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Romagna (rōmäˈnyä) [key], historic region, N central Italy, bordering on the Adriatic Sea in the east, now included in the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Marche, and Tuscany. Although its boundaries varied at different times, the Romagna is now understood to occupy Forlì and Ravenna provs. and parts of Arezzo and Pesaro e Urbino provs. The independent republic of San Marino is an enclave within the Romagna. The region was the center of Byzantine domination in Italy (540–751). Ravenna was the seat of the Byzantine exarchs; Rimini was a city of the Pentapolis. Despite the donations of Pepin the Short (754) and of Charlemagne (774), which gave the exarchate and the Pentapolis to the pope, later emperors continued to claim the territory. Otto IV recognized (1209) the papal rights, but effective papal rule was prevented at first by the free communes and later by the petty tyrants who ruled the cities. Cesare Borgia, made duke of Romagna (1501) by Pope Alexander VI, tried unsuccessfully to make the Romagna the nucleus of his own state. Shortly thereafter, Pope Julius II effectively incorporated the Romagna into the Papal States. Papal rule, interrupted (1797–1814) by French occupation, ended in 1860, when the Romagna was annexed by the kingdom of Sardinia.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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