princes and popes alike, going through the war of the eight saints, the Ciompi revolt and the Great Western Schism, all the while battling against her own body.
21/12/2021 • 19 minutes 43 seconds
128 – Caterina of Siena: God's teenage rebel
We look at the early life of Catherine of Siena (Caterina da Siena) as she has her first visions and sets off at a very young age open her life as a mystic, religious and political activist in mid 14th century
14/12/2021 • 19 minutes 34 seconds
127 – Milan vs Florence: fight to the death (1395 – 1402)
unstoppable expansion of the newly formed Duchy of Milan. Will they manage? Or will Gian Galeazzo Visconti complete his vision of including Florence in his dominions.
07/12/2021 • 25 minutes 47 seconds
126 – Visconti family feud and a new duchy is born (1378 – 1395)
We see how the power-sharing solution for the government of Milan comes crashing down with power once again in the hands of a single man: Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who, after inheriting the holdings of his father and uncle, will create a Duchy that will last for centuries. meanwhile we also try and keep up with Florence and the other Tuscan cities as well as those of Piedmont Lombardi and benedetto as they do their best to counter the expansion of the new Duchy.
30/11/2021 • 26 minutes 7 seconds
The Great Q & A session
To celebrate reaching episode 125, we have a special episode with questions from our wonderful listenersWe get to talk about Latin, Lombards, Normans, noble houses, strange surnames, the mafia, fascism and much, much more.
23/11/2021 • 33 minutes 26 seconds
125 – War and rebellion in Tuscany (1348 to 1382)
After seeing the gruesome spectacle of the plague in Florence through the eyes of Giovani bocaccio we follow the rising tension in the city and all over Tuscany that would eventually erupt in the rebellion known as the "Revolt of the Ciompi".In the meantime, Florence also finds time to participate in the war of the eight Saints. Lots of fun in the 14th century for Tuscany!
16/11/2021 • 16 minutes 59 seconds
124 – Troubled Tuscan times and Boccaccio's Decameron
After following Florence and Tuscany through a mini golden age from the 1280's to the 1330's we see things really start to go downhill with social tensions between the Arti Maggiori, the greater guilds, and the arti minori, the lesser guilds, exacerbated also by the very brief dominion over Florence by Walter of Brienne.We then take a brief look at the life of Giovani bocaccio and see the plague through his eyes with his great work the Decameron.
09/11/2021 • 18 minutes 23 seconds
Halloween Special: The Ghost of Bardi Castle
In this special Halloween episode we explore the castle of Bardi in the Apennines of Parma. The ghost is supposedly that of Moroello, the captain of the castle garrison who is said to have died along with his beloved Soleste in the late 15th century.
31/10/2021 • 34 minutes 35 seconds
123 – The Tuscan scene and Florence rising (1302 – 1327)
area. We see how things went with the Guelphs and Ghibellines inside and outside the region with all the "international" players while all the while the corporations make their way into the halls of power.
26/10/2021 • 24 minutes 37 seconds
Tech update test and free "NewsCappuccino" episode
I'm very sorry but I am updating my tracking system. As an apology: a free episode of one of the features you can find on Patreon, NewsCappuccino, enjoy!
20/10/2021 • 9 minutes 56 seconds
122 – Braccio da Montone's last stand (1417 – 1424)
the final chapter of his story: will he rise to even greater glory and perhaps cut out a kingdom in central Italy for himself or will it all come crashing down? Will the newly elected Pope Martin the fifth manage to set up a coalition strong enough to beat this great soldier?
19/10/2021 • 18 minutes 44 seconds
121 Braccio da Montone, Lord of Perugia (1407 – 1417)
Braccio's fame increases as he wins victory after victory, in central Italy, against Naples and in his involvement in the Great Western Schism, all the while with his eye on Perugia.
13/10/2021 • 18 minutes 48 seconds
120 – Braccio da Montone, early life of a condottiero (1368 – 1406)
Fortebraccio, known as Braccio da Montone
05/10/2021 • 21 minutes 6 seconds
119 – Joanna II of Naples and some schism fixing
We see the rather naughty and turbulent reign of Joanna II of Naples. Did she really deserve the nickname "the insatiable" or even "the mad"? Or was it just bad press?
21/09/2021 • 17 minutes 52 seconds
118 Sicily goes Spanish and Naples gets big ideas (1372 – 1414)
We see how Sicily loses its independence to the Spanish and then cross over to the mainland to see how king Ladislaus of Naples gets some big ideas on expanding his kingdom.
17/08/2021 • 20 minutes 5 seconds
The bagpipes of resistance – Crossover ep. with "The History of England"
In this very special crossover episode, we got the chance to host an episode on the podcast of one of our all-time heroes, David Crowther of "The History of England". In this episode we talk about operation "tombola", the allied and partisan attack on a strategic Nazi position in a small town in Northern Italy.
03/08/2021 • 29 minutes 10 seconds
117 – Eleonora of Arborea and the fall of Sardinia (1326 – 1410)
The life and times of the great "Giudchessa" and the fall of Sardinia to the Spanish.
20/07/2021 • 18 minutes 42 seconds
NewsCappuccino: Roman helmets and insulting Austria – The Italian national anthem
onour of Italy's splendid performance in the EURO cup, a taste on what you can hear on Patreon about the content of the Italian national anthem: the battle of Legnano, Scipio Africanus, the Sicilian Vespers and making fun go Austria.
17/06/2021 • 13 minutes 43 seconds
F100: 02 Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini, early years
n the second episode of Fascism 100, the series on the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Fascist party, we look at the life of Benito Andrea Amilcare Mussolini from his birth on 29th July 1883 to 1921 when the first Fascist delegates were elected to the Italian parliament.
15/06/2021 • 31 minutes 53 seconds
116 – Venice in mortal peril (1356 – 1400)
After an attempt at legalising prostitution, the Dolphin doge cannot quite fight off a Hungarian threat, then things with Genoa get so heated over the possession of Eastern Mediterranean islands that Venice stares destruction in the face with enemies at the gates and even in the lagoon.
08/06/2021 • 23 minutes 20 seconds
Special: Republic Day 2021
A repeat episode on the vote that changed Italian History, abolishing the Monarchy and creating the Italian Republic on 2nd June 1946, with all the complications and tensions leading up to and following the vote.
