A look at the geographical and political background of the Val di Comino
Before reading these history pages, it is important to understand
At just over 100km south-east of Rome and nestling midway up a mountain range close to Atina, you will find the town of Casalattico at an altitude of 420m above sea level. Further up the mountain, and at each end of a road that splits, are to be found the villages of Mortale at an altitude of 625m and Montattico at 719m. It is in Mortale that one finds by far the greatest concentration of Fortes over the years, although there were other small pockets of the family to be found in Casalattico and some of the other local villages. The following clickable Google Map shows the exact location of Mortale.
The Risorgimento was the political and social process that unified different states of the Italian Peninsula into the single nation of Italy. It is difficult to pin down exact dates for the beginning and end of Italian reunification, but most scholars agree that it began with the end of Napoleonic rule and the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and approximately ended with the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. However, Italy officially became a nation state on March 17th, 1861, under King Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy. Italy benefited from Prussia's victory against France by being able to take over the Papal State from French authority. Italian unification was completed, and shortly afterward Italy's capital was moved to Rome. Rome itself remained for a decade under the Papacy and became part of the Kingdom of Italy only on September 20, 1870, the final date of Italian unification. In 1926, Casalattico officially became a Commune and part of the Province of Frosinone. In 1946, King Umberto II was forced to abdicate. Italy became a Republic after the result of a popular referendum held on June 2, 1946, a day celebrated since as Republic Day. This was the first election in Italy allowing women to vote. The Republican Constitution was approved and came into force on January 1, 1948.
With the imposing backdrop of the Abruzzi mountains, the Val di Comino remains a most beautiful part of Italy, steeped in local traditions and rich in culture despite its diverse and often troubled history.
© 2010 Paul Forte
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