|Died||14 February 1910 60) (aged|
|Conviction(s)||Attempted murder of Umberto I of Italy|
|Criminal penalty||Life imprisonment|
Giovanni Passannante (Italian pronunciation: [dʒoˈvanni ˌpassanˈnante] ; February 19, 1849 – February 14, 1910) was an Italian anarchist who attempted to assassinate king Umberto I of Italy, the first attempt against Savoy monarchy since its origins. Originally condemned to death, his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. The conditions of his imprisonment drove him insane and have been denounced as inhumane.
This section does not cite any sources . (November 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Born in Salvia di Lucania (Basilicata), to Pasquale and Maria Fiore, he was the youngest of ten children, four of whom died in early age. Growing up in a poor family, he was forced to work since a child as a laborer and a guardian of flocks and was able to attend school only for a short time. Later, Passannante moved to Vietri and after to Potenza working as a dishwasher in an osteria.
He met a captain of the royal army who, noticing the boy's interest for studies, brought Passannante along with him to Salerno and gave him an annuity to allow a higher schooling. Passannante spent his free time reading the Bible and Giuseppe Mazzini's writings, which brought him closer to republican ideas.
Passannante became involved in Mazzinian circles and began to have his first troubles with the law. One night in May 1870, he was discovered and arrested by police guardians of public safety while posting revolutionary proclamations against monarchies and popes, as well as celebrating the Universal Republic, Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi. After two months in jail, he returned to his hometown, then to Potenza working as a cook. In 1872, he returned to Salerno, continuing his job. In June 1878, Passannante moved to Naples, where he lived from day to day changing various employers.
After the death of his father Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I prepared a tour in the major cities of Italy to show himself as the new sovereign. He was accompanied by his wife Margherita and the prime minister Benedetto Cairoli. The royal entourage planned to visit Naples, although there was a heated argument in the city council about the high cost that would be incurred on its reception.
On November 17, 1878 Umberto I and his court were parading in Naples. Passannante was among the crowd, waiting for the right moment to act. While the king was on Largo della Carriera Grande, he approached his carriage, faking a supplication; suddenly, he pulled out a knife and attacked him yelling, "Long live Orsini! Long live the Universal Republic!"
Umberto I managed to deflect the weapon, receiving a slight wound on his arm. Queen Margherita threw a bouquet of flowers in his face and shouted: «Cairoli, save the king!». 12 cm (4.7 in) for which he traded his jacket. The weapon was wrapped in a red rag on which was written, "Death to the King! Long live the Universal Republic! Long live Orsini!"Cairoli grabbed him by his hair, but the prime minister was wounded in his leg. Passannante was hit in the head with a saber by Stefano De Giovannini, captain of the cuirassiers, and was arrested. He tried to kill the king with a knife with a blade of
The attempted regicide shocked the entire nation, and the government feared an anarchist conspiracy. Passannante's action brought disorders in many cities, with a total of several dead, wounded, and arrested. On November 18 of the same year, in Florence, a group of anarchists threw a bomb into a crowd that was celebrating the king's survival. Two men and one girl were killed, and over ten people were injured. Another bomb exploded in Pisa with no casualties, and in Pesaro a barrack was assaulted.
Some republicans such as Alberto Mario condemned his action. The poet Giovanni Pascoli, during a socialist reunion in Bologna, gave a public reading of his Ode to Passannante of which there is no trace anymore because Pascoli destroyed it immediately after his reading.Only the last verse is known, of which this paraphrase has been handed down: "Con la berretta d'un cuoco faremo una bandiera" (With the cook's cap, we'll make a flag). After the arrest of some anarchists who protested against Passannante's detention, Pascoli and group of internationalists protested against the verdict, and the poet shouted, "If these are evil-doers, then long life to evil-doers!" Pascoli and the internationalists were arrested.
Some newspapers directed baseless charges against Passannante: Verona's L'Arena and Milan's Corriere della Sera portrayed him as a brigand who had killed a woman in the past, while in a lithograph published in Turin it was reported that his father was a camorrista.A few days after the attempted murder, Cairoli's government was strongly accused of inability to maintain public order, and, after a rejected motion of confidence presented by the minister Guido Baccelli, Cairoli resigned.
Passannante's family was jailed; only his brother was able to escape. Giovanni Parrella, mayor of Salvia di Lucania, went to Naples to apologize and ask for a pardon from Umberto I. In a sign of forgiveness, on order of the monarch's counselors, Passannante's hometown was forced to change its name to Savoia di Lucania, by a royal decree on July 3, 1879.
During the trial, held on March 6 and 7 1879, Passannante stated that he had acted alone. He claimed that the ideas of Risorgimento had been betrayed and that the government was indifferent to the impact on already poor people of increases in the flour tax. Passannante was sentenced to death on March 29, 1879, although capital punishment was expected only in instances of actual regicide. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
He was imprisoned in Portoferraio on the island of Elba, off the Tuscan coast, in a small and dark cell below sea level, with no toilet facilities and in complete isolation. His mental condition deteriorated in these harsh conditions of solitary confinement and reportedly he was brutally tortured. He fell ill with scurvy, became infested with taenia solium and lost body hair. His skin became discolored and his eyes were affected by the lack of light. According to later testimony he came to eat his own feces.Seamen sailing near his prison heard Passannante's screams.
