Verona as a capital in modern times is an awesome and original idea.
Another major population centre far in the North of Italy? Or would you say it would lead to significantly smaller Torino, Milano or other big cities of the North?
Also, depending on where the border with Austria is finally going to be drawn, more Italianisation of parts of South Tyrol as it is fairly close by?
Glad you like it! I would say that Verona's population will boom, but I am not sure if it will come close to challenge Milano or Torino. If my figures are correct, 1848 Verona has 53000 inhabitants, while Milan has 190000 and Turin has 160000 (Venice should be around 114000). Closeness to other major centers and easy access through rail, in time, could also encourage people to just work in Verona and live nearby (unless residence in the Confederal District gives some kind of privilege). AFAIK, to the present day, Verona has a population of around 250000, realistically I would say that ITTL 2021 Verona had at least double this size, but I wouldn't say much more than that (Washington DC has around 670k inhabitants as we speak). Probably @LordKalvan can give a better answer :)
 
Verona as a capital in modern times is an awesome and original idea.
Another major population centre far in the North of Italy? Or would you say it would lead to significantly smaller Torino, Milano or other big cities of the North?
Also, depending on where the border with Austria is finally going to be drawn, more Italianisation of parts of South Tyrol as it is fairly close by?
Thank you.
The choice of Verona may look unusual, but - as Prince Ferdinando said - there are very good practical reasons behind it.
I do agree with @Tarabas: the Greater Verona will not grow beyond 650-700 k, although the Confederal District of Verona will likely have a population close to one million.
A nice plus is that the new capital can be built on modern lines, preserving the old city, and a second plus is that most of the area surrounding the old city is government property. The Confederation is going to make some serious money, since the real estate price will grow pretty fast.
I anticipate that both Veneto (in particular Vicenza) and southern Lombardy (Mantua and Cremona) will greatly benefit from a capital district close by.
If anything, Turin should also benefit: the capital of Sardinia is still there. Milan should not be really affected: its growth will follow the economic development of Lombardy, although there is also a little plus since Milan too will be a regional capital.
The shores of Lake Garda will see a boom of tourism, and a summer house on the lake will become a must for all those with the money to buy it.
The big loser, in terms of population, will be Rome obviously: I certainly do not see this as a loss. IOTL the urbanistic development of Rome post 1870 was a nightmare, and its ultimate legacy is a sprawling, unmanageable city. In 1948 Rome will be a much smaller city than IOTL, but a much more beautiful one.
There should be benefits for Florence too, and Naples (but that is a story which has yet to be told). Palermo will bloom under the dynasty of Savoia-Sicily.

There are going to be three areas with significant linguistic minorities: Cisalpine Tyrol (if it is taken) with German and Ladino speakers, the County of Gorizia, with Slovene speakers mainly in the North, and obviously French-speaking Savoy (potentially a fourth one in Dalmatia, but here I do anticipate a slow but constant increase of Venetian dialect). A forced or even a state-driven Italianization is not in the cards: there never was such a policy in Savoy, and there is not going to be anything of the kind in the Cisalpine Tyrol or in the County of Gorizia. The reasons for my optimism should be quite obvious: the annexation of these area came early enough (and I would add in a much less contentious way), and there will be provisions in the Confederal Constitution for the protection of linguistic minorities. This said, it is probably unavoidable that Italian will be at least a second language (but this is not different from Italian becoming the prestige language everywhere in Italy, relegating dialects to a secondary role).
 
Narrative Interlude #42: A staff meeting at the front
Palmanova, 10 April 1848 - Evening

Coincidentally, another staff meeting was taking place at the same time in Palmanova.
Besides Henri d'Orleans and Carlo di Borbone, Gen. Di Sonnaz, Sig. Cavedalis, Podesta'Dragoni, Gen. Zucchi (1), Commander Padoan (2), and a few other officers were attending. Captain Pietro Calvi couldn't manage to attend, but Sig. Cavedalis would fill in for him.

Henri started the meeting:
"My compliments to Gen. Zucchi, commander of the fortress. I have been impressed by the state of readiness of your soldiers. My compliments also to Podesta' Dragoni and to sig. Cavedalis. Sig. Manin has assured me personally that you gentleman will be able to provide us with information on the enemy: your knowledge of the region will be invaluable."

