To keep it short, Italians didn’t exist till the end of the 19th century, well beyond the time line.
I propose to split the Italians in the following way:
Genoese - Italians (just rename them, wonder and unique unit fit them perfectly)
Venetians - new civs
Lombards - Teutons (already exist)
Papal state - Romans (already exist)
Possibly add Florence or Papal state civ
Naples/South of Italy - Sicilians.
In a nutshell, rename Italians to Genoese, Add Venetians and Florence/Papal state as 2 new civs.
Italians existed, but they were a cultural group common to the inhabitants North of the Apennine Peninsula - it was similar with the Germans, who were also a cultural group for many nations.
Italians civ in AoE 2 should currently represent small but strong Italian countries such as Genoa, Florence or Savoy. Almost all of Northern Italy belonged to the Italian Kingdom that existed within the Holy Roman Empire - apart Sicily, Papal States and the Republic of Venice. Following this lead, we already have Sicilians and Romans (who, to my disappointment, do not represent the Papal States), but we lack Venetians - who have a lot to offer.
Rework of Italians civ should focus on representing Northwest Italy even better (Genoa, Savoy, Florence, Pisa etc.). In addition, you can add one unique unit to the Romans civ to replace the Monk - the Pope (many popes at the same time would be historically correct xDDD).
The only thing that makes sense to add from the area of modern Italy is the Venetians civ - nothing else.
As much as I like to see venice added the mediterranean buildings are overloaded already.
But if there is a split I suppose condo will become a shared unit and galleases will become something like a unique upgrade to the gally line.
If we want to conceptualize a more radical way to add the city states ingame can use the variation civi path of aoe4/policy decisions of chivalry mod.You select the base civi as italians and can research a tech from TC/castle to divert to a specific city with its own uu’s ut’s civi bonuses building graphics etc.
Give the Italians an option of three wonders. With a unique tech researchable when you build the wonder. Add Galleass as an upgrade on War Galley replacing Galleon for them. That way, the Genoese (Crossbowman), Venetians (Galleass) and Milan/Florence (Condottieri) are represented. Add an upgrade to the Monk , the Cardinal, a powerful monk to represent the Papacy. And add a Pope as the King unit for regicide mode.
If you nit pick everything I guess the entire game is inaccurate. It will just stir the topic into pointless and borderline toxic discussions, which happens almost every time with these kinds of topics.
I mean Huns get Saboteurs, when did that happen too?
But some inaccuracies are more glaring than others. The abovementioned states I mentioned never did think that they might be an unified nation one day. The concept was unconceivable at the time of the middle ages, the Papacy was a force on their own, the south was controlled by Arabs/Normans, in the North you had Lombards which were Germanic and on top of everything you had 2 merchant naval states powerhouses with colonies.
Makes more sense to separate such a significant region rather than separating the Celts into Breton and Cornish, or separating the Teutons into 52 civilizations, representing every city-state in the HRE.
I wont argue either but I will argue that large continents like Africa and the Americas with land area empires larger than Italy are a bit barren. Surely you can understand that compared to splitting a small area even smaller