On this day: December 1944

Second World War Two Black and White Vintage 1940s A British jeep passes a sign warning against looting on the outskirts of Ravenna, Italy, 7 December 1944.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museum

7th December 1944: A British jeep passes a sign on the side of the road in Ravenna in Northern Italy warning people not to loot. It optimistically suggests the Second World War would end soon.

The Allies had many reasons to believe this to be true. Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini had been arrested and dismissed the year before, and the Allies had worked their way through the country, defeating Axis powers.

The war would end a few months after this photograph was taken.

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On this day: Anti-Semitism in Italy

This is the cover of Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera from the 11th of November, 1938. The headline announces the country’s fascist government approving Italian Racial Laws, which discriminated against a number of groups and stripped Jews of their citizenship, barring them from many institutions.

While Italy didn’t have the significant Jewish population of some other areas of Europe, dictator Benito Mussolini fell into line with Adolf Hitler on racial policies. Italy aligned itself with Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Corriere_testata_1938 Front page of Corriere della Sera the day Italian racial laws were enacted by the Fascist regime, in 1938. Anti-Semistism in Italy. 1930s.

100 Years Ago: the end of a war

Vittorio_Veneto1918IWM British and Italian convoys passing abandoned Austro-Hungarian artillery Val d'Assa mountain road. Pass was entered by the 143rd Infantry Brigade, 48th Division, a

2nd November 1918: Nine days before the end of the First World War, British and Italian convoys pass abandoned Austro-Hungarian artillery on a mountain road.

The photograph was taken during the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, in Italy’s north.

The battle concluded the following day, marking both an Italian victory and the end of the war on the Italian front.

On this day: the death of Pope Pius IX

IX__Piusz_pápaPope Pius IX, born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, who reigned from 16 June 1846 to his death in 1878.

Pope Pius IX, head of the Catholic Church, died in the Apostolic Palace in Rome on the 7th of February, 1878.

Pio_IX_04Foto scattata nel 1862 ad Anzio - autore naturalmente deceduto da oltre 100 anni Pope Pius IX 19th Century Catholicism Christian

Photographed in the 1860s

Born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti in 1792, the Italian port town of Senigallia, Pius IX became the longest-running elected Pope in the history of the Catholic Church, with a papacy that lasted for over thirty-one years, from the 16th of June, 1846 until his death.

The Pope was beatified on the 3rd of September, 2000.

On this day: the downing of Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870

800px-museo_usticaremains-of-the-plane-at-the-museum-for-the-memory-of-ustica-bologna-italy-2007

The recovered wreckage in 2007. X

On the 27th of June, 1980, Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 disappeared from the sky during a flight from Bologna to Palermo, Italy.

The plane crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea, killing all eighty-one people on board.

italy_provincial_location_map_2015_svg-the-downing-of-aerolinee-itavia-flight-870

While it was concluded by British investigators that a bomb on the aircraft caused the disaster, to this day Italian officials insist a missile was fired at the plane.

The disaster occurred in the middle of a wave of terrorist acts to hit Italy (such as the Bologna Bombing), fuelled by far left and right-wing groups in the country’s north.

On this day: Preparing for Battle

This photograph, dated the 24th of June, 1918, shows Italian troops at 10am, waiting for battle.

They are in the commune of Nervesa, in the northern Italian Veneto region, an area that was largely destroyed in battle in the days immediately before.

The soldiers retook the region from the Austro-Hungarians.

World War 1 - Italian Army Nervesa - Italian troops at 10am on 24th June 1918 near the train station before the battle