|Government type||Absolute monarchy|
|Ruling party||Restaurazionisti (reactionary)|
|Capital||Naples (ID 754)|
|Primary culture||South Italian|
|Tech school||Traditional academia|
Two Sicilies is the most southern of the Italian states. It starts as a Secondary power with the largest army, largest population, and huge industrial potential. Together with Sardinia-Piedmont, it's one of the only Italian minors that's isn't in a sphere.
All in all Two Sicilies makes a decent candidate to form Italy.
During the Napoleonic Wars, Naples was captured by the French. After the capture of Naples, the Neapolitan kingdom became the Parthenopaean Republic, a French client state. After Napoleon's downfall, King Ferdinand was back on the throne by the Congress of Vienna. The Congress of Vienna also created Two Sicilies, a unification between Naples and Sicily.
At the start of the game, the treasury is in deficit. Two Sicilies has a relatively large army and navy however, this will burden your finances in early years. Don't be tempted to disband it just yet, as it'll come in handy after you begin to unify Italy.
To help with the finances, naval spending can be cut. In the trade screen, switch the AI off for artillery and clipper convoys, set their stockpile to zero. This will reduce organization on artillery units and make it impossible to build any; if you need artillery, set them back on automatic.
(Note: As of Hearts of Darkness, naval units need supplies or they will suffer attrition in their home ports. Unless you want a fleet with 1% hull, make sure they get at least 30% of their supplies.)
The surrounding great powers
Diplomatically, build French relations to the maximum, 200. Once Italy forms it'll share borders with France, and the last thing Italy wants is French aggression. Austria is the other GP you'll border as Italy, but don't worry about relations: Italy will have to fight them at least twice to get all their cores back, so high relations would actively hurt Italian ambitions.
Once relations with France are high you should pour points into Sardinia-Piedmont and the Papal States. This will help keep France out of your business by eventually removing them from the French sphere. This investment will also help when you try to influence these Italian states later on during the quest to unite Italy.
War and Infamy
Since part of the charm of Two Sicilies is forming Italy, it can be tempting to expand on the peninsula itself. There are two problems with this idea. Firstly, Two Scilicies doesn't have a CB on other Italian nations, it'll cost you 10 infamy per state, meaning only two states at a time. Also, it's an inefficient use of infamy as if you follow the diplomatic route to annexation, you'll get everything infamy free. The other complication is that, many of the Italian nations start out allied or sphered by Austria or France, and these two states can easily put a stop to your early ambitions.
However, infamy is there to be used and Two Sicilies is positioned just off the African coast. Some possible areas to expand:
- Tunis can be annexed for eight infamy, and good for soldiers and grain and offers a border on the Ottoman Empire for future conquest
- Morocco's Taza region - which has a precious metal RGO - can be picked up for just four. Watch out for Spain as they want the same region.
- Morocco's Atlantic Coast regions can be picked up for 4 infamy and offers ports closer to potential colonial sites
- Algeria can cost up to 22 infamy but has several iron RGOs, provides a port closer to future potential colonization, and helps stem French expansion
- If you're prepared to look further afield (and don't mind getting your fleet damaged due to attrition) then there are several good targets in India and the rest of Asia. Choose targets that will provide you with resources, taxes, soldiers and better positioning for the colonial expansion.
Becoming a Great Power
The main problems with the Two Sicilies are that you are a mostly agrarian country with no industrial base, low literacy, low-end Secondary Power status and an absolute monarchy. The first things one should do is set your research for Romanticism.
Romanticism will help your prestige score, which is an easy way to secure Great Power status. The three innovations total sixty prestige (which decreases the more nations discover the innovations) and will easily get you into the top eight.
The tier two culture techs all benefit you greatly; better clergymen (higher literacy faster), greater plurality (boosts research rate), faster reinforcements, more national focus, and higher prestige. However, don't forget to keep up with the Army techs as you'll need to remain competitive against Austria. At the very least you should aim to be up to date in Light Armament and Army Leadership.
Stay in your reactionary government! This is the quickest and best way to industrialize from scratch. Alcohol will be your friend for much of the game; wineries and distilleries generate a lot of profit with what the Two Sicilies has (fruit and grain). Encourage craftsmen in Campania and manually enlarge factories. Level three wineries/distilleries can net you and your capitalists several hundred ducats of profit, making it much easier to industrialize in the later game.
You will face many events regarding your oppressiveness. Generally, you want to choose the option which makes your people more liberal, as this will help liberalize your government. You will face rebel pressure from the Revolution of 1848 event. Not to fear. You have two 21,000 armies to crush any rebel army which may arise.
You want to enact political reforms with your (if you played the events right) large liberal majority in the UH. You can easily pass every political reform before the socialists come.
There are two conditions you must meet in order to form Italy. The first of these is frustrating and time-consuming, while the second could see you lose the game. Firstly, you must get all the other Italian nations into your sphere of influence. At the beginning of the game these are the Papal States, Lucca, Tuscany, Parma, Sardinia-Piedmont and Modena. To make the task harder a few of them are already sphere'd by Austria and France, so you have to remove Austrian/French influences. Researching Market Structure will help you greatly, as it will get your +0.2 diplomatic influence (v1.4). This is a long game of bait and switch and avoiding discredits.
The second condition involves war with another great power: Austria. At the beginning of the game Austria holds Lombardia, which is Italian-cored, and these cores are needed to form Italy. Austria has been beefed in the v1.2 patch, making it much harder to wrest control of rightfully-Italian provinces solo. Partnering with Prussia/NGF/Germany will help you tremendously as Austria cannot fight a two front war. Just be sure to quickly get those provinces, as the AI like to limp out of wars quickly.
These two conditions can be met in any order, so you may find it useful to get your cores from Austria before sphereing everyone. This gives you a land border with Sardinia-Piedmont and Modena, making it easier to gain influence on them. However, it's recommended that you have at least sphered the Papal State by this point, giving you military access to Austria. If you choose not to call the Papal States to war immediately you can dodge in and out of "safe" territory if a larger Austrian army arrives.
If all this sounds too daunting, you may receive a "Crown from the Gutter" event which allows you to unite Italy. However, this event will only happen if pan-nationalist rebels take over in an Italian state in your sphere. It may never happen and one can do little to provoke it.
Once you've formed Italy you can enact the Italian Irredenta decision that gives you cores on three more Austrian states. Assuming you've already beaten Austria once it shouldn't be a problem to do it again.
After a few wars, you are now lifelike Italy! And you can do whatever you like!