The Star and the National personification
Stesichorus, in Iliupersis ("The Fall of Troy") mentions Stella Veneris (Hesperus, Venus) guiding Aeneas to Italy. Varro and Vergil introduced the political tradition of Caesaris Astrum ("the star of Caesar") and the tradition of Italy as Esperia.
In 1603, in the second edition of his treatise Iconologia, Cesare Ripa associated the symbol with the Italia turrita, and creates a modern version of Italy’s allegorical personification: woman with a star on top of a towered crown, therefore supplied with the Corona muralis and the Stella Veneris. Ripa’s treatise inspired many artists like Canova, Bisson, Maccari, Balla, Sironi, until the 1920s. The allegorical image of the towered and star-topped Italy became popular during the Risorgimento, spreading through a large iconography of statues, friezes and decorative objects, tourist-guide covers, postcards, prints and magazines’ illustrations. In the Risorgimento period, evoking Aeneas’ journey toward the Italian coasts, patriot Giuseppe Mazzini mentioned again the national star’s myth that afterwards was recovered by Cavour and the new Savoyard kings of Italy. The reigning house even tried to get possession of it, suggesting that it was the Stella Sabauda (Savoys’ star), a family heraldic pattern about is not mentioned in any historical document preceding the unification of Italy.