..if you’d ever had any doubts, now it’s official! The Eternal City was celebrated as capital yesterday 140 years after the capture of Rome from the papacy by the newly formed Italian state in 1870, the final event in the long process of Italian unification and the end of the pope’s temporal power.
A special Presidential decree had been prepared for the occasion naturally among cries of “we want our own capital” from the omnipresent Northern League who favour federalism and effective separation from the south, including “Roma ladrona”, thieving Rome. The decree also allocated Rome extra funds and additional powers in recognition of its status as capital. President Napolitano expressed deep gratitude for the City council’s decision to award him honorary citizenship, which he said was “particularly moving”. He also expressed appreciationand described the Vatican’s decision to attend the ceremonies as “a sign of respect for the Italian state”.