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.
Spain recently advertised that persons with Sephardic jewish names who had ties to Spain could regain their Spanish citizenship and thereby UE citizenship as well. Since so many jews in Spain fled to the Spanish colonies (Italy was a spanish colony from 1559-1713) many fled to Sicily and Southern Italy as well as northern Europe and western hemisphere colonies in Central and south America. So If you have a jdewish Sephardic name you might obtain a European union passport and citizenship in one fell swoop!!!!!!!
I want to clarify some misunderstanding I read above concerning not only about the Jews and the inquisition but also even some of the History of Italy and Spain. Spain exiled all jews from Spain BUT NOT ITS COLONIES in 1492 who would not convert to Christianity. The Spanish inquisition forced many jews to move to the New World in South America as well as to Sicily and parts of Italy. In 1550 Spain ruled most of Italy until 1713 and the inquisition commenced during that period in Italy forcing many Jews to once again flee North and to Greece, the Balkans . Peter