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 — Born in c. 1530 in Cherso to a family of ancient Roman origin. Italian poet. Published numerous poems and sonnets. His most popular work was Sonetti sopra la guerra turchesca, published in 1572. It was composed in celebration of the Christian victory over the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. Died in Cherso in 1597.
Nicolò Udina Algarotti
Nicolò Udina Algarotti — Born on November 27, 1791 in Veglia. Italian philologist, musicologist and Catholic priest. Graduated in theology and philology. Professor of Italian Philology in Salzburg. Rector of St. Anne's Church in Vienna. Donated his vast collection of instruments, music and books to his native city, which became the Algarotti Library and Museum (Biblioteca Algarotti) in Veglia. His collection contained 16 string instruments, 3,300 pieces of sheet music and 6,000 books. One of the instruments was an original violin by Andrea Amati, inventor of the violin in the 16th century. Died in Vienna on July 6, 1838.
|Icilio Bacci, Fiuman Italian|
(July 2, 1879 - August 28, 1945)
|Lieut. Ipparco Baccich, Fiuman Italian|
(August 2, 1890 - October 12, 1916)
The Fiume Legion (Legione Fiumana) named one of their companies after him in 1919. The Fiuman Society of Navigation (Società Fiumana di Navigazione) named a ship after him in 1931. An elementary school in the Fiuman suburb of Mattuglie was named after him in the 1930's. A memorial monument with his name and the names of other decorated and fallen soldiers of Fiume was later erected in Fiume; the monument was destroyed by the Yugoslavs in May 1945.
|Dr. Mario Blasich, Fiuman Italian|
(July 18, 1878 - May 3, 1945)
One of the men responsible for the murder was Oskar Piškulić, Chief of the Yugoslav Secret Police from 1943-1947. His guilt was confirmed by a court in Rome in 2000, but the Italian Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that Italy had no legal jurisdiction over Croatian citizens. Piškulić died in 2010 in Croatia without ever being brought to justice for his crimes.
Lodovico Cicuta — Born in the 16th century in Veglia to a military family. Italian naval captain. Member of the noble Cicuti family. Commander of the Venetian galley Cristo Resuscitato, which set sail from Veglia, in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. His brother Aurelio Natale Cicuta was a famous heretic, spy and military theorist who fought and died in the Battle of Lepanto.
Giovanni de Ciotta
|Giovanni de Ciotta, Fiuman Italian|
(April 24, 1824 - November 6, 1903)
Giacoma Giorgia Colombis
Giacoma Giorgia Colombis — Born on December 28, 1735 in Cherso as Elisabetta Colombis to an illustrious Italian family. Italian nun and abbess. Abandoned the luxuries of life and joined the Benedictine Order at the Monastery of San Pietro in Cherso against the wishes of her friends and relatives. Adopted the religious name Giacoma Giorgia. Abbess from 1780-1782. Wrote a diary in the Italian language, containing all her spiritual thoughts. Died in the odour of sanctity in Cherso on June 28, 1801. Her canonization process is ongoing.
Carlo Colussi — Born on December 7, 1891 in Fiume. Italian journalist and politician. Joined the Italian Army in 1915. Fought in the Carso region. Promoted to lieutenant. Awarded the Silver Medal of Military Valour. Editor of the Italian newspaper “Vedetta d'Italia” in 1919. Mayor of Fiume from 1934-1938. President of the National Association of War Invalids of Fiume (Associazione Nazionale fra Mutilati ed Invalidi di Guerra) until 1943. Arrested with his wife Nerina Copetti on May 3, 1945 by the Yugoslav Secret Police (OZNA) while attempting to flee to Trieste. They were both shot to death by the Yugoslav Partisans in May 1945.
Carlo Alessandro Conighi
|Carlo Alessandro Conighi, Fiuman Italian|
(February 26, 1853 - August 5, 1950)
After the unification of Fiume to the Kingdom of Italy in 1924, he held various administrative and political offices: Vice-Mayor of Fiume, Vice-President of the Province of Carnaro, President of the Sick Fund (Cassa Distrettuale Ammalati) and Prefectural Commissioner of the Industry and Commerce Corporations (Corporazioni Industria e Commercio). President of several organizations and associations in Fiume: the Alpine Club of Fiume, the Literary Circle, the Dante Alighieri Society, the National League, the Patriotic Circle and the Concert Society of Fiume. Appointed Grand Officer of the Italian Crown by King Vittorio Emanuele III in the 1930's. After the occupation of Fiume by the Yugoslav Communists at the end of World War II, he was forced into exile. Said goodbye to his home in Fiume and moved to Udine in September 1946. Died in exile in Udine on August 5, 1950. During the funeral his casket was wrapped in the colours of the flag of Fiume.
