Today is the 150th anniversary of the 'Presa di Roma' ('Capture of Rome'), which took place on September 20th, 1870, thereby bringing to an end over one thousand years of Papal rule of the Eternal City.
Although the Kingdom of Italy had been created on March 17th, 1861, Rome remained a separate entity under the control of the pope. This all came to an end on September 20th, 1870, when, after a three-hour bombardment had breached the Aurelian Walls at Porta Pia, the infantry corps of the Bersaglieri broke into the Eternal City.
Less than two weeks later Rome and the region of Lazio were annexed to the Kingdom of Italy after a plebiscite was held on October 2nd. The Via Pia, the road departing from Porta Pia, was duly renamed Via XX Settembre.
A monument to the Bersaglieri stands outside Porta Pia, at the beginning of Via Nomentana.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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