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

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
Icilio Bacci, Fiuman Italian
(July 2, 1879 - August 28, 1945)
Icilio Bacci — Born on July 2, 1879 in Fiume to a family of Italian irredentists. Italian politician. Brother of Ipparco Baccich. He and his five siblings were all given names beginning with the letter 'I' for Italy. One of the founders and leaders of Young Fiume (Giovine Fiume or Giovane Fiume, an Italian irredentist association inspired by Giuseppe Mazzini's Giovane Italia) in 1905. Vice-Mayor of Fiume in 1910. One of the founders of the Italian Nationalist Society (Associazione Nazionalista Italiana) in 1910. Joined the Italian Army in World War I. Joined the Fiume Legion (Legione Fiumana) in 1919. Collaborated with Gabriele D'Annunzio and participated in the Fiume Enterprise in 1919. Minister of the Interior and Minister of Justice of the Italian Regency of Carnaro from 1919-1920. President of the Province of Carnaro in 1929. Senator of the Kingdom of Italy in 1934. Member of the Liburian Federalist Movement (Movimento Federalista Liburnico), an Italian autonomist group that supported the Italianity and independence of the Quarnaro, and opposed annexation to Yugoslavia in 1943-1945. Refused to abandon the city of Fiume at the end of World War II. Arrested, imprisoned and murdered by Yugoslav Communists on August 28, 1945. His body has never been found.



Ipparco Baccich
Lieut. Ipparco Baccich, Fiuman Italian
(August 2, 1890 - October 12, 1916)
Ipparco Baccich — Born on August 2, 1890 in Fiume to a family of Italian irredentists. Italian soldier and patriot. Brother of Icilio Bacci. He and his five siblings were all given names beginning with the letter 'I' for Italy. One of the founders of Young Fiume (Giovine Fiume or Giovane Fiume, an Italian irredentist association inspired by Giuseppe Mazzini's Giovane Italia) in 1905. Studied in Florence. Drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army in 1912. Refused to serve. Joined the Italian Army in 1915. Promoted to lieutenant. Leader of the 77th Infantry Regiment “Lupi di Toscana” (“Wolves of Tuscany”). Wounded in Albania in December 1915. Died in Cima Grande in the Carso on October 12, 1916. Awarded the Silver Medal of Military Valour.

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.



Mario Blasich
Dr. Mario Blasich, Fiuman Italian
(July 18, 1878 - May 3, 1945)
Mario Blasich — Born on July 18, 1878 in Fiume. Italian physician and politician. Member of the Autonomist Association of Fiume. Drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army in 1914 and sent to the Russian Front. Refused to fight for the Empire and surrendered himself to the enemy. Proclaimed himself an Italian irredentist and requested he be sent to Italy to join the Italian Army. His request was granted. Joined the Italian Army as a Medical Captain. Fought on the front lines for the duration of the war. Returned to Fiume after the war. Initially supported Gabriele D'Annunzio and the Italian Regency of Carnaro in 1919-1920, but then opposed it. Deputy of the Constituent Assembly and Minister of the Interior of the Free State of Fiume in 1921. Fled to Porto Re in Yugoslavia in March 1922 after a coup d'état overthrew the government of Fiume. Returned to Fiume after its unification with the Kingdom of Italy in 1924. Suffered paralysis of the legs following an illness. Member of the Liburian Federalist Movement (Movimento Federalista Liburnico), an Italian autonomist group that supported the Italianity and independence of the Quarnaro, and opposed annexation to Yugoslavia in 1943-1945. Contacted by Yugoslav representatives, but refused to support the annexation of Fiume to Yugoslavia at the end of World War II. Strangled to death in his home in Fiume by Yugoslav Partisans on 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

