Sunday, September 24, 2017

Luxardo Maraschino vs. Croatian Maraska

Luxardo Maraschino — vs — Maraska Maraschino

Luxardo is an Italian brand of liqueur most famous for producing Maraschino liqueur. Since 1946 its primary competitor has been Maraska, a Croatian company founded in the former Yugoslavia, and today operating in Croatia. The choice between Luxardo and Maraska is a favourite topic of debate among many liqueur connoisseurs, but for the Luxardo family – the world's leading and oldest producer of Maraschino liqueur – the battle goes far beyond taste.

For Luxardo, the long-standing rivalry with Maraska is not about the taste of liqueur, nor market shares, but about the survival of a family tradition; the painful memories of an entire community wiped out by war and ethnic hatred; a centuries-old cultural heritage stolen and usurped by another people; and an untold story of theft, fraud, torture and murder under the tyranny of Communism: this is the hidden history of the Maraska company and its persecution of the Luxardo family.

The Origins of Maraschino

Maraschino was first invented in Zara, Dalmatia in 1730 by the Italian pharmacist Barolomeo Ferrari and an Italian cafe owner from Dalmatia named Giuseppe Carceniga (Calceniga). Their technique was later developed and perfected by the Istrian-Venetian merchant Francesco Drioli, who was the first to bottle and produce Maraschino on an industrial scale. He founded the Drioli Maraschino company in Zara in 1759, thereby establishing the modern Maraschino industry.

The History of the Luxardo Company

The Luxardo Distillery, built in 1913
Before its destruction in World War II
The Luxardo company was founded in Zara in 1821 by Girolamo Luxardo. At this time Zara was still a city of Italian language, culture and ethnicity, and had recently passed from the Republic of Venice to the Austrian Empire.

Luxardo would go on to become one of the most popular and prestigious brands of Maraschino liqueur in the world. The prestige and acclaim of Luxardo can be measured by the fact that Luxardo Maraschino was served aboard the RMS Titanic during its fateful voyage in 1912.

In 1918, following World War I, the city of Zara was reunited with the Kingdom of Italy. By the 1930's Luxardo became the most important distillery in Italy.

The Destruction of Zara and the Murder of the Luxardo Family

During the course of World War II, Allied bombing destroyed approximately 80% of Zara's buildings. After indiscriminate and repeated Anglo-American bombings in 1943-1944, the Luxardo distillery was almost completely destroyed, as was nearly the entire city of Zara.

The war was very tragic and devastating for the Luxardo family: they lost their distillery, their home and several members of their family. They were but one of hundreds of ethnic Italian families – totaling many thousands of civilians – who were forcibly exiled from Dalmatia as a result of the war. In the end, nearly the entire Italian population of Zara was wiped out through Allied bombings, executions, deportation to concentration camps or exile. While most of the Luxardo family fled to mainland Italy between 1943-1944, some members of the family chose to remain in Zara.

Pietro Luxardo and Nicolò Luxardo II
Murdered by the Yugoslavs in 1944
Upon the arrival of Tito's Yugoslav Communist partisans in 1944, atrocities were committed against the remaining Italian population and the Luxardo family was partly exterminated. Nicolò Luxardo II and his wife Bianca Ronzoni were arrested and brutally tortured before being killed by Yugoslav partisans on September 30, 1944. Nicolò II was drowned in the Adriatic Sea, while Bianca was forced to watch. She was shot to death immediately afterward. Pietro Luxardo, who likewise had refused to leave Zara, was imprisoned by the Yugoslavs on October 30, 1944 and murdered on November 12, 1944. His remains were never found.

Giorgio Luxardo was the sole survivor of the fourth generation. Giorgio fled first to Friuli and then to the Veneto region of northeastern Italy and reconnected with a colleague who had saved the Luxardo recipe book. Perhaps even more fortunately, just prior to the war Prof. Alessandro Morettini of the University of Florence had carried maraschino cherry specimens from Dalmatia to Tuscany, where he founded a cherry tree nursery on university premises. Prof. Morettini graciously delivered these cherry saplings to Giorgio Luxardo after the war.

The Usurpation of Maraschino by Yugoslavia: The Foundation of Maraska

In 1944, before the close of World War II, the Yugoslavs illegally seized all of Luxardo's assets and nationalized them. Assets which were confiscated from all the historic liqueur factories of Zara (Luxardo, Drioli and Romano Vlahov), including all usable equipment and machinery, were unified into a single enterprise in 1946 by the new Yugoslav Communist occupational government.

Although Zara was still formally under Italian sovereignty until 1947, the Yugoslavs were already sequestering private property and goods. The old Luxardo distillery, reduced to almost total ruin by Allied bombs, was rebuilt in the same location and designed to look identical to the original building. By 1946 the Yugoslavs were producing and selling their own version of Maraschino liqueur.

The Luxardo family had suffered aerial bombardments, the loss of their home and business, the confiscation of their assets, and the death of multiple family members. Now, adding insult to injury, the Yugoslavs pretended to imitate Luxardo's Maraschino recipe and fraudulently re-bottled it under the same name, using the old bottles and original labels found in the ruins of Luxardo's warehouses.

Maraschino was a trademark owned by the Luxardo family, and they were determined to take legal action against this Yugoslav impersonation. In the end the Luxardo family was victorious, winning every court case in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the United States. After numerous legal battles, in 1949 the Yugoslav company was forced to change its name from Maraschino to Maraska, a Croatian moniker based on the original Italian name. Lawsuits against Maraska continued until the 1960's, and all decisions were won by Luxardo.

The Usurpation of Maraschino by Croatia: Maraska's Fraud and Dishonesty

The Maraska company, founded by the Communist regime in 1946, still operates today in modern Croatia. However, the company has never acknowledged its controversial origins, nor its Communist past, and has never offered any compensation to Luxardo.

Maraska falsely labels its
product as the “Original”
Today Maraska continues to appropriate the legacy of Maraschino by upholding themselves as the heirs of Italo-Dalmatian tradition and continues to falsely label their products with the name “Original Maraschino”. Despite having no legitimate connection to Zara's original Italian liqueur companies – other than confiscating its properties and imitating its products – the Croatian company insists on tracing its own history through Luxardo, Drioli, Vlahov and the Italian Dalmatian community, without acknowledging the seizure of assets, the trademark infringements, the false advertising, the marketing schemes, the ethnic cleansing of Italians and the massacre of the Luxardo family.

