1861 - Unification of Italy; King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia became king.
1882 - Italy formed Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria.
1889 - Italy conquered Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea.
1896 - Italy lost its Ethiopia colony to Menelek at Battle of Adua.
1900 - Victor Emmanuel III became king until 1946.
1912 - Italy conquered Libya from the Ottomans.
1915 - Italy entered World War I on side of Allies.
1919 - Gained Trentino, South Tyrol, and Trieste under peace treaties.
1922 - Mussolini formed a fascist government after 3 years of political and economic unrest.
1926 - Supression of opposition parties.
1929 - Lateran Treaty created state of Vatican City.
1935 - Italy invaded Ethiopia.
1936 - Mussolini formed axis with Nazi Germany.
1939 - Albania annexed.
1940 - Italy entered World War II on German side. Italian forces occupied British Somaliland in East Africa.
1941 - Italy declared war on USSR.
1943 - Sicily invaded by Allies. King Victor Emmanuel III imprisoned Mussolini. Armistice signed with Allies. Italy declared war on Germany.
1944 - Allied armies advanced on the Italian front, landed at Anzio jan. 22, liberated Rome June 4.
1945 - Mussolini, who had been rescued from prison by Germans, was captured and executed by Italian partisans.
1946 - Referendum for republic to replace monarchy.
1947 - Italy ceded land and territories under peace treaty.
1948 - New constitution created the Republic of Italy. Christian Democrats won elections.
1949 - Italy joined NATO.
1951 - Italy joined European Coal and Steel Community.
1954 - Italy regained Trieste.
1955 - Italy joined UN.
1957 - Founder member of European Economic Community.
1963 - Italian Socialist Party joined Christian Democrat-led coalition under Prime Minister Aldo Moro.
1972 - Giulio Andreotti became prime minister.
1976-78 - Communist election gained lead to voice in policy making.
1978 - Former Prime Minister Aldo Moro kidnapped and murdered by fanatical left-wing group, the Red Brigades. Abortion legalised.
1980 - Bombing of Bologna station killed 84, linked to right-wing extremists.
1983 - Bettino Craxi became Italy's first Socialist prime minister since war.
1984 - Roman Catholicism loststatus as state religion.
1991 - Communists renamed selves Democratic Party of the Left.
1992 - Revelations of high level corruption sparked several years of arrests and investigations. Top anti-Mafia prosecutor, Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three bodyguards killed in car bomb attack.
1993 - Bribery scandal led to Craxi's resignation as leader of Socialist Party. He later fled the country, was tried and sentenced in absentia to imprisonment but died in Tunisia in 2000.
1994 March - Freedom Alliance won election. The coalition, which included Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia , Northern League and neo-Fascist National Alliance, collapsed by end of year following clashes with anticorruption magistrates and a battle with the trade unions over pension reform.
1995-96 - Lamberto Dini headed government of technocrats. Austerity budget.
1996 - Centre-left Olive Tree alliance won election. Romano Prodi became prime minister.
1997 - Prodi government lost confidence vote. Massimo D'Alema became prime minister.
1999 - Carlo Ciampi became president.
2000 - In April, D'Alema resigned after poor regional election results and was replaced by Giuliano Amato. Berlusconi comeback
2001 - In May, a center-right coalition, led by Silvio Berlusconi of the Forza Italia party, won the general elections. Berlusconi formed new coalition government which included the leaders of two right-wing parties, Gianfranco Fini of the National Alliance and Umberto Bossi of the Northern League as well as the pro-European Renato Ruggiero who became foreign minister. In Oct., 1st constitutional referendum since 1946 voted for major constitutional change to give greater autonomy to the country's 20 regions in tax, education and environment policies.
2002 - In Jan., the euro replaced the lira. Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero resigned in protest at views of right-wing cabinet. In Oct., the lower house of parliament passed controversial criminal reform bill which critics alleged was intended to help PM Berlusconi avoid trial on corruption charges. The Fiat company announced plans to lay off 20% of its workforce, sparking protests across Italy.
2003 - In May, PM Silvio Berlusconi appeared in Milan court at his own trial on corruption charges relating to business dealings in the 1980s. He asserted that he was the victim of a conspiracy by a politically motivated judiciary. In June, Berlusconi's trial was halted after parliament passed law granting immunity from prosecution to five holders of key state posts, including the prime minister.
2004 - In Jan., the Constitutional Court threw out law granting Berlusconi and other top state post holders immunity from prosecution. Berlusconi's trial resumed in April. In Dec., Berlusconi was cleared of corruption.
2005 - In April, Parliament ratified EU constitution. Political crisis was triggered by a defeat of the government coalition in regional polls. Coalition collapsed and Berlusconi resigned. Days later, Berlusconi formed new government after receiving presidential mandate.
2006 - In Jan., the defense minister said Italian troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year. In Feb., Winter Olympics held in Turin.
revised 6/1/06 by Steven Schoenherr | Maps