Carlo Leopoldo Conighi
|Carlo Leopoldo Conighi, Fiuman Italian|
(July 4, 1884 - January 5, 1972)
Giorgio Alessandro Conighi
|Giorgio Alessandro Conighi, Fiuman Italian|
(June 7, 1892 - January 4, 1977)
Maria Crocifissa Cosulich
|Suor Maria Crocifissa Cosulich, Fiuman Italian|
(September 20, 1852 - September 29. 1922)
Thirty-one days after her death, a memorial plaque was erected at the entrance of the Institute of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Fiume with the following epitaph written in the Italian language:
“In memory of Mother Maria Crocifissa Cosulich (September 20, 1852 - September 29, 1922). Foundress and Mother General of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Fiume in October 1895. She was a true mother of orphans, of the poor, of derelicts, freely providing everyone with shelter, asylum, food, clothing, education and instruction. ... All her works of zeal were dedicated to the glory of God and charity towards her neighbour. She was simple, sincere and humble. Her soul was courageous without arrogance, strict without rigidity.”
(“In memoria della Madre Maria Crocifissa Cosulich (20 settembre 1852 - 29 settembre 1922). Fondatrice e Madre Generale della Congregazione delle Figlie del Sacro Cuore di Gesù sorta in Fiume nell'ottobre 1895. Fu vera madre dell'orfano, del povero, del derelitto provvedendolo, del tutto gratuitamente, di tetto, asilo, vitto, vestiario, educazione ed istruzione. ... Alle opere di zelo per la gloria di Dio e di carità verso il prossimo dedicó tutto l'animo sui semplice, schietto, umile. Coraggiosa senza baldanza, grave senza rigidezza.”)
|Capt. Gasparo Craglietto, Quarnerine Italian|
(June 30, 1772 - March 12, 1838)
Giovanni de Dominis
Giovanni de Dominis — Born in the 16th century in Arbe. Italian naval captain. Member of the noble De Dominis family, of ancient Roman origin. Commander of the Venetian galley San Giovanni, which set sail from Arbe, in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. He was the grandfather of the famous Italian heretic and mathematician Marco Antonio de Dominis, Bishop of Segna and Archbishop of Spalato. Other notable descendants of the Dominis family include the Italian sea captain Giovanni Dominis of Trieste and his son John Owen Dominis, an Italian-American statesman and Prince Consort of the Kingdom of Hawaii. A recent descendant of the family is the journalist and author Elisabetta de Dominis, a member of the Italian Dalmatian community in Trieste.
Colane Drascio or Collane Drasio — Born in the 16th century in Cherso to a noble family from Ossero, on the island of Lussino. Italian sailor and naval captain. Commander of the Venetian galley San Nicolò, which set sail from Cherso, in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
|Oretta Fiume, Fiuman Italian|
(June 6, 1919 - April 22, 1994)
|Painting of a fisherman by Enrico Fonda|
(1891/1892 - February 1929)
|Riccardo Gigante, Fiuman Italian|
(January 29, 1881 - May 4, 1945)
Giovanni Biagio Luppis
|Capt. Giovanni Biagio Luppis, Fiuman Italian|
(August 27, 1813 - January 11, 1875)
Arturo de Maineri
|Lieut. Arturo de Maineri, Fiuman Italian|
(April 16, 1904 - October 13, 1966)
Arturo de Maineri — Born on April 16, 1904 in Fiume as Arturo Meichsner von Meichsenau. Italian politician, mathematician and soldier. His mother was Italian. His father belonged to a family of mixed Italian-Austrian origin. His paternal great-grandfather was Karl Meichsner Von Meichsenau, an Austrian general who settled in Italy in the 19th century and whose children quickly assimilated into the Italian community. His grandfather Erminio was born in Milan and took an Italian wife: Rita Malagodi di Finale Emilia. His father Arturo Sr. was born in Fiume and also took an Italian wife: Maria, of Ragusan origin. His ancestry was therefore more Italian than Austrian. Being born and raised as part of the Italian community (just like his father and grandfather), and being a fervent patriot, he changed his old surname to De Maineri.