Maraska's official website merely states that several factories were destroyed and rebuilt after the war, and that the three main Maraschino liqueur distilleries were merged and reconstituted as the Maraska company in 1946. But this short and misleading version of events completely glosses over the traumatic events and criminal history upon which the Maraska company was built.

Maraska's official website also falsely asserts that the maraschino cherry tree grows only in the area around Zara, in Dalmatia, thereby implying that they are the only only ones capable of producing authentic Maraschino liqueur. In fact the same maraschino cherries are grown by the Luxardo family in the Euganean Hills in Italy, derived from the same cherry trees grown around Zara, thanks to the saplings that were saved by Prof. Morettini and brought to Italy prior to the Yugoslav occupation.

On several occasions – during the period of the Yugoslav regime and after Croatian independence – the Luxardo family requested the return of personal assets, including art collections and family real estate, among them the old distillery building and former Luxardo home in Zara, but all requests have been rejected or ignored.

The landmark Luxardo distillery – ruined and seized by the Yugoslav Communists, and subsequently transformed into the Maraska factory after the war – was recently purchased by a private Turkish bank, the Dogus Group, and will soon become a Hyatt Regency hotel. The Maraska company sold the property and moved to a different location in 2006. Compensation has still never been offered to Luxardo by Maraska, nor by the Dogus Group.

Luxardo Today

Luxardo continues to produce Maraschino according to Maria Canevari's original recipe, as it was written down in 1821. The current distillery is located in the small town of Torreglia in the Euganean Hills, near Padua, in the region of Veneto, Italy, where the Luxardo family exclusively cultivates over 30,000 maraschino cherry trees – derived from the original maraschino cherry trees of Dalmatia – in what is today the largest cherry tree orchard in the world.

To date Luxardo's internationally renown Maraschino has won more than 56 gold medals in liqueur contests around the world. In 2011 alone, seven of Luxardo's liqueurs were awarded twelve bronze, silver and gold medals in international competitions. Luxardo products are currently exported to every continent and to more than 78 countries around the world.

See also:
The History of the Luxardo Company
The History of Maraschino
Luxardo Distillery: The Croats Attempted to Usurp the Brand

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The History of the Luxardo Company

Founded by the Luxardo Family in Zara, 1821

Luxardo (officially Girolamo Luxardo S.p.A.) is an Italian brand of liqueur most famous for producing Maraschino, a liqueur made from the distillation of fermented maraschino cherries. Luxardo is one of the oldest liqueur producers in Europe and still remains a small family-owned business, owned and operated by the Luxardo family for nearly 200 years.

The First Generation

The Luxardo company was founded in Zara, a port city of Dalmatia, in 1821 by Girolamo Luxardo. At this time Zara was a city of Italian language, culture and ethnic population, and had recently passed from the sovereignty of the Republic of Venice to the Austrian Empire.

Girolamo Luxardo was an entrepreneur and diplomat, born in Santa Margherita Ligure, located near Genoa, on September 29, 1784. Serving as a consular representative of the King of Sardinia to Dalmatia, he moved to Zara with his family in 1817.

Girolamo Luxardo
His wife Marchesa Maria Canevari was interested in perfecting a recipe for Maraschino, a unique type of cherry liqueur produced in Venetian Dalmatia since 1730 by Barolomeo Ferrari and Giuseppe Carceniga. Some allege it was produced as early as the 16th century by Catholic monks at the Dominican monastery of Zara, but this remains unproven. Maria personally produced her own Maraschino at home and it immediately attracted the attention of family, friends and connoisseurs.

In 1821 Luxardo founded a distillery in Zara to produce Maraschino liqueur. After eight years of research to perfect the product, in 1829 he obtained a special privilege from the Emperor of Austria, the “Privilegiata Fabbrica Maraschino Excelsior”. This was a valuable and cherished recognition of the superior quality of Luxardo liqueur, and moreover it granted the Luxardo company exclusive rights to produce Maraschino for the next fifteen years.

Luxardo would go on to become one of the most popular and prestigious brands of Maraschino liqueur, even rivaling the much older company of Drioli, founded in 1759 by the Istrian-Venetian merchant Francesco Drioli, who was the first to bottle and produce Maraschino on an industrial scale, thereby establishing the modern Maraschino industry of Zara. Already in 1864 Luxardo Maraschino was being exported and sold in the United States, and soon Luxardo would surpass Drioli in fame and popularity.

The Second Generation

Girolamo Luxardo died on September 8, 1865 at age 81, and his son Nicolò Luxardo I (1815-1882) took over the business. Taking the reins from his father Girolamo, Nicolò I played a vital role in the company by establishing relationships with prestigious markets all around the world. Luxardo's first advertisement posters were printed in 1874 and distributed throughout Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This was not only a first for Luxardo, but also the first recorded advertising campaign for a liqueur in history.

The Third Generation
Luxardo Family Gathering, 1875
Demetrio I (first from left); Michelangelo
(second from left); Nicolò I (third from left)

Luxardo was inherited by Demetrio Luxardo I (1852-1906) and Michelangelo Luxardo (1857-1934). Demetrio I was the first master distiller. He invented new products and refined Luxardo's Maraschino recipe. Thanks to the third Luxardo generation, a new prosperous era began for the company.

Luxardo Maraschino won a gold medal at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, the first ever bestowed upon a European company. The prestige and acclaim of Luxardo during this time period can be measured by the fact that Luxardo Maraschino was served aboard the RMS Titanic during its fateful voyage in 1912.

In 1913, Michelangelo built the most modern and largest distillery in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, called Casa Luxardo. This building was an imposing structure on the harbour edge, which housed not only the new distillery, but also the offices and the private apartments of the Luxardo family. The building survived World War I, but was ultimately destroyed in World War II.

Some setbacks occurred for Luxardo during World War I. The loss of the Russian market, caused by the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, led to a sharp decline in sales. In addition, the requisition of machinery and metal materials by the Austrian government in 1916-1918 significantly impoverished the Luxardo factory of its vital equipment.

The Patriotism of the Luxardo Family

The Luxardo's were known to be Italian patriots. Their signature design was inspired by the Italian tricolour: a green bottle with a red cap and a white label written in Italian. All of Michelangelo's sons were sent to study at universities in Italy. Nicolò Luxardo II (1886-1944), Michelangelo's eldest son and future heir, risked being executed for treason by joining the Italian Army in World War I, where he earned two Silver Medals of Military Valour as a cavalry officer. In this period, the Luxardo family proudly supported the unification of Dalmatia with the Kingdom of Italy.

