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The kingdom formed in 1720 when the House of Savoy exchanged Sicily for the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. The heartland of the kingdom remained the mainland territories of Savoy (southeastern France) and Piedmont (northwestern Italy), to which Genoa was added in 1815. Sardinia-Piedmont took the initiative in the Risorgimento. Minus Savoy (ceded to France in 1860) but with the addition of Lombardy (acquired in 1859), it united with other Italian states in 1861 to form the kingdom of Italy, and its king, Victor Emmanuel II, became the first }king of Italy.

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