He was implicated in a liberal plot aiming to extort a constitution from king Charles Felix: after having been discovered, he was obliged to take refuge abroad together with his brother, first in Switzerland and then in France. In 1831 he fought in a foreign corps in the Belgian Revolution, and, the following year, he moved to Portugal where he was enrolled in a cavalry regiment of the constitutionalist army of King Pedro IV. The following year he entered the service of Spain, when he fought in various campaigns, and was promoted colonel in 1838.
After a short stay in France he returned to Italy and identified himself with the Liberal movement; he became an active journalist, and founded a newspaper called L'Opinione in 1847. In 1848 he was one of those who asked King Charles Albert for the constitution.
On the outbreak of the First Italian Independence War against Austria he took command of the Lombard volunteers as major-general, and in the campaign of 1849 he was aide-de-camp to the king. He was elected member of the first Piedmontese parliament and was a strenuous supporter of Cavour; during the Sardinian expedition to Crimean he took General La Marmora's place as war minister.
In 1855 he was nominated senator, lieutenant-general in 1856 and ambassador at Constantinople in 1856, and minister for foreign affairs in the Rattazzi cabinet two years later. During the Third Italian War of Independence his brother Giovanni commanded the I Corps, which was badly mauled at Custoza. He was president of the Italian Senate from 1884 to 1887, after which year he retired from the army.
He died at Rome in August 1894.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
|President of the Italian Senate