Luxardo Poster, 1939
Sangue Morlacco (‘Morlach Blood’) became Luxardo's second specialty after Maraschino. Originally called Cherry Brandy, it was renamed by the Italian warrior-poet Gabriele D'Annunzio in 1919, during the Fiume Expedition, when a group of Italian legionaries occupied the city of Fiume and established the short-lived Italian Regency of Carnaro. One of these legionaries was Pietro Luxardo (1892-1944), Michelangelo's second son.

The Morlachs were a Latin people of the Dalmatian hinterland who defended the borders of the Republic of Venice against the Turks in the 17th and 18th centuries. Due to the liqueur's dark red colour, resembling the blood shed by the Morlachs under the banner of Venice, D'Annunzio nicknamed it Sangue Morlacco. The name was officially adopted by Luxardo and has continued to be used ever since.

The Fourth Generation

In 1922 the company was taken over by the fourth generation, Michelangelo's four sons: Nicolò II, Demetrio II, Pietro and Giorgio. Under the guidance of the fourth generation, Luxardo's position significantly improved. In 1940 Demetrio II died, leaving his three brothers as the heirs.

The city of Zara had been reunited with the Kingdom of Italy since 1918, and Luxardo once again began to flourish. By the 1930's Luxardo became the largest and most important distillery in Italy. In 1936 Luxardo was responsible for 66% of Zara's liqueur exports. The company reached its peak in this period, with more than 250 employees and an industrial area covering 12,000 square meters.

Casa Luxardo — The Luxardo Distillery, built in 1913
Before its tragic destruction in World War II
However, the beginning of World War II severely hampered industrial activity. During the course of the war, Allied bombing destroyed about 80% of Zara's buildings. After indiscriminate and repeated Anglo-American bombings in 1943-1944, the Luxardo distillery was almost completely destroyed, as was nearly the entire city of Zara. A four-day fire burned several buildings and resulted in the loss of many materials, including 230,000 kg of sugar, 48,000 liters of alcohol and over one million bottles.

The war was very tragic and devastating for the Luxardo family: they lost their distillery, their home and several members of their family. They were but one of hundreds of ethnic Italian families – totaling many thousands of civilians – who were forcibly exiled from Dalmatia as a result of the war. In the end, nearly the entire Italian population of Zara was wiped out through Allied bombings, executions, deportation to concentration camps or exile. While most of the Luxardo family fled to mainland Italy between 1943-1944, some members of the family chose to remain in Zara.

Upon the arrival of Tito's Yugoslav Communist partisans in 1944, atrocities were committed against the remaining Italian population and the Luxardo family was partly exterminated. Nicolò Luxardo II and his wife Bianca Ronzoni were arrested and brutally tortured before being killed by Yugoslav partisans on September 30, 1944. Nicolò II was drowned in the Adriatic Sea, while Bianca was forced to watch. She was shot to death immediately afterward. Pietro Luxardo, who likewise had refused to leave Zara, was imprisoned by the Yugoslavs on October 30, 1944 and murdered on November 12, 1944. His remains were never found.

Pietro Luxardo and Nicolò Luxardo II
Murdered by the Yugoslavs in 1944
Giorgio Luxardo was the sole survivor of the fourth generation. Giorgio fled first to Friuli and then to the Veneto region of northeastern Italy and reconnected with a colleague who had saved the Luxardo recipe book. Perhaps even more fortunately, just prior to the war Prof. Alessandro Morettini of the University of Florence had carried maraschino cherry specimens from Dalmatia to Tuscany, where he founded a cherry tree nursery on university premises. Prof. Morettini graciously delivered these cherry saplings to Giorgio Luxardo after the war.

Armed with the surviving tools and a desire to reestablish his family's legacy, Giorgio chose the small town of Torreglia to rebuild the distillery in 1946. At this new home, Luxardo restored its extensive product line of Italian liqueurs and continued to export the products to markets around the world.

The Usurpation of Maraschino by Yugoslavia

In 1944, before the end of World War II, the Yugoslavs illegally seized all of Luxardo's assets and nationalized them. Assets which were confiscated from all the historic liqueur factories of Zara (Luxardo, Drioli and Romano Vlahov), including all usable equipment and machinery, were unified into a single enterprise in 1946 by the new Yugoslav Communist occupational government.

Although Zara was still formally under Italian sovereignty until 1947, the Yugoslavs were already sequestering private property and goods. The old Luxardo distillery, reduced to almost total ruin by Allied bombs, was rebuilt in the same location and designed to look identical to the original building. By 1946 the Yugoslavs were producing and selling their own version of Maraschino, attempting to pass it off as the same one made by Luxardo.
The city of Zara, 1943-1944
Destroyed by Allied Bombings

The Luxardo family had suffered aerial bombardments, the loss of their home and business, the confiscation of their assets, and the death of multiple family members. Now, adding insult to injury, the Yugoslavs pretended to imitate Luxardo's Maraschino recipe and fraudulently re-bottled it under the same name, using the old bottles and original labels found in the ruins of Luxardo's warehouses.

Maraschino was a trademark owned by the Luxardo family, and they were determined to take legal action against this Yugoslav impersonation. After numerous legal battles, the Yugoslav company in 1949 was forced to change its name from Maraschino to Maraska, a Croatian moniker based on the original Italian name. Other lawsuits against Maraska continued until the 1960's. In the end the Luxardo family was victorious, winning every court case in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the United States; in each proceeding all decisions were won by Luxardo.

The Usurpation of Maraschino by Croatia

The Maraska company, founded by the Communist regime in 1946, still operates today in modern Croatia. However, the company has never acknowledged its controversial origins, nor its Communist past, and has never offered any compensation to Luxardo.

Today Maraska continues to appropriate the legacy of Maraschino by upholding themselves as the heirs of Italo-Dalmatian tradition and continues to falsely label their products with the name “Original Maraschino”. Despite having no legitimate connection to Zara's original Italian liqueur companies – other than confiscating its properties and imitating its products – the Croatian company insists on tracing its own history through Luxardo, Drioli, Vlahov and the Italian Dalmatian community, without acknowledging the seizure of assets, the trademark infringements, the false advertising, the marketing schemes, the ethnic cleansing of Italians and the massacre of the Luxardo family.

Maraska's official website merely states that several factories were destroyed and rebuilt after the war, and that the three main Maraschino liqueur distilleries were merged and reconstituted as the Maraska company in 1946. But this short and misleading version of events completely glosses over the traumatic events and criminal history upon which the Maraska company was built.