Cavedalis replied: "Thank you, Gen. D'Orleans. We welcome you and the soldiers of the Expeditionary Corps, with the same glad heart with which we welcomed the previous arrival of Gen. De Sonnaz at the end of March. Captain Calvi has been detained in Cadore, since there were rumors of Austrian columns probing the alpine passes, but I can fill in for him. I would like to introduce Commander Padoan, of the Navy of the Republic of St. Mark: there is a flotilla of Venetian units near the coast, and the Commander landed by boat and arrived here yesterday, to bring us the last news and coordinate future actions.

"Thank you sig. Cavedalis. Gen. De Sonnaz, let's have a review of the situation on the Isonzo."

"Sir, the Austrians have been very passive since our arrival. We were able to secure a beachhead on the eastern shore of Isonzo at Mainizza, opposite to Gorizia, and another one at Villesse, south of Gradisca. We are keeping the fortress of Gradisca under close observation: it's an old one, but quite strong, and will probably necessitate a formal siege to reduce it. According to sig. Cavedalis, the garrison is about 500 men. We have also received some information about Gorizia, although we have avoided getting too close. Gen. Nugent is in Gorizia, with some 15,000 men. Friendly civilians have informed us that he has been promised another 4 Croat regiments, but it is not too clear when they are going to arrive. My assessment is that, between the situation in Hungary and our successful liberation of Dalmatia, the imperial government is unwilling to commit the regiments from the Military Frontier."

"Sir, with your permission I would update you on the naval situation. A Venetian flotilla is at anchor in front of Grado. The town was not garrisoned, and the townsmen have welcomed our arrival. We got also some information from Monfalcone: there is a single Austrian regiment in the town, based in Monfalcone castle. Two brigantines are moored at the docks. There are old batteries at the entrance of the port, but they are not apparently in a state of readiness. Our units are ready to force the entrance of the port whenever you may consider it convenient." By all appearances, Commander Padoan looked quite eagerly to the investment of Monfalcone.

"Very well, gentlemen. Here is what I think: ...."
Henri d'Orleans went on to explain his plans for the Isonzo Campaign.
The first step would certainly be the occupation of Monfalcone: De Sonnaz would move on the town with three regiments, and the attack was scheduled for the dawn of 13 April; the Venetian flotilla would probe the entrance of the port and silence the batteries.
After taking Monfalcone, the Parmesan lancers would scout the country towards Trieste. Cavedalis was tasked to find out how many Austrian troops were holding the city, which was protected by forts on the seaside but poorly defended against a landward attack.
In the meantime, the troops of the Expeditionary Corps would be deployed in front of Gorizia, and cut any link between Gorizia and Gradisca. An effective investment of either would require siege guns, but Nugent might be forced to vacate Gorizia and retire towards Lubiana or to risk a field battle.
"Prince Ferdinando believes we have no more than one month at best before the Austrians ask for a cease-fire: the diplomacy of the Powers is already starting to pressure them. Let make the best use of the time allotted to us."

Footnotes​
  1. Carlo Zucchi was born in Reggio di Lombardia in 1777. He fought with distinction (and was ennobled) under Napoleon. He also valiantly fought in the insurrections of 1831 and was arrested by Austrians leaving Ancona in 1832 to go to France in exile. Condemned to 20 years in prison, he was held in Palmanova. He was freed after the mutiny of 24 March 1848 and appointed commander of the fortress.​
  2. A fictional character.​
Made in @LordKalvan
 
Thank you.
The choice of Verona may look unusual, but - as Prince Ferdinando said - there are very good practical reasons behind it.
I do agree with @Tarabas: the Greater Verona will not grow beyond 650-700 k, although the Confederal District of Verona will likely have a population close to one million.
A nice plus is that the new capital can be built on modern lines, preserving the old city, and a second plus is that most of the area surrounding the old city is government property. The Confederation is going to make some serious money, since the real estate price will grow pretty fast.
I anticipate that both Veneto (in particular Vicenza) and southern Lombardy (Mantua and Cremona) will greatly benefit from a capital district close by.
If anything, Turin should also benefit: the capital of Sardinia is still there. Milan should not be really affected: its growth will follow the economic development of Lombardy, although there is also a little plus since Milan too will be a regional capital.
The shores of Lake Garda will see a boom of tourism, and a summer house on the lake will become a must for all those with the money to buy it.
The big loser, in terms of population, will be Rome obviously: I certainly do not see this as a loss. IOTL the urbanistic development of Rome post 1870 was a nightmare, and its ultimate legacy is a sprawling, unmanageable city. In 1948 Rome will be a much smaller city than IOTL, but a much more beautiful one.
There should be benefits for Florence too, and Naples (but that is a story which has yet to be told). Palermo will bloom under the dynasty of Savoia-Sicily.

