By 2000 BC, immigrants from the east had brought the art of metalworking to southern Italy and Sicily, and northern Italian cultures of the same period developed strong links with cultures living north of the Alps.
During the Bronze Age (c.1800-1000 BC), most of central and southern Italy had unified to a culture known as the Apennine, recognized by large agricultural and pastoral settlements.
Evidence, found in Sicily and along the southeastern coast of Italy, suggests the start of trading contacts with the Mycenaeans. After c.1500 BC, in the northern Italian Po Valley , the Terramare culture, known for building its villages on wooden piles, its new techniques of bronze workings, and its cremation rites, rose to prominence. By the time of the introduction of iron into Italy (c.1000 BC), regional variations were already well established.
Austrian Academy of Sciences