The Former Luxardo Distillery in Zara, Dalmatia
Illegally occupied by the Maraska Company from 1946-2006

Maraska's official website also falsely asserts that the maraschino cherry tree grows only in the area around Zara, in Dalmatia, thereby implying that they are the only only ones capable of producing authentic Maraschino liqueur. In fact the same maraschino cherries are grown by the Luxardo family in the Euganean Hills in Italy, derived from the same cherry trees grown around Zara, thanks to the saplings that were saved by Prof. Morettini and brought to Italy prior to the Yugoslav occupation.

On several occasions – during the period of the Yugoslav regime and after Croatian independence – the Luxardo family requested the return of personal assets, including art collections and family real estate, among them the old distillery building and former Luxardo home in Zara, but all requests have been rejected or ignored.

The landmark Luxardo distillery – ruined, seized and restored after the war by the Yugoslavs, and subsequently transformed into the Maraska factory – was recently purchased by a private Turkish bank, the Dogus Group, and will soon become a Hyatt Regency hotel. The Maraska company sold the property and moved to a different location in 2006. Compensation has still never been offered to Luxardo by Maraska, nor by the Dogus Group.

Today

Luxardo continues to produce Maraschino according to Maria Canevari's original recipe, as it was written down in 1821. The current distillery is located in the small town of Torreglia in the Euganean Hills, near Padua, in the region of Veneto, Italy, where the Luxardo family exclusively cultivates over 30,000 maraschino cherry trees – derived from the original maraschino cherry trees of Dalmatia – in what is today the largest cherry tree orchard in the world.

The Current Luxardo Distillery, built in 1946
In the small town of Torreglia, Italy

Until recently, Luxardo was operated by Franco Luxardo of the family's fifth generation, along with members of the sixth generation. Today, the company is headed by the sixth generation: Piero Luxardo Franchi, Guido Luxardo, Giorgio Luxardo II, Matteo Luxardo and Filippo Luxardo. The seventh generation is also just now starting and is represented by Nicolò Luxardo IV and Gaia Luxardo, the first female family member to join the company.

To date Luxardo's internationally renown Maraschino has won more than 56 gold medals in liqueur contests around the world. In 2011 alone, seven of Luxardo's liqueurs were awarded twelve bronze, silver and gold medals in international competitions. The company also produces a variety of other classic Italian liqueurs, including Sambuca, Amaretto, Grappa, Limoncello, Sangue Morlacco and Passione Nera. Besides its famous liqueurs, a second line of Luxardo products now includes a gourmet division with liqueur concentrates, fruit syrups, Maraschino cherries and jams.

Luxardo products are currently exported to every continent and to more than 78 countries around the world. The main export countries of Luxardo products are the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Japan and continental Europe.

See also:
The History of Maraschino
Luxardo Distillery: The Croats Attempted to Usurp the Brand
Luxardo Maraschino vs. Croatian Maraska

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Famous Italians From Dalmatia

Some notable Dalmatian Italians (from left to right): Elio Lampridio Cerva, Marino Ghetaldi,
Fausto Veranzio, Giorgio Baglivi, Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich & Niccolò Tommaseo

(Full biographies: Italian Biographies: Dalmatia)

Brief biographies of some famous Dalmatian Italians, an indigenous ethnic group from Dalmatia. The Dalmatian Italians have an illustrious history and have made notable contributions to culture, religion, military, politics, literature, arts, sciences and civilization, which should not be forgotten.

Dalmatia is a historical Italian region which is today divided between Croatia and Montenegro. The Dalmatian Italians, who have inhabited the region for more than 2000 years, declined in number after the 16th century due to war, pestilence and the migration of Slavic refugees, but continued to form a majority until the 17th century and continued to predominate in all the coastal cities until the 19th and 20th centuries. At the turn of the 19th century, one third of the Dalmatian population was Italian.

The Dalmatian Italians faced persecution and discrimination under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the decades before World War I, the Habsburg government and Pan-Slavists pursued a systematic policy of Slavicization and de-Italianization of Dalmatia, so that by the end of the war the Dalmatian Italians were reduced to a small minority in their own land. The Treaty of Versailles assigned most of Dalmatia to Yugoslavia, causing thousands of Dalmatian Italians to flee to Italy. The Treaty of Rome restored one third of Dalmatia to Italy, allowing the Dalmatian Italians to return home.

Towards the end of World War II the Dalmatian Italians were again targeted and subjected to ethnic cleansing by the Yugoslavs, who invaded Italian Dalmatia and annexed it to Communist Yugoslavia in 1947. About 350,000 Italians from Dalmatia, Istria and the surrounding region of Julian Venetia were forced into exile after the war. Their homes and property were confiscated and their cities were occupied by the Yugoslavs. The Dalmatian Italians and their exiled descendants patiently await the return of their homeland to Italy.

