As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
There is a great pdf file which includes information and photos of men from the town of Montemaggiore Belsito who died during the wars. To access it, go to the Italian search engine www.virgilio.it and search the phrase Uomini in guerra