Italia turrita

Italia turrita (pronounced [iˈtaːlja turˈriːta]) is the national personification or allegory of Italy, characterised by a mural crown (hence turrita or "with towers" in Italian) typical of Italian civic heraldry of ancient Roman origin. In broader terms, the crown symbolizes its mostly urban history. She often holds in her hands a bunch of corn ears (a symbol of fertility and reference to the agrarian economy); during the fascist era, she held a bundle of fasces.

Reggio calabria monumento all'italia
Statue of Italia turrita in Reggio Calabria.


Italy’s first allegory, a laurel-crowned female head, appears on the coins coined during the Social War between the Roman Republic and several other cities of Central Italy from 91 to 88 BC. Under the emperor Augustus, an allegorical representation of Italy known as Saturnia Tellus was sculpted in marble on Ara Pacis external wall (13-9 BC) in Rome. Another allegory of Italy appears on the coins coined during the reign of emperor Nerva in 97 AD.

Cesare ripa italia turrita
Italia Turrita (1603) by Cesare Ripa
Hayez Meditazione Italia 1848
Italia turrita in Meditazione (1848) by Francesco Hayez

The representation of Italia turrita was proposed under the emperor Trajan, who wanted it to be sculpted on the Trajan’s Arch erected in Benevento in 114-117, and also on one of the two Pluteos called anaglypha, four years later. Afterwards, from 130 AD on, under the emperors Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus, Septimius Severus and Caracalla, Roman coins reproduced the allegorical representation of Italy as a dressed and towered woman who sometimes carries a cornucopia. The towered crown is the symbol of Civitas romana, therefore the allegory shows the sovereignty of the Italian peninsula as a land of free cities and of Roman citizens to whom a proper right has been granted: the Ius Italicum.

This mythographical setting-up of the Italian land became also popular during the Middle Ages. In 1490, Ludovico Sforza, duke of Milan, had an Italia turrita painted on a medallion of the castle in Piazza Ducale, Vigevano. The Caesaris Astrum appeared again in 1574 on the cover of Historiarium de Regno Italiae, a book written by the historian Carlo Sigonio.

Stella d'Italia

Over her head, a five-pointed star is usually seen shining radiant; an ancient secular symbol of Italy purported to protect the nation, known as Stella d'Italia or Star of Italy. Iconographic of the Risorgimento, it was used as the crest of the armorial bearings of the Kingdom of Italy from 1870 to 1890 and is the dominant element in the modern day emblem of Italy adopted at the birth of the Italian Republic in 1948.


Liberti Italia 1861

Italia Turrita e Stellata (1861) by Francesco Liberti in Naples.


Statue in Venice.

1612 - Milano - Luigi Belli, Monumento ai caduti di Mentana (1880) - Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto - 18-May-2007

Italia turrita in Milan.

Bell'italia brescia

Statue of Italia turrita in Brescia.

Statua italia cosenza

Statue in Cosenza.

S. croce, cenotafio di dante

Cenotaph of Dante Alighieri (Italia turrita on the left) in Florence.

Venezia che spera di Andrea Appiani

Allegory of Venice (lion) hoping to join Italy (woman) (1861) by Andrea Appiani the Younger.

S. croce, tomba vittorio alfieri

Mourning Italia turrita on the Tomb to Count Vittorio Alfieri (1807) by Antonio Canova. Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence.


Statue in Lovere (Bergamo).


Italia turrita in Cascina (Pisa).

Allegoria italia post1861

Caricature of the Post-Risorgimento: Italia turrita at the centre points out to Enrico Cialdini (on the right) all her enemies around Napoleon III (turned into a tree): from the left, Pope Pius IX, Bourbons, clergy, and brigands. In the background, Giuseppe Garibaldi plows up his land in Caprera.

ITA 1944 MiNr0657Y mt B002

A stamp from the Italian Social Republic, depicting Italia turrita holding a Fasces.

See also


External links

Christian Democracy (Italy)

Christian Democracy (Italian: Democrazia Cristiana, DC) was a Christian democratic political party in Italy.