  Paolo Andreis - Italian historian
  Thomas the Archdeacon - Italian historian and priest
  Arnolfo Bacotich - Italian historian and journalist
  Giorgio Baglivi - Italian anatomist, medical scientist and physician
  Antonio Bajamonti - Italian physician and politician
  Giulio Bajamonti - Italian composer, physician, philosopher, polygraph and historian
  Anselmo Banduri - Italian monk, scholar, archaeologist and numismatist
  Federico Bencovich - Italian painter
  Francesco Antonio Bertuccio - Italian diplomat, friar and knight
  Gian Francesco Biondi - Italian writer, diplomat and historian
  Girolamo Bisanti - Italian naval captain; commander in the Battle of Lepanto
  Trifone Bisanti - Italian theologian, diplomat, scholar and bishop
  Savino de Bobali - Italian poet
  Giovanni Bona de Boliris - Italian poet and writer
  Francesco Bolizza - Italian diplomat and courier
  Mariano Bolizza - Italian diplomat, writer, poet and priest
  Natale Bonifacio - Italian carver and engraver
  Bonino de Boninis - Italian publisher, typographer and priest
  Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich - Italian scientist, mathematician, priest and polymath
  Domenico Bucchia - Italian theologian and priest
  Vincenzo Bucchia - Italian theologian and bishop
  Bernardo Caboga - Italian nobleman and military commander
  Biagio Caboga - Italian diplomat and nobleman
  Biagio Bernardo Caboga - Italian nobleman and military commander
  Marino Caboga - Italian lawyer and priest
  Francesco Carrara - Italian archaeologist and priest
  Pietro Canavelli - Italian poet and translator
  Marco de Casotti - Italian journalist and novelist
  Elio Lampridio Cerva - Italian poet and lexicographer
  Serafino Cerva - Italian scholar and priest
  Alvise Cippico - Italian bishop and archbishop
  Alvise Cippico (Luigi Cipoco) - Italian naval captain; commander in the Battle of Lepanto
  Antonio Cippico - Italian politician, poet, patriot, journalist and lecturer
  Coriolano Cippico - Italian historian, landowner and military commander
  Trifone Cocoglia - Italian painter
  Arturo Colautti - Italian journalist, writer and librettist
  Benedetto Cotrugli - Italian merchant, economist and diplomat
  Giovanni Creglianovich-Albinoni - Italian writer, librettist and playwright
  Federico Crisogono - Italian physician and scientist
  Raimondo Cunich - Italian latinist and priest
  Giulio Camillo Delminio - Italian philosopher
  Francesco Suppé Demelli - Italian composer
  Vincenzo Drago - Italian historian
  Francesco Salghetti-Drioli - Italian painter and entrepreneur
  Alessandro Dudan - Italian historian and politician
  Vincenzo Duplancich - Italian journalist, writer and politician
  Roberto Ferruzzi - Italian painter
  Riccardo Forster - Italian poet, journalist and theatre critic
  Giovanni Francesco Fortunio - Italian grammarian, jurist and politician
  Angelo Antonio Frari - Italian physician
  Giuseppe Frari - Italian physician
  Luigi Frari - Italian physician and politician
  Michele Carlo Frari - Italian obstetrician and inventor
  Marco Faustino Gagliuffi - Italian poet
  Bernardino Gallelli - Italian ecclesiastic
  Marino Ghetaldi - Italian scientist and mathematician
  Francesco Ghetaldi-Gondola - Italian politician
  Roberto Ghiglianovich - Italian politician, lawyer and patriot
  Ignazio Giorgi - Italian historian, poet, priest and abbot
  Paladino Gondola - Italian diplomat and merchant
  Nicolò Vito di Gozze - Italian philosopher and politician
  Stefano Gradi - Italian scientist, philosopher, poet and priest
  Gasparo Graziani - Italian polyglot and diplomat; Voivode of Moldavia
  Pope John IV - Italian ecclesiastic; pope
  Natale Krekich - Italian politician and patriot
  Luigi Lapenna - Italian politician
  Francesco Laurana - Italian architect, sculptor and medalist
  Luciano Laurana - Italian architect
  Francesco Leonardi - Italian bishop and missionary
  Giovanni Eleuterio Lovrovich - Italian historian and priest
  Antonio Lubin - Italian writer, teacher and priest
  Giovanni Lucio - Italian historian
  Lorenzo Doimi de Lupis - Italian physician and nobleman
  Girolamo Luxardo - Italian entrepreneur and diplomat; founder of Luxardo liqueur
  Francesco Malipiero - Italian abbot and archbishop
  Girolamo Manfrin - Italian entrepreneur
  Bernardino Marin - Italian bishop
  Giorgio Martinuzzi - Italian statesman, cardinal, archbishop and monk; Regent of Hungary
  Lino Maupas - Italian friar
  Andrea Meldolla - Italian painter and etcher
  Luigi Mion - Italian painter
  Raffaele Molin - Italian scientist, physician, zoologist and geologist
  Michele Monaldi - Italian mathematician, philosopher and poet
  Pietro Doimo Munzani - Italian archbishop
  Nino Nutrizio - Italian journalist and football coach
  Giorgio Orsini da Sebenico - Italian architect, sculptor and urbanist
  Giovanni Battista Benedetti Paladini - Italian naval captain; commander in the Battle of Lepanto
  Nicolò Paladini - Italian naval captain
  Paolo Paladini - Italian poet and naval captain
  Pier Alessandro Paravia - Italian writer, philologist, philanthropist and professor
  Ludovico Pasquali - Italian poet and soldier
  Antonio Pini-Corsi - Italian operatic baritone
  Giuseppe Praga - Italian historian and archivist
  Domenico Ragnina - Italian poet
  Giorgio Raguseo - Italian philosopher, philologist, mathematician, physician and priest
  Oscar Randi - Italian historian
  Francesco Rismondo - Italian soldier and patriot
  Benedetto Rogacci - Italian theologian, grammarian, poet and priest
  Romeo Romei - Italian naval officer, corvette captain and submarine commander
  Martino Rota - Italian engraver, etcher, painter and cartographer
  Giuseppe Sabalich - Italian historian, journalist and poet
  Franco Sacchetti - Italian poet and novelist
  Leonardo Salimbeni - Italian engineer and mathematician
  Ercolano Salvi - Italian politician and patriot
  Giorgio Schiavone - Italian painter
  Federico Seismit-Doda - Italian politician, patriot and journalist
  Giovanni Soglian - Italian teacher and linguist
  Luca Sorgo - Italian composer
  Benedetto Stay - Italian poet and priest
  Giovanni Domenico Stratico - Italian bishop and theologian
  Michele Stratico - Italian composer and violinist
  Simone Stratico - Italian mathematician, physicist and nautical scientist
  Antonio Tacconi - Italian politician
  Ildebrando Tacconi - Italian historian, lecturer and scholar
  Niccolò Tommaseo - Italian linguist, writer and patriot
  Ruggero Tommaseo - Italian journalist, writer and patriot
  Biagio di Giorgio da Traù - Italian painter
  Nicolò Trigari - Italian politician
  Ludovico Cerva Tuberone - Italian historian
  Antonio Varisco - Italian carabiniere officer
  Giorgio Ventura - Italian painter
  Antonio Veranzio - Italian cardinal, archbishop and diplomat
  Fausto Veranzio - Italian philosopher, historian, bishop, inventor, lexicographer and polymath
  Roberto de Visiani - Italian botanist, naturalist, physician and scholar
  Bernardo Zamagna - Italian poet, translator, theologian and priest
  Luigi Ziliotto - Italian politician, lawyer and patriot
  Bernardo Zuzzeri - Italian missionary and priest
  Flora Zuzzeri - Italian poetess
  Giovanni Luca Zuzzeri - Italian numismatist, archaeologist and priest

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Famous Italians From Istria

Some notable Istrian Italians (from left to right): Vittorio Carpaccio, Santorio Santorio,
Francesco Trevisani, Giuseppe Tartini, Giovanni Battista Piranesi & Nazario Sauro

(Full biographies: Italian Biographies: Istria)

Brief biographies of some famous Istrian Italians, an indigenous ethnic group from Istria. The Istrian Italians have an illustrious history and have made notable contributions to culture, religion, military, politics, literature, arts, sciences and civilization, which should not be forgotten.

