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2nd millennium A.D.

16th Century- 

1550: Almost all of Italy is controlled by the Habsburg ruler CHARLES V, who was both Holy Roman emperor and king of Spain.

1555-56:  Charles abdicates, divides the Habsburg territories between his brother Emperor FERDINAND I and his son PHILIP II of Spain. Phillip II gets Italy.

1564: Council of Trent-  Pope Pius the IV requires all Catholic priests to keep records of all the major sacraments (marriage, baptism, etc.) These church  records vary considerably in form but nevertheless are important sources of information for genealogists.

17th Century- 


18th Century- 

1701-14: Austria conquers Italy after the War of the Spanish Succession

1720: SAVOY (the Kingdom of Sardinia) gains independence. SARDINIA and portions of LOMBARDY are annexed. kingdom.jpg (40611 bytes)

1735 - the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies   becomes an independent monarchy under the junior branch of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty. (the coat of arms shown here is from



1789: Enlightenment ideas from France and Britain. The French Revolution excite liberal Italians.

1792: December a French squadron sails in the Bay of Naples and forces the government (Ferdinand was King) to accept their presence.

1793: France declares war on Austria and Sardinia

1796: Troops under General Napoleon Bonaparte ( NAPOLEON I) invade Italy. Austrians are driven out of northern Italy.

1798: Ferdinand, the King of Naples, tries to run the French out of Rome with the help of Austrians and Russians. The French under general Championnet successfully defended Rome and Ferdinand escaped to Sicily.

1799: The French general Championnet proclaims the death of barbaric rule in Naples and the establishment of the Republic.  Corleto and many other southern towns celebrate. But the celebration was short-lived. The French army in the south was recalled when the Austro-Russian army attacked (and eventually forced out) the French  in Northern Italy. On the withdrawal of the French troop King Ferdinand asked Cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo to recover Naples. Ruffo's army ("Army of the Holy Faith") consisted of Russians, Turks, and English as well as bands of peasants and brigands. Beginning in the Calabria region they advanced north toward Naples leaving destruction behind- slaughter, looting, and burning of property.   One of Cardinal Ruffo's men, Niccoli Tommasini,  lead a troop into Corleto.   Tommasini was greeted by the Mayor, Domenico Silvestri, and the friar Domenico Mordente (1740-1811). Despite the welcome Tommasini ordered the execution of  both men. While Mordente escapes, Silvestri is shot and killed. Two brothers, Arcangelo and Nicola Cappozzolo were also killed by Tommasini's men (Mare, 1997, p. 134).  By the time Ruffo's army reached Naples it was 40,000 men strong. After 2 days the fighting was over, King Ferdinand regained control of Naples and executed over 100 of Naples leaders and prominent men.

19th Century- 

1801 : The allied victories against the French  in 1799 were short-lived. Napolean once again gained control of northern Italy. He politically unified the various city-states of the Italian peninsula as the Kingdom of Italy, over which he was King  for 14 years. Under Napolean rule Italy  experienced significant improvements in infrastructure (roads, bridges, buildings, schools and public gardens), administrative  and judicial systems, and in national pride. Napoleon restructured  Italy into organized regions, provinces, and comuni (towns)- an organization that is essentially still used today. Napoleon also ordered the the collection of vital records for births, marriages, and deaths throughout the Kingdom of Italy.

1806: Napolean enters Naples and King Ferdinand flees to Sicily again.  Napolean's brother, Joseph, is made King and 2 years later is replaced by Napolean's Brother-in-law, Marshal Murat.  As per Napolean's system of organization a law was passed on December 8 dividing Naples into 8 provinces. Corleto was assigned to the Principato Citra.

1814:  Napolean I withdraws from Italy.

1815:  Napolean is defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. The Congress of Vienna and Austrian leader Klemens, Furst von METTERNICH decide to eradicate French influence on Italy and to put a strong power to oversee the Italian peninsula- the power is Austria. Thus, the Napoleanic unification of Italy is broken up reinstating the old boundaries and rulers.  Although Austria is given control of the north its repressive and reactionary policies  is experienced throughout the entire Italian peninsula..

Italy now consists of

  1. the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont, Sardinia, Savoy, and Genoa)
  2. the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (including Naples and Sicily) ruled by Spain
  3. the Papal States
  4. TUSCANY and a series of smaller duchies in north central Italy.
  5. Lombardy and Venetia - controlled by the Austrians.

The Italian unification movement known as the RISORGIMENTO emerges as a result of popular discontent with foreign control of Italy and Austrian expansion in Italy.

1816: An epidemic ("febbre petecchiale") devastates Corleto Monforte.  311 die (219 adults and 92 children).

