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Calabria, Italy and its Genealogy, History, Culture and Language

Albanians in Calabria

An extract from: The Most Monstrous of Wars - The Napoleonic Guerilla War in Southern Italy, 1806 - 1811, which shows how the Albanians in Calabria assisted the French.

The greatest weakness of these bands seems to have not been their small numbers, but their inability to cooperate with each other or with potential allies. The incredibly isolated nature of the villages of Calabria and long-standing vendettas precluded such cooperation. The sizeable Albanian population in Calabria further added to disunity. Centered around Rossano in eastern Calabria, the Albanians remained either aloof from the insurrection or supported the French against the brigands. Relatively prosperous Albanian villages at times took up arms and repelled guerrilla attacks, and all seem to have refused to cooperate with the brigands. Reasons for this seem to have been twofold: the first being the cultural separation of the Albanians from the remainder of Calabria and second the lack of any Roman Catholic influence among the Orthodox Albanians. French officials praised the Albanians for sheltering troops from guerrillas and repeatedly praised the tranquility of the Albanian settlements.

An extract from The Most Monstrous of Wars - The Napoleonic Guerilla War in Southern Italy, 1806 - 1811.