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.

8 May 2019

8 May

Franco Baresi - AC Milan great


Defender voted club's 'player of the century'

The great AC Milan and Italy footballer Franco Baresi was born on this day in 1960 in Travagliato, a town in Lombardy about 13km (8 miles) south-west of Brescia.  Baresi, a central defender who was at his most effective playing in the libero – sweeper – role, made 719 competitive appearances for the rossoneri, with whom he spent his entire 20-year playing career.  During that time he won the Italian championship six times and the European Cup three times, as well as many other trophies. He was made captain of the team at just 22 years old.  Baresi also won 81 caps for the Azzurri in an international career in which he went to three World Cups.  Although he did not make an appearance, he was part of the Azzurri squad that won the competition in Spain in 1982, was an integral member of the team that finished third on home soil in Italia ’90 and captained the side that reached the final in the United States in 1994. Read more…

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Italy's first football championship


Four teams played three matches - all in one day

Genoa became the first football champions of Italy on this day in 1898, winning a four-team tournament that took place in Turin in the space of a single day.  The event was organised by the newly-formed Italian Football Federation, set up earlier in the year after Genoa and FC Torinese had met in the first organised match played on Italian soil.  The two other teams invited to take part were also from Turin, namely Internazionale di Torino and Ginnastica Torino.  They assembled at the Velodromo Umberto I, where there was space for a pitch at the centre of a cycle track, with the first match kicking off at 9am.  Internazionale beat FC Torinese 1-0 in the opening game, after which Genoa defeated Ginnastica 2-1. After a break for lunch, the final kicked off at 3pm, Genoa winning again by a 2-1 scoreline, reportedly after playing extra time.  The trophy was presented by the Duke of the Abruzzi. Genoa, set up by British consular officials in 1893 mainly to play cricket, tends to be accepted as Italy's oldest football club. Read more…

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Victor Amadeus I of Savoy


Duke’s French connection may have proved fatal

Victor Amadeus I, who during his seven-year reign over Savoy was forced to give strategic territory to France, was born on this day in 1587 in Turin. He was the son of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, and Catherine Micaela of Spain, daughter of Philip II of Spain. In 1619 he married Christine Marie of France, the daughter of Henry IV of France and Marie de Medici. He became heir-apparent to the Duchy of Savoy, when his brother, Filippo Emanuele, died in 1605 and he succeeded to the Dukedom after his father’s death in 1630. Charles Emmanuel’s policies had made relationships with France and Spain unstable and troops were needed to defend the Duchy.  But as there was no money to recruit mercenaries or train local soldiers, Victor Amadeus signed a peace treaty with Spain. After war broke out amongst rival claimants to the city of Mantua, the French took the fortress of Pinerolo, part of the Duchy of Savoy, in 1630. It later transpired Victor Amadeus had surrendered Pinerolo to France, giving France a strategic route into the heart of Savoy territory and then into the rest of Italy.  Read more…

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