|Government type||Absolute Monarchy|
|Ruling party||Restaurazionisti (reactionary)|
|Capital||Rome (ID 749)|
|Primary culture||South Italian|
|Tech school||Traditional academia|
The Papal States is a smaller state in central Italy. Despite being the state of the pope, it is treated yet as an Italian minor state. It faces a number of difficulties initially in its quest to unite Italy, mostly derived from the relatively low populations. It starts the game in Frances Sphere of Influence.
One should start by industrializing the two starting regions. A guaranteed profit maker is the cement factory and the glass factory. Once Modena is acquired, a steel mill there will be a good choice.
Unfortunately the reunification of Italy will have to stop after this for a while, since the Two Sicilies are too strong for the time being and the other states are either in France's or Austria's Sphere of Influence.
Researching the techs that grant bonuses to research points early can provides a great boost to research. In addition, if they are researched straight away, there is a good chance you'll gain a large amount of prestige from the inventions.
Annexing Tunis and gaining regions from Egypt (especially Dumyat and the Levant) can be another solution. A more daring strategy would be to attack Switzerland before they are sphered by France. They can both be puppeted or annex.
Papal states have two unique decisions:
The independent Italian nations
Once Great Power status is achieved, the task of uniting the Italian states behind a single flag becomes possible. In order to form Italy, the Papal State must have all of the Italian states, in addition to the Austrian region of Lombardia, either within its Sphere of Influence or conquered. Once Papal States becomes a Great power it breaks out of Frances Sphere of influence and might thus loose the alliance with them. Therefore it might be better to fight Austria with the help of France before one becomes a great power.
Since most of the other states are already under the French or Austrian Sphere of Influence, the task of gaining states will take a lot of time, so start early, as soon as Great Power status is acquired. Parma and Sardinia-Piedmont may be difficult cases since they border Austria and France respectively.
It is strongly recommended that a line of forts should be constructed on the Austrian border before declaring war on Austria. They not only help you defend these lands, but more importantly they will delay the Austrian take over, requiring the Austrians to significantly outnumber Papal States' forces. One needs to play defensively. Papal States have the big advantage that Austria cannot march directly to Papal states so they have to deal with Military access (which the other Italian states would deny if they are allied to Papal States) or use their honestly weak fleet.
It is usually a good Idea to keep the alliance with France and call them into the war, but except them one should think twice before calling allies in. If they do more losing than winning battles and even worse makes it possible to march directly from Vienna to Rome.
The Italia Irredenta decision gives the newly founded Italy cores on northern Italy including Venice and parts of modern Croatia. It is, like Lombardia used to be, controlled by Austria. Once Italy is formed, it will be possible to field a sizable professional army with a very large amount of troops in reserve. Use a similar strategy to defeat Austria if they are still strong.