Cari amici

I am delighted to announce this very special event, the Celebration Luncheon.

What  are we celebrating?

We are celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Venice, Veneto and Friuli  joining the Kingdom of Italy and the 155th anniversary of the Reunification of Italy. Italy, for the first time since the Roman Empire, was reunited as a one political entity. During many centuries Italy was divided into smaller States that often were at odds with one another. And because of this weakness, it was often overrun and conquered by more powerful European nations.  By the 19th century, a great many Italians were fed-up of being controlled and governed by foreign nations and thus  Il Risorgimento (the Resurgence of Italy) was born.  You will find a short and concise expose’ of Italy’s Wars of Independence at the end of this post.

The Hon. Antonio Verde, Consul General of Italy, will be in attendance.  To honor his presence and to make the luncheon quite special, we have researched the menu of the meals that the Venetians served to the King of Italy 150 years ago. Among the various recipes, we have selected a few that sounded incredibly good.  The Chef of La Cumbre Country Club, well-known for his versatility and skill, has agreed to use them to create a meal worth of a King.

It will be an overall interesting and delightful experience.  You will meet the Consul and you will enjoy the company of other Circolo Italiano members.  You will learn some interesting facts about Italy but, equally as important, you will eat and drink like a King!

And here are the details:

 Thursday, October 20, 2016
12:00 Noon
 La Cumbre Country Club  (4015 Via Laguna, Santa Barbara)

Cost: $50

Reservations are required and the payment must accompany your reservation.

Deadline to reserve is Friday, October 14th, 2016

To reserve and pay by CHECK: please click on this LINK for a downloadable and printable RSVP form.


The unification of the many Italian fragmented states took place between 1848 and 1919, a 71 year period during which four wars of Independence were fought.

The First Italian war of Independence was between Piedmont-Sardinia and the Austrian Empire in which the Austrians prevailed and were paid 65 Million Francs in damages.

It became obvious to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia that they could not defeat the Austrian Empire by themselves and that an alliance was essential. Allied with France’s Napoleon III, the Second War of Independence was successful in defeating Austria and in 1859 Lombardy was ceded to the Italians. In recompense for their help, France was given Nice and Savoy.

Subsequently, in 1861 other Italian states revolted and joined Piedmont-Sardinia into what became the Kingdom of Italy with Vittorio Emanuele II as its sovereign. It was known as IL RISORGIMENTO, the resurgence of Italy as a unified nation after millennia.

There were remaining areas of the peninsula that were overwhelmingly Italian but not yet part of the nation, known as “Italia Irredenta”, forming the irredentist movement that prevailed from then on.

The Third War of Independence was also known as the Seven Weeks War. The short duration of the conflict belies the importance of its aftermath. The Prussian German states became the major challenger to Austria’s hegemony and a minor issue over the Schleswig-Holstein disputes, first with Denmark, then with Austria itself, triggered a war. Italy, seeing an opportunity for some territorial gains and courted by Prussia which hoped to force Austria to fight on two fronts, joined them against Austria. The reward was to be the Veneto. Despite some military setbacks, the Italo-Prussian alliance prevailed and the Austrians were forced to cede Venice to Italy but they chose to hand it to Napoleon III instead. He, in turn, handed Venice to King Vittorio Emanuele II and, in a plebiscite, Venice voted to join Italy.

We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of this event, which also brought back the iconic Iron Crown (La Corona Ferrea di Lombardia) which the Austrians had taken to Vienna.  This little crown, dating back to the 4th Century AD, gets its name from the iron ring, said to be forged from a Crucifixion nail and given to a Lombard queen by St. Helen.  It was used by all Christian rulers through the centuries, including Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperors and Napoleon.

The Fourth and final War of Independence is also WWI, after which Italy gained back Trento, the South Tyrol (or Trentino-Alto Adige as the Italians would call it) and Trieste in 1919.