August 21, 2009

Stop Rooting for the Enemy

With a new season of Lega Calcio upon us I can't help but notice the excitement in the air. My friends are reliving the glories and defeats of last season's campaign and bragging about "their" teams' latest signings. Admittedly, I haven't had too much to brag about in years gone by because I root for a Southern team, Napoli to be specific. [For those of you who don't know, Southern teams haven't been able to compete financially with the wealthier Northern clubs. – Ed.] But at least I root for my native team, unlike the frontrunners who follow the top clubs like, Juventus, Milan and Inter. No matter how poorly we do I at least have the satisfaction of knowing that I am not a traitor and I take every opportunity to remind my friends who are.

However, these days things are a bit different, there is realistic hope for Napoli. Ownership (DeLa) has been serious about building a legitimate squad able to compete with the big clubs. Things are even sweeter now because management is specifically looking for local (i.e. Southern) talent. I don't care what anybody says, I like rooting for my own kind. (If I had my way the entire team would be from the South.) Winning (fingers crossed) would be so much more gratifying.

Sure I'll root for Southern players on northern teams. I want to see Cannavaro, Borriello, Cassano, Iaquinta, etc. do well; for some primordial reason I feel like they represent us. I just wish they played on our teams. This also doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate or enjoy foreign talent, I do (e.g. Maradona), I just prefer my own.

This year, in addition to my beloved Napoli, I'm a Bari fan, a Catania fan, and (except this Sunday because they play Napoli in the "Derby delle due Sicilie") a Palermo fan.

Forza Partenopei! Forza Sud!

Submitted by New York Scugnizzo.

Miccoli bans 'local' Juve fans added on October 1, 2009

August 20, 2009

Brief Excerpts from Julius Evola's "The Path of Cinnabar"

Julius Evola's autobiography is now available in English thanks to Integral Tradition Publishing. I recently received my copy and I couldn't put it down. 

"The first keyword, I argued, was to be counter-revolution. Leaving aside the broader horizons mentioned in Revolt Against the Modern World, in Men Among the Ruins I described the preliminary, practical duty of those men who remained standing (among the ruins, as it were) in terms of an integral and uncompromising rejection of all the ideologies borne of the French Revolution. The liberal revolution, after all represented the starting point of the latest phase in the crises of Europe: having engendered the democratic revolution, it had paved the way for socialism and Communism. No compromise, in this respect, was to be made. In the face of the increasing insolence and arrogance of the forces of subversion, I invoked the intellectual and physical courage of labelling oneself a 'reactionary': a charge which all the petty politicians of Italy feared – including those belonging to so-called Right wing parties.

"Naturally, the reaction I invoked had nothing to do with the kind of reaction which serves as a handy pretext for our enemies: for it had nothing to do with the interests of an economic class and with the capitalist Right. The reaction I had in mind was rather that of a political and aristocratic Right, which would regard any form of power derived from the mere possession of wealth as an act of usurpation and subversion. Counter-revolution I defined not on the basis of material interests but of ideals. With the rejection of progressive social myths, I argued, fundamental ideals would emerge which possessed an immutable normative value for all social and political organisations of a superior kind. In a similar way, I suggested, Vico had spoken of 'the natural laws of an eternal republic which takes on various forms at different times and in different places'."
–Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar,
Integral Tradition Publishing, 2009, p. 188-189,
Chapter XIII, In Search of Men Among the Ruins

