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Italy is a country in Southern Europe. It is worldwide famous for its culture and landscape. Italy already appeared a few times throughout the Hitman series.

History

In ancient times, the Italian peninsula was the heartland of the Roman Empire, which stretched at its greatest extent from Portugal to Babylonia and from England to Nubia. After the fall of Rome, the peninsula was ruled by Germanic tribes, which fell under Frankish rule when Charlemagne conquered them in the late 8th century. When the Holy Roman Empire was founded in 962, the Northern parts of Italy came under German rule. In Central Italy, the Papal states took in a dominant position, while the South was the venue of a power struggle between Arabs, Normans and Greeks.

By the 14th century however, a few dominant power players had been emerged: The Republic of Venice, the Republic of Florence, the Papal States, the Kingdom of Naples, the Republic of Genoa and the Duchy of Milan. At that time, Italy was one of the most urbanized regions in Europe. It was a time of prosperity, art and science, because Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance, and humanist and scientific ideals replaced the old religious ones.

The Italian Golden Age quickly came to an end when the European trade began to focus on the oversea colonies, the Ottoman Empire strengthened their grip over the Mediterranean and new great powers rose to power in Europe: Spain, France and Austria all tried to bring the peninsula under their sphere of influence. In 1525, Spain had control over all of Southern Italy and Lombardy; The once wealthy and influential Italian penunsla was at decline.

In 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Northern Italy, which was Austrian and Venetian territory at that time. By 1805, he had conquered big parts of the peninsula and declared himself King of Italy, but after his defeat in 1815, France had to give up all of its conquered land and the old pre-war conditions were restored. Venetia and Lombardy were under Austrian control, the rest of Italy was ruled by independent dukes, kings and of course the pope. In 1861, King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia-Piedmont was able to unite all Italian lands under one banner and created the Kingdom of Italy. He established several colonies in Africa, and soon Italy became an international great power.

In 1914, Italy backed the Entente and fought against the Central Powers, even though having formed an alliance with Germany and Austria in 1882. After the Entente's victory, Italy gained South Tyrol, Trentino and Istria, former Austrian territorities. However, the country was in a state of crisis after the war and politically and economically destabilized, which led to the rise of the fascist movement under Benito Mussolini and their seize of power in 1922. Italy fought on Germany's side in World War II, but capitulated in 1943 to American forces. After the war, the kingdom was abolished, and the Italian Republic was declared, which has been lasting until today. Italy is a founding member of both the NATO and the EU and is considered a modern great power. However, the country is, beside for his culture, also famous for various corruption scandals, high government debts and problems with organized crime, which all make out the dark side of "Bella Italia".

Missions

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

HITMAN™