The DC was founded in 1943 (in Nazi-occupied Italy) as the ideal successor of the Italian People's Party, which had the same symbol, a crossed shield (scudo crociato). A Catholic-inspired, centrist, catch-all party comprising both right- and left-leaning political factions, the DC played a dominant role in the politics of Italy for fifty years, from its inception in 1944 until its final demise in 1994 amid the Tangentopoli scandals. The party was nicknamed the White Whale (Balena bianca), due to party's huge organization and to its official color.From 1946 until 1994 the DC was the largest party in Parliament, governing in successive coalitions. It originally supported governments based on liberal-conservative political positions, before moving to centre-left coalitions.

The party was succeeded by a string of smaller parties, including the Italian People's Party, the Christian Democratic Centre, the United Christian Democrats, and the still active Union of the Centre. Former Christian Democrats are also spread among other parties, including the centre-right Forza Italia and the centre-left Democratic Party.

The DC was a founding member of the European People's Party in 1976.

Columbia (name)

Columbia (; kə-LUM-bee-ə) is the personification of the United States. It was also a historical name used to describe the Americas and the New World. It has given rise to the names of many persons, places, objects, institutions and companies; for example: Columbia University, the District of Columbia (the national capital of the United States), and the ship Columbia Rediviva, which would give its name to the Columbia River. Images of the Statue of Liberty largely displaced personified Columbia as the female symbol of the United States by around 1920, although Lady Liberty was seen as an aspect of Columbia. The District of Columbia is named after the personification, as is the traditional patriotic hymn "Hail Columbia", which is the official vice presidential anthem of the United States Vice President.

Columbia is a New Latin toponym in use since the 1730s for the Thirteen Colonies. It originated from the name of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus and from the ending -ia, common in Latin names of countries (paralleling Britannia, Gallia, and others).

Emblem of Italy

The emblem of the Italian Republic (Italian: emblema della Repubblica Italiana) was formally adopted by the newly formed Italian Republic on 5 May 1948. Although often referred to as a coat of arms (or stemma in Italian), it is technically an emblem as it was not designed to conform to traditional heraldic rules. The emblem comprises a white five-pointed star, with a thin red border, superimposed upon a five-spoked cogwheel, standing between an olive branch to the left side and an oak branch to the right side; the branches are in turn bound together by a red ribbon with the inscription "REPVBBLICA ITALIANA" ("Italian Republic" written in Italian, but in an ancient Roman-style Latin alphabet). The emblem is used extensively by the Italian government.

The armorial bearings of the House of Savoy, blazoned gules a cross argent, were previously in use by the former Kingdom of Italy; the supporters, on either side a lion rampant Or, were replaced with fasci littori (literally bundles of the lictors) during the fascist era.

Gemma Augustea

The Gemma Augustea (Latin, Gem of Augustus) is an ancient Roman low-relief cameo engraved gem cut from a double-layered Arabian onyx stone. It is commonly agreed that the gem cutter who created the Gemma Augustea was either Dioscurides or one of his disciples, in the second or third decade of the 1st century AD.

Index of Italy-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to Italy.

Italia (disambiguation)

Italia may refer to the following:

Italy (Italia in Italian language)

Roman Italy (Italia in Latin language), the Italian peninsula during Roman times

Italia Turrita, the national personification of Italy

Italian unification

Italian unification (Italian: Unità d'Italia [uniˈta ddiˈtaːlja]), also known as the Risorgimento ([risordʒiˈmento], meaning "the Resurgence"), was the political and social movement that consolidated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of the Kingdom of Italy in the 19th century. The process began in 1815 with the Congress of Vienna and was completed in 1871 when Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.The term, which also designates the cultural, political and social movement that promoted unification, recalls the romantic, nationalist and patriotic ideals of an Italian renaissance through the conquest of a unified political identity that, by sinking its ancient roots during the Roman period, "suffered an abrupt halt [or loss] of its political unity in 476 AD after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire". However, some of the terre irredente did not join the Kingdom of Italy until 1918 after Italy defeated Austria–Hungary in World War I. For this reason, sometimes the period is extended to include the late 19th-century and the First World War (1915–1918), until the 4 November 1918 Armistice of Villa Giusti, which is considered the completion of unification. This view is followed, for example, at the Central Museum of Risorgimento at the Vittoriano.