"A further distinguishing trait of the true state, I argued, is its organic unity. For the true state exists as an organic whole comprised of distinct elements, and embracing partial unities, each possesses a hierarchically ordered life of its own. At the basis of the true state, therefore, lie the values of quality, of just inequality and of personality: the fundamental principle of such a state being the Classical principle of suum cuique ('to each his own and to each his own rights' in accordance with natural dignity). Hence the sharp contrast between the organic state and the totalitarian: for the latter necessarily expresses a leveling, despotic and mechanistic kind of unity. The totalitarian state derives from the individualistic corrosion of the organic state: for once individualism has freed each person from what links him to higher powers, once 'freedom and equality' have destroyed all hierarchies, and a shapeless multitude has emerged amid a chaotic array of separate interests and forces – each aiming to gain ascendancy by all possible means; in such a context, the violence of 'totalitarianism' acts as desperate means to impose some sort of external order by establishing a system which, nevertheless, stands as the materialist counterfeit of organic unity. I here recorded how the very process, which only recently unfolded on a vast scale, had already been recorded by Tacitus in exact terms: 'To overturn the state (i.e., the genuine, organic traditional state), they talk of freedom; once freedom will have been attained, this, too, they will attack.' Likewise, Plato had observed that: 'Tyranny is borne and takes hold from no other political system but democracy, which is to say that from extreme freedom, the most unmitigated and harsh slavery arises.' I shall add one final quotation, taken from Vico: 'Men first desire freedom of the body, then freedom of character – which is to say freedom of conscience (the "immortal principles") – and wish to be equal to others; then they wish to dominate their equals; and finally, to trample on their superiors'."
–Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar,
Integral Tradition Publishing, 2009, p. 190-191,
Chapter XIII, In Search of Men Among the Ruins

* Giambattista Vico (1668-1774) is a Neapolitan philosopher who is best known for his book, The New Science, in which he outlined a cyclical theory of civilisations as progressing through three ages: the divine, the heroic, and the human age, which closely resembles traditional doctrines of history.

August 16, 2009

Pontelandolfo Commemoration Marred

Pontelandolfo rally, August 14, 2009 (Photo courtesy of Agostino Abbaticchio)
On August 14 a small group of Due Siciliani patriots made their way to Pontelandolfo to pay their respects to the victims of the 1861 massacre. The pilgrimage to the small town in Benevento has become an annual event to help recount the Piedmontese atrocity in Pontelandolfo (and neighboring Casalduni), where 336 townspeople–men, women and children–were raped and slaughtered by the Italian military.

Assembling in the piazzetta the participants, about 40 in all, peacefully made their way to the Chiesa del S.S. Salvatore to commemorate the fallen. However, at the church entrance they were met by the Mayor of Pontelandolfo, Dr. Cosimo Testa, who ignobly informed the attendees that they were in violation of incitement of civil disobedience because of their Bourbon flags. The patriots protested but most of them were barred entry into the church and forbidden to attend the "official" observance with their seditious flags. To add further insult, the Carabinieri harassed the participants by collecting personal information from them as if they were common criminals.

It seems more than a little strange that in a country where mobs of Communists and Moslems can rally (or riot) with impunity that such a small and peaceful gathering would evoke the response it did. (Also, at a time when church attendance is at an all-time low one would imagine they would be happy to have people filling the pews and praying to the memory of the victims.)

In defiance the gatherers sang the Hymn of the Two-Sicilies (see below) on the church stairs and proudly flew their flags while chanting, "Long live the King" before leaving. They returned to the piazzetta to hold a commemoration of their own, leaving the mayor to perform his ceremony with virtually no one in attendance. The mayor and his color guard further marred this solemn occasion by bearing the Italian tricolor, for in whose name the victims at Pontelandolfo and Casalduni were slaughtered.