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)
Giovanni de Ciotta — Born on April 24, 1824 in Fiume. Italian politician, engineer, philanthropist and soldier. Graduated from the Italian high school in Fiume. Attended the Military Academy in Vienna. Officer of the Austrian engineer corps in Livorno, Verona and Venice from 1848-1859. Promoted to major. Worked as an engineer in Fiume after 1859. Friend and sponsor of Giovanni Biagio Luppis, who invented the torpedo. Member of the Club Deak Political Association of Fiume (Associazione politica Club Deak) in 1869. Deputy of the Budapest Parliament in 1869. Opposed the Croatian attempts to annex Fiume. Mayor of Fiume from 1872-1869. Oversaw the modernization of the city of Fiume, including construction of a new port and new aqueduct, introduction of modern urban planning, residential and industrial development, completion of the railway, establishment of parks, markets and the first and largest oil refinery in Europe. Defended the autonomy of Fiume and opposed the centralization policies of Hungary. Retired in 1896 in protest against the Hungarian central government. Remembered as one of the most successful mayors in the history of Fiume. Died in Laurana (located between Istria and Fiume) on 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

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)
Carlo Alessandro Conighi — Born on February 26, 1853 in Trieste to a family of Tuscan, Friulian and Venetian origins. Italian engineer and politician. Father of Carlo Leopoldo Conighi and Giorgio Alessandro Conighi. Attended high school in Trieste, Graz and Munich. Graduated as an engineer in 1875. Married Elisa Ambonetti in 1880. Became a Fiuman by adoption. Founded the Literary Circle of Fiume (Circolo Letterario di Fiume) in 1883, which defended the Italian language and culture through the creation of public libraries. Moved permanently to Fiume in 1884. Constructed many buildings in Fiume, Trieste, and Abbazia in Istria. Welcomed Gabriele D'Annunzio to Fiume in 1907. President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Fiume. Deported to a concentration camp in Hungary by the Austro-Hungarian government in 1915. Released on August 1, 1918 and returned to Fiume. Supported the unification of Fiume to the Kingdom of Italy. Collaborated with Gabriele D'Annunzio and supported the Italian Regency of Carnaro in 1919-1920. Leader of the National Union Party of Fiume (Partito Unione nazionale) in 1919-1920. President of the National Council of Fiume in 1921. Rector without Portfolio of the Provisional Government of Fiume in 1921. Special Commissioner of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Fiume in 1922. Appointed Commander of the Order of Prince Danilo I by Queen Elena of Montenegro in 1922.

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)
Carlo Leopoldo Conighi — Born on July 4, 1884 in Trieste. Italian architect and engineer. Son of Carlo Alessandro Conighi and brother of Giorgio Alessandro Conighi. Raised in Fiume. Studied in Trieste. Worked on construction sites in Abbazia, Istria from 1899-1902. Graduated from the Royal Imperial Industrial School of Trieste in 1905. Apprentice under the builder Mario Mosco until 1906. Manager of his father's construction company in Fiume from 1906-1912. Directed the construction of several buildings and low-income housing in Fiume. Elected to the board of Young Fiume (Giovine Fiume or Giovane Fiume, an Italian irredentist association inspired by Giuseppe Mazzini's Giovane Italia) in 1908. Drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army in World War I. Joined the Fiume Legion (Legione Fiumana) and participated in the Fiume Enterprise in 1919. Collaborated with Gabriele D'Annunzio and supported the Italian Regency of Carnaro in 1919-1920. Participated in the activities of the Free State of Fiume. Treasurer of the Fiume branch of “La Giovane Italia”. Designed the gas refinery and oil deposits of Fiume in 1928. Employed by the railways of Fiume. After the occupation of Fiume by the Yugoslav Communists at the end of World War II, he was forced into exile. Moved to Udine with his family in September 1946. Honorary President of the Fiuman League (Lega Fiumana) and the National Association of Julian Venetia and Dalmatia (Associazione Nazionale Venezia Giulia e Dalmazia; ANVGD). Worked at the Refugee Camp of Italian Exiles at Via Pradamano in Udine from 1947-1960. Project manager of the construction of the D'Annunzio Monument in Monfalcone from 1958-1960. Died in exile in Udine on January 5, 1972.



