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.
Thanks Carmine - I think it probably is.
Looks like another family myth has been busted!
It would be nice if one day a family story turned out to be true - perhaps he fought with Garibaldi at an earlier date - it cannot have been later because he was in England by 1861.
Garibaldi was fighting in Italy from the 1840's, so just b/c your ancestor wasn't part of the invasion of Sicily doesn't mean he didn't fight under Garibaldi. I know I've "busted" some family legends, only to later find they were true (if altered) after deeper research.
I know those lists above are not complete, as I've seen a list which specifically had town residents from Menfi in Sicily, including some of my own ancestors, but that list does not seem to be available online anymore.
As a child (in the '50s) I was told that one of my ancestors was a member of Garibaldi's 1000. I seem to remember that he was also one of Garibaldi's lieutenants. This ancestor was Greek, and would have been one of the Ionides family, except that his surname wasn't Ionides. I did know his name, but have long forgotten it.
Have had a look through the lists kindly supplied above, but can't see a Greek name, or any Greek place of birth or residence. If anyone can identify a Greek member of the doughty Redshirts, I'd be grateful. Although families seem to be notorious for embellishing or inventing things about their ancestors (especially, I should guess, when a bit of romantic fighting legend is involved), there wasn't any great fuss about this chap, it was just mentioned as a firmly established family fact. The only thing that is clear to me from the accounts of Garibaldi's various campaigns is that a number of Greeks did join in with him - but so did a great number of different nationals. It's very possible that my ancestor joined Garibaldi at the time he aided the Greeks against the Turks.