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1940 —  This period was again characterized by terrible and bloody events and by the misery caused by the Second World War. As in the First conflict, Spezzano had to sacrifice many people for the beloved “homeland”. After the declaration of the armistice all the Germans encamped on the lands of Major Forte left for the north. On the 14th  September 1943 the allied forces entered  Spezzano and the population  welcomed them from the windows adorned with red streamers . The town  was in chaos and without a leader until Giovanni Rinaldi was nominated as temporary member of a  committee organised by the Prefect. Three different political groups faced  Rinaldi’s communist one:  The Fascists, including those families that remained faithful to the regime; the Socialists and the Democrats whose most important leader was Gennaro Cassiani. Alcide De Gasperi asked him to organize the Democratic party in Spezzano.

1928 — This date is important because it saw the opening of the Spa complex. After the First World War the water attracted many people with various health problems. Among these was Vincenzo Pirro. He drank this water which cured him so well  that he fell in love with this place and decided to open a Spa. There are four kinds of water to be found in this lovely place: “Acqua delle Grazie”; “Acqua di Sant’Antonio”; “Acqua del Principe”; “Acqua della Mensa”. The 30’s are also important for the construction of the aqueduct. Even the fascists understood the need to solve the water problem and carried out and finished various projects. In 1932 water flowed from all the taps in the town. There followed another important event: the arrival of electricity.

1921 — The years after the First World War were important because new political events appeared on the horizon namely Fascism and all it meant for the country. The movement  was founded in 1921 by the “fasci di combattimento” organized by Benito Mussolini on the 29 of march 1919.  In Spezzano, Alessandro Marini, who became its first secretary, opened the first Fascist Section in 1922. Angelo Forte, Vincenzo Forte’s brother, a marshal during the war where he was decorated with a gold medal, became the chief of the famous “Camicie Nere” (Black Shirts). The headquarters of this party were in Palazzo Grisolia close to the main street.In Spezzano another important party was also founded: the Socialist party. Its leader was Giovanni Rinaldi who was a direct opponent of the fascists. The latter regarded him as their main enemy and forced him to leave the town.After the Second World War Rinaldi joined the Communist party and for many years was mayor of the town.

1900 — This century opens with one of the most tragic events that changed the destiny of an entire generation: the First World War. Spezzano, as well as many other towns in Italy, had to pay a very expensive tribute in dead and wounded. In 1916, in the very middle of the war, electricity was brought to the town, while in 1919 the local Bank “Cassa Rurale ed Artigiana” was founded in order to help the poor and needy. The founders of the bank were: Don Francesco Gullo, Francesco Gullo, son of Nicola, Giuseppe Curti, son of Ferdinando, Nicola De Rosis, son of Domenico, Angelo Maria Chiurlo, son of Domenico, Antonio Pesce, son of Vincenzo, Francesco Serra, son of Alessio, Giuseppe Pesca, son of Francesco.In this period of rebirth it is rememeber the opening of the first cinema (1919) called “Cinema Irene”. Gaetano Barbati and Angelo Maria Montone were responsible for this initiative. The cinema  was situated on the ground floor of Palazzo Longo in Via Roma. In 1927 it was reopened by the “Circolo Cattolico” ( a Catholic social group). The same name was retained and the same projector was used but the cinema  was moved to Palazzo Nociti. This year is also extremely important for another event: the opening of the “Circolo filarmonico e di cultura” (Philharmonic and cultural Association). The society’s headquarters were in a building made available by Tommaso Quintieri which was near the First World War Memorial. There were two rooms: the first with tables for playing cards and the second which was used as a reading room full of books.

1860/1878 — The most important event that happened in this period was the arrival of Garibaldi’s troops who passed through  during their victorious military campaign against the Bourbons and which ended in the defeat of the latter and was the prelude to  Italian Unification.

1807/10 — Under the rule of Gioacchino Murat a road was opened. This went from Cosenza, passed through Spezzano and led to Naples.1830: In this year, near the Esaro river, a spring of purgative mineral water was discovered. The name “sulphuric water” was given to this spring because of the taste and smell.

1735 — This date marks the building of the Church of the “Carmine”. According to the inscription set under the arch over the altar, this church was built thanks to Alessandro Cucci who also had a house built for the priests (26 july 1744). This house was also a military court house and in 1852 it offered hospitality to King Ferdinand Borbone, while the part, which is now the Nuns’ convent, served as  barracks for  the police officers.