Giorgio Alessandro Conighi
Giorgio Alessandro Conighi, Fiuman Italian
(June 7, 1892 - January 4, 1977)
Giorgio Alessandro Conighi — Born on June 7, 1892 in Fiume. Italian engineer and fireman. Son of Carlo Alessandro Conighi and brother of Carlo Leopoldo Conighi. Member of Young Fiume (Giovine Fiume or Giovane Fiume, an Italian irredentist association inspired by Giuseppe Mazzini's Giovane Italia). Arrested with nine other Fiumans by the Austrian authorities for advocating Italian irredentism. Tried on charges of high treason in 1910 at age 18. Convicted and sentenced to death. Fled and changed his name to Giorgio Dilenardo. Joined the Italian Army in World War I. Awarded the Bronze Medal of Military Valour and the Italian Cross of War Merit. Captain of the Fiume Legion (Legione Fiumana) from 1919-1920. Participated in the Fiume Enterprise in 1919. Collaborated with Gabriele D'Annunzio and supported the Italian Regency of Carnaro in 1919-1920. Studied in Fiume and graduated in civil engineering. Volunteer commanding officer of the Fire Brigade of Fiume (Corpo Pompieri) from 1924-1940. Commander of the National Fire-watchers' Corps (Corpo nazionale dei vigili del fuoco) of Cattaro, Spalato and Lubiana/Ljubljana in 1941. Commander of the Fire-watchers of Trieste in 1943. Refused to fly the Yugoslav flag at his fire station during the Yugoslav Occupation of Trieste in May 1945. In response, the Yugoslav Partisans cannonaded his house. Arrested and imprisoned by the Yugoslavs in May 1945. Freed after thirty days in captivity. 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. Commander of the Fire-watchers of Trento and Trieste after the end of World War II. Spent his last years dedicated to the National Alpini Association and the associations of the Italian Exiles. Died in Trento on January 4, 1977.



Maria Crocifissa Cosulich
Suor Maria Crocifissa Cosulich, Fiuman Italian
(September 20, 1852 - September 29. 1922)
Maria Crocifissa Cosulich — Born on September 20, 1852 in Fiume as Maria Nicolina Cosulich de Pecine. Italian nun, teacher, polyglot and religious foundress. Her father Giovanni Matteo Zanetto Cosulich belonged to a family originally from Lussinpiccolo, on the island of Lussino, which moved to Fiume in the 18th century. Her mother Caterina Supranich was originally from Lussingrande. Both parents belonged to the Italian-speaking community of the Quarnaro. Studied in Fiume and Gorizia. Besides her native Italian, she studied and learned four other languages: French, German, Croatian and Hungarian. Became a kindergarten and music teacher. Learned the skills of knitting, stitching and piano. Moved to Trieste with her family in 1879. Joined the Daughters of the Pious Union of the Sacred Heart (Figlie della Pia Unione del Sacro Cuore) in Trieste as a laywoman. Worked among the poor, orphan girls and young mothers. Returned to Fiume in 1889 and led the Fiume branch of the Daughters of the Pious Union of the Sacred Heart. Founded the Institute of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Istituto del Sacro Cuore di Gesù) in 1895 for the education of young girls. Founded the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Congregazione delle Figlie del Sacro Cuore di Gesù) in 1899. Took religious vows and adopted the religious name Maria Crocifissa in 1904. Wrote a constitution for the order in the Italian language, modeled on the constitution of the Capuchin Friar Arcangelo da Camerino. Transfered to Ressica, on the island of Veglia, by Don Luigi Torcoletti in 1916, where she was nominated Mother General. Returned to Fiume in 1919. Died in Fiume on September 29. 1922. Upon her death the people of Fiume cried in Italian: “È morta una santa!” (“A saint is dead!”). The descendants of the Cosulich family later founded the steamship company Cosulich Line of Trieste (Cosulich Società Triestina di Navigazione) in 1919.

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.”)



Gasparo Craglietto
Capt. Gasparo Craglietto, Quarnerine Italian
(June 30, 1772 - March 12, 1838)
Gasparo Craglietto — Born on June 30, 1772 in Lussingrande, on the island of Lussino. Italian sea captain and art collector. Son of Stefano Craglietto (an Italian sea captain and trader from Cherso who fought against Turkish pirates on a yacht armed with canons). Moved to Venice as a teenager. Completed his nautical studies in Venice with the grade of lieutenant merchant at age 16. Collected and preserved the art collections of impoverished Venetian patrician families after the fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797. Married Petronilla Maria Bonicelli on June 30, 1798. Reached the grade of sea captain in 1800. Decorated the Church of Sant'Antontio in Lussingrande with several Italian Renaissance and Romanticist paintings (most notably by Vivarino, Strozzi, Querena, Hayez and Del Cossa), and with five marble altars, several statues and sculptures taken from the abandoned Venetian church of Santa Croce alla Giudecca in 1807, transforming the little church of Lussingrande into a virtual art museum. Founded the Gasparo Craglietto Art Gallery (Quadreria di Gasparo Craglietto) in Venice in the early 19th century. Died in Venice on 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

