At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Treaty of Rapallo 1920

Agreement solves dispute over former Austrian territory


Members of the German and Russian delegations meet at the Rapallo negotiations
Members of the German and Russian delegations meet
at the Rapallo negotiations
The Treaty of Rapallo between Italy and the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was signed on this day in 1920 in Rapallo near Genoa in Liguria.

It was drawn up to solve the dispute over territories formerly controlled by Austria in the upper Adriatic and Dalmatia, which were known as the Austrian Littoral.

There had been tension between Italy and the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes since the end of the First World War when the Austro-Hungarian empire was dissolved.

Italy had claimed the territories assigned to it by the secret London Pact of 1915 between Italy and the Triple Entente.

The Pact, signed on 26 April 2015, stipulated that in the event of victory in the First World War, Italy was to gain territory formerly controlled by Austria in northern Dalmatia.

A dinner menu from the Grand Hotel in Genoa signed by members of the Russian and German delegations
A dinner menu from the Grand Hotel in Genoa signed by
members of the Russian and German delegations
These territories had a mixed population but Slovenes and Croats accounted for more than half.

The London Pact was nullified by the Treaty of Versailles at the end of the war after pressure from American President Woodrow Wilson. Therefore the objective of the Treaty of Rapallo two years later was to find a compromise.

At the end of discussions, Italy was granted parts of Carniola, the whole of the former Austrian Littoral, which included the important city of Trieste, the former Dalmatian capital of Zadar, known as Zara in Italian, and two small Dalmatian islands.

The city of Rijeka, known as Fiume in Italian, was to become an independent free state, ending the military occupation of Gabriele D’Annunzio’s troops. He was forced to evacuate Fiume after Italian forces bombed the city on December 27, 1920.

The Castle at Rapallo
The Castle at Rapallo
Travel tip:

Rapallo, which gives its name to the important 1920 treaty, is a seaside resort on the Riviera di Levante near Portofino and Genoa in Liguria. It has a castle overlooking the sea built in 1551 to repel pirate attacks, a 12th century church, the Basilica of Saints Gervasius and Protasius, two historic towers and a ruined monastery. Max Beerbohm, Ezra Pound and Jean Sibelius all chose to live in Rapallo for part of their lives.

The Piazza dell'Unita in Trieste looking out towards the sea
The Piazza dell'Unita in Trieste looking out towards the sea
Travel tip:

The beautiful seaport of Trieste officially became part of the Italian Republic in 1954 and is now the capital of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, one of the most prosperous areas of Italy. The city lies towards the end of a narrow strip of land situated between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia and is also just 30 kilometres north of Croatia. Trieste had been disputed territory for thousands of years and after it was granted to Italy in 1920, thousands of the resident Slovenians left. The final border with Yugoslavia was settled in 1975 with the Treaty of Osimo. This is now the present day border between Italy and Slovenia. Today Trieste is a lively, cosmopolitan city and a major centre for trade and ship building.


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