Istria is a historical region of Italy, but is today divided between Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. Towards the end of World War II the Istrian Italians were subjected to ethnic cleansing and genocide by the Yugoslavs, who occupied the land and annexed it to Communist Yugoslavia in 1947. About 350,000 Italians from Dalmatia, Istria and the surrounding region of Julian Venetia were forced into exile after the war. Their homes and property were confiscated and their cities were occupied by the Yugoslavs. The Istrian Italians and their exiled descendants patiently await the return of their homeland to Italy.

  Silvano Abba - Italian pentathlete and soldier
  Andrea Amoroso - Italian patriot; founder of the Istrian Society of Archeology and History
  Andrea Antico da Montona - Italian music printer, editor, publisher, composer and priest
  Gianni Bartoli - Italian engineer and politician
  Matteo Giulio Bartoli - Italian linguist and philologist
  Felice Bennati - Italian politician and patriot
  Bernardo Benussi - Italian medieval historian
  Bartolomeo Biasoletto - Italian pharmacist, botanist and phycologist
  Francesco Bonifacio - Italian priest; killed in the Foibe Massacres
  Egidio Bullesi - Italian sailor and shipyard worker
  Gian Rinaldo Carli - Italian writer, economist, historian, politician and patriot
  Stefano Carli - Italian writer, poet and dramatist
  Benedetto Carpaccio - Italian painter
  Vittore Carpaccio - Italian painter
  Diego de Castro - Italian historian, teacher and statistician
  Giorgio Alberto Chiurco - Italian doctor, historian and politician
  Bartolomeo delle Cisterne - Italian architect and hydraulic engineer
  Carlo Combi - Italian teacher and patriot
  Norma Cossetto - Italian student; killed in the Foibe Massacres
  Luciano Delbianco - Italian politician, economist and electrical engineer
  Cesare Dell'Acqua - Italian painter
  Iolanda Dobrilla - Italian refugee and teenager; killed by Communist Partisans
  Aldo Fabbro - Italian footballer; died in the Allied Bombing of Pola
  Fabio Filzi - Italian soldier and patriot
  Carlo De Franceschi - Italian historian, writer, politician and patriot
  Girolamo de Franciscis - Italian bishop
  Fides Histriae Gambini - Italian exile; last descendant of the Gambini family of Capodistria
  Pier Antonio Quarantotti Gambini - Italian author, journalist, librarian and exile
  Pio Riego Gambini - Italian soldier, journalist, patriot and Mazzinian
  Girolamo Gravisi - Italian archaeologist, scholar and philologist
  Lucrezio Gravisi - Italian soldier; killed by the Turks in Dalmatia
  Nicolò Gravisi - Italian Marchese and captain of the guard
  Pietro Gravisi - Italian Marchese and commander; fought in the Battle of Lepanto
  Giovanni Grion - Italian soldier and patriot
  Carlotta Grisi - Italian ballerina
  Annibale Grisonio - Italian priest, inquisitor and canon lawyer
  Antonio Grossich - Italian physician and politician
  Antonio Ive - Italian linguist and ethnologist
  Domenico Lovisato - Italian geologist, academic and patriot
  Tomaso Luciani - Italian politician and patriot
  Antonio Madonizza - Italian lawyer, journalist and politician
  Giovanni Manzini - Italian lawyer and poet
  Bernardo Parentino - Italian painter
  Bonifacio di Parenzo - Italian bishop
  Giuseppe Picciola - Italian writer, teacher and patriot
  Francesco Piranesi - Italian engraver, etcher, architect and politician
  Laura Piranesi - Italian engraver and etcher
  Giovanni Battista Piranesi - Italian etcher, sculptor and architectural theorist
  Pietro Piranesi - Italian politician
  Luigi Pirano - Italian Franciscan and ecclesiastic
  Gennaro di Pola - Italian patriarch
  Pietro Polani - Italian crusader; Doge of Venice
  Giovanni Quarantotto - Italian poet, historian and patriot
  Donato Ragosa - Italian pharmacist and patriot
  Antonio Santin - Italian bishop
  Santorio Santorio - Italian physiologist, physician, professor and inventor
  Nazario Sauro - Italian sailor and patriot
  Cecilia Seghizzi - Italian composer, painter and teacher
  Augusto Cesare Seghizzi - Italian composer and choral conductor
  Bonifacio Sergi - Italian nobleman; founder of the House of Pola-Castropola
  Ernesto Sestan - Italian historian
  Antonio Smareglia - Italian composer
  Francesco Spongia - Italian composer, organist and priest
  Domenico del Tacco - Italian naval captain; commander in the Battle of Lepanto
  Antonio Tarsia - Italian baroque composer
  Giuseppe Tartini - Italian baroque composer and violinist
  Pietro Tradonico - Italian noble; Doge of Venice
  Angelo Trevisani - Italian painter and copperplate engraver
  Francesco Trevisani - Italian painter
  Umberto Urbani - Italian writer, translator, teacher and patriot
  Andrea da Valle - Italian architect
  Silvio Vardabasso - Italian geologist
  Pier Paolo Vergerio il Vecchio - Italian pedagogist, statesman and canon lawyer
  Licio Visintini - Italian naval lieutenant
  Mario Visintini - Italian pilot and fighter ace
  Biagio Zulian - Italian captain and war hero; killed by the Turks in Candia
  Vittorio Italico Zupelli - Italian general and politician

Friday, July 7, 2017

Famous Italians From Fiume and the Quarnaro

Some notable Fiuman and Quarnerine Italians (from left to right): Francesco Patrizi,
Giovanni Biagio Luppis, Giovanni de Ciotta, Maria Crocifissa Cosulich,
Giorgio Alessandro Conighi & Agostino Straulino

(Full biographies: Italian Biographies: The Quarnaro)

Brief biographies of some famous Italians from the Quarnaro, also known as the Quarnero or Carnaro. The Italians, the indigenous population of the region, have an illustrious history and have made notable contributions to culture, religion, military, politics, literature, arts, sciences and civilization, which should not be forgotten.

The Quarnaro is a historical Italian region and gulf in the northern Adriatic Sea, located between Istria and Dalmatia. It is composed of several small islands and the mainland city of Fiume. The main islands are Cherso, Lussino, Veglia and Arbe. The latter two islands technically belong to a strait known as the Quarnerolo (“Little Quarnaro”), but they are generally considered part of the larger Quarnaro geographical region with the city of Fiume at the head.

