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- +20% Global trade power
- +50% Better relations over time
- -10% Stability cost modifier
- +15% Infantry combat ability
- -15% Galley cost
- +20% Galley combat ability
- +33% National manpower modifier
- +15% National tax modifier
- +1 Yearly prestige
- -25% Core-creation cost
- +20% Fort Defense
Italy is one of the formable countries in EU4 that can be formed by any country with the Latin culture group, most likely Tuscany, Savoy, Milan, or Venice. The Holy Roman Empire and the Papal State can't form Italy. Forming Italy in Ironman mode will give the player the Italian Ambition achievement.
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.14.
The player's country:
Forming Italy is the only condition to receive the Italian Ambition achievement.
This infobox may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.14.
As the heart of the Renaissance, our nation is blossoming culturally. We have just entered the beginning of what looks like a prolonged artistic rebellion, especially in the field of architecture and literature. The cultural evolution is not aiding our country in maintaining peace within our borders however. Our country is continuously stricken by foreign states seeking power and territorial gain.
Note: Forming Italy will give you an event that lets you optionally replace your present nation's unique ideas with Italy's unique ideas. Forming Italy also gives you permanent claims on all provinces of the Italian Region that you do not already own, and moves your capital to Rome. Italy is the only country that doesn't get hefty penalties for owning Rome or vassalizing the Papal State while Catholic, so you will probably want to hold off on taking Rome until just before forming Italy.
Italy is situated in between France, the Ottomans, and Austria. These three powers have the potential to completely wipe you out. Especially the Ottomans with their higher naval force limit provided they annexed the Mamluks (even without, they tend to go significantly over naval force limit with scores of cheap galleys). This however is possible to avert simply by allying yourself with France. If you have allied France since the beginning as Tuscany or Milan then you should be fine as you likely have already gained their trust and an almost unbreakable friendship. The only thing you have to worry about is the unlawful territory in the case that France decides to expand into HRE lands. Austria has the potential to be a complete powerhouse capable of competing seriously with every great power in the game, or lose their emperor status and be left with nothing. Either way you should still be wary of their expansion, especially if the event that triggers their inheritance of Burgundy fires. And as always France should be used as an ally against as the Ottomans as they will likely rival each other anyway.
The second issue with Italy is their trade nodes. When Italy is formed their trade port is likely still in Genoa. This is bad sometimes. Unless you took Provence fairly early in the game and have earned France's trust, France is the most likely to take control of Genoa and attempting to take control of it with trade ships will only result in losses. Move your trade port to anywhere in the Venice node if this is the case. This gives a stronger incentive to annex Venice. If you were hasty enough in forming Italy there is possible to form multiple trade companies starting from Ivory Coast. The other colonist nations like to take the new world on more and there is plenty of room for a dominant trade company. From here you should prioritize taking the coastline of Ivory Coast and then annexing the Kongo. The Cape isn't necessary to put a trade company into as there are no nations that collect from here. If you can, however, then do so. If you have all of Africa under an Italian coastline then you essentially have a whole continent worth of resources. Zanzibar is an option but this one requires much more thought. It is possible that Kilwa has successfully taken everything it can in this area and is now a protectorate of the Mamluks, Hejaz, or even worse, the Ottomans. Once you've taken Zanzibar however you have taken one of the most important trade nodes in the game. The reason being as this take from the Gulf of Aden (Takes from India) and Malacca (Takes from China, Indonesia, and Australia) and the ducats that come from here are immense. Hopefully you have taken the Expansion idea group for both the permanent casus belli and extra colonist and merchant. From here your trade companies will have to be formed through conquest. The first place you should visit however should be Malacca. The Indian trade nodes have strong competition from the horde and Ottoman merchants and getting your share might be a wasted effort. The Malacca node on the other hand likely has an already annexed Malacca. Beware of the Spanish and Portuguese presence that is usually here before you. They will likely colonize the Philippines first however and then bring money to Malacca so it could be beneficial to you. After pulling the money from Malacca all the way to Ivory Coast, it is probably best to just collect right from Ivory Coast depending on your trade power in Genoa. If it's above 75% then go ahead and transfer it to Genoa. Also, take note of anyone pulling into Timbuktu, especially the Songhai as they have a national idea that improves their caravan power. If it becomes an issue, either force protectorate or annex. Whatever you deem more sensible at the time.
It is important to know which trade node to focus on early in the game. If you want to focus on Venice then do so. If you want to focus on Genoa then do so. This is crucial in deciding how you want to play. If you go with Venice and you start conquering some of the Mamluk lands then you can actually go ahead and take India right away. This puts you at a major advantage over other Western powers in the India trade game. You can then feed trade all the way from Nippon and Australia to Venice and can massive amounts of cash due to no competition and the fact that Venice is an end-node, unlike Genoa (pre-1.12). Whether you want to take the Africa route or the Asia route depends on what you decide to do first and how well the Ottomans do.
As Italy you're going to have a strong Mediterranean presence, which may increase tensions with some of your neighbors. While Italy gets boosts to its military, they aren't the absolute best. The +33% manpower and 15% infantry combat ability are quite nice and can fend off units crossing into your mountains or coastlines with ease. The lowered Galley cost and combat ability are superb for your location and it is preferred to attempt to hold off on amassing a major fleet until you get this idea. Another idea that helps with military, albeit more offensively, is the lowered core creation cost. Although at this time perhaps the quantity of minor nations to annex is lower so you may just be stuck with overseas/colonial expansion. This can be used to help dampen the +100% core creation cost of the Berber states and grant you the Tunisian trade node however. The high base tax and, if you took them, the Italian provinces quality are perfect to fund a strong army. It's not as insane as say France or a formed Germany but it takes a very close 2nd/3rd place against them. The second you form Italy your first enemy should be Austria for the title of emperor. By fighting Austria and annulling their alliances with the electors this gives you a chance for their votes. Another option is forcefully vassalizing the electors or revoking their status and granting electorate status to an OPM vassal such as Urbino (once you add their province to the HRE), Siena, Mantua, etc.
As Italy it is best if you keep a couple vassals with certain ideas to aid you in your game. Prussia/Brandenburg has the best land based military ideas while Venice holds strong naval power. Venice however should be chosen with the knowledge that they will take most of the trade income. Aragon would also be a fine choice if looking for an extra naval vassal. If Spain hasn't already been formed, however... Whichever you decide to vassalize keep these choices in mind. Having a permanent ally that's land based and another that's water based could prove beneficial in protecting the HRE lands should you become emperor. The weakness in Italy is that its generic ideas force it to be average in all aspects. Offset this with vassals to cover your weaknesses.
When you have everything set up pretty well you should have: an army of ~50 troops in your homeland mixed in with mercenaries, ~20 troops running through Africa and Asia protecting your companies and conquering land to make new ones, a ~20/0/0/~30 navy carrying these troops along with an 80 strong navy in your homeland, 50–70 ducats a month with full maintenance and lvl 3 advisers, France at your side, emperor of the HRE, Prussia as a vassal, trade companies going from Ivory Coast all the way to Beijing/Australia, complete control of the Venice trade node drawing money from Constantinople>Ragusa>Venice, Alexandria, and Wien, 10 nations improving relations with you at a time, 6 nations rivaling you, the Ottomans closing in, France getting antsy, and the Commonwealth never being formed.
Remember. You're in a fragile position, but the best kind. The kind that keeps you on your toes. Keep your wits about you, your blade sharp, and the money flowing. Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito, quam tua te fortuna sinet.