1668 — “On the day of our Lord 1668 the church of Saint Peter, in the town of Spezzano  adopted the Latin rite in favour of the Greek one”. In fact on the 4th of March 1668 the Archpriest Magnocavallo celebrated the first mass following the new rite. This fact is especially remembered in connection with the archpriest’s pusillanimity and Spinelli’s tyranny. The latter, in the meantime had  become the feudatory  overlord of these lands and  forced the inhabitants of Spezzano to abandon the old rite and to accept the new one.

1400 — During the first half of the fifteenth century the first Albanian immigrations started. Tired of Turkish tyranny and certain of receiving hospitality from the Aragonese, the Albanians fled to Italy. Their military, political and spiritual leader was Skanderbeg, who then became a veritable symbol for the Albanians in Italy. After his death (1468) and the final fall of Albania to Turkish domination, the exodus of the Albanians, who reached the south coast of Italy using simple means, began. Several events happened in the meantime. With the help of the Aragonese overlords, the fugitives settled in the southern provinces of Italy abandoning their warrior instincts and dedicating themselves to the cultivation of the fields. So they populated and built  several new areas around existing towns and new villages. They thus obeyed the law which prohibited them from settling  in only one place. According to the scholars Tajani and Rodotà there were  many Albanian immigrations in different periods and  several towns in Southern Italy were populated. This was also made possible thanks to the help and support offered by Princess Irene Castriota, niece of the already mentioned Skanderbeg. Irene was Duchess of San Pietro di Galatina and had married Pietro Antonio Sanseverino (Prince of Bisignano).

Via Nazionale, 284 (87019) Spezzano Albanese (Cs) Italy                    T.:+39 / (0)981/953.284 e.mail: sl.spezzano@virgilio.it

 

 

THE ANCIENT TIME: The land where the first Albanian refugees built their first settlements has a very ancient history. Excavations carried out by American scholars in the archaeological area of Torre Mordillo (pre-Hellenic origins) have unearthed many Neolithic, Greek and Roman remains which are now kept in Cosenza Museum.Other objects which are well preserved are kept in other Museums such as the museums in Sibari, Reggio Calabria, Taranto and Castrovillari and also in the Pigorini Museum  in Rome. Among these objects we must mention the famous “comb” (see the picture ) which is now kept in the archaeological museum of Sibari.

 

 

 

 

 

                         

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1848 — This century is remembered for the important  “Revolution of 48”.   Even Spezzano took part in  the fight. This is mentioned in the book by Cassiani. In fact near to the “Intavolato bridge” roughly 4000 men (Sicilians and Calabrians) led by Ribotti, fought against the troops of Busacca. At the end General Ribotti  praised his men for their valour.In  1848 besides these military events, the Cemetery was built in Spezzano in the area near the Church of “Constantinople”. This was one of the first cemeteries. Before this date the dead were buried in tombs underneath the churches.

1830 — IIn this year, near the Esaro river, a spring of purgative mineral water was discovered. The name “sulphuric water” was given to this spring because of the taste and smell.

 

LINGUISTIC WINDOW               SPEZZANO ALBANESE

1467/1543 —  According to historical data  this is the period in which the Albanians arrived and founded Spezzano, San Demetrio Corone, San Giorgio and Vaccarizzo. The first group settled close to two springs called “Pussi” and “Culumbri” Afterwards other groups went to live with the inhabitants of the hamlet of San Lorenzo. Quarrels soon broke out.  The reason for this unrest was the behaviour of the Albanian men. They worked on the local lords’ lands, lived a poor life and were thus often driven to thieving . After this, the Marquis Marcello Pescara, following  Epirot law, appointed guards to watch over the new “inhabitants”. This caused more unrest between the two ethnical groups.The priests who did not like the Papas ( priests of the Greek orthodox Church )  also created some problems and so contributed to the increasing bad feeling. Realising that it was very difficult to live with the native inhabitants, the Albanians, thanks to the King of Naples, were allowed to build their houses in an area called “Hamlet of Grazie”. This period marks the beginning of the story of Spezzano  (1543).  Many families went to build their houses close to an ancient statue of the Virgin whose origin is uncertain.So it is around here that the town and an important church dedicated to Our Lady were built and only in the XVII century (1600) did people start to move up the hill towards St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church. This area was called in Latin “Spetianum noviter aedificatum”.