From 1774 to the unification of Italy: Light Troops Legion
Since the earliest times, the defence of the countries’ land and maritime borders was the purpose of military detachments, that were committed to safeguard the territory from defectors, criminals and smugglers, not only during the war but also in peacetime.
The origins of the Guardia di Finanza date back to 1st October 1774, when the “Light Troops Legion” was established, which was the first example of Italian special Corps, set up for financial surveillance of the borders and military defence. The Guardia di Finanza was established in the Kingdom of Sardinia, one of the several independent countries in Italian peninsula, with its own military forces as well as independent customs and financial surveillance. These minor countries existed until the 1861, when the Italian Kingdom was proclaimed, as result of several battles and insurrectionary movements, which involved many soldiers belonging to the different smaller kingdoms in Italy.