Today the region is entirely occupied by Croatia. Towards the end of World War II the Italians of the Quarnaro were subjected to ethnic cleansing and genocide by the Yugoslavs, who occupied the lands and annexed them to Communist Yugoslavia in 1947. About 350,000 Italians from Istria, Dalmatia, the Quarnaro and the surrounding region of Julian Venetia were forced into exile after the war. Their homes and cities were confiscated and occupied by the Yugoslavs. The Italians of the Quarnaro and their exiled descendants patiently await the return of their homeland to Italy.

  Antonio Adrario - Italian poet
  Nicolò Udina Algarotti - Italian philologist, musicologist and priest
  Icilio Bacci - Italian politician
  Ipparco Baccich - Italian soldier and patriot
  Mario Blasich - Italian physician and politician
  Lodovico Cicuta - Italian naval captain; died in the Battle of Lepanto
  Giovanni de Ciotta - Italian politician, engineer, philanthropist and soldier
  Giacoma Giorgia Colombis - Italian nun and abbess
  Carlo Colussi - Italian journalist and politician
  Carlo Alessandro Conighi - Italian engineer and politician
  Carlo Leopoldo Conighi - Italian architect and engineer
  Giorgio Alessandro Conighi - Italian engineer and fireman
  Maria Crocifissa Cosulich - Italian nun, teacher, polyglot and religious foundress
  Gasparo Craglietto - Italian sea captain and art collector
  Giovanni de Dominis - Italian naval captain; fought in the Battle of Lepanto
  Colane Drascio - Italian naval captain; fought in the Battle of Lepanto
  Oretta Fiume - Italian actress
  Enrico Fonda - Italian painter
  Riccardo Gigante - Italian journalist, entrepreneur and politician
  Giovanni Biagio Luppis - Italian inventor and naval officer; invented the torpedo
  Arturo de Maineri - Italian politician, mathematician and soldier
  Giovanni Moise - Italian linguist, grammarian, writer, priest and abbot
  Alfonso Maria Orlini - Italian priest
  Francesco Patrizi - Italian philosopher and writer
  Stefano Petris - Italian professor, soldier and patriot
  Raffaele Mario Radossi - Italian priest and bishop
  Nicolò Rode - Italian sailor and Olympic champion
  Francesco Salata - Italian politician, historian and patriot
  Giovanni Simonetti - Italian painter
  Gino Sirola - Italian lawyer, professor and politician
  Nevio Skull - Italian entrepreneur and politician
  Agostino Straulino - Italian sailor, admiral and Olympic champion
  Duilio Susmel - Italian journalist and historian
  Edoardo Susmel - Italian teacher, historian and politician
  Nivio Toich - Italian pharmacist, biochemist and political activist
  Antonio Udina - Italian barber and sacristan; last speaker of the Dalmatian language
  Giovanni Host-Venturi - Italian historian, politician and patriot
  Riccardo Zanella - Italian politician

Friday, June 2, 2017

Trieste, the Most Italian City

Trieste, Italy — “The Most Italian City”

Trieste is known as la città più italiana or la città italianissima – the Most Italian City. This nickname stems from the city's ardent patriotism and its history as the capital of Italian Irredentism.

The famed “cosmopolitanism” of Trieste only dates back to the late 19th and early 20th century. Its mythical reputation as a “cosmopolitan city” derives from foreign authors who witnessed Trieste's demographic and economic boom of the 1850's and 1860's, when Trieste rapidly rose from a modest city to a major commercial port. After this boom, there was a sudden influx of holiday tourism in Trieste, and the city attracted famous men such as Sigmund Freud and James Joyce, which led to the myth that Trieste was “cosmopolitan”.

This false characterization of Trieste neglects the fact that during this same time period, in the aftermath of Italian Unification (1848-1870), there arose in Trieste a movement of staunch Italian patriotism known as Irredentism (earning it the nickname ‘the Most Italian City’) and a political struggle between the Italians and the Habsburgs. In this period there was ethnic discrimination against Italians by the Austrian imperial government, an attempt at ethnic cleansing by the same government, a struggle for independence and even an assassination attempt against the Emperor. This struggle lasted until the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. Trieste in those years was anything but “cosmopolitan”.

Additionally, there is the similar myth of Trieste as a “melting pot” and as an archetype of “multiculturalism and diversity”. In reality, cities such as London (where Englishmen are a minority), Paris (with entire quarters inhabited by Africans) and Vienna (with its strong Jewish community) are far more diverse and multicultural than Trieste is or ever has been. Yet no one would deny that these cities are properly English, French and Austrian, not merely politically and geographically, but also because the dominant language, culture and ethnic composition of these cities has always been English, French and Austrian, respectively (at least from the Middle Ages until recent times).

However due to political controversies, especially those surrounding Fascism and the Second World War, Trieste is treated differently and is depicted as a “cultural crossroads” and as a “multi-ethnic city” supposedly divided equally between Italians, Germans and Slavs.

Such a mischaracterization is contradicted by the fact that Trieste has been an astonishingly homogeneous city (linguistically, culturally and ethnically) given its very long history: the city has been populated by Italians since its foundation more than a century before Christ, and has ever retained an Italian majority; in its millennial history it has known only two languages: Latin, and the Italian dialects which developed from Latin; and its culture has always been primarily influenced by Latin civilization, having never lost its connection to the Italian world throughout the centuries. In brief, the dominant language, culture and ethnic composition of Trieste is and always has been Latin-Italian. Up until the 19th century Trieste was inhabited exclusively by Italians, with only a negligible amount of German and Slavic minorities.

Unlike many other cities in Europe which were divided between peoples of different religions, languages, cultures and ethnic groups, the city of Trieste was never a bilingual city; it was never divided along religious lines; and it was never split along ethnic, cultural or linguistic grounds. Trieste has always been overwhelmingly dominated at any given time by only one religion, one language, one culture and populated predominantly by one ethnic group. In ancient times the city was characterized by the Roman religion, Latin language, Roman culture and Italian population. From the Middle Ages until today it has been characterized by the Roman Catholic religion, the Italian language, Latin culture and the same Italian population.

Trieste represents the exact antitheses of cities such as Brussels, Klagenfurt, Vilnius and Minsk, which for many centuries were hopelessly divided by competing languages, cultures, religions and ethnic groups. The city of Trieste, on the other hand, has always maintained its Italian homogeneity, despite the threats and attempts made by the Habsburg regime between 1866-1918.

Despite influxes of migrants, which every major city experiences, still to this day Trieste is noticeably Italian in every way: from the customs of the people to the language spoken in the piazzas, from the civic architecture to the Venetian-esque canal, from the charming cafés to the narrow streets, Trieste resembles a typical Italian city in all aspects. Its culture, its appearance and its atmosphere are distinctly Italian and would not fit in any other country except Italy. This is in stark contrast to cities like London and Paris, which are so steeped in diversity that they have become almost unrecognizable and in some areas barely even resemble a European city.

