Until 1501, the Albanian coast formed the Italian colony of Venetian Albania. A long period of Ottoman domination ensued, but Italian influence was gradually reasserted in the XX century until the formal annexation of the country by fascist Italy in 1939.
After the end of World War II, another long period of Communist isolation followed.
In 1997, however, the Italian troops went back to Albania in the framework of the UN-sponsored Operation Dawn, under Italian command. Today the relationship between the two countries remains very strong, with Albanian Universities offering courses held in Italian and degrees fully recognized in Italy.
The Italian Armed Forced maintain in Albania the Delegation of Italian Experts, some sort of Military Mission providing the Albanian Armed Forces with support and training.