Italy in the XVII century is not yet a unified country.
It is a harlequinade of cities, the fiefs of states they represent, of which a major part such as Milan, the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily even belongs to the Crown of Spain. This mosaic of states and foreign domination distanced Italy from the great European political decisions. It is a nation in deep political slumber. However, the peninsula's apparent somnolence does not prevent its interior prosperity and even encourages a continual development of the arts that all Europe notes, envies and emulates.