02/06/2021 • 18 minutes 8 seconds
115 – Hard times for Venice, a very naughty doge and some funny names (1339 – 1356)
We catch Venice up to the mid 14th century following storms, floods earthquakes, plagues and all other kinds of lovely things. Then we see a trattori doge, a big nose and a dolphin ruler. All this while trying keep up the struggle against the Genoese and Turks at sea as well as the Hungarians on land, tough times for Venice indeed.
01/06/2021 • 18 minutes 11 seconds
Anti-mafia martyrs: Giovanni Falcone
One of the Mafia's most dangerous foes was killed on 23rd May 1992. Anti.Mafia investigative magistrate Giovanni Falcone was responsible for putting hundreds of mafiosi behind bars and his investigation into a tender fixing operation expanded into one of the largest mafia trials in Italian history. His later work at the ministry of the interior led to some of the toughest anti-mafia legislation ever passed.
23/05/2021 • 36 minutes 23 seconds
114 – More Milan and popey come home (1345 – 1385)
The continuing consolidation of Milan under Bernabò and Galeazzo Visconti and the start of the Great Western Schism
18/05/2021 • 22 minutes 41 seconds
F100: 01 What is Fascism?
in this first episode of the mini series we explore the meaning of fascism, with particular reference to the Italian experience up until the death of Benito Mussolini in 1945.
15/05/2021 • 29 minutes 57 seconds
Coming soon: Fascism 100
A new miniseries tracing the rise and fall of Italian Fascism to uncover some of the important lessons that can be learned for the present.
11/05/2021 • 5 minutes 4 seconds
Special: The Aldo Moro assassination with Lorenzo Paluan
We attempt to unravel the complicated threads of one of the darkest and most intricate affairs of modern Italian history: the kidnapping and assassination of Also Moro
09/05/2021 • 38 minutes 47 seconds
113 – The definitive death of communal Milan (1339 – 1354)
Milan passes from Azzone Visconti to Giovanni and Luchino, expanding among the constantly warring city states of Northern Italy.
04/05/2021 • 23 minutes 53 seconds
112 – Queen Joanna of Naples (1345 – 1382)
We follow Queen Joanna of Naples as she goes through three more husbands, ever searching for the right one, but getting ambitious power grabbing insensitive men or total nut jobs until she finally settles on the one who will see her to her end. Meanwhile she will guide the kingdom of Naples through the Sicilian question, rebellions, the plague, warring bandits and the great Western schism.
30/03/2021 • 20 minutes 38 seconds
Crossover: Colombus and Genoa with the History of North America
The famous/notorious Italian explorer and the city of his birth in this interview with Mark Vinet of the "History of North America podcast
23/03/2021 • 44 minutes 36 seconds
Interview: Jennifer Anton, author of "Under the Light of the Italian Moon"
We had a great chat with Jennifer Anton, author of the novel "Under the Light of the Italian Moon"
08/03/2021 • 38 minutes 3 seconds
111 – Joanna of Naples, teenage queen with a boring husband (1326 – 1345)
the rise to the throne of Joanna of Naples, from her marriage at a young age to Andrew. son of the Angevine king of Hungary to her coronation as a teenager after the death of her grandfather Robert of Naples. We will see how her joyful, lively character clashed with that of her husband as complications rose in the kingdom around them, reaching dire consequqnces.
02/03/2021 • 22 minutes 51 seconds
110 – Cola fizzes and goes flat (1347 – 1354)
After his great rise to power in Rome, we see Cola di Rienzo crash and burn... literally
17/02/2021 • 23 minutes 10 seconds
109 – Popeless Rome and the rise of Cola (not the drink)
We take a look at what was happening in Rome while the popes were off in Avignon. We quickly see how Clement V dealt with the movement of Fra Dolcino (spoiler: violently) and then how John XXII and his successor, Gregory XII did. We then introduce Clement VI just in time for him to receive a delegation from Rome headed by a charistmatic, handsome young notary called Cola di Rienzo who, with the support of papal authority, got back to Rome and managed to put himself in the driver's seat quite quickly, even overcoming the resistance of the Roman noble families... for now.
09/02/2021 • 24 minutes 53 seconds
Fill-in episode – 2021 Italian government crisis
While waiting to get back on track with the regular podcast (back soon), we take the opportunity to update you on history in the making: the current mid-pandemic government crisis
07/02/2021 • 13 minutes 15 seconds
108 – Italians against stairs
Mastino II Della Scala gets too big for his own good and Venice, Florence and Milan move in to bring him down a rung or two
19/01/2021 • 20 minutes 58 seconds
107 – An unexpected king
While everyone (the Pope, the king of France, Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence etc.) is manoeuvring in northern Italy along comes an unexpected king, John of Luxembourg, king of Bohemia. Will he be able to unite the northern cities?
12/01/2021 • 18 minutes 5 seconds
106 – An imperial tour of Italy (1327-1329)
We follow the descent into Italy of Holy Roman Emperor Luis IV to visit with the Visconti in Milan, the Dalla Scala in Verona, the Este of Ferrara, the Castracani in Lucca and the Gonzaga in Mantua. At the same time we see the struggle between emperor and pope and get a reminder fo the situation in Naples and Sicily.
05/01/2021 • 21 minutes 40 seconds
105 – The battle of the Bucket (1325)
We take a look at the 1325 battle of Zappolino between Modena and her Ghibelline allies and Bologna and her Guelph ones and how, after one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the Iyaian middle ages, the Modenese cam home with a bucket (and heaps of cash).
22/12/2020 • 24 minutes 50 seconds
104 – The last Sardinian Judicate (1323-1326)
After a quick recap of what was going on around Italy in 1323, we get to the Aragonese invasion of Sardinia that put a definitive end to the presence of the Republic of Pisa on the island leaving the Judicate of Arborea as the last of the old four Judicates surrounded by the new "Kingdom of Sardinia"
15/12/2020 • 20 minutes 49 seconds
103 – Catching up with Genoa (up to 1310's)
It's about time we stop ignoring poor old Genoa up in the top left-hand corner of the country and bring her up-to-date. We take a really quick race from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to Genoa in the 14th century: it's battles against Saracens, Pisans and Venitians as it fights to assert itself as a powerful maritime republic.
