The Abruzzi

A little history

In 300 B.C., the Abruzzi became part of the Roman territory.
Absorbed into the dukedom of Spoleto by the Lombards and established as an autonomous country district in 843 with the name of Marsia, the Abruzzi was conceded by Pope Adrian IV to the Sicilian king Guglielmo I and, since then, the region becomes known by the vague expression in finibus Aprutii (‘at the ends of the Apruti’). Unsettled under Norman rule, the Abruzzi sided with the Swabians, to then divide during the struggle between Federico II and the Church: this participation ended conclusively with the foundation of the city of Aquila in 1254 when it was required as a defence against the feudal imperialists. The internal divisions continued to break up the country into the succeeding centuries: Profiting by this were the Durazzeschi, Hungarians, the Angi, the Aragonese, and followers of the Pope who plundered the territory for booty in the manner of bandits. The Abruzzi region suffered generally much impoverishment under Spanish domination and this induced the population to take part in Masaniello‘s revolt in 1647. At the start of the 17th Century, while the Austrians and the Spaniards were disputing possession of the kingdom, the region was subjected to terrible earthquakes. After a brief period under the Austrians, the area passed to the Bourbons, in 1738. In 1821, 1841 and 1848, there were many insurrections with their centre in Abruzzi, ending in 1860 with the political union with the rest of Italy. Brigandage broke out in the following years, an imposing and fearful phenomenon which did, however, have its positive aspects. There were, in fact, amongst the brigands, some sincere and worthy men who were convinced about defending, together with the Bourbon regime, the cause of justice.