1897 in Italy

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See also: 1896 in Italy, other events of 1897, 1898 in Italy.

Events from the year 1897 in Italy

Kingdom of Italy[edit]


King Umberto I attacked by the anarchist Pietro Acciarito

In 1897 the wheat harvest in Italy was substantially lower than the years before; it fell from on average 3.5 million tons in 1891–95 to 2.4 million tons that year.[1][2] Increasing wheat prices caused social unrest.


  • February 2 – Despite the guarantees given by the Great Powers on the Ottoman sovereignty over Crete, Colonel Timoleon Vassos unilaterally proclaimed the union of the island with Greece. The Powers reacted by demanding that the Greek Prime Minister Theodoros Deligiannis immediately withdraw Greek forces from the island in exchange for a statute of autonomy. The demand was rejected, and on 7 February the first full-scale battle between Greeks and Turks occurred, when the Greek expeditionary force in Crete defeated a 4,000-strong Ottoman force at the Battle of Livadeia, Crete. The bold action of the Greeks exites popular admiration in Italy and sympathy with the Cretan Christians.[3]
  • February 17 – Vice Admiral Felice Napoleone Canevaro, commanding the Italian warships in Cretan waters, is chosen to command the combined naval forces of the Great Powers, as the senior admiral of the united fleet, known as the International Squadron. He warns Greece and Cretan insurgents to cease all hostile actions against the Turks.[4]
  • February 21 – Popular manifestations in Rome and other towns in Italy in favour of the union of Greece and Crete, which is under Ottoman rule.[5]



  • April 5 – May 8 – Greco-Turkish War over the status of the Ottoman province of Crete, whose Greek majority long desired union with Greece. Italian volunteers under the command of Ricciotti Garibaldi go to Crete to fight for the unification of Crete with Greece.[7] Greece will suffer a heavy defeat and the Great Powers will force the Greek army to abandon the island.
  • April 12 – After four days of debate Prime Minister Antonio di Rudinì survives a vote of confidence over the policy towards Greece in relation with the Cretan State.[8]
  • April 22 – King Umberto I is attacked by an unemployed anarchist ironsmith, Pietro Acciarito, who tried to stab him near Rome.



  • December 5 – Minister of War, General Luigi Pelloux, resigns over a conflict about army promotions.[9] Prime Minister Di Rudini is tasked with forming a new Cabinet. The previous one was riddled with irreconcilable positions, Di Rudini now tries to form a more unified government.[10]
  • December 14 – Prime Minister Di Rudini forms a new Cabinet, which includes the Liberal Giuseppe Zanardelli as Minister of Justice.[11][12]





  1. ^ Clark, Modern Italy, pp. 126–28
  2. ^ "Fatti di maggio" in: Sarti, Italy: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present, p. 271
  3. ^ Italy Indorses Greece; Her Action Regarded as a Bold Stroke for Humanity, The New York Times, February 17, 1897
  4. ^ The Powers Take Action; Sharp Warning Issued to Prince George Against Hostilities, The New York Times, February 18, 1897
  5. ^ Sympathy for Greece in Italy; The Position of the Government Made Daily More Difficult, The New York Times, February 22, 1897
  6. ^ Elections Held in Italy; The Government Will Have a Good Majority in the New Chamber, The New York Times, March 22, 1897
  7. ^ Italians Embark for Greece; Garibaldi's Son Among the Men to Help Against the Turks, The New York Times, April 22, 1897
  8. ^ Vote of Confidence in Italy; Her Position on the Cretan question Approved by the Deputies, The New York Times, April 13, 1897
  9. ^ Italian Cabinet Crisis; Gen Pelloux, the Minister of War, Insists Upon Leaving the Ministry, The New York Times, December 6, 1897
  10. ^ Italian Cabinet Crisis; The Marquis di Rudini Declared in an Official Note Unable to Form a Ministry, The New York Times, December 13, 1897
  11. ^ Rudini Forms a Cabinet; Italy's Ministry Reconstructed After Several Changes, The New York Times, December 15, 1897
  12. ^ The Italian Crisis, The New York Times, December 23, 1897
  13. ^ "Genoa". Channel4.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-27. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)