08/12/2020 • 19 minutes 19 seconds
102 – Venice kicks off its 14th century (up to 1310's)
We go back to one of our favorite destinations: Venice, which we last left at the start of the 13th century to bring the maritime republic up to the 14th. We see some crazy laws as the republic move more and more to an oligarchy and has bit of trouble as the 14th starts up, especially with the pope.
01/12/2020 • 16 minutes 18 seconds
The first great MEGA-RECAP launch
After 100 episodes you might want a general overview of the story so far from 476 - 1310: The emperors, the naughty popes and who got a word stuck in which orifice. All of the things you may have forgotten in this over one hour episode that sums up the first 800+ years of "A History of Italy".Available ad-free to Patreon supporters and those who make a recommended $5.00 donation on Paypal. Head over to our Patreon page or get in touch to get a hold of the episode!
28/11/2020 • 2 minutes 10 seconds
101 – The many paths to communal demise (up to early 1300's)
As we really dig into the 14th century, we look at an overview of the different ways in which the communes turned into the signorie, cities and groups of cities ruled over by a single hereditary ruler.
17/11/2020 • 19 minutes 53 seconds
Recap 05 – From episode 077 to 100
We go back over around 50 years from the death of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II to beyond 1300 to retrace the steps of the kingdom of Sicily, the war of the Sicilian Vespers, the northern communes and maritime republics as well as looking over at Sardinia and keeping an eye as always on the papacy.
10/11/2020 • 27 minutes 25 seconds
Berlusconi and Bunga Bunga part 3
We arrive at the third and last Berlusconi government (so far) from 2008 to 2011 and his downfall under the onslaught of the EU, economic crisis, legal trouble and Bunga Bunga.
03/11/2020 • 30 minutes 47 seconds
Berlusconi and Bunga Bunga part 2
In this second part of our review of Wondery's "Bunga Bunga" podcast and our memories of the Berlusconi era, we look at the 2001 - 2006 legislation, lead by Berlusconi and the longest lasting in Italian republican history
27/10/2020 • 26 minutes 26 seconds
Berlusconi and Bunga Bunga part 1
Following the publication of Wondery's excellent "Bunga Bunga" podcast, with co-host and legal expert Matteo Marconi we review the show and look back on our own experience of the Berlusconi era. In this episode his first government experience in 1994.
20/10/2020 • 25 minutes 33 seconds
100 – An interview the godfather of history podcasting and more
For our 100th episode we have the wishes from fellow podcasters and an interview with Mike Duncan, creator of the History of Rome, Revolutions and the book "The Storm Before the Storm". We also have an interview with one of the starts of the A History of Italy sketches.
13/10/2020 • 46 minutes 55 seconds
099 – The Visconti lose Milan and take it back again
Matte Visconti tries to pass power to his son Galeazzo, who ends up making a mess and losing the city to the Della Torre for almost a decade before would-be Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII come sto Milan and puts the Visconti back in power for the next few centuries, despite their own best efforts to do each other in. We also see some rather annoyed popes and of course a battle with Italians on both sides as usual.
06/10/2020 • 20 minutes 25 seconds
098 – The Visconti take Milan, Act 1
We see the rise of the Visconti family in Milan as they battle the power of the Della Torre for control over the city and subsequently much of Northern Italy. First however, I take a personal look at my relationship with Milan and tell the story of how my mother was an unwitting baby sitter to the Mafia.
28/09/2020 • 18 minutes 12 seconds
Anti-mafia martyrs: Father Pino Puglisi
words and culture, to give the citizens of his city schools, homes all the elements that are fundamental rights, stolen by the Mafia and then handed out as favours.
15/09/2020 • 24 minutes 24 seconds
097 – Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy
We have a look at the opus magna of Dante Alighieri, the Divine Comedy, before seeing him off to the end of his days and beyond, with the adventures of his corpse
08/09/2020 • 22 minutes 32 seconds
Anti-mafia martyrs: Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa
On 3rd September, the anniversary of his death, we look at the struggle against organised crime of Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, general of the Italian Carabinieri police force who dedicated his life to the fight against terrorism and the Sicilian Mafia.
03/09/2020 • 34 minutes 29 seconds
Anti-mafia martyrs series launch
We are going to take a look at some of the brave men and women who have given their lives to fight organised crime in Italy. known as "Le Mafie", the mafias, which include Cosa Nostra, the 'Ndrangheta, the Stidda, the Sacra Corona Unita and the Camorra. On the anniversary of their deaths, we will look at the lives and struggle of people such as General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, Peppino Impastato, Pio La Torre, Giovanni Falcone, Paolo Borsellino and Don Pino Puglisi just to nae a few.
01/09/2020 • 5 minutes 30 seconds
096 – Florence goes black and white and Dante gets involved
After definitively defeating the Ghibellines, the Florentine Guelphs need new enemies so they split into White and Black Guelphs, catching Dante Alighieri, who had entered politics just a few years before, in a crossfire that will have dire consequences. On a literary level, he starts to get the idea of a sort od mid life crisis travel book...
26/08/2020 • 17 minutes 13 seconds
095 – Young Dante Alighieri and Florence
We start to take a look at the life and times of the great poet Dante Alighieri, taking the opportunity to look more closely at the history of his city, Florence.
19/08/2020 • 25 minutes 3 seconds
094 – Naples vs Sicily
We see how the descent of Emperor Henry VII reignites the conflict between Frederick of Sicily and the new king of Naples, Robert. The animosity will last as long as the two men live.
02/08/2020 • 20 minutes 20 seconds
093 – A change of scenery for the papacy and an anachronistic emperor
The papacy, under Clement V heads off for its long exile to Avignone and then Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII tries to move back the clock on the Italian scene.
18/07/2020 • 23 minutes 13 seconds
092 – Boniface VIII peaks and crashes
1298- 1303 Boniface VIII crushes the internal opposition of the Colonna, organises the first Jubilee, dabble in Italian politics including Florence and then clashes once again with Philipp IV of France, which seals his fate.
26/06/2020 • 22 minutes 12 seconds
091 – Boniface VIII on the scene
1295 - 1297 We go back to the abdication of pope Celestine V in 1295 and see the rise to power of one of the most controverstial popes in history, Boniface VIII in this first of two episodes on the man and his time.