Not only is Trieste not a “melting pot” nor “multi-ethnic city”, but its millennial Italianity has often been underestimated and depreciated by outsiders, while the importance of the German and Slavic elements have been grossly distorted and exaggerated to absurd levels by foreign authors who know little about Trieste's history prior to its economic boom. At the same time, the historical tragedies suffered by the Italian population under Habsburg Imperialism and Yugoslav Communism, and the attempts to destroy Trieste's Italian character in the 19th and 20th centuries, have been almost wholly suppressed or ignored by most historians since the end of World War II.

Trieste is a proud Italian city. The anti-Italian policies of the Habsburgs and their failed attempt to forcibly Slavicize the city prior to World War I, together with the 42-day occupation of the Yugoslav Communists and the Foibe Massacres at the end of World War II (amounting to two attempts at ethnic cleansing in under a century), in addition to the decade-long military occupation by the Western Allies after the end of the war, has all only served to reinforce the Italian patriotism of Trieste. Today Trieste remains one of the most proud and patriotic cities in all of Italy and is home to a number of patriotic, nationalist and irredentist organizations devoted to defending Trieste and its millennial Italian civilization.

The idea of Trieste as a “cultural crossroads” and “multicultural melting pot” is a myth perpetuated for political reasons. This holds true not only for Trieste, but also for the former Italian territories that were annexed to Communist Yugoslavia after the Second World War, namely Istria and Dalmatia.

To read more about the history of Trieste, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, see the article: Making Trieste Slavic: Ethnic Cleansing and the Attempted Slavicization of Trieste

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Croatian Economy Reliant on Tourism

The Travel & Tourism Economy Map (2017)

An economic map published by howmuch.net on April 26, 2017, based on the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, shows that Croatia is one of the countries most dependent on tourism and travel in the entire world. In fact, Croatia ranks number two in the world, second only to Malta. This does not mean that Croatia is the most-visited country, but merely that its economy strongly relies on travel – more so than any other country besides Malta – due to a lack of industry and exports.

The Croatian economy is very small, so small that 15% of its GDP is dependent on tourism. Most of this tourism is to the historically Italian regions of Istria, Dalmatia and the Quarnaro. The old Italian city of Ragusa – formerly the Republic of Ragusa – is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. Other former Italian cities such as Zara, Spalato, Sebenico, Traù, Pola, Parenzo, Rovigno, Curzola and Lesina are also popular with tourists.

These historical Italian regions are littered with ancient Roman villas and temples, Roman amiptheatres, Christian basilicas and cathedrals, and hundreds of Venetian squares, structures and Renaissance artworks: two thousand years of Italian heritage. It is not difficult to understand why these spots are so popular among tourists and so jealously coveted by Croatia.

Most of Croatia's tourist destinations outside Zagreb are located in Istria, Dalmatia and the Quarnaro. Thus it comes as no surprise that six of Croatia's seven UNESCO World Heritage sites are also located in these territories, which are full of ancient Roman culture and Italian artistic heritage. Meanwhile, tourism in Slavonia (one of the historical regions of Croatia) is desperately poor and they are in the process of trying to develop a tourist industry to attract more visitors. However they will not be surpassing the Istrian and Dalmatian coasts any time soon.

Croatia is a poor country; it currently ranks as the 13th poorest country in Europe by GDP per capita according to Aneki World Rankings and Records, falling even farther behind than countries such as Greece, Portugal and Latvia, and ranking only slightly higher than Belarus and Turkey. Croatia's economy is being propped up by tourism to historical Italian regions. Without tourism, Croatia would have almost no notable economy to speak of; and without these historic Italian regions, Croatia's economy would partially if not completely collapse. In the very least it would face a grave economic crisis, as roughly one tenth of its economy would disappear.

This reliance upon travel and tourism helps explain why even the Croatian tourism industry participates in a disgraceful historical revisionism (independent of the extremist nationalism that still permeates the Balkan countries), and has been known to manipulate historical facts in their tourism brochures, travel guides and advertising campaigns.

Some of the most notorious cases of fraud include the claim that Marco Polo's birth house is located in Curzola, when in reality Marco Polo was born in Venice; the town of Postrana falsely claimed to possess the burial site of King Arthur; a tourist brochure in Spalato renamed the Venetian Lion of St. Mark, dubbing it a “post-Illyrian Lion”; in many brochures the cathedrals and artworks made by medieval Dalmatian and Italian Renaissance masters are referred to with falsified names; the original Latin and Italian names of these artists are depicted with new Croatanized names, and this has yet to be corrected. These are a few examples among many.

Istria is cleverly marketed as a ‘Little Venice’. The Croatian tourism industry persistently advertises Istria as being “like Venice, only cheaper” and as feeling “just like Italy, but more affordable”, while neglecting to inform their visitors that the reason it looks so Venetian is because it was Venetian for nearly one thousand years; and it feels just like Italy because it belonged to Italy and was inhabited by a proud and flourishing Italian population for more than two millennia, until being annexed to Communist Yugoslavia in 1947 (and subsequently annexed to Croatia in 1991).

The charming bell-towers that line the Istrian peninsula and Dalmatian coast do not merely look Venetian; they are Venetian; the architecture and atmosphere does not merely resemble Italy; it was Italy. The towns and squares on the eastern shore of the Adriatic were constructed and inhabited by the same people who built and still live on the western shore of Adriatic in Italy; for many centuries the two shores shared the same Latin culture and Italic civilization.

The Croatian advertisements also fail to mention that beyond its beautiful coastline, the interior of Istria and the surrounding zone of Julian Venetia is home to hundreds of sinkholes and mass graves filled with the massacred remains of thousands of Italian men, women and children – the ignored and forgotten victims of a gruesome genocide committed by the Yugoslavs at the end of World War II. Among the survivors were 350,000 Italian civilians who were forced to flee their homes, leaving the towns of Istria entirely deserted. Today these same towns are now tourist destinations.

The crimes and ethnic cleansing committed by the Yugoslavs in Istria and Dalmatia were ignored and suppressed for many decades, and Croatia today still prefers to deny and pretend they never happened. One of the reasons is because Croatia profits from these crimes; its economy is largely based or dependent on stolen treasures, artworks, marvelous cities and a rich cultural heritage built by other people – the same people who were terrorized, slaughtered and driven from their homeland so that Croatia could plant its flag on their soil and claim it as its own.