The Italian word luogotenente (Italian: [ˌlwoɡoteˈnɛnte]; plural luogotenenti) is an etymological parallel to lieutenant, deriving from the Latin locum tenens "holding a place", i.e. someone who fills a position instead of another, as a substitute, deputy, et cetera.
It has a few specific historical uses:
The knightly officer who is in daily command of the Grand Master's own regimental company, to which the famigliari (closest personal staff) belonged.
It was also the governor (elsewhere other titles, such as provveditore, were used) for the Venetian Republic on the island of Cyprus, which it bought from its last Crusader king from the house of Lusignan, usually for a two-year term, until the Turks captured it in 1570. Besides him the military command was entrusted to a capitano ('captain', de facto military governor), from 1480 to 1571 (when Famagusta, the last fortress, fell).
Compound and derived titles
In the Neapolitan Two Sicilies Kingdom there was a Luogotenente generale dei reali domini al di là del Faro meaning Lieutenant-general of the royal domains beyond the Lighthouse, i.e. the Governor appointed by the King for Sicily (Statute of 11 December 1816).
- 1816 Niccolò Filangieri, prince of Cutò
- 1817 Francis, duke of Calabria
- 1820 Diego Naselli d'Aragona
- 1820 - 1821 Pietro Colletta, then Vito Nunziante
- 1821 Niccolò Filangieri, prince of Cutò
- 1824 - 1830 Pietro Ugo, marchese delle Favare
- 1830 - 1835 Prince Leopold, Count of Syracuse
- 1835 - 1837 Antonio Lucchesi-Palli, prince of Campofranco
- 1840 - 1848 Lt.-Gen. Luigi Nicola De Majo, duke of San Pietro
- 1848 - 1855 General Carlo Filangieri, prince of Satriano, duke of Taormina
- 1855 - 1860 Paolo Ruffo, prince of Castelcicala
- 1860 General Ferdinando Lanza
Kingdom of Sardinia and Kingdom of Italy
In the Savoy dynasty's Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia and later united Kingdom of Italy, when the King was away from his office for some reason (e.g. to follow the war on the battlefield) he could appoint a Luogotenente Generale del Regno (Lieutenant-general of the realm) (chosen from members of royal family) to carry out some of the King's duties as a Viceroy.
It happened on 1848, when king Charles Albert reached the battlefield in Lombardia, Eugenio Savoia-Carignano was 'Luogotenente Generale del Regno' and it was up to him to announce the year after that the defeated king abdicated and succession passed to his son Vittorio Emanuele II. Eugenio Savoia-Carignano covered again the same role in 1859 and in 1866 when Victor Emmanuel II was involved in the second and third War of Independence. Finally in 1860/1861 he was appointed Luogotenential duties but limited to Toscana and to southern Italy, when those regions passed under the Kingdom of Sardinia.
Again on 25 May 1915 during World War I when King Victor Emmanuel III, leaving Rome in order to reach the war headquarters in North Italy and to assume Supreme War Command, he appointed his uncle, Tomaso di Savoia Duca di Genova, 'Luogotenente Generale del Regno' with delegate powers for ordinary and urgent administration (excluding grave importance affairs) until 1919.
Near the end of World War II, the same King appointed his son, Umberto, as 'Luogotenente Generale del Regno' under Allied and Italian pressure. It was believed that Victor Emmanuel was too compromised by his earlier support of the fascist regime to have any further role in state affairs.