Villafranca di Verona


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Villafranca di Verona

(vēl'läfräng`kä dē vārô`nä), town (1991 pop. 27,036), Venetia, NE Italy. In 1859, Napoleon III and Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria met there after the Austrian defeats at Magenta and SolferinoSolferino
, village, Lombardy, N Italy, near Mantua. There, on June 24, 1859, the French and Sardinians fought a bloody battle with the Austrians (see Risorgimento). Although the battle resulted in no clear decision, the Austrians withdrew to their strategic fortresses.
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 and signed a preliminary peace treaty, which was formalized the same year by the Treaty of Zürich. Sardinia, Napoleon's ally, was not represented. Austria ceded Lombardy, which was added to Sardinia; Venetia remained Austrian. The rulers of Tuscany were to be reinstated, and the Italian states were to form a confederation under the presidency of the pope. Sardinia ignored the last two clauses; to obtain Napoleon's consent for this course, Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia ceded Nice and Menton to France (1860). The exclusion of Sardinia from the Treaty of Villafranca, an act that nearly deprived Victor Emmanuel of his leading role in the RisorgimentoRisorgimento
[Ital.,=resurgence], in 19th-century Italian history, period of cultural nationalism and of political activism, leading to unification of Italy. Roots of the Risorgimento
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, was deeply resented throughout Italy and greatly harmed Franco-Italian relations.
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