There are going to be three areas with significant linguistic minorities: Cisalpine Tyrol (if it is taken) with German and Ladino speakers, the County of Gorizia, with Slovene speakers mainly in the North, and obviously French-speaking Savoy (potentially a fourth one in Dalmatia, but here I do anticipate a slow but constant increase of Venetian dialect). A forced or even a state-driven Italianization is not in the cards: there never was such a policy in Savoy, and there is not going to be anything of the kind in the Cisalpine Tyrol or in the County of Gorizia. The reasons for my optimism should be quite obvious: the annexation of these area came early enough (and I would add in a much less contentious way), and there will be provisions in the Confederal Constitution for the protection of linguistic minorities. This said, it is probably unavoidable that Italian will be at least a second language (but this is not different from Italian becoming the prestige language everywhere in Italy, relegating dialects to a secondary role).

Even though none of the pre-unitary Italian states had a policy of forced cultural assimilation, I seem to recall that Austria-Hungary tried to pull that card with the Ladin-speaking areas of Tyrol: today's Ladinia is restricted to five valleys between South Tyrol, Trentino and Veneto, but it once extended all the way west to the Val di Non, more or less like how today's Romansch-speaking areas used to be a whole connected region rather than a series of enclaves in German-speaking land; Rhaeto-Romance speakers sure couldn't catch a break in the 19th century.

The Ladin people has historically gravitated more towards Austria than towards Veneto but, since fellow Rhaeto-Romance region Friuli has already achieved a semi-autonomous status inside of Veneto, I can see the Ladin valleys ask for a similar arrangement as well, especially since they're small even by Swiss canton standards. As for Dalmatia, it'd be cool if the Dalmatian language were to make a comeback not unlike that of Cornish or Manx, an almost extinct language brought back from the dead by a handful of dedicated people.

About urbanism, an earlier development of modern sensibilities would be one hell of a boon for Italy - and I wonder if other countries could follow suit as well, instead of mowing down their historical heritage with reckless abandon; not just in Europe, but also in other continents, and especially in those countries lucky enough to avoid direct colonization.
 
About urbanism, an earlier development of modern sensibilities would be one hell of a boon for Italy - and I wonder if other countries could follow suit as well, instead of mowing down their historical heritage with reckless abandon; not just in Europe, but also in other continents, and especially in those countries lucky enough to avoid direct colonization.
Hear, hear :)
However, I think that not every building needs necessarily to be preserved, and that the demands of modernization will impose better access to the old city centers.
A reasonable compromise between preservation and modernization should be the ideal goal, with a dash of greed because nothing happens without an incentive.
The progressive urbanization of the population cannot be simply wished away, but it must be addressed with some thoughtfulness.
 
Hear, hear :)
However, I think that not every building needs necessarily to be preserved, and that the demands of modernization will impose better access to the old city centers.
A reasonable compromise between preservation and modernization should be the ideal goal, with a dash of greed because nothing happens without an incentive.
The progressive urbanization of the population cannot be simply wished away, but it must be addressed with some thoughtfulness.

I was thinking more along the lines of the "let's demolish it even though it makes no sense to do so except in the mind of a sociopath" mentality that led Mussolini to bulldoze half of Rome and Ceausescu to do the same to half of Romania, not to mention the contemporary-to-Ferdinando's rearrangement of Paris along "fuck the poors" lines. :p
 
I was thinking more along the lines of the "let's demolish it even though it makes no sense to do so except in the mind of a sociopath" mentality that led Mussolini to bulldoze half of Rome and Ceausescu to do the same to half of Romania, not to mention the contemporary-to-Ferdinando's rearrangement of Paris along "fuck the poors" lines. :p
While I certainly agree with you on the disasters produced by Musso or Ceasescu, the damp and overcrowded tenements of the center of Paris are not missed by anyone
Thank you, Baron Haussman 👍
 
Was he? I admit my ignorance in the matter, but it sounds a bit surprising, I would go as far as saying "un-French" ;)
I read it somewhere, might be in Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum", now I could not find it anywhere; admittedly, some sites say that is the other way around. I need to look further into the matter, though...
 