21/06/2020 • 19 minutes 33 seconds
090 – Twilight of the Sardinian Judicates
Before finally getting on to the 14th century, we see how the end of the 13th marked the beginning of the end of the Sardinian Judicates, before of course going back to look at what they actually were.
11/06/2020 • 24 minutes 11 seconds
089 – The "cannibal" count – an example of late 13th century Italian politics
the politics of late 13th century Pisa as an example of the general situation in the communes as well as touching on Sardinia.
04/06/2020 • 21 minutes 21 seconds
088 – Twilight of the communes
Before saying goodbye to the 13th century, we take a quick tour of the peninsula to tie up some loose ends, such as the maritime, republics, Piedmont and the situation with the communes.
16/05/2020 • 18 minutes 20 seconds
087 – Marco Polo part 2
Marco Polo finally leaves on his great voyage which will take him to the ends of the known earth to meet a whole series of different cultures to then come back to Venice and live though one of the republic's most dangerous moments
08/05/2020 • 20 minutes 18 seconds
086 – Marco Polo part 1
In this first episode on the 13th century explorer Marco Polo we look at some background on Venice at his time and his family as well as introducing the figure of the Great Khan Kublai.
30/04/2020 • 18 minutes 15 seconds
Special: 25th April Liberation
A special episode for the 75th anniversary of the liberation from Nazi and Fascist occupation
25/04/2020 • 17 minutes 13 seconds
085 – The war of the Sicilian Vespers gets confusing
1285 - 1302 The War of the Italian Vespers gets quite confusing, but in the end finally leads to the Peace of Calbelotta in 1302 in which the island of Sicily is separated from the rest of the kingdom.
17/04/2020 • 17 minutes 30 seconds
084 – The war of the Sicilian Vespers
1282 - 1285 The start of the War of the Sicilian Vespers and a strange duel to attempt to put an end to it.
10/04/2020 • 21 minutes 1 second
083 – Who are these Aragonese anyway? With David Cot of "The History of Spain"
Before going into the war of the Italian Vespers, we get some help from David Cot of "The History of Spain" podcast to bring us u to date on the kingdom of Aragon and Peter III and his sons.
02/04/2020 • 19 minutes 40 seconds
082 – Charles in charge and the Sicilian Vespers
1266-1282 Charles of Anjou settles down to govern his new kingdom... and make a mess if it, provoking the rebellion of the Sicilian Vespers.
27/03/2020 • 19 minutes 13 seconds
081 – The last stand of the house of Staufen with guest host Marco Cappelli
Marco Cappelli tells us about the last stand of Conradine of Hohenstauen at the battle that took place near Marco's home town Tagliacozzo.
19/03/2020 • 20 minutes 39 seconds
080 – Frederick II's boys and here come the French
1250 - 1266 We take a look at what happened to the sons of Frederick II, Conrad, Henry and Manfredi. In the case of Manfredi we see his rise to influence over almost all of Italy before it all came crashing down with the invasion of Charles of Anjou.
12/03/2020 • 17 minutes 16 seconds
079 – The Prisoner King and the rest of Frederick II's boys
1248 -1272 We start taking a look at how things progressed after the death of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, starting with his son Enzo, who fell prisoner to the Coomune of Bologna, giving rise to a whole series of legends
04/03/2020 • 19 minutes 3 seconds
078 – The Golden age of communes
We take a look at some of the factors that made the 13th century the golden age of the communes such as trade and finance as the consular communes transformed into popular communes as early signs of the coming era of the "signorie" loomed.
27/02/2020 • 20 minutes 38 seconds
077 – The situation in the 13th century and revenge in Florence
We take a look at how our communes are evolving in the 13th century with the whole messy Guelphs and Ghibellines business and have a look at the legend of how the factions were formed in Florence with the tragic tale of Buondelmonte dei Buondelmonti, a real soap opera, Florentine style.
20/02/2020 • 19 minutes 21 seconds
Recap 04: Episodes 051 – 076 from the Concordat of Worms to the death of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II
We stop for our usual recap to look back over episodes 051 to 076 going from the Concordat of Worms in 1122 to the death of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, with a look at the rise of the Commune city states and the maritime republics, Venice in particular.
11/02/2020 • 16 minutes 11 seconds
076 – St. Francis of Assisi
We look at the life and ideas of one of the most famous and influential figures in religious and non religious history, a young man who deemed of being a great soldier, who became one of the greatest champions of peace.
05/02/2020 • 37 minutes 2 seconds
075 – Heresies and the Inquisition
We take a break to look at the increase in heretical ideas and movement in the 12th and 13th centuries such as the Cathars and Waldensians and how the church decided to dea with the rising tide of critical opposition to it.
21/01/2020 • 20 minutes 50 seconds
074 – Goodbye Freddie II
We see the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II to its end as he faces off with Gregory IX and then Innocent IV, all the while dealing with the ever rebellious communes of northern Italy in their continuous struggle between pro-imperial Ghibellines and pro-papal Guelphs, up to the Battle of Parma in 1247.
14/01/2020 • 20 minutes 52 seconds
073 – Frederick II stupor mundi (and a bit naughty)
1231 - 1237 We take a moment to look more into the provate life of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and see how his court, as well as seeing a little naughtiness going on, was a cradle of culture and science. We than deal with a rebellion by his first born son Henry before we see a rematch of Empire vs Lombard League.
07/01/2020 • 18 minutes 26 seconds
072 – Frederick II takes the reigns and trouble starts
1220 - 1231 After his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor in 1220, Frederick II has to first consolidate the south, facing the Muslim rebellion and then deal with the insistence of the popes for a new Crusade, an issue he will find a completely unprecedented solution for.
29/12/2019 • 20 minutes 54 seconds
071 – Wonderboy rising: Freddie II
1197 - 2020 We see the early life of Frederick I of Sicily, son of Constance of Sicily and Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI up to the point when he becomes Emperor Frederick II himself with great regret from the popes who had hoped to keep the crown of the empire and that of the kingdom of Sicily separate. Are we in for another great class between Empire and Papacy?