Participated in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War as a volunteer in 1935-1936. Awarded the Commemorative Medal for Military Operations in East Africa. Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. Director-general of the ROMSA oil refinery in Fiume. Mayor of Fiume in 1940. Fought in North Africa during World War II from 1940-1941. Promoted to lieutenant. Awarded the War Cross for Military Valour. Secretary of the PFR in Fiume from 1943-1945. After the occupation and annexation of Fiume by the Yugoslav Communists at the end of World War II, he was forced to flee and was permanently exiled and never permitted to return to his home in Fiume. Fled to Crespano del Grappa and then to Venice. President of the Fiuman League of Rome (Lega fiumana di Roma). Vice President of the National Association of Julian Venetia and Dalmatia (Associazione Nazionale Venezia Giulia e Dalmazia; ANVGD). Died in exile in Cagliari on October 13, 1966.
|Abbot Giovanni Moise, Quarnerine Italian|
(November 27, 1820 - February 6, 1888)
Alfonso Maria Orlini
|Padre Alfonso Maria Orlini, Quarnerine Italian|
(February 1, 1887 - July 26, 1972)
Alfonso Maria Orlini wrote in the book Cherso: Histria Nobilissima, 1961:
“Rome is the mother of our civilization, and Venice lovingly took its place, creating a long-lasting bond between us and her which still persists today in our customs, in our language and in our blood.”
(“Se Roma fu la genitrice della nostra civiltà, Venezia ne prese amorevolmente il posto creando tra noi e lei vincoli di affinità durati per lunghi secoli e resistenti ancor oggi nel costume, nella parlata, nel sangue stesso.”)
|Francesco Patrizi, Quarnerine Italian|
(April 25, 1529 - February 6, 1597)
Francesco Patrizi indicated that he was related to the illustrious Patrizi family of Siena in his treatise Paralleli Militari, 1595:
“Siena is my ancient homeland.” (“...l'antica mia patria Siena...”)
|Lieut. Stefano Petris, Quarnerine Italian|
(1913 - October 11, 1945)
Stefano Patris wrote in his last letter to his wife on October 9, 1945, before being shot:
“I'm dying for Italy, for my Fatherland. I'm dying for the Italianity of Istria and our island. Don't cry for me. I've never felt as strong as I do now on this night of waiting, which is the last night of my life. You know that I'm dying for Italy. Thousands of us Italians have been slaughtered and massacred, thrown into Foibe, deported to Croatia, iniquitously slain, killed on a daily basis due to hatred, hunger and illness. The Italians open their eyes and direct their gaze towards this tormented land of Istria, which is Italian and always will be Italian in my heart. If one day the Italian tricolor flies again over my Cherso, as I hope it will, then kiss it for me, along with my children. Tomorrow they will kill me, but they will not kill my spirit nor my faith. I will meet my death with serenity and my last thought will be to God, who will welcome me, and to you, who I leave behind. My last cry – my last strong cry – will be: long live Italy!”
(“Muoio per la mia Patria, muoio per l’Italia, muoio per l’italianità dell’Istria e della nostra isola. Non piangere per me. Non mi sono mai sentito così forte come in questa notte di attesa, che è l’ultima della mia vita. Tu sai che io muoio per l’Italia. Siamo migliaia di Italiani, gettati nelle Foibe, trucidati e massacrati, deportati in Croazia, falciati giornalmente dall’odio, dalla fame, dalle malattie, sgozzati iniquamente. Aprano gli occhi gli Italiani e puntino i loro sguardi verso questa martoriata terra Istriana che è e sarà Italiana nel mio cuore. Se il Tricolore d’Italia tornerà, come spero, a sventolare anche sulla mia Cherso, bacialo per me, assieme ai miei figli. Domani mi uccideranno. Non uccideranno il mio spirito, né la mia fede. Andrò alla morte serenamente e il mio ultimo pensiero sarà rivolto a Dio, che mi accoglierà, e a voi, che lascio, così il mio grido, fortissimo, più forte delle raffiche dei mitra, sarà: viva l’Italia!”)
