Appears in Moll's The world described, [1709-1736], plate 27.
During the Renaissance, Italy was a nation of separate city-states, regions that were loyal to either the Spanish crown or the Pope in Rome. Italian culture was also transitioning from a medieval way of life, to a modern one where people could own businesses, although there remained a large gap between the aristocracy and the working-class. The map displayed here shows how Italy was divided in the early 18th century. Each of these regions had a distinct culture, which would have been known to Shakespeare and his contemporaries through a variety of literary and historical sources. The Bard set eleven of his plays in Italy.