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
Oretta Fiume, Fiuman Italian
(June 6, 1919 - April 22, 1994)
Oretta Fiume — Born on June 6, 1919 in Fiume as Claudia Scrobogna. Italian actress. Entered a film competition in Fiume by ERA Film in 1938. Tied for first place with Laura Solari of Trieste. Adopted the stage name Oretta Fiume. Appeared in 18 films from 1938-1965. After the occupation and annexation of Fiume by the Yugoslav Communists at the end of World War II, she was de facto permanently exiled and never permitted to return to her home in Fiume. Her son Federico Scrobogna was also an actor. Died in Rome on April 22, 1994.



Enrico Fonda
Painting of a fisherman by Enrico Fonda
(1891/1892 - February 1929)
Enrico Fonda — Born in 1891 or 1892 in Fiume. Italian painter. Studied at the Academy of Budapest and Munich. Studied in Florence and Venice after World War I. Moved to Milan in 1924. Participated in the First Exhibition of the Novecento in 1926. Moved to Paris in 1927. Most of his works are landscapes of the Istrian coast. Seven paintings are preserved in the art collection of the Cariplo Foundation. Died in Paris in February 1929. His premature death caused his grieving wife to commit suicide on his grave.



Riccardo Gigante
Riccardo Gigante, Fiuman Italian
(January 29, 1881 - May 4, 1945)
Riccardo Gigante — Born on January 29, 1881 in Fiume. Italian journalist, entrepreneur and politician. Graduated from the Academy of Commerce in Fiume. Editor of the Italian periodical “La Giovane Fiume” in 1907. Warrant issued for his arrest by the Austrian authorities on charges of irredentism. Joined the Italian Army in 1915. Awarded the War Cross for Military Valour. Collaborated with Gabriele D'Annunzio and supported the Italian Regency of Carnaro in 1919-1920. Mayor of Fiume from 1919-1920. President of the Municipal Council of Fiume for two days in 1920. Supported the unification of Fiume to the Kingdom of Italy. Commander of the Order of the Crown of Italy in 1924 and Grand Officer of the Order in 1930. Mayor of Fiume from 1930-1934. Senator of the Kingdom of Italy in 1934. President of the Fiuman Society of Navigation (Società Fiumana di Navigazione) in 1937. Mayor of Fiume for three weeks in 1943. Member of the Liburian Federalist Movement (Movimento Federalista Liburnico), an Italian autonomist group that supported the Italianity and independence of the Quarnaro, and opposed annexation to Yugoslavia in 1943-1945. Refused to abandon the city of Fiume at the end of World War II. Arrested on May 3, 1945 by the Yugoslav Secret Police (OZNA). Murdered by the Yugoslav Communists in Castua near Fiume on May 4, 1945. His final words were: “Viva l'Italia!” (“Long live Italy!”).



Giovanni Biagio Luppis
Capt. Giovanni Biagio Luppis, Fiuman Italian
(August 27, 1813 - January 11, 1875)
Giovanni Biagio Luppis — Born on August 27, 1813 in Fiume. Italian inventor and naval officer. Member of the noble De Lupis family, which originated in Puglia, Italy and settled in Dalmatia in the 13th century, then Fiume in the 18th century. His father Ferdineo Carlo Ermenegildo de Luppis was born in Parenzo, Istria. His mother Donna Giovanna Margherita Parich was an Italian noble from Ragusa. Attended grammar school in Fiume. Attended the Naval Academy in Venice. Joined the Austro-Venetian Navy in 1837. Married Baroness Elisa de Zotti, an Italian aristocrat from Fiume. After the Republic of San Marco declared independence in 1848, he participated in the blockade of Venice from May to August 1849. Promoted to frigate captain in 1857. Remembered for inventing the self-propelled torpedo, originally called the Salvacoste (Italian for ‘coast-saver’), the first modern torpedo. Granted the title of Baron von Rammer (meaning ‘the sinker’) by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1869. Died in Torriggia on Lake Como on 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.