Raffaele Mario Radossi
|Mons. Raffaele Mario Radossi, Quarnerine Italian|
(June 3, 1887 - September 27, 1972)
|Nicolò Rode, Quarnerine Italian|
(January 1, 1912 - May 4, 1998)
|Francesco Salata. Quarnerine Italian|
(September 17, 1876 - March 10, 1944)
|Giovanni Simonetti, Fiuman Italian|
(December 22, 1817 - November 7, 1880)
|Gino Sirola, Fiuman Italian [Second from left]|
(May 16, 1885 - May 1945)
|Nevio Skull, Fiuman Italian|
(December 23, 1903 - May 1945)
Alice Skull, the sister of Nevio Skull, spoke about Fiume in an interview at the Conference of Fiuman Studies in Rome on December 4, 1982:
“The destruction of Fiume's Eagle took place on January 20, 1949 at the hands of those [Yugoslavs] who wanted to erase every sign of our past autonomy and Italian heritage. ... The Eagle's head remains buried forever in the soil of Fiume, together with the Martyrs of the Idea that it represented...in opposition to annexationist ambitions. Included in the list of people to be eliminated was Dr. Mario Blasich, my brother Nevio Skull, Giuseppe Sincich and others, who were the first to be sacrificed on that fatal night of May 3, 1945, which for some people was the first day of peace, but for us Fiumans was the beginning of a new war even more ruthless than the previous one, the beginning of a bitter struggle against the same foreign enemy.”
(“La distruzione dell'Aquila avvenne il 20 gennaio 1949 per mani di chi [jugoslavi] voleva cancellare ogni segno del nostro passato di autonomia e di italianità. ... La testa dell'Aquila resta sepolta per sempre nella terra di Fiume, insieme ai Martiri dell'Idea che essa rappresentava...opposto alle sue mire annessionistiche. Inclusi in una lista di cittadini da eliminare, il dott. Mario Blasich, mio fratello Nevio Skull, Sincich e altri, furono sacrificati per primi nella funesta notte del 3 maggio 1945, primo giorno di pace, giorno di inizio, per noi fiumani, di una nuova guerra più spietata della precedente, di una dura lotta sostenuta contro lo stesso straniero.”)
|Adm. Agostino Straulino, Quarnerine Italian|
(October 10, 1914 - December 14, 2004)
Sailing partners with Nicolò Rode at the 1948, 1952 and 1956 Olympics. Finished fifth place in sailing at the 1948 Summer Olympics. Won a gold medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics. Won a silver medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Won eight consecutive European championships in the starboat class from 1949-1956. Finished fourth place in sailing at the 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympics. Four-time world champion (1950, 1953, 1956, 1965). Ten-time European champion (1938, 1949-1956, 1959). Twelve-time Italian champion (1938, 1946, 1948-1956, 1959). Won a total of 15 gold medals, four silver medals and 2 bronze medals. Returned to Lussino for the first time in 1963. Captain of the Italian Navy training ship “Amerigo Vespucci”from 1964-1965. Set a speed record of 14.6 knots in 1965. Won the One Ton Cup in 1973. Retired with the rank of admiral in the 1970's. Proclaimed an honourary citizen of Lussinpiccolo in 2000. Awarded the Knights Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2001. Died in Rome on December 14, 2004. In compliance with his final wish, his remains were transferred to Lussino by the Italian Navy and buried in his hometown of Lussinpiccolo. His funeral was attended by the Italian and Croatian authorities. A square in Trieste was named after Rode and Straulino in 2009.
Agostino Straulino's daughter Marzia Straulino spoke about the Exile in an interview:
“It was a great pain for my father. We returned to Lussino many years later, in 1963. I was twelve. My father was a man deeply attached to his homeland. He was almost afraid to return, after all that had happened. He was not sure whether he would be accepted. Later he also bought a piece of land, on which he planted many pine trees over the years, which he carried on his ship the Kerkyra.”
(“Per mio papà è stato un grande dolore. Siamo tornati a Lussino molti anni dopo, nel 1963. Io avevo dodici anni. Papà era un uomo attaccatissimo alla sua terra, aveva quasi paura di tornare, dopo tutto quello che era successo. Non sapeva come sarebbe stato accolto. Poi comprò anche un pezzetto di terra, dove negli anni ha piantato tanti pini, che ha trasportato a Lussino a bordo del suo Kerkyra.”)
