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Stamps of Italy

Kingdom of Italy - 1862-1943

May 1, 1911
50th Anniversary of the Kingdom of Italy

The stamps of Italy, from 1862 to date, offer casual collecting, philatelic study, and thematic collecting options that are almost limitless.  With over 2,500 years of recorded history and civilization, Italy will probably never run out of archeological, artistic, cultural, and historical subjects to illustrate on their pictorial definitive and commemorative postage stamps.

Rome, the capitol of Italy, was founded as a settlement along the Tiber River in 753 B.C.  It is one of the oldest, continuously occupied, cities on the face of the Earth.  It definitely measures up to its nickname as the "ETERNAL CITY"

First a Republic, and then a vast Empire, Italy, by the end of the 1st Century controlled most of the known Western World, and for the next 500 years, it would shape the future of the Western World.  For it's immeasurable influence on modern day Western culture, Italy has long been referred to by historians as the "CRADLE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION".

You basically can't "dig" anywhere in Italy, without finding some kind of evidence of the ancient past.  On one of my trips to Italy, I talked to an archeologist that was working near the Temple of Hadrian in Rome.  She told me that if one were to remove the modern city of Rome and dig down about 40 feet, the ancient city of Rome, with all its historical treasures, IS STILL THERE!

The excavation of Pompeii, destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D., did not begin until the late 19th Century, and today, well over 100 years later, only about half of the city of Pompeii has actually been unearthed.  Much of Italy's past still lies beneath centuries of accumulated European soil, yet to be discovered.

Stamps of Italy - September 23, 1937
2,000th Anniversary of the Birth of Caesar Augustus

The Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed on March 17, 1861, and the first official postage stamps of Italy began appearing in 1862.  They were actually a continuation of the postage stamps of the Kingdom of Sardinia. 

The goal of the Wars of Independence, between 1859 and 1866, was to establish a united kingdom encompassing all of the Italian peninsula.  They were a joint effort between pro-monarchy nationalist forces in Southern Italy, led by Giuseppe Garibaldi and Giuseppe Mazzini, and the Kingdom of Sardinia, led by King Victor Emmanuel of the House of Savoy.

In 1866, with the aid of France and Prussia, the Austrian Imperial provinces of Lombardy and Venetia were annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.  In 1870, the Italians took over the Papal States, and for the first time since the 6th Century, all of the Italian peninsula was united into a single parliamentary constitutional monarchy, with its capitol at Rome.

During the Wars of Independence, the postage stamps of the Kingdom of Sardinia were used in the newly united provinces.  This accounts for the fact that the first postage stamps of Italy listed in the Scott catalog begin with catalog number seventeen.  The first sixteen catalog numbers actually belong to the separately listed postage stamp issues of the Kingdom of Sardinia.

The Italian Monarchs

Between 1862 and 1900, there are a lot of regular definitive postage stamps of Italy.  This is due, in large part, to the fact that there were three different monarchs during this time period.  And, of course, each of them had to have their own definitive postage stamp series.

Giuseppe Garibaldi

In 1910, Kingdom of Italy issued their first commemorative postage stamps.  Throughout the 1920's and 1930's sets of definitive stamps would dominate Italian philately, depicting their glorious Roman Imperial heritage or their heroes of the Wars of Independence.  Some of them are shown on this category page.

Links to historical articles and reviews of the definitive and commemorative postage stamp issues will eventually appear at the top of the third column of this page.

eBay Auction and Store Links

Italy Postage Stamps

The following links feature category-focused affiliated seller listings on various eBay sites worldwide. They may enable visitors to shop for and to buy specific items for the particular collecting subject they've just read about. 

The affiliated eBay seller auction lots provided by eBay, Inc. are not the responsibility of the management of this website.  On high priced material, make sure the lots you are buying are properly authenticated.

Remember that the lots on European eBay sites are priced in EUROS.  Shipping charges may be more, and the lots may take longer to arrive.  Also, make sure the foreign seller ships to your country, before bidding on or buying his lot.


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