Giovanni Moise
Abbot Giovanni Moise, Quarnerine Italian
(November 27, 1820 - February 6, 1888)
Giovanni Moise — Born on November 27, 1820 in Cherso to an ancient Italian family. Italian linguist, grammarian, writer, Catholic priest and abbot. Two of his ancestors fought in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, aboard the galley San Nicolò under Captain Colane Drascio. Studied grammar, philology and literature in his family library. Completed primary school in Cherso in 1832. Sent to study at the Patriarchal Seminary of Venice in 1832. Attended Santa Caterina high school in Venice. Studied law at the University of Padua in 1841. Entered the Patriarchal Seminary of Venice in 1842. Ordained a priest and completed his theological studies at the Seminary of Ceneda in Vittorio Veneto. Returned to Cherso and remained there for most of the duration of his life. Taught at ecclesiastical schools in Cherso. Regularly contributed to the Istrian Italian annual publication “Lunario istriano” from 1873-78 and its successor “Strenna istriana” from 1879-1888. Also contributed to the Istrian Italian newspaper “L’Istria di Parendo”. Traveled to Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Bologna and Ravenna (where he visited the tomb of Dante) in 1885-1886. Returned to Cherso in 1886. One of the most important Italian grammarians of his time. Published numerous works on grammar and spirituality, including a biography of a local Italian nun Giacoma Giorgia Colombis. Also wrote several poems, sonnets, songs and letters. Died in Cherso on February 6, 1888.



Alfonso Maria Orlini
Padre Alfonso Maria Orlini, Quarnerine Italian
(February 1, 1887 - July 26, 1972)
Alfonso Maria Orlini — Born on February 1, 1887 in Cherso as Nicoló Orlini. Italian Franciscan priest. Joined the Franciscan Order at the Convent of San Francesco in Cherso in 1902. Took simple vows in 1903. Took solemn vows in 1907. Adopted the religious name Alfonso Maria. Ordained a priest on July 25, 1909. Graduated in theology from the University of Fribourg in 1912. Graduated in philosophy and letters from the University of Padua in 1917. Director of the Biblioteca Antoniana in Padua from 1917-1919. Guardian of the Franciscan Convent of Pirano in Istria for three years. Organized trade unions and cooperatives for Istrian Italians. Elected Provincial Minister of Franciscans of Padua in 1924. Minister General of the Franciscan Order from 1924-1930. The youngest Minister General in the history of the Franciscan Order after St. Bonaventure. Founded the Italian Franciscan periodical “La crociata missionaria francescana” in 1924. Opened missions in Africa, China and Japan. Opened colleges and recovered abandoned churches. Negotiated the return of the Sacro Convento of Assisi (secularized since 1875) to the Franciscan Order in 1927. Taught religion at the Tito Livio School in Padua. Spiritual Director to the members of Catholic Action. After the occupation and annexation of the Quarnaro 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 Cherso. Dedicated the remainder of his life to aiding Italian Exiles. First President of the National Association of Julian Venetia and Dalmatia (Associazione Nazionale Venezia Giulia e Dalmazia; ANVGD) from 1948-1952. Celebrated a memorial Mass for the fallen legionaries of Fiume on the 40th anniversary of Bloody Christmas in 1960. Died on July 26, 1972 in Rome.

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
Francesco Patrizi, Quarnerine Italian
(April 25, 1529 - February 6, 1597)
Francesco Patrizi or Francesco Patrizio — Born on April 25, 1529 in Cherso. Italian philosopher and writer. Member of the noble De Petris family, of ancient Roman origin. Studied in Cherso with Petruccio da Bologna. Studied grammar in Venice with Andrea Fiorentino in 1544. Studied philosophy in Padua in 1547. President of the Congregation of Dalmatian Students in Padua. Returned to Cherso in 1554 after the death of his father. Remained in Cherso for four years. Returned to Italy. Moved to Venetian Cyprus from 1561-1568. Fought in the Ottoman-Venetian War in Cyprus, in a fleet commanded by Andrea Doria. Worked in service of Filippo Mocenigo, Archbishop of Cyprus. Returned to Italy and settled in Padua in 1568. Taught philosophy at the University of Ferrara from 1577-1592. Member of the Accademia della Crusca (founded in Florence to protect the Italian language) in 1587. Defended the superiority of the Italian language over Latin. Appointed professor at Sapienza University in Rome by Pope Clement VIII in 1592. Considered the greatest Renaissance figure of the Quarnaro. Published numerous works on philosophy, literature, mathematics, religion, military strategy, botany, optics, hydraulics and other topics in Italian and Latin. Died in Cherso on 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...”)



