The Italian Group consists of countries or territories existing at present or
no longer existing as separate stamp issuing entities. All the listed headings
were at one time, or still are, under Italian influence historywise and/or
politicalwise. Most of them are formerly independent kingdoms or duchies which
became united between 1861-1870 as the kingdom of Italy. The other part consists
of overseas colonies, occupied territories, post offices abroad, etc. The
process of the Italian unification was one of constant battles, led by the two
most significant personalities - Conte di Cavour and General Garibaldi.
It started by merger between the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Kingdoms of Two
Sicilies and ended in 1870 when the Papal States were taken over.
Italy was last of the European powers which joined the colonial overseas
expansion towards the end of the nineteenth century, resulting in the seizure of
territories in northern and northeastern Africa and the Aegean islands. At its
peak the total area controlled by Italy comprised of approximately 4,000,000
sq.km (including homeland).
As a result of its alliance with Germany during World War II, Italy gradually
lost the overseas colonies and territories, except for Somalia which it
continued to administrate until 1960. The Italian Kingdom prevailed until 1946,
when, by plebiscite, a Republic was proclaimed.
Dissimilar to British and French colonialism, the Italian colonialism did not
leave its influence or marks in the long term on its overseas colonies, not
languagewise and not monetarywise.
Facts unique to the Italian Group:
- Parcel Post stamps were composed of a two-part stamp identical in form, so
that one part was affixed to the parcel, the other part being the receipt.
Countries or territories in which the Italian influence was only for a short
period of time or limited, appear under following headings:
Italian Post Offices in...
CRETE, Italian P.O.
CHINA, Italian P.O.
LEVANT, Italian P.O.
Italian Occupation of...
CORFU AND PAXOS
Independent Territories within Italy...
VATICAN (VATICAN CITY)
Common types of inscriptions or overprints in the Italian Group:
POSTE COLONIALI ITALIANE
ISTITVTO COLONIALE ITALIANO