Duilio Susmel — Born on October 15, 1919 in Fiume. Italian journalist and historian. Son of Edoardo Susmel. Moved to Florence in 1942. Graduated and wrote for several Italian journals. Lieutenant of the Mountain and Forests GNR (GNR della Montagna e delle Foreste). After the occupation and annexation of Fiume by the Yugoslav Communists at the end of World War II, he was de facto permanently exiled and never permitted to return to his home in Fiume. Published numerous historical works on the life of Benito Mussolini, Fascist Italy and other historical subjects and biographies. His most important work was compiling and editing the complete works of Benito Mussolini (Opera omnia di Benito Mussolini). He was also the only Italian journalist to interview General Francisco Franco. Died in Castagno d'Andrea near Florence on February 19, 1984.
Edoardo Susmel — Born on December 3, 1887 in Fiume. Italian teacher, historian and politician. Father of Duilio Susmel. Graduated in history and moral sciences. Teacher of humanities at the Scuola cittadina of Fiume. Member of the National Council of Fiume. Head of the press office of Fiume. Supported the unification of Fiume to the Kingdom of Italy. Collaborated with Gabriele D'Annunzio and participated in the Fiume Enterprise in 1919. Supported the Italian Regency of Carnaro in 1919-1920. University professor and President of the Province of Carnaro. National Councilor of the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations from 1939-1943. Last Prefect of Fiume in 1945. After the occupation and annexation of Fiume by the Yugoslav Communists at the end of World War II, he was permanently exiled and never permitted to return to his home in Fiume. Published numerous historical and political works. His most important work was compiling and editing the complete works of Benito Mussolini (Opera omnia di Benito Mussolini). Died in exile in Forte dei Marmi near Lucca on July 18, 1948.
Edoardo Susmel described the Italian character of his native Fiume and pleaded for its unification to Italy in his article A Plea From Fiume to Italy, published in 1919:
“Fiume has always been Italian. Its Italian origins are lost in the history of Rome. ... The Italian city of Fiume therefore originated as the Roman city of Tarsatica. ...the Italian language in Fiume was evolved from the Latin of the Roman days. ... During the fifteenth century Fiume was clearly of an Italian character. In every way this city of the Quarnaro was a daughter of the glorious queen of the Adriatic. Not only the language, but the dwellings, clothing, the ornaments, the names, holidays, dances, games, the nocturnal serenades, and the masquerades, gave to Fiume its Italian character. ...Fiume never belonged politically to Croatia. Fiume has always lived a life of its own, purely Italian. ... The autonomous element of the city has always been Italian; the oldest writings, the books of the chancellors, the public documents, are in Italian; Venetian is its architecture, its dialect, its houses, its roads, its gardens, its clothing; Italian are its sentiments, its spirit, the names of its streets and squares, its schools, its societies, its institutions, its theatres, its newspapers; Italian is its city hall... worship for our ancient mother, love for Italy lived in our souls... The Italian spirit of Fiume asserted itself at every occasion. The patriotism of its citizens is not a modern thing. We find that they have fought in the war of independence for Italy; we find them at the sides of our greatest leaders in all the battles of the Risorgimento... A select band of young men of Fiume became valiant soldiers of Italy. Fiume conducted herself in a manner worthy of a daughter of Italy. ... On the twenty-eighth of October, Fiume, first of all the Italian cities in the crumbling empire, raised the flag of Italy, and proclaimed herself united to Italy. The plebiscite of the citizens of Fiume, expressing their desire to be united to their mother country, excited great enthusiasm, profound commotion, a veritable delirium. The windows were adorned with the tricolor of Italy... We hurl our cry for liberty to our Mother, Italy... Therefore let Italy come! We implore her.”
|Dr. Nivio Toich, Quarnerine Italian|
(August 5, 1935 - January 7, 2009)
|Tuone Udaina, Quarnerine Italian|
(September 27 , 1823 - June 10, 1898)
|Capt. Giovanni Host-Venturi, Fiuman Italian|
(June 24, 1892 - April 29, 1980)
|Riccardo Zanella, Fiuman Italian|
(June 27, 1875 - March 30, 1959)