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.
A few tips. My great-grandfather was the bastard of the mayor of Avellino, his last name was Somma, but when he was adopted they added rio, so his last name was Sommario. I am focusing on my father's family from Sicily, so I do not know a lot of info on adoptions yet.
Definatly pay for ancestry and footnote, just for a month and see what you can find. You may find nothing or something, its worth the monthly price!
Also, I have ordered a ton of LDS films and have not found anything yet. It takes TIME, TIME, Time!!! Be patient and everyone of this forum is great and helpful. They should have a category just on tips
Yes it is frustrating with the pace of the films available for the Marche region in general......since I first made this post, I hired a genealogist to search church records for me (after many many attempts by mail and by phone to get answers) Even then, he was allowed limited access for an hour at a tiime on a certain day of the week. THAT said, I got a ton of information that wasn't even available from the town civil records......although it cost some, it was worth it, I suspect that my rudimentary knowledge of Italian wouldn't have got me through the doors had I tried this myself.