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.
The book is titled A CONCISE HISTORY OF ITALY by CHRISTOPHER DUGGAN (1994) 294 PAGES Cambridge University Press ($US 12.95)
You can pick up the above description of the book thru Google.com under HISTORY OF ITALY BOOKS and you can judge for yourself if this book will meet your needs ( I think it will). You will find it on the first page midway down. =Peter=
A book I've enjoyed is ITALY: A SHORT HISTORY by HARRY HEARDER. It covers the boot from pre-historic times to 2001. A lot of books on Italy will start after the collapse of the Roman Empire in circa 500, so it can be challenging to find one that covers her entire history. Buona Fortuna.