1800 to Present

1920 Treaty of Rapallo

The November 12, 1920 Treaty of Rapallo was a treaty between Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (the later Yugoslavia) by which the latter was forced to give up parts of its Slovenian and Croatian territory - Istria, the city of Zadar, and the islands of Cres, Losinj, Lastovo and Palagruza - some of which contained substantial Italian populations. This agreement also established Rijeka as a free state, but this latter provision did not come to fruition.

Italy and Yugoslavia had both claimed the port city of Fiume (Rijeka) at the end of World War I. While the dispute was being negotiated, the Italian poet and soldier Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863-1938), whose real name was Antonio Rapagnetta, led a filibustering expedition against Fiume with a force of 300 (or 3,000?) Italian volunteers (his troops wore the black shirts that were to become part of the Fascist uniform) on September 12, 1919. He believed Fiume was rightfully belonged to Italy and thus promptly seized and occupied the city. The autocratic rule D'Annunzio established at Fiume was opposed by the Italian government and others in Europe. After the signing of the Treaty of Rapallo, by which Fiume was to be a free state, D'Annunzio declared war on Italy, but was forced to evacuate Fiume after Italian forces bombarded the city on December 27, 1920. Political turmoil plagued Fiume's local government until its overthrow in a Fascist coup in 1922; then Italian troops occupied the city. Pressed by Benito Mussolini, the Yugoslav government yielded, and a new Italo-Yugoslav treaty was signed.

Treaty of Rome

The Treaty of Rome of January 27, 1924 between these two countries superceded the Rapallo provisions on Fiume by assigning the city of Fiume to Italian administration and its suburb Sušak to Yugoslavia, and they agreed on joint administration of the port. The formal annexation of Fiume to Italy occurred on March 16, 1924. See also: The Fiume Question.

Following World War II, these territories were all ceded to Yugoslavia.


  • Photograph - Croazia. Zagabria, Pola e l'Istria, Zara, Spalato e Dubrovnik, le isole della Dalmazia, Guide d'Europa, Touring Club Italiano (Milano, 1998)
  • Italy Yugoslavia War 1919-1920 - http://www.onwar.com/aced/data/india/italyyugoslavia1919.htm
  • http://users.skynet.be/hendrik/hall/Hal-Falconi.html

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Created: Sunday, January 02, 2005; Updated Sunday, April 17, 2016
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