August 14, 2009

The Pontelandolfo – Casalduni Massacre

General Enrico Cialdini: 
The Butcher of Gaeta
By Giovanni di Napoli

On August 14, 1861 the towns of Pontelandolfo and Casalduni were sacked and torched by the Piedmontese military during the so-called "war against brigandage" in Southern Italy. On the orders of General Enrico Cialdini (*) the towns were reduced to rubble and townspeople indiscriminately slaughtered in retaliation for the death of 41 soldiers at the hands of partisan loyalists.
Accounts of the Piedmontese reprisal describe the shooting of unarmed men and bayoneting of groveling women. The survivors were left homeless and without means of survival. Dispatched by Cialdini, Colonel Gaetano Negri telegraphed his superior to report on the carnage: 
"At dawn yesterday justice was done to Pontelandolfo and Casalduni. They are still burning." 
Sadly, Pontelandolfo and Casalduni were not the exception. In the first 14 months after the conquest of Southern Italy the towns of Guaricia, Campochiaro, Viesti, San Marco in Lamis, Rignano, Venosa, Basile, Auletta, Eboli, Montifalcone, Montiverde, Vico, Controne, and Spinello all suffered a similar fate. Arbitrary arrests and summary executions were common. By 1864 over 100,000 troops, nearly half the Italian army, were deployed in the South to try and keep order.
Despite attempts to prove otherwise (so they could politically justify Piedmontese atrocities) the insurrection was not the work of common criminals and brigands, but was in fact a popular revolt by former Bourbon soldiers, loyalists and desperate peasants against the Northern invaders. These resistance fighters were protecting their homes and families. As many as 80,000 Southerners were imprisoned for political reasons. It was only after the floodgates of immigration opened in the decades after "unification" and large parts of the South were depopulated that the violence began to wane. Unfortunately, due to unreliable figures, the exact number of Southerners killed during the "war against brigandage" will never be known.
(* It should be noted that General Enrico Cialdini was the commander in charge at the Siege of Gaeta who refused a cease-fire, as was the custom, during negotiations for surrender. His actions led to the unnecessary deaths of over fifty defenders when a powder magazine exploded just prior to Gaeta's capitulation. He was made Duke of Gaeta as reward for his bloody assault on the Southern Italian fortress.)

Remember Otranto!

Coat of Arms of Otranto
sangue otrantino
saporito come menta e petrusino,
sangue forte e fino
contro il turco malandrino.

Otrantini blood,
pungent as parsley and mint,
strong blood and fine
against the wicked Turk. (1)

On August 14, 1480 eight hundred men from Otranto, a small town in the Southern Italian region of Apulia, were driven before their captors up the Hill of the Minerva to be beheaded. Their crime was the refusal to convert to Islam. At about 200 men per-day for four days straight, the last remaining men of Otranto were mercilessly slaughtered.

The victims were captured after the sacking of Otranto by the Ottoman Turks. Despite heroic efforts, the stalwart defense was no match against the marauding hordes of Mehemt the Conqueror. Hopelessly outnumbered and poorly armed the defenders were eventually overwhelmed. When the walls were breached on August 11 the Ottomans poured in and raped and murdered as they pleased.

According to some sources, as many as 12,000 townspeople were slain and another five thousand sold into slavery in the seraglios of Albania. With a foothold in the Salento peninsula the Ottomans wreaked havoc and destruction until their expulsion by the Neapolitan and Hungarian forces led by Duke Alfonso of Calabria in 1481.

After the invaders were driven from Southern Italy, the remains of the martyrs were gathered and interred in reliquaries in the city's Cathedral, where they can still be seen today. The Hill of the Minerva has since been christened the Hill of the Martyrs in their honor.

(1) A lullaby the women of Otranto sing to their babies. Reprinted from Otranto, a novel by Maria Corti, Italica Press New York, 1993)

Remembering HM Francis I, King of the Two Sicilies

Today is the 232nd anniversary of the birth of King Francis I of the Two Sicilies. He was born in Naples on August 14, 1777. He became Crown Prince and Duke of Calabria in 1778. He married Maria Clementina, Archduchess of Austria, daughter of Emperor Leopold II, in 1797. After her death he married Maria Isabella of Spain, daughter of King Charles IV of Bourbon, in 1801. Francis was 48 years old when he ascended the throne in 1825. Due to the long reign of King Ferdinand I, Francis I ruled for only five years. He died on November 8, 1830 in Naples. Viva 'o Rre!

August 9, 2009

Inside Calabria: Calabrian tarantella

Reprinted from Delicious Italy 
La Tarantella by Léon Bazile Perrault
The 'viddaneddha' is the Reggio Calabria version of the mysterious tarantella.

It originates in ancient Greece and involves different rituals and symbolic performances.

In the past the tarantella offered the possibilty for a man and a women to court in a very rigid society.

