The history of a province during the Italian unification


On the occasion of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, in the presence of the President of the Senate, the Risorgimento section was inaugurated at the Monumental Complex of the Bourbon Prison of Avellino, with a re-elaboration of the 1970 exhibition created by Prof. Fausto Grimaldi.
Relics, paintings, weapons, uniforms, flags, crosses, medals, but in particular documentary material such as newspapers, decrees, pamphlets, budgets, electoral programs, letters, manuscripts are included in the Risorgimento collection of the Museo Irpino.
About 328 findings, coming from the Barra, Capozzi, Trevisani and Pironti archives, illustrate the fundamental stages of the Irpinian and national Risorgimento from 1799 to 1861. The Neapolitan Republic, the French decade, the revolutionary uprisings of 1820, the uprisings of 1848 and the Italian Unity are the main stages of the exhibition, partly chronological and partly thematic, which narrates the historical events of a province that has given a fundamental contribution to the birth of united Italy.
You can find documents of great historical importance, such as Joseph Bonaparte’s Decree of 1806, which abolished feudalism in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the Act of accusation for the participants to the revolts of 1820, and the Constitution of 1848, promulgated by Ferdinando II of Bourbon.
The exhibition is enriched by geographical maps, including a topographic map of the city of Avellino dating back to around 1870, designed by Federico Amodeo.
This map, enclosed within an ellipse, is the first map of Avellino that is designed with precision and in large scale. The main public buildings are put in evidence, such as the Bourbon prison and the agricultural garden: as many as 42 legend entries identify the most important city attractions. A table owned by Giovanni Nicotera is very interesting too. On the granite countertop there is a coat of arms made up of standards that recall some of the military campaigns carried out between 1857 and 1867 by Garibaldi and his volunteers.
There are several crosses and plates of chivalric orders, such as: the order of the Crown of Italy, the first national honour of the Kingdom of Italy, established in 1868 by King Vittorio Emanuele II; the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, also called Mauriziano; the Civil and Military Knightly Order of San Marino, established in 1859, on the occasion of the 1500th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of San Marino.
The thematic nucleus dedicated to weapons with the exhibition of firearms and cold weapons is also precious: it includes a 19th century sabre, which belonged to an officer of the Honour Guard of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, on whose blade is imprinted “Viva Ferdinando II”.

In addition, in 2015 some women’s dresses were included in the collection, evidence of the late 19th century style in Irpinia, donated by Professor Orsola Tarantino Fraternali.