Stefano Petris
Lieut. Stefano Petris, Quarnerine Italian
(1913 - October 11, 1945)
Stefano Petris — Born in 1913 in Cherso. Italian professor, soldier and patriot. Member of a rural family named Passafora. Attended school at the seminary in Zara. Graduated in letters from the University of Rome. Commander and lieutenant of the Tramontana Company (Compagnia Tramontana), a unit of the “Istria” Regiment of the GNR, composed of local Italian volunteers from Cherso and Lussino, created in 1943 to fight the Yugoslav Communist Partisans during World War II. Defended Cherso in the Battle of Cherso on April 20, 1945, during the Yugoslav invasion. Survived the battle, but was wounded and took refuge in an elementary school. Captured and imprisoned by the Yugoslav Partisans. Deported to a prison in Fiume. Executed by the Yugoslavs in Tersatto near Fiume on October 11, 1945. A street in Rome was named after him in 2016.

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)
Raffaele Mario Radossi — Born on June 3, 1887 in Cherso. Italian Franciscan priest and bishop. Last Italian Bishop of Parenzo and Pola from 1941-1947. After the occupation and annexation of Istria by the Yugoslav Communists at the end of World War II, he was forced to flee in 1947 and was permanently exiled from both his bishopric in Istria and his home in Cherso, never permitted to return. Archbishop of Spoleto from 1948-1967. Opposed the beatification process of the Croatian priest Miroslav Bulešić in 1958, on the grounds that Bulešić was disrespectful and insubordinate. Furthermore, Bulešić preferred the Communist Regime of Josip Broz Tito and advocated the annexation of Istria to Communist Yugoslavia, despite being aware that the Yugoslavs were systematically persecuting Italian civilians and murdering clergy (including Bulešić himself, who was later killed by the same Yugoslav Communists in 1947). Radossi's testimony against the pro-Yugoslav priest was ignored by the church hierarchy, which was determined to proclaim Bulešić a martyr anyway for political reasons. Titular Archbishop of Equilio from 1967-1972. Died in Venice on September 27, 1972.



Nicolò Rode
Nicolò Rode, Quarnerine Italian
(January 1, 1912 - May 4, 1998)
Nicolò Rode — Born on January 1, 1912 in Lussinpiccolo, on the island of Lussino. Italian sailor and Olympic sailboat racing champion. Childhood friend of Agostino Straulino. After the occupation and annexation of Lussino by the Yugoslav Communists at the end of World War II, he was exiled from his homeland. Sailing partners with Agostino Straulino 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. Died in Verona on May 4, 1998. His remains were transferred to Lussino by the Italian Navy. Buried in his family plot in Lussinpiccolo. A square in Trieste was named after Rode and Straulino in 2009.



Francesco Salata
Francesco Salata. Quarnerine Italian
(September 17, 1876 - March 10, 1944)
Francesco Salata — Born on September 17, 1876 in Ossero, on the island of Cherso. Italian politician, historian and patriot. Studied in Capodistria and Graz. Elected to the Istrian Diet in 1909. Moved to Italy in 1914. Supported the unification of Trentino, Julian Venetia and Dalmatia with the Kingdom of Italy. Advisor and confidant of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sidney Sonnino during World War I. Member of the Italian Commission at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Participated in the negotiations of the Treaty of Rapallo in 1920. State Councilor and Senator of the Kingdom of Italy in 1920. Head of the Central Office for the New Provinces in 1920. Ambassador to Austria. Head of the Italian Cultural Institute in Vienna in 1935. Published numerous historical essays and commentaries between 1897-1937. His most celebrated works were “The Ancient Diocese of Ossero” (L'antica diocesi di Ossero), “The Right of Italy to Trieste and Istria” (Per la storia diplomatica della questione romana), “A Diplomatic Retrospect of the Roman Question” (Per la storia diplomatica della questione romana) and an essay on Guglielmo Oberdan. Died in Rome on March 10, 1944.