In 1899, the parliamentarian Agostino Bertani and the journalist Anna Maria Mozzoni reported Passannante's maltreatment, causing a scandal. After an examination of the prisoner by Professors Serafino Biffi and Augusto Tamburini, who found him in very poor condition, the anarchist was transferred to the asylum of Montelupo Fiorentino. The physicians there were unable to reverse his mental and physical deterioration. Passannante died in Montelupo Fiorentino, at the age of 60, five days before his 61st birthday.
After his death, his corpse was beheaded, and his head and brain became subject of the study of criminologists, under the theories of anthropologist Cesare Lombroso. In 1935, his brain and skull, preserved in formaldehyde, were sent to the Criminal Museum in Rome, where they were displayed for over 70 years.
The permanence of the remains at the Museum ranked as one of Italy's more macabre showcases,causing protests and parliamentary questions. In 1998, the then Italian Minister of Justice, Oliviero Diliberto, authored a decree allowing for the displacement of his remains to Savoia di Lucania, but it wasn't acted on until 2007. Passannante's skull and brain remained in the museum, in a neon-lit display case.
On the night of May 10, 2007, the remains of Passannante were taken to Savoia di Lucania and buried secretly, with the presence only of Rosina Ricciardi, mayor of the town; an undersecretary of Vito De Filippo, governor of Basilicata; and a journalist of La Nuova Del Sud. Some say it was recommended by monarchists because they didn't want him to receive any publicity. On June 2 of that year there was a mass in memory of the deceased, in the mother church of the town.
The House of Savoy is a royal dynasty that was established in 1003 in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, the family grew in power from ruling a small county in the Alps north-west of Italy to absolute rule of the kingdom of Sicily in 1713 to 1720. Through its junior branch, the House of Savoy-Carignano, it led the unification of Italy in 1861 and ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until 1946 and, briefly, the Kingdom of Spain in the 19th century. The Savoyard kings of Italy were Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I, Victor Emmanuel III, and Umberto II. The last monarch ruled for a few weeks before being deposed following the Constitutional Referendum of 1946, after which the Italian Republic was proclaimed.
Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, The Prince of Naples is the only son of Umberto II, the last King of Italy and his wife Queen Marie-José. Vittorio Emanuele also uses the title Duke of Savoy and claims the headship of the House of Savoy. These claims are disputed by supporters of his third cousin, Prince Amedeo, 5th Duke of Aosta.
Errico Malatesta was an Italian anarchist. He spent much of his life exiled from Italy and in total spent more than ten years in prison. Malatesta wrote and edited a number of radical newspapers and was also a friend of Mikhail Bakunin.
Margherita of Savoy was the Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy by marriage to Umberto I.
Benedetto Cairoli was an Italian politician.
Andrea Costa was an Italian Master Mason and socialist activist, born in Imola.
Giovanni Placido Agostino Pascoli was an Italian poet, classical scholar and an emblematic figure of Italian literature in the late nineteenth century. He was, together with Gabriele D'Annunzio, the greatest Italian decadent poet.
Carlo Cafiero was an Italian anarchist, champion of Mikhail Bakunin during the second half of the 19th century and one of the main proponents of insurrectionary anarchism and anarcho-communism during the First International.
Savoia di Lucania is a town and comune in the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata. As of 2011 its population was of 1,148.
Luigi Giuliano is a former Italian Camorrista who was the boss of the powerful Giuliano clan based in the district of Forcella, Naples. He had multiple nicknames including "'o rre" and "Lovigino", which is an amalgamation of Luigi and love. In 2002, he decided to collaborate with Italian law enforcement and became a pentito, a co-operating witness against organised crime.
Giulio Antonio Acquaviva was an Italian nobleman and condottiere. He was 7th Duke of Atri and 1st of Teramo, Count of Conversano and San Flaviano and Lord of Padula and Roseto.
Umberto I, nicknamed the Good, was the King of Italy from 9 January 1878 until his assassination on 29 July 1900.
Attilio Pratella was an Italian painter.
The Left group, later called Historical Left by historians to distinguish it from the left-wing groups of the 20th century, was a liberal and reformist parliamentary group in Italy during the second half of the 19th century. The members of the Left were also known as Democrats or Ministerials. Different to its Right counterpart, the Left was the result of coalition who represented Northern and Southern middle class, urban bourgeoisie, small businessmen, journalists and academics. It also supported a right to vote and the public school for all children. Moreover, the party was against the high tax policies promoted by the Right. After the 1890s, the Left began to show more conservative tendencies, including advocating breaking strikes and protests and promoting a colonialist policy in Africa.
Gustavo Mancinelli was an Italian painter, who made portraits and depicted many Orientalist subjects.
Salvatore Petruolo, was an Italian painter.
Cosimo De Giorgi or Arcangelo Cosimo De Giorgi was an Italian scientist.
Dionisio Nencioni di Bartolomeo was an Italian architect, mainly active in Naples, to which he moved in 1584. He worked on the Hieronymite church from 1587 until his death, in collaboration with Giovanni Antonio Dosio.
Luca de Samuele Cagnazzi was an Italian archdeacon, scientist, mathematician, political economist. He also wrote a few books about pedagogy and invented the tonograph.
Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini survived several assassination attempts as the head of state in the 1920s and 1930s.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Giovanni Passannante .|