23/12/2019 • 16 minutes 51 seconds
070 – No more Normans and Horrid Henry
1186 - 1197 We sadly saw goodbye to the Norman kings in Sicily and usher in a new era in which the Hohenstaufen, under emperor Henry VI, son of Barbarossa, extend their dominion from the north sea to the centre of the Meditteranean.
12/12/2019 • 20 minutes 56 seconds
069 – Venice part 06
This is the last in our miniseries on Venice, taking us from the mid twelfth century back up to the notorious 4th Crusade, but not before we look at a 1997 attempt at Venetian independence using a WWII machine gun and a home-made tank called "Tanko"
04/12/2019 • 18 minutes 46 seconds
068 – Venice part 05
This episode takes us through Venice in the 12th century, overcoming issues with Normans, Hungarians and seeing trouble starts with the Eastern Roman Empire as well as more interest towards the rest of Italy. Also there is a doge with an odd name and some confusion with the bodies of dead Saints.
27/11/2019 • 19 minutes 5 seconds
067 – Venice part 04
After being guided into the new millenium by Domenico II Orsoleo, we follow the (all too high) rise and downfall of the family as Venice itself rises and falls along its way through the 11th century with its new Norman threat as the first crusade draws closer.
13/11/2019 • 20 minutes 9 seconds
066 – Venice part 03
After addressing some listener questions on Venice, we first see Venice pass through a period of division and crisis before it finds a "saviour" in Pietro II Orsoleo who bring the city triumphantly into he new millenium.
06/11/2019 • 17 minutes 48 seconds
065 – Venice part 02
After the danger of a Franish invasion passes in 810, we then follow the Venetians as they head for the new Millenium with a change of capital and facing new enemies, threats and opportunities.
01/11/2019 • 19 minutes 15 seconds
064 – Venice part 01
We take another break from our chronological progress to take a look at Venice as we reach the fourth Crusade, the event that dramatically changed the maritime republic. IN this episode we go from the foundation to the Frankish attack in 810.
23/10/2019 • 21 minutes 42 seconds
Crossover 2 part 2 – The fall of the Borgias
This is the second and last part of a collaboration with Assassinations Podcast on the notorious Borgia family. First Niall Cooper focuses on Lucrezia Borgia and then I follow the downfall of the short-lived dynasty.
15/10/2019 • 52 minutes 30 seconds
Crossover 2 part 1 – The Rise of the Borgias
a collaboration episode with one of my favourite podcast, Assassinations Podcast. In this episode I talk about the rise of the Borgia family and Neil of Assassinations Podcast focuses on Cesare Borgia.
08/10/2019 • 32 minutes 38 seconds
063 – After Legnano, the cool Crusade and the Italian one
1176 - 1204 We take a look at the aftermath of the battle of Legnano which saw the forces of the Lombard League victorious against Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Then we take a quick look at the third and fourth Crusades.
01/10/2019 • 25 minutes 49 seconds
062 – The battle of Legnano
1176 Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the Cities of the Lombard League gather their forces and clash at a small town outside of Milan, called Legnano. The battle would echo through the centuries to be remembered in Italian politics to this day.
24/09/2019 • 25 minutes 53 seconds
061 – Prelude to Legnano
1166 - 1174 After the formation of the Lombard League of the communes of northern Italy a clash with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa had become almost inevitable. Both sides now started to prepare for the confrontation that would decide the future of Italy.
12/09/2019 • 23 minutes 48 seconds
Crossover 1 part 2 – With "The History of the Papacy" on the Lombards
In this first ever crossover episode, we talk to Steve Guerra of the History of the Papacy podcast about the Lombards. This is part 2 of 2.
03/09/2019 • 25 minutes 20 seconds
Crossover 1 part 1 – With "The History of the Papacy" on the Lombards
In this first ever crossover episode, we talk to Steve Guerra of the History of the Papacy podcast about the Lombards. This is part 1 of 2.
27/08/2019 • 24 minutes 47 seconds
060 – A communal storm arising
1162 - 1167 We see how after sorting out Milan, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa also goes on to try and deal with pope Alexander III. Meanwhile, the communes start to learn that there can be strength in numbers, with the League of Verona in 1164 and the Lombard and Italic Leagues in 1167.
20/08/2019 • 20 minutes 49 seconds
059 – Barbarossa brings the heat
1158 - 1162 After the diet of Roncaglia, we follow Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa as he tries to deal with a papal schism between Victor IV and Alexander III and then goes on to deal with the communes, particularly the every obstinate Milan.
14/08/2019 • 20 minutes 40 seconds
058 – Byzantium is back and so is Barbarossa
1155 - 1158 We see an attempt by Eastern Roman Emperor Manuel Komnenus to bring at least part of Italy back into the empire, a peace between pope Hadrian IV and the Norman king William I. Then, of course there is the continuing struggle between Frederick Barbarossa and the northern communes headed by Milan.
07/08/2019 • 20 minutes 17 seconds
057 – Hadrian and Frederick's troubles in Rome
1154 - 1155 Hadrian IV tries to come to terms with the Roman commune and its moral leader, Arnaldo da Brescia, but the results are not quite as they expected
30/07/2019 • 18 minutes 32 seconds
056 – Communal growing pains, an English pope and Barbarossa on the scene
The communes start to feel they need some admin changes. We go from pope Eugene III through an Anastasius for a bit to the major hitter Hadrian IV. All the while Frederick Barbarossa starts to come into play
23/07/2019 • 20 minutes 41 seconds
Fill in episode – Women's world cup and how offsides came to Pulaski, VA
While still doing a little dillying and a touch of dallying, we take a moment to look at the recent Women's Fifa soccer world cup and relive some soccer memories from the great state of Virginia.
12/07/2019 • 13 minutes 29 seconds
Fill-in episode – A trip to Puglia and listener questions
While waiting to get back on track, we take a virtual trip to Puglia and answer some listener questions and comments
03/07/2019 • 15 minutes 43 seconds
055 – A new Roman Republic and a kind-of crusade
1143 - 1147 n the first half of the 12th century, with communes popping up like mushrooms, Rome wasn't just gonna sit back and let them have all the fun. However, if there's something about Rome, it's that there is always a pope around.
13/06/2019 • 18 minutes 5 seconds
054 – A troubled new kingdom and cantankerous communes
1130 - 1143 We accompany Duke Roger of Sicily, Puglia and Calabria in his attempt to set up a kingdom before we take a look around our spanking new communes.