Giovanni Simonetti
Giovanni Simonetti, Fiuman Italian
(December 22, 1817 - November 7, 1880)
Giovanni Simonetti — Born on December 22, 1817 in Fiume. Italian painter. Specialized in portraits, pastels, oil and watercolor painting. Depicted biblical and historical scenes. Seventy paintings survive. Died in Venice on November 7, 1880.



Gino Sirola
Gino Sirola, Fiuman Italian [Second from left]
(May 16, 1885 - May 1945)
Gino Sirola — Born on May 16, 1885 in Fiume. Italian lawyer, professor and politician. One of the founders of Young Fiume (Giovine Fiume or Giovane Fiume, an Italian irredentist association inspired by Giuseppe Mazzini's Giovane Italia) in 1905. Professor of Italian and Greek at the Liceo scientifico on Via Ciotti in Fiume around 1918. Principal of the Leonardo da Vinci Technical Institute in Fiume. Member of the National Council of Fiume from 1918-1920. Last Mayor of Fiume from 1943-1945. Arrested on May 3, 1945 by the Yugoslav Secret Police (OZNA) in Trieste while attempting to flee. Deported and imprisoned in Fiume. Disappeared. Murdered by the Yugoslavs in May 1945. His body has never been found.



Nevio Skull
Nevio Skull, Fiuman Italian
(December 23, 1903 - May 1945)
Nevio Skull — Born on December 23, 1903 in Fiume. Italian entrepreneur and politician. Inherited the Matteo Skull Foundry and Engine Factory, the largest private industry in Fiume, from his father in 1935. Member of the Liburian Federalist Movement (Movimento Federalista Liburnico), an Italian autonomist group that supported the Italianity and independence of the Quarnaro, and opposed annexation to Yugoslavia in 1943-1945. Contacted by Yugoslav representatives in 1943, but refused to support the annexation of Fiume to Yugoslavia. Arrested on the night of May 3, 1945 by the Yugoslav Secret Police (OZNA). Disappeared. His body was discovered twenty-five days later floating in the Eneo River in Fiume with a gunshot to the back of his neck. He had been murdered by the Yugoslavs. 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.

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.”)



Agostino Straulino
Adm. Agostino Straulino, Quarnerine Italian
(October 10, 1914 - December 14, 2004)
Agostino Straulino — Born on October 10, 1914 in Lussinpiccolo, on the island of Lussino, to a family of ancient maritime traditions. Italian sailor, admiral and Olympic sailboat racing champion. Childhood friend of Nicolò Rode. Graduated from the Royal Nautical Institute of Venice in 1934. Entered the Naval Academy of Livorno as a Reserve Officer Cadet in 1934. Reserve sailor in the 1936 Summer Olympics. Served in the Italian Navy on the cruiser “Giuseppe Garibaldi”during World War II. Transfered to the “Gamma Group” of the Xª Flottiglia MAS in 1942. Participated in amphibious operations against British ships in Gibraltar, sinking or damaging the British ships “Meta”, “Shuna”, “Empire Snipe”, “Baron Douglas” and the steamer “Raven's Point”. Promoted to rear admiral. Awarded the Silver Medal of Military Valour and the Bronze Medal of Military Valour. After the occupation and annexation of the Quarnaro by the Yugoslav Communists at the end of World War II, his family's property in Lussinpiccolo was confiscated by the Yugoslavs and he was de facto exiled from his homeland. After the war he participated in demining the Gulf of Taranto; a naval mine detonated and temporarily blinded him. His eyesight gradually recovered.

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

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

Edoardo Susmel — Born on December 3, 1887 in Fiume. Italian teacher, historian and politician. Father of Edoardo 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.