The man gave prominence to his strength with harmonious and vigorous gestures while the woman assumed an attitude by making long trails of her flapping dress.

The woman would also take up the posture of the 'amphora' by placing her hands on her hips to emphasise her curves and demonstrate her fertility.

The tarantella is the real Reggio dance and used to be the conclusion of every feast especially in provincial areas.
The dancers would form a ring, the so called 'rota' and wait for their turn. This particular set up allows the dance 'maestro' to lead the dance by looking at all the participants and decide the couple's formation accordding to particular rules and canons.

We believe the tarantella has a deeper signifance than this however, especially in the Salento area of Puglia.

It is here the dance is associated with the local spider, women's rights (or lack of them), trance like states and writhing on the floor under chairs or grappling walls.

August 6, 2009

Who We Are

As an advocate of Southern Italian independence and self-determination I’m often asked, “Who are Southern Italians and where exactly does Southern Italy begin?” Ironically, these seemingly obvious questions do not have explicit answers. Depending on whom you ask, you’re likely to get many different responses. For instance, some say Sardinia is part of Southern Italy; others include Rome. For the sake of clarification I would like to take this opportunity to share my personal opinions on this delicate subject.

While I agree that Sardinia and Rome share similarities and face some of the same problems with the Mezzogiorno I do not consider these regions part of Southern Italy. They are their own distinct entities with their own historic memories and should be in control of their own destinies. For me, Southern Italy’s boundaries are those of the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which includes the regions of Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia and Sicily.

Having said that, I would like to stress that this also includes the territories partitioned and rezoned into the province of Lazio in 1920's. For example, Gaeta is now technically “part of Lazio,” but this area historically belongs to Campania (Terra di Lavoro) and is an important piece of Southern Italian history. In fact, Gaeta is where the Bourbons made their heroic last stand against the invading Piedmontese. Amatrice, Cassino, Cittaducale, Sora, and so on belong to the South as well and, in my opinion, any talk of an independent Southern Italian nation must include these lost territories.

As for who is Southern Italian, the most straightforward answer I can give to this question would be to say the indigenous people (Calabrese, Neapolitans, Sicilians, etc.) of the Southern Italian regions. This, of course, includes the millions of immigrants and expatriates from Southern Italy found around the globe. On the other hand, migrant workers and refugees coming into the homeland, even those who are law-abiding and speak the local vernaculars perfectly, are not Southern Italians. Even though I live in the United States I'm still Southern Italian because my ancestors hail from Napoli, Sturno and Catania in the same way, for example, the Chinese living in Palermo will always be Chinese. By law they may be citizens but they are not Southern Italian. Certainly, some kindred people (the Arbëreshë, for example) are assimilable but I believe that a people create a culture, not the other way around, so it's undesirable to change the ethnic composition of the regions, especially if we wish to preserve our distinct culture and heritage.

Addendum (added December 31, 2010):

August 1, 2009

Calendar of Events: August 2009

Il Regno cannot be held responsible for changes in dates or venues so please be sure to confirm with the organizers.

Featured Festivals & Events for August 2009

• Palio dei Normanni
August 12-14
Piazza Armerina, Enna (Sicily)

The Palio dei Normanni is a historical reenactment of the Norman's expulsion of the Saracens from Sicily in 1091. The festivities include a costumed parade, food, music, and displays of martial prowess against a Moslem effigy.

• Lo sbarco del Saraceno (Landing of the Saracens)
August 17-19
Positano, Campania

The Landing of the Saracens is a historical reenactment of a battle against Moslem raiders that took place on August 15, 1558 in Positano on the Amalfi Coast.

• Medfest
August 22-23
Buccheri, Siracusa (Sicily)

Medfest is a two-day medieval celebration with a historic procession, arts and crafts, musicians and performers, period cuisine, fireworks and even magic rituals.

• Byzantine New Year
August 31 - September 1
Amalfi, Campania

Each year the town of Amalfi remembers it's Byzantine past by celebrating the traditional Byzantine New Year.