06/06/2019 • 21 minutes 31 seconds
053 – Guelfs, Ghibellines and Normans with big ideas
1122 - 1130 We finally get back to the chronological narration of Italian history, popping in to see a new Holy Roman Emperor, a new pope, or couple of popes and catch up with the ambitious Normans
29/05/2019 • 22 minutes 15 seconds
052 – A wander around in the early 12th century
Having set up the start of the communes, we take a look at what it would be like to wander around an Italian city in the early 12th century
21/05/2019 • 20 minutes 8 seconds
051 – Communes rising
We take a look at how a new form of local government, the Communes rose and gained their independence from the feudal powers that be,
14/05/2019 • 20 minutes 1 second
Recap 03: Episodes 28 – 50 from the year 1000 to the concordat of Worms in 1122
Using th concordat of Worms as a stopping point, we look back over th episodes that cover from the year 1000 to the end of the investiture crisis in 1122.
01/05/2019 • 23 minutes 44 seconds
050 – Arrivederci Arabs, the Emirate of Sicily part 2
We see the golden age of Muslim Sicily under the Fatimids and Kalbids before everything comes crashing down to to interval division and outside forces.
22/04/2019 • 20 minutes 34 seconds
049 – Arrivederci Arabs, the Emirate of Sicily part 1
We take a look back at the Arab invasione of Sicily starting with the early raids in the seventh century, through the invasion of 827 up to the fall of the Aghlabids in the early tenth century.
14/04/2019 • 19 minutes 6 seconds
048 – Bye bye Byzantines -The end of Byzantine Italy part 2
In the second part of this miniseries we go from the time of king Rotari of the Lombards at the end of the seventh century to the fall of Bai and the end of the Byzantine presence in Italy.
31/03/2019 • 21 minutes 30 seconds
047 – Bye bye Byzantines – The end of Byzantine Italy part 1
We take a look back at the Byzantine presence in Italy, from the Gothic War in 535 up to the start of the seventh century.
20/03/2019 • 23 minutes 9 seconds
046 – Matilda of Tuscany, the iron countess of Canossa, part 2
We continue the story of Matilda of Canossa as war breaks out with Emperor Henry IV. We then see yet another failed attempt at marriage, the end of the fight against Henry IV and how things went with his son and successor, Henry V while alone she tan one of the largest areas in Italy.
05/03/2019 • 28 minutes 10 seconds
045 – Matilda of Tuscany, the iron countess of Canossa Part 1
1046 - 1080 We look at the life of Matilda of Canossa, starting from the history of her family through her childhood, the humiliation of Canossa and to the start of the war against Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV.
24/02/2019 • 21 minutes 35 seconds
044 – Goodbye Henry, goodbye Matilda and a can of worms
We see how Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV ended up, as well as his long-term nemesis Matilda of Tuscany, countess of Canossa. Meanwhile we change couple of popes and get a new Emperor, yet another Henry as he also struggles with a couple of popes on their way to the concordat of Worms.
16/02/2019 • 24 minutes 7 seconds
Interview – The massacre of the Foibe and the Italian Istrian exodus with Roberta Alessandra Belulovich
On the "giornata del ricordo", a commemoration to remember the victims of the Massacre of the Foibe in Istria and Venezia Giulia in 1943 and 1945, we talk to Roberta Alessandra Belulovich, an Istria Italian about her family history and the Istrian question.
10/02/2019 • 32 minutes 29 seconds
043 – A crusading we will go
1095 - 1099 We see how Urban II took the investiture controversy to a whole different level and scored major PR points for the papacy with the first crusade.
03/02/2019 • 22 minutes 18 seconds
Special: Italy's role in the holocaust
To commemorate Holocaust remembrance day, we look at Italy's role in the tragedy, from the initial indifference to the Jews in Italy, to the racial laws of 1938 and the deportations and killings of the war period.
27/01/2019 • 19 minutes 7 seconds
042 – An "Urban" pope and an imperial soap opera
1087 - 1095 We follow the start of one of the most famous papacies in history, that of Urban II and his fight against Henry IV alongside the countess Matilda of Canossa as things get personal, while the Normans try to sort themselves out after the death of Robert Guiscard.
20/01/2019 • 17 minutes 20 seconds
041 – A Runaway pope and the end of the Fox
1085 - 1087 After the turmoil of the papacy of Gregory VII, we see a pope that just didn't want the job and follow the final years of the great Norman Robert Guiscard.
12/01/2019 • 18 minutes 1 second
NC 013 – Happy birthday podcast and national stereotypes
To celebrate the birthday of "A History of Italy" we are releasing a free versions of NewsCappuccino in which we talk about national stereotypes.
05/01/2019 • 8 minutes 14 seconds
040 – Half-time in the investiture controversy
1077 - 1085 The investiture controversy heats up with an anti-king elected in Germany and an anti-pope elected by Henry IV who then take the fight against Gregory and Matilde down into Italy with the Normans of Robert Guiscard waiting in the wings.
03/01/2019 • 16 minutes 36 seconds
Christmas 2018 – Italian Christmas past and present and a Christmas witch
We have a look at important events in Italy on and around Christmas as well as explore the traditions, including that of the Christmas witch.
26/12/2018 • 18 minutes 55 seconds
039 – A sticky end and the humiliation of Canossa
1076 - 1077 Godfrey the Hunchback meets a sticky end and the investiture controversy reaches a high point and slips towards war
19/12/2018 • 17 minutes 6 seconds
038 – Gregory VII and marriage counselling
1073 - 1076 We follow the marital problems of Matilde of Canossa and Godfrey the Hunchback of Lorain while pope Gregory VII rolled up his sleeves and get's down to some serious posing and reforming.
12/12/2018 • 18 minutes 36 seconds
037 – The Normans run out of room and the papacy out of patience
1061 - 1073 The Normand, having conquered as much as they could in Southern Italy, head for Sicily while the struggle between the papacy and the empire heats up.
05/12/2018 • 17 minutes 12 seconds
036 – Introducing a beard, a hunchback and Matilda
1052 - 1061 Bonifacio Attone of Canossa dies leaving his wife Beatrice and stepdaughter to first look to the pope and then marry Godfrey the Bearded while in the backgrounds a couple of popes come and go and we also see a change of emperors.
