Giuseppe Maria Garibaldi was born at Nice at six o'clock in the morning on 4 July 1807, which was the seventy-third birthday of his grandfather, Angelo Garibaldi.
The town of Nice had for two thousand years played an important part in the history of Provence. From 1388 until fifteen years before the birth of Giuseppe Garibaldi it had been in the territory of the independent sovereign state of Savoy, which stretched from the Lake of Geneva in the north to the territory of the Republic of Genoa in the south. Nice was its chief seaport, and from there a busy trade was carried on with the other ports of the Mediterranean. The Duke of Savoy was an important ally of the Holy Roman Emperor, and the Habsburgs in Austria and Spain, against the King of France. In 1718 he was granted the island of Sardinia as a reward for his assistance to the Allies in the War of Spanish Succession, and took the title of King of Sardinia. Henceforth the Duchy of Savoy was officially known as the Kingdom of Sardinia, though it was often referred to, informally, as Piedmont, where its capital, Turin, was situated.
-Jasper Ridley, Garibaldi