Travel is my driving force in life, and although I have had the privilege of visiting 30 countries so far, my heart will always remain in India...
Circa 900 BC: the Etruscans settled in the centre of the country. The city of Rome was founded a century later. It first housed a monarchy, then a Republic from the 6th Century BC.
400 to 200 BC: Rome dominated and imposed the Latin language.
1st Century BC to 5th Century AD: the Republic of Rome became an empire.
10th Century: this empire was integrated into the Holy Roman Empire.
12th and 13th centuries: the rich cities reached the apex of their glory: Pisa, Genoa, Florence, Milan and Venice.
Mid 16th Century: Italy fell into decline and was dominated by its Austrian and French neighbours.
1861: the period of the 'risorgimento' (the Renaissance) led to the unity of Italy under Victor-Emmanuel II.
1922: Mussolini came to power.
1946: The Republic was proclaimed.
1958 to 1968: the Christian-democrats were in power and led the country through a decade of economic growth, otherwise known as the 'economic miracle'.
1976 to 1979: the historic compromise was reached between the Christian-democrats and the communists against a background of terrorism (the Prime Minister Aldo Moro is assassinated by the Red Brigades in 1978).
1983: Socialist Bettino Craxi became prime minister.
June 1994: Silvio Berlusconi became head of government following the victory of the 'Freedom Poll' in the legislative elections
April 1996: a centre-left coalition, the 'Olive Tree,' won the legislatives. Romano Prodi was voted president of the Council.
September 1997: an earthquake in the Assissi region caused 12 deaths.
October 1998: Massimo D'Alema was placed at the head of a new coalition government.
June 2008: Silvio Berlusconi was re-elected prime minister.
November 2011: Mario Monti replaced Berlusconi as Prime Minister