28/11/2018 • 17 minutes 23 seconds
035 – The lion, the fox and the Great Schism
1047 - 1054 Once pope Leo IX takes power, we follow his rather disastrous decision to challenge the Normans and Robert Guiscard. After that, we have a quick look at the start of the Great East- West Schism.
21/11/2018 • 19 minutes 35 seconds
034 – Another Henry, too many popes and naughtiness in the church
1039-1046 We follow the descent of Henry III into Italy and see how he deals with the church as a reform takes route
11/11/2018 • 20 minutes 48 seconds
033 – Here come the Normans, there goes the neighbourhood
We take a look at the arrival of the Normans in Southern Italy at the start of the XI century and follow their participation in the anti-Byzantines rebellions of the 1040's.
27/10/2018 • 18 minutes 29 seconds
032 – Saxons to Salians and a fake news legend
1024 - 1037 We look at the passage from Henry II to Conrad and look at the trouble caused for the new emperor by Bishop Aribert of Milan while he tries to consolidate his hold on Italy with the help of Bonifacio of Canossa and the new pope.
18/10/2018 • 20 minutes 23 seconds
031 – A rebellion in the south, a lion in the north and how Henry II got on
1009 - 1024 We take a look at a forgotten rebellion in the south of Italy headed by an apple tree, check in with the Canossa family to observe their growing power in the north and then see how Holy Roman emperor Henry II got on when he made his way across the Alps.
09/10/2018 • 20 minutes 37 seconds
Special: The massacre of Monte Sole
Between the 29th September and 5th October 1944, the Nazi occupiers of Italy, along with their Fascist allies, rounded up and killed almost 800 civilians, mostly elderly, women and children in the worst single episode of violence against the civilian population in Western Europe. The massacre occurred on the slopes of Monte Sole, south of Bologna.
30/09/2018 • 17 minutes 43 seconds
030 – Saxons, Saracens, Sardinia
We leave Henry II waiting for a moment to look at the increasing Saracen raids in the early 11th century before taking a look at the unique history of the Sardinian "Giudicati".
25/09/2018 • 19 minutes 26 seconds
029 – New millennium, nationalist myths, same old mess
1002 - 1013 As a new millennium dawns on the Italian pensala, we see that nothing much has changed, at least for the moment, as we see Henry II of Bavaria attempting to take power in Italy and then become emperor.
16/09/2018 • 16 minutes 1 second
Special: 8th September 1943, from infamy to resistance
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the armistice between the Italian government and the allied forces we look at the fateful day the armistice was announced and the consequences for the Italian forces and people.
09/09/2018 • 17 minutes 42 seconds
028 – The year 1000 and life for the average Giuseppe
After our recap episode, we take a look at the attitudes towards the year 1000 and have a look at what daily life was like for people around that year.
03/09/2018 • 16 minutes 39 seconds
NC 003 – Identity crisis of a Brexit victim
We explore the concept of national identity and pride and look at additive rather than subtractive human pride.
30/08/2018 • 8 minutes 18 seconds
Recap 02 – episodes 014 – 027
In this recap episode we look back over the period from the fall of the Lombard kingdom at the hands of Charlemagne in 774 to the year 1000.
27/08/2018 • 19 minutes 25 seconds
NewsCappuccino 002 – On the possible third Italian republic and unity
A look at the paper is an opportunity to explain the make-up of the current government and prompts consideration about the state of Italian unity today.
22/08/2018 • 11 minutes 41 seconds
NewsCappuccino 001 – Choosing coffee, choosing a government and a visit to Rome
In the bar today a conversation about the government between two men with Roman accents prompts memories of trips to the eternal city, inlacing one adventure riding with a coach-full of modern-day hippies.
22/08/2018 • 11 minutes 58 seconds
NewsCappuccino 000 – Launch episode
Welcome to the new Paypal and patron-only feature of "A History of Italy": NewsCapuccino. In this programme we're going to take a look at current affairs, stories and memories, starting from Italy and Italian issues, but taking a look at the world as well.
22/08/2018 • 3 minutes 18 seconds
027 – Yet another Otto (III)
983 - 1002 After the death of Otto II, we see how his young son was brought up to manhood under the regency of his mother Theophanu and his grandmother Adelaide of Italy and how he became an emperor with dreams of greatness, as well as how those dress clashed with reality
19/08/2018 • 20 minutes 4 seconds
026 – Another Otto (II)
973 - 983 We take just a moment to mourn Otto I and then proceed to see how his son, Otto II, got on with his attempt to hold the Holy Roman Empire together and even try to expand to all of the Italian peninsula while dealing with the usual pope complications.
12/08/2018 • 19 minutes 53 seconds
025 – Ottonian Italy
966 - 973 Otto I of Germany continues to consolidate his hold over Italy, attempting to go all the way south and dislodge the remaining Byzantine presence, meanwhile setting up his son with a Byzantine princess, Theophanu.
04/08/2018 • 18 minutes 25 seconds
Interview – Daniela Pellacani on Ciro Menotti
We have a chat with Italian teacher and history enthusiast Daniela Pellacani from Carpi on one of the heroes of the Risorgimento, Ciro Menotti.
27/07/2018 • 17 minutes 55 seconds
024 – Outstanding Otto and more mess from a porn pope
951 - 066 We take a look at the reign of the teenage oboe John XII and the start of the struggle between the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire
21/07/2018 • 18 minutes 6 seconds
023 – Here come the Ottonians
932 - 955 We look at how Alberic II did after taking control of Rome from his mother Marozia and his stepfather Guido of Provence. Then we jave a look at the usual confusion in northern Italy before the descent of the Saxon king Otto I, while we wait for the unforgettable pope John Xii to come on the scene.
13/07/2018 • 19 minutes 50 seconds
022 – More mischief from Marozia
910 - 932 We look at the second part of the incredible story of Marozia, as we use her family as an example of the chaos that was early tenth century Italy.
29/06/2018 • 20 minutes 53 seconds
021 – Rowdy Roman Revelry: Marozia's pornocracy
897 - 910 We take a look at the situation of debauchery and corruption that Italy, and more specifically Rome, fell into during the ninth and tenth centuries, with a particular focus on the Tuscolo family and perhaps its most famous member, Marozia.
