by Thomas Mathà

The aim of this study is to describe the development of the exchange of letter mail between the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Naples and Sicily) from the time of the Congress of Vienna to the introduction of the postage stamps in Austria (June 1, 1850).

After the Napoleonic Occupation and the regency of Gioacchino Murat (1808-1815) the Bourbons returned to the power in October 1815 and King Ferdinand IV came back to the Court in Naples. In 1816 according to the Congress of Vienna the two Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily were unified due to the law of November 22, 1816 and declared as the new Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Ferdinand became the new Sovereign and took the name of King Ferdinand I of Two Sicilies. The Kingdom consisted of the provinces “this side of the Lighthouse of Messina”, with its capital of Naples and the today regions of Abruzzi, Molise, Puglia, Campania and Calabria and the provinces “beyond the Lighthouse of Messina”, in other words the Island of Sicily with its capital Palermo.

The official capital of this Union was Palermo, but the real centre of economic and political power was Naples, in those times one of the most important European cities, the merchant navy was one of the dominant powers in the Mediterranean Sea.

The conservative politics of King Ferdinand were not welcome by nobility, merchants and intellectual citizens, therefore soon anti-bourbon reactions came out in Sicily.