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Re: [FraDiavolo] A little bit of history

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  • marie saccoccio
    Thank you for posting a bit of history! I look forward to the sequel! gcpezza@aol.com wrote:Hi everyone, Before I get into the history of Fra Diavolo you need
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 29 7:55 PM
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      Thank you for posting a bit of history! I look forward to the sequel!

      gcpezza@... wrote:Hi everyone,

      Before I get into the history of Fra Diavolo you need to understand that
      Italy as we know it had its start only after the 1860's. Italy until then was
      a land of many nations conquered by various dynasty's and changed hands very
      often. It is too involved to go over all of Italy so I will concentrate on the
      area of Lazio which is the state Itri belongs to. Itri is a toewn in the
      Province of Lazio but before World war Two it was in the Province of Latina. Before
      the Roman's Itri was part of a group of hamlets which made up the loose
      confederacy know as Lathium. Thier language was Latin and it comprised the are
      north of Naples to the Po Valley. Rome which was not a large influence at this
      time was part of Lathium. Ironically they enjoyed a peaceful coexistance from
      invaders such as the Visigoths, Etrucians from the north and Bruttians and
      Sacreceans from the south. This was mainly due to the area of Lathium being
      surrounded by marshlands which caused malaria epedemics to outsiders who were not
      immune to the disease.

      Upon the rise of the Roman Empire, Itri grew due mainly from the building of
      the ancient Appian Way which some sections are still intact in along the
      outskirts of Itri. This allowed Itri a trade route which thier main product was and
      still is today Olives. Also Itri, Formia, Fondi and especially Gaeta along
      the coast became the weekend get away for the Roman Elite. Much the same as the
      Hampton's are for New Yorkers. With brisk trade along the Appian Way which
      connected Rome to Pompei Itri's culture was being established.

      With the decline of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Papal (Roman
      Catholic State) Itri became a loyal and dedicated town to the church. It was at this
      time that the miracle of the sheep herder seeing the image of the Mother Mary
      in a tree happened. This miracle is celebrate in late July in Itri every
      year. Here in Rhode Island we celebrate the feast as well. We just celebrated it
      last week. So somewhere between 700AD and 1000AD Itri was part of the Roman
      Papal State.

      With its troubles up north in Venice and Florence the Roman Papal State did
      not put up much of a fight when the King of Aragon (which is part of Spain now)
      conquered lands which included Itri. The area was know as the the Kingdom of
      Naples. It was at this time around 1050 that the King of Aragon wanted a
      complete accounting of his new area. So the first official census known as the
      Catasto was performed. These records exist in Naple's today. Copies are available
      and I have been enquiring on how to get them. This Catasto will have the first
      official names of the population and it is as far back as we could go in
      finding our ancestor's.

      Through the King's sucess his lands expanded but were difficult to manage and
      control. Taking a page out of England he established a fuedal system. He
      broke up areas into Counties and handed power to Counts which further split areas
      into Duchy's which were control by Duke's and further broken up to town's
      control by Marchese's. The term Marchese is no longer used and most Republic's use
      the term Mayor or Scaduto in Italian. These were known as the Middle Ages.

      Towards the end of the Middle Ages, Aragon was conquered by Castille and took
      over power of the Kingdom of Naples and along with Sicily and Calabria called
      the new area the Kingdom of Two Sicilies. The King of Castille is the lineage
      that gave birth to King Ferdinand which brings up to the time of the
      Rennesance and Fra Diavolo.

      I will continue this later tonight. I need to put my daughter to sleep.

      Until then,

      Gregory Pezza (Ciccone) Son of Joseph, Son of Paolo, Son of Giocchino Pezza
      of Itri.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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