21/06/2018 • 16 minutes 34 seconds
020 – Annoying anarchy
888- 926 We look at the anarchy Italy fell into after the end of the Carolingians with the dealings of such men as Berengarius of Friuli and Guy of Spoleto, intersperse with some more foreign kings and emperors.
13/06/2018 • 21 minutes 14 seconds
019 – Feudal fun with the Franks
843- 887 We finish off the last of th Carolingians in Italy and take a look at the feudal system they brought with them into the county.
08/06/2018 • 20 minutes 43 seconds
Special: Republic Day and an unprecedented institutional crisis
We look back over the history of the upcoming cementation of Republic Day, 2nd June and look at the current political situation in the light of the constitution that cam out of that historical moment.
30/05/2018 • 19 minutes
018 – A clear-up on kingdoms and back up the boot in the ninth century
We first cleat up the concept of the "Kingdom of Italy" and then make our way back up from the Arab Emirate of Sicily to look at the Principality of Benevento, the Duchy of Naples and the Duchy of Spoleto in the ninth century as the Carolingians do their thing up north.
23/05/2018 • 18 minutes 49 seconds
017 – Some silly Syracusans, some Saracens and Sicily, plus pirates
827-840 We leave the north for a while and take a look at Sicily. First we have a quick peak at the start of the Arab raids on the island in the early seventh century and then head back to the ninth when Sicily became an Arab Emirate.
16/05/2018 • 15 minutes 39 seconds
016 – Italy after Charlemagne
800 - 840 We look at what happened up to and after the death of Charlemagne to see what his sons got up to.
09/05/2018 • 15 minutes 14 seconds
Special: A load of baloney from Bologna part 2
The second part of a two-part episode on the history of the city of Bologna. Her ewe cover the modern and contemporary eras of the regional capital of Emilia Romagna
02/05/2018 • 15 minutes 50 seconds
Special: A load of baloney from Bologna Part 1
This is the first part of a two-part series on the history of the city of Bologna, from pre-history to the end of the Middle Ages.
26/04/2018 • 23 minutes 26 seconds
015 – A Confusing Christmas Coronation
795 - 800 We look at the election and tumultuous adventures of pope Leo III before he goes on to crown Charlemagne, thus determining the relations between the papacy and the budding Holy Roman Empire for centuries to come
18/04/2018 • 12 minutes 27 seconds
014 – Carolingian Italy
We have a look at the system that Charlemagne set up in Italy, the administration, the economy and the educational reform
11/04/2018 • 16 minutes 4 seconds
Recap 01 Episodes 001 – 013 from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the fall of the Lombards
A recap of the first thirteen episodes that acts as a refresher before we move on to the Carolingian reign in Italy and the growing power of the papcy and the Holy Roman Empire
04/04/2018 • 13 minutes 39 seconds
013 - A look at the Catholic church
We take a look back at the Catholic church as it's role in Italy increases with the arrival of the Franks.
28/03/2018 • 17 minutes 5 seconds
Interview – Dario Pedrazzini on the Lombards
An interview with Dario Pedrazzini on the daily lives of the Lombards at the time of king Rothari from his book on the topic
28/03/2018 • 17 minutes 4 seconds
012 – Here come the Franks
771-774 The Franks make their definitive entrance into Italy and the existence of the Lombard kingdom hangs in the balance. We take a look at how the events really went and then go back, following the story of Alessandro Manzoni's "Adlechi" to see a juicier version of the events.
21/03/2018 • 15 minutes 57 seconds
011 – The Lombards' last linger in the limelight
744 - 770 From the endow the reign of Aistulf in 756 to the hight of power of king Desiderius, who by 770 gad taken the Lombards to their maximum expansion and influence
14/03/2018 • 15 minutes 22 seconds
Special: The 2018 Italian election
An explanation and recap of the 2018 Italian election
07/03/2018 • 23 minutes 11 seconds
010 – Getting tired of living with the Lombards
712 - 744 Liutprand, one of the top 3 Lombard kings and his successors, Ratchis and Aistulf with the pope becoming more of a player and the Franks looming as ever
28/02/2018 • 19 minutes 32 seconds
009 – A crazy confusing conundrum of kings
652-712 From the death of Rothari through a series of kings to the reign of Ansprand in 712 as usual with some Franks and Byzantines thrown in
21/02/2018 • 16 minutes 29 seconds
008 – The Lombards get comfy and some laws
590 - 643 The end of the reign of Agilulf, through Adaloald and Airport through to Rothari and his historical edict
14/02/2018 • 18 minutes 58 seconds
007 – Living with the Lombards
575-589 The Lombards start to settle down and get to know the neighbourhood and the troublesome neighbours as they go through an interregnum of the Dukes before they get back to electing a king and bashing the Byzantines
07/02/2018 • 19 minutes 33 seconds
006 – Here come the Lombards
555-574 A quick look at the brief period of Byzantine rule before the arrival of the Lombards in 568 and then we look at their invasion of Italy and hear a bit of juicy royal gossip
31/01/2018 • 18 minutes 36 seconds
005 – The Gothic War continues
540-554 The war between the Ostrogoths in Italy and the imperial forces of Byzantium continues from 540 and reaches it's end in 552
24/01/2018 • 19 minutes 29 seconds
004 – Queen Amalasuntha and Byztantium gets annoyed
526-540 From the death of Theodoric the great in 526, through the regency of his daughter Amalasuntha, to the end of the first phase of the Gothic war in 540
17/01/2018 • 17 minutes 31 seconds
003 – Theodoric and the rise and fall of the Ostrogoth kingdom
493-526 From 493 when Theodoric the Great took contro of the Italian peninsula to his death in 526
10/01/2018 • 18 minutes 56 seconds
002 – The new Italian kingdom from Odoacer to Theodoric
476-493 The Italian kingdom of Odoacer (476 – 493) and the takeover by the Goths of Theodoric the Great
03/01/2018 • 17 minutes 5 seconds
001 – The end of the end and the beginning of the beginning (408 - 476)
410-476 We go back before the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 to focus on three key events and names: Alaric, Attila and Odoacer.
03/01/2018 • 22 minutes 48 seconds
000 – Launch
This is our launch episode in which we outline the content and intentions foe the podcast