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From the Italian unification to nowadays

The Italian political unification completely changed the life in the high mountain of Abruzzi. There was an unprecedented crisis, also due to: the brigandage, the sheep industry’s decline, the bourgeoisie’s exodus, the development of the industrial production, the unemployment and the emigration. To the industrial development of the plains opposed the decline of the mountain villages.

In 1895 a shepherd called Gabriele Di Battista, carved a rock in Scrima Cavallo with his curse against the events that had changed his mountain from the kingdom of flowers to the kingdom of poverty. In spite of this there were also some positive results, such as: the Sulmona-Isernia railway line, the invention of the cars and the interest in hiking and mountain tourism. The works by Gabriele D’Annunzio started to spread, creating the myth of the Majella Madre (Majella the Mother). The contacts with the new Italian culture created positive effects to the tradition of historical studies of Antonio De Nino, Gennaro Finamore, Nunzio Federigo Faraglia, Pietro Piccirilli and Giovanni Pansa. Even Benedetto Croce, born in Pescasseroli, came originally from Montenerodomo.

We don’t know yet exactly how some figures described this part of Abruzzi between the end of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century. We are referring to travellers like Ferdinando Gregorovius, authors of sketches like Primo Levi (Abruzzo forte e gentile, one of his works), guidebook writers like Enrico Abbate, journalists but also art historians like Emile Bertaux and Ignazio Carlo Gavini. From October 1943 to June 1944 Majella became one of the Winter Line’s strongholds: a nine months battle caused the depopulation of many villages, the death of about a thousand civil people (the Pietransieri’s slaughter represents the culminating moment) and the Brigata Majella’s birth (a partisan brigade). During the post-war period a new wave of emigration confirmed the separation from the mountain while in the touristic villages there were a wave of mass tourism. The Majella National Park was founded in this context.    

Image of ruins of the Blockhaus
Image of enrollment to Table of Briganti
Image of the Majella's brigade
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