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Villafranca di Verona

Villafranca di Verona (vēlˌläfrängˈkä dē vārôˈnä) [key], 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 Solferino 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 Risorgimento, was deeply resented throughout Italy and greatly harmed Franco-Italian relations.

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

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