Quick question: I have always been curious about the possibility of an Italian unification without the French help in order to keep the Savoy region and Nizza, so I checked what kind of natural resources were available in those region and I found out that there were a lot coal deposits in Savoy but I found nothing regarding the availability and the richness of those deposits... Considering that Italy have always been starved of coal, could the possession of those deposits change the speed and the type of industrialization of the Italian region? Does any of you have any references ?
 

Arrix85

Donor
May I ask about the situation in Emilia? I'm a bit fuzzy about it. (Romagna I guess it depens about how stuff goes down in Rome).
 
May I ask about the situation in Emilia? I'm a bit fuzzy about it. (Romagna I guess it depens about how stuff goes down in Rome).
Piacenza has asked for annexation to Sardinia, while Parma, Reggio and Modena are (informally) united as "Cispadanian Duchies", under a Provisional Government.
As far as the Legations are concerned, their status will be their own decision (but their economic interests are more linked to Lombardy, Veneto and Tuscany than to Latium).
 
Quick question: I have always been curious about the possibility of an Italian unification without the French help in order to keep the Savoy region and Nizza, so I checked what kind of natural resources were available in those region and I found out that there were a lot coal deposits in Savoy but I found nothing regarding the availability and the richness of those deposits... Considering that Italy have always been starved of coal, could the possession of those deposits change the speed and the type of industrialization of the Italian region? Does any of you have any references ?
I have to admit that I am very much surprised by the news that Savoy was home to significant coal deposits.
Do you have a link?
 
Only Wikipedia image for coal deposit in France :(
Yes, I had seen that map, but Savoy was never included among the coal fields of France, and there is no report of mining activities ever.
It makes me think that either the coal seams were inaccessible or not commercially viable (or possibly the quality was poor).
The only area with significant coal mines in Italy was in Sardinia, in the Sulcis coal fields: even those mines were marginal, since the coal contained over 3% Sulphur.
 
Yes, I had seen that map, but Savoy was never included among the coal fields of France, and there is no report of mining activities ever.
It makes me think that either the coal seams were inaccessible or not commercially viable (or possibly the quality was poor).
The only area with significant coal mines in Italy was in Sardinia, in the Sulcis coal fields: even those mines were marginal, since the coal contained over 3% Sulphur.
I do agree with you. I found some studies regarding coal mining in France before and after WWI, and even when the depots in Pas-de-Calais or Lorraine were under German control (or worse, when the Germans actively destroyed those before retreating) there is not a single mention of Savoy...
 
Hello,

Quick question: I have always been curious about the possibility of an Italian unification without the French help in order to keep the Savoy region and Nizza, so I checked what kind of natural resources were available in those region and I found out that there were a lot coal deposits in Savoy but I found nothing regarding the availability and the richness of those deposits... Considering that Italy have always been starved of coal, could the possession of those deposits change the speed and the type of industrialization of the Italian region? Does any of you have any references ?
This is all I could dig up...
 
Thanks for the links. It looks like that there was coal mining in Savoy during WW1, since the French government imposed a maximum price not to be exceeded, but unfortunately there is no indication of production or coal quality, at least from the first quick glance at the links.

There were also railways built in the 1850s and 1860 to connect Piedmont to Savoy and then linking to the French railway system. The line became fully operative only in 1871, when the tunnel under the Frejus was completed, but before that there was a narrow gauge railway connecting Susa in Piedmont with Saint Michel in Savoy, going from 500 mt. asl to 2,084 mt. asl at the Frejus Pass and then down to 785 mt asl at St. Michel. Travelling from Susa to St. Michel took 5 hours, compared to the 12 hours required to travel the same route by stagecoach trained by mules (up to 30 mules were needed!).
A brief history of the railway construction in Piedmont can be found here (in Italian, sorry)
 
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