The ancient Corps of the Royal
was instituted in Turin by the King of Sardinia, Vittorio Emanuel l
by Royal Warrant on 13th July, 1814. It was given the dual function
of national defence, in first position with respect to other
branches of the Armed Forces, and policing with special powers and
The Carabinieri Force was issued with a distinctive uniform in dark
blue with silver braid around the collar and cuffs, edges trimmed
in scarlet and epaulets in silver, with white fringes for the
mounted division and light blue for infantry. The characteristic
hat with two points was popularly known as the "lucerna".
A version of this uniform is still used today for important
The Force was given a territorial task and was organized into
divisions, one for each province. They were called Companies and
sub-divided into Lieutenancies which commanded and coordinated the
local police stations, and were distributed throughout the national
territory in direct contact with the public.
The mounted division "Corazzieri" was formed in 1868 as an escort
of honour and security, first for the Sovereign, and since 1946 for
the President of the Republic.
With the Unity of Italy and added territory the number of divisions
were increased and responsible to operating commands, called
territorial legions. On 24th January, 1861 the Force was appointed
"First Force" of the newly founded national military organization,
rising to the status of Armed Force on 31st March, 2000. This
privileged position, as well as the presence of Carabinieri in
every part of the country, even in the smallest village, were and
still are the most significant characteristics of the Institution.