1820: General Pepe organized a contingent of 10,000 men in Avellino, mostly Carbonari men. During this time the population wanted to adopt the Spanish Constitution of 1812 (which included freedom of the press and other reforms).   Soon after the May 1 rebellion in Nola, Pepe marched on, and took control of,  Naples. King Ferdinand swore to accept the Spanish constitution on July 13. A delegate was invited from each province to enact the reforms.  From the Salerno Province the canon of the Cathedral of Salerno was chosen- he was don Giustiniano Vecchi of Corleto Monforte. But the reforms did not last long.  King Ferdinand upon returning from a meeting of Congress at Troppau was accompanied with an Austrian army and took back Naples with little bloodshed.

A series of many unsuccessful revolts were led in the 1820s by secret societies. In addition to  the CARBONARI in the south, were the Federati and Adelfi in the north and  the Spillo Nero (the Black Pin), Latinisti, and American Bersaglieri in the Papal States.

1825: Ferdinand of Naples and King of the "Kingdom of Two Sicilies" dies

1830: Ferdinand's son Francis dies and his grandson Ferdinand II takes the throne. His unpopular politics is best summarized by his phrase: "Il mio popolo non ha bisogno di mutare; mi incarico io del suo benessere e dela sua felicita" (from Mare, 1995, p. 141)

1831: A patriotic literature emerges in Italy. The most prominent literary man was the son of a Genoese doctor, Giuseppe MAZZINI. His historical novel I promessi sposi ('The  Bethrothed') was one of a series of books that aroused patriotic feelings and interest in economic and social reform. Mazzini formed the group Young Italy (a youth movement of revolutionaries and patriots with an age limit of 40) and began to push for unity and independence in northern Italy.  Giuseppe Garibaldi joins Young Italy in 1833.

1834: Condemned to death Garibaldi flees to South America where he lives for 12 years. He participates in a revolt against Brazil for the state of Rio Grande do Sul, and later he participates in a civil war in Uruguay.  He returns to Italy in 1848 to participate in the "Risorgimento".

1846: June- a liberal Pope, Pius IX, is elected in the Papal States- the first Pope  elected without the influence of Austria. He immediately begins an extensive program of reforms(freedom of the press, amnesty for political prisoners, highest political offices were open to laymen). The rulers of Lucca, Tuscany, and the Kingdom of Sardinia follow the Popes lead.

1848:  REVOLUTION (the Risorgimento)-- Uprisings in France, Germany, the Austrian Empire, and parts of northern Italy occur. Uprisings spread to many major Italian cities and towns- Corleto Monforte is one of these towns.

January - Rebellion in Palermo (begins Jan 13) drives the forces of Ferdinand II out of Sicily.  The King agrees to provide the people a constitution.

Revolution in Cilento region. Carlo Poerio was in command of the Neapolitan revolutionary movement and ordered the revolution to commence on January 17. In the Cilento area three columns of the revolutionary army marched from town to town proclaiming freedom and gathering men to strengthen the army in order to march into and overtake Napoli.  Antonio Leipnecher marched his column to Pollica, Casa Velino,  and into the Valle Della Lucania where they joined men led by Costabile Carduce of Capaccio having arrived at the Valle after marching through Torchiara and Rutino. Another column of men led by Leonino Vinciprova marched through Acciavalli, Castellabate, Perdifumo, Rutino, Perito, Stio, Campora and finally set camp in Laurino as they waited for Carduce's group to arrive. Vinciprova sent detachments into numerous towns in the Valle de Fasanella- Sant' Angelo, Ottati, Aquia, Roccadaspide, Sacco, Gioi, Controne, Postiglione, Roscigno and Corleto. (Map of CAMPANIA Region) Vinciprova was concerned that Corleto would not welcome his group given the presence of several families partial to the King.  Nevertheless, Vinciprova sent word to Corleto's mayor to prepare to feed and house  400 of his men who were about to march into Corleto. When they arrived in Corleto approximately 3:00 PM on January 18 the men were greeted by jubilant Corletani having been convinced to support the revolution by  patriot and fellow Corletano Nicola Antonio Causale.  Vinciprova's 400 men were fed salame, caciocavallo (cheese) and wine and provided with blankets and mattresses. The march into Napoli never occurred, however.  Because the uprising did not materialize in the Valle di Diano,  Avellino, or the Basilicata there were not enough men to march into Napoli.   Furthermore the King's reinforcements arrived to defend the Cilento area. Despite the arrival of the King's men the  revolutionaries continued to stand their ground. Blood was shed as they defended against the Kings men in Laurino. On January 20 the King decided to give the people a constitution and the rebellion was over.

March 22 - Austrians are expelled from  Venice and the next day a Venetian republic is established.

March 25 - Charles Albert, king of Sardinia (1831-49) and his army march into and liberate Lombardy.

Believing that the revolution had gotten out of hand Pope Pius IX indicates his intention to rescind the reforms he had introduced prior to the revolution.  But before he could act Giuseppe Mazzini drove him out of Rome, papal control was abolished, and Rome was declared a republic.