Liberty (personification)

The concept of liberty has frequently been represented by personifications, often loosely shown as a female classical goddess. Examples include Marianne, the national personification of the French Republic and its values of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, the female Liberty portrayed on United States coins for well over a century, and many others. These descend from images on ancient Roman coins of the Roman goddess Libertas and from various developments from the Renaissance onwards. The Dutch Maiden was among the first, re-introducing the cap of liberty on a liberty pole featured in many types of image, though not using the Phrygian cap style that became conventional.

The 1886 Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World) by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi is a well-known example in art, a gift from France to the United States.

List of cultural icons of Italy

The List of cultural icons of Italy is a list of links to potential cultural icons of Italy.

List of goddesses

This is a list of deities regarded as female or mostly feminine in gender.

Mural crown

A mural crown (Latin: corona muralis) is a crown or headpiece representing city walls or towers. In classical antiquity, it was an emblem of tutelary deities who watched over a city, and among the Romans a military decoration. Later the mural crown developed into a symbol of European heraldry, mostly for cities and towns, and in the 19th and 20th centuries was used in some republican heraldry.

National personification

A national personification is an anthropomorphic personification of a nation or its people. It may appear in political cartoons and propaganda. As a personification it cannot be a real person, of the Father of the Nation type, or one from ancient history who is believed to have been real.

Some early personifications in the Western world tended to be national manifestations of the majestic wisdom and war goddess Minerva/Athena, and often took the Latin name of the ancient Roman province. Examples of this type include Britannia, Germania, Hibernia, Helvetia and Polonia. Examples of personifications of the Goddess of Liberty include Marianne, the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World), and many examples of United States coinage. Another ancient model was Roma, a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state, and who was revived in the 20th Century as the personification of Mussolini's "New Roman Empire". Examples of representations of the everyman or citizenry in addition to the nation itself are Deutscher Michel, John Bull and Uncle Sam.

National symbols of Italy

National symbols of Italy are the symbols that are used in Italy to represent what is unique about the nation, reflecting different aspects of its cultural life and history.

Order of Merit of the Italian Republic

The Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Italian: Ordine al merito della Repubblica Italiana) was founded as the senior order of knighthood by the second President of the Italian Republic, Luigi Einaudi in 1951. The highest ranking honour of the Republic, it is awarded for "merit acquired by the nation" in the fields of literature, the arts, economy, public service, and social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities and for long and conspicuous service in civilian and military careers. The post-nominal letters for the order are OMRI. The order effectively replaced national orders such as the Civil Order of Savoy (1831), the Order of the Crown of Italy (1868), the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (1572) and the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation (1362).

Orders, decorations, and medals of Italy

The Italian honours system is a means to reward achievements or service to the Italian Republic, formerly the Kingdom of Italy including the Italian Social Republic.


Polandball, also known as countryballs, refers to user-generated visual art, typically manifesting as online comics, where countries are personified as (typically) spherical personas decorated with their country's flag, interacting in often broken English named Engrish (with the exception of countryballs that speak English natively). The characters poke fun at national stereotypes and international relations, as well as historical conflicts. Countryballs have also been used in videos and comics involving alternate and speculative history. It is an Internet meme which originated on the /int/ board of German imageboard in the latter half of 2009.

The comics style may be referred to both as Polandball (by convention, even in cases where there is no Poland among the cartoon characters) and countryball (or, collectively, countryballs).

Russian Bear

The Russian Bear is a widespread symbol (generally of a Eurasian brown bear) for Russia, used in cartoons, articles and dramatic plays since as early as the 16th century, and relating alike to the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and the present-day Russian Federation.

It often was and is used by Westerners, originated in British caricatures and later also used in the United States, and not always in a flattering context – on occasion it was used to imply that Russia is "big, brutal and clumsy" (see 19th-century cartoon below).

Stella d'Italia

The Stella d'Italia or Stellone d'Italia (Italian: "Star of Italy" or "Great Star of Italy") is a five-pointed star symbolizing Italy. It was adopted as part of the national emblem in 1947.


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