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 was railway expansion during this time frame. Do you have a region or province you are concerned with? I know of a few websites that discuss this (all are in Italian) in Calabria, but I do not know if you want to know about Calabria.