April to July - French enter Rome and despite the resistance led by Giuseppe Garibaldi they retake Rome and restore papal authority.

July-  King Firdinand II does not keep his word and the revolution begins again in the Cilento area.   The King's reinforcements landed in Paestum and very quickly crushed the rebellion in Capaccio, Trentinara, and other towns.  By July 13 the rebellion in Corleto was over. Shortly thereafter the Kings men enter the various towns looking to arrest men who participated in the rebellion. The leader of the rebellion in Corleto, Nicola Antonio Causale, escaped to Malta but many men from Corleto were  charged with " the attempt to change the shape of the government", several were eventually arrested. Click here for the list of men that were accused and arrested.

July - Austrians take back Piedmontese and a few days later Milan.

1849:   Charles Albert,defeated in  battle at Novara by the Austrians,   abdicates and his son, VICTOR EMMANUEL II, takes over, retaining the Sardinian constitution.

1850  Garibaldi flees to Staten Island, New York where he becomes a US citizen..  While in Staten Island he worked as a candlemaker and lived with Antonio Meucci inventor of  a telephone that predated Alexander Graham Bell's invention. The Garibaldi-Meucci house is now a museum.

1852: Conte Camillo Benso di Cavour becomes the Sardinian prime minister.

1858: Cavour and Napolean III of  France proclaim a joint declaration of War against Austria.

1859: The French desert the Italians and sign the Treaty of Villafranca in July with the Austrians


August- On August 18 Giuseppe Garibaldi lead his men from Sicily to the mainland to continue the revolution that ultimately led to Italy's unification and independence.  In the Cilento area Lorenzo Curzio of Sant' Angelo Fasanella commanded the revolutionaries preparing for the arrival of Garibaldi.  Curzio ordered 500 men to march into Corleto.  Giovanni Vecchi of Corleto organized the Corletani to join the Curzio's group of  Garibaldians. The following men from Corleto were appointed noncommissioned officers: Filippo Vecchio (a priest), Giuseppe Vecchio, Severo Torre, Carlo Giuliano, Tomasso Manfredi, Giovanni Aurucci, Cesare Giuliano, Filipo Giovanni Vecchi, Nicola Salamone, Filipo Mordente and Domenico Capozzolo. Rafaele Salerno was appointed a corporal.  Soldiers were identified as Rafael Salerno, Giuseppe Perone, Pasquale Melillo, Francesco Capozzolo, Rosario Vigorito and Gabriele Vigorito.  Curzio's men marched through many towns in the Campania region - Sala Consilina, Auletta, Buccino, Eboli,   arriving in Salerno on September 7, the same day that Garribaldi entered Naples.   The previous day King Francis II fled Naples.  Curzio ordered his men to continue their march to Nocera and  Avellino. They arrived in Maddaloni on July 23.   Nicola Antonio Causale, having returned from exile in Malta, also participated in the revolution and had the honor of  meeting Garibaldi at Sala Consilina on September 5. (Map of CAMPANIA Region)

October - On October 1 Curzio's group of men (20,000 strong) encountered   50,000 of the King's men at Volturno.  The Corletanni soldiers were led in this fierce battle by Nicola Salamone who was promoted to captain for his performance in the battle. Garibaldi and his army eventually defeated the King's men in a decisive battle on the banks of the Volturno river on October 26.

1861:  Garibaldi and his army is victorious at Gaeta in February.  Later in the year the kingdom of Italy is established with Victor Emmanuel as King.

20th Century-  

1915:  Italy signed the secret Treaty of London with France, Great Britain and Russia. Italy agreed to join the Allies in exchange for land in Europe and Africa. On May 23 Italy entered World War I by declaring war on Austria-Hungary.

1916:  August 29 Italy declares war on Germany.

1918:  November 11 Germany signed the armistice and World War I officially came to an end. Italy lost 615,000 men in the war- 25 were from Corleto.

1935:  October 3 Italy began its invasion of Ethiopia ; October 11 Fifty-one member nations of the League of Nations voted to invoke Article 16 of the League Covenant against Mussolini's Italy, which provided for economic sanctions against a member resorting to war in disregard of its commitments.

1936:  May 9 Ethiopia annexed by Italy, with the king of Italy as Emperor;

October 25 Agreement between Fascist Italy and Hitler's Nazi Germany to become the "Axis" powers.

1940: June 10 Italy entered World War II by declaring war on France and Great Britain.

1941:  June Benito Mussolini declared war on Russia and on  December 11 he declares war on the United States.

1943 July 20 The Italians surrender to U.S. forces en masse in western Sicily;  July 22 , Patton's 2nd Armored Division captures Palermo and surrounds 45,000 Italian troops in western Sicily. September 8 Eisenhower officially announced the Italian unconditional surrender.  October 13 Italy declares war on Germany.

1945: May 7 Germany surrendered to the Allies.


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Last updated: March 23, 2000