‘Terroni’ by Pino Aprile – A Book Review

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A Remarkable Book In More Ways Than One

A Remarkable Book In More Ways Than One

>< It’s true – Terroni is a pejorative word as explained by Pino Aprile. However, this is the word Northern Italians use when referring to Southern Italians. The author has written about an Italy that I never knew existed. But then history is usually written by conquerors and oppressors. When I wrote my Italian family history, Whatever Happened To Ishtar?   I had no idea of the massacres, rapes and sackings which took place in the South in the name of Unification. My mother’s paternal grandfather, Aristodemo Frandi from Pisa, fought with Garibaldi and before that, as a conscripted soldier with the Austrian army, in the north of Italy.  I know that he followed the Garibaldini to Southern Italy because he and others wanted to rid Italy of foreign armies fighting battles for supremacy in Italy. There was never any mention, as far as I am aware, of the North backing the Risorgimento for the sole purpose of oppressing the South. But then Garibaldi died a broken man, betrayed by politicians he trusted. Perhaps he was gullible too. Aristodemo emigrated with his wife and three children to New Zealand when known Garibaldi supporters were harassed and vilified following the Unification. ><

Aristodemo Frandi blog

Anne Frandi-Coory’s great grandfather Aristodemo Giovanni Frandi

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One thing Aristodemo did speak of, was the betrayal of Garibaldi and his followers, by priests and nuns, as they looked for shelter and food on their way to the South “to convince Southerners to support the Risorgimento”.

My Greco ancestors lost their lands in southern Italy and moved up the peninsula as did many of its compatriots. They eventually emigrated to the UK.

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Emmie's wedding 2

Anne Frandi-Coory’s great grandparents Raffeala (nee Manzi) and Filippo  Greco (Grego)

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Terroni is full of the horrors of civil war, and today the oppression of the South by the North continues. Aprile even discusses the possibility that the ‘elitist’ North is doing everything in its power to divide Italy in half and jettison the South.  The author believes that the people of Southern Italy are set to fight back. Thirteen to twenty million Southerners fled the south during and after the Unification and their descendants now realise what has been taken from them.  Unlike in the past, Southern Italians and their descendants are proud to talk of their history in a pre-united Italy.

This book is a must-read for all Italians, inside and outside Italy, and for anyone who has a passion for Italy.

Thank you Pino Aprile for the courage you have shown in writing this book and for bringing us the ‘other side’ of the Risorgimento.

-Anne Frandi-Coory 23 January 2013

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2 comments
  1. I live in the north of Italy, my wife is Sicilian. In the north they still regard people from the south as terroni. In my opinion Sicily and it’s people are far nicer than the northerners.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. frandi said:

    I love Southern Italy and during my visits to many towns in the South, I did notice that parks and public buildings were not as cared for as in the North. I hope that now, since many books have been written about the pillaging and oppression of Southern Italy by Northerners, the Southerners will finally find their voice to ensure they receive adequate compensation for injustices of the past. I know that no amount of money can erase the past suffering inflicted upon families, but hopefully their descendents will find some solace if and when the South of Italy is put on an equal footing with the North, It is up to the people of Italy to make this happen. Anne.

    Like

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