Nivio Toich
Dr. Nivio Toich, Quarnerine Italian
(August 5, 1935 - January 7, 2009)
Nivio Toich — Born on August 5, 1935 in Cherso. Italian pharmacist, biochemist and political activist. Attended primary school in Cherso. Attended the Italian Secondary School in Fiume. Active in the Italian community since 1964. Founder and President of the Italian Community of Cherso. Defended the Italian language, culture and traditions. Councilor of the Italian Union Assembly (Assemblea dell'Unione italiana), an organization officially representing the Italian community in Croatia and Slovenia. Obtained a degree in pharmaceutical chemistry in Trieste in 1961. Managed a pharmacy in Cherso from 1961-2007. Graduated with a masters degree in biochemical sciences from the Faculty of Medicine of Fiume in 1975. Founded the first hematological-biochemical laboratory in Cherso. Lecturer of Postgraduate Studies at the Faculty of Medicine of Fiume. Founded the Insular Democratic Forum (Otočki demokratski forum), an Italian political party, in 1990. President of the Municipal Council of Cherso. First Mayor of Cherso after the collapse of Yugoslavia from 1993-1997. Enrolled in the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge in 2003. Died in Fiume on January 7, 2009.



Tuone Udaina
Tuone Udaina, Quarnerine Italian
(September 27 , 1823 - June 10, 1898)
Tuone Udaina or Antonio Udina — Born on September 27 , 1823 in Veglia. Italian barber and sacristan. Nicknamed “the barber” (burbur in Dalmatian). He was the last surviving speaker of the Dalmatian language. More specifically, he was the last surviving speaker of Veglioto (Vegliot), a northern dialect of Dalmatian. Died in a landmine explosion in Veglia on June 10, 1898. Upon his death the Dalmatian language officially went extinct.



Giovanni Host-Venturi
Capt. Giovanni Host-Venturi, Fiuman Italian
(June 24, 1892 - April 29, 1980)
Giovanni Host-Venturi — Born on June 24, 1892 in Fiume. Italian historian, politician and patriot. Nicknamed “Nino”. Orthodontic technician before World War I. Supported the unification of the Quarnaro to the Kingdom of Italy. Warrant issued for his arrest by the Austrian authorities on charges of irredentism. Fled to Brescia. Joined the Italian Army in 1915. Initially a member of the Alpini but later joined the Arditi. Promoted to captain. Awarded three Silver Medals of Military Valour in 1916, 1917 and 1918. Created the Fiume Legion (Legione Fiumana) in 1919 to defend Fiume from the American, British and French military occupiers. One of the organizers of the March on Ronchi and the Fiume Enterprise with Gabriele D'Annunzio in 1919. Participated in the Fiume Enterprise and the Zara Expedition with Gabriele D'Annunzio in 1919. Rector of National Defense of the Italian Regency of Carnaro from 1919-1920. President of the National Association of Combatants (Associazione Nazionale Combattenti) in 1924. Federal Secretary of the PNF in Fiume from 1925-1928. Special Commissioner of Pola in 1926. President of the General Warehouses of Fiume (Azienda dei Magazzini Generali) in 1928. Consul of the Carnaro Legion of the MVSN from 1928-1929. Member of the Chamber of Deputies in 1934. Member of the Insurance and Credit Guild from 1934-1935. First Undersecretary of State of the Merchant Marine from 1935-1939. National Councilor of the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations in 1939. Minister of Communications from 1939-1943. Creator and Colonel of the Dalmatian Parachutists (Nucleo paracadutisti dalmati), an anti-guerrilla unit created in 1943 to support the Chetniks and fight the Yugoslav Communist Partisans during World War II. 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. Left Italy and moved to Argentina with his family in 1948. Died by allegedly committing suicide in Buenos Aires on April 29, 1980.



Riccardo Zanella
Riccardo Zanella, Fiuman Italian
(June 27, 1875 - March 30, 1959)
Riccardo Zanella — Born on June 27, 1875 in Fiume. Italian politician. Completing higher studies in Fiume. Attended the Academy of Commerce in Budapest. Worked at the Boys' Civic School on Via Ciotti in Fiume in 1899. Founded the Institute of Economic Studies in Fiume. Member of the Autonomist Association of Fiume (Associazione Autonoma). Contributed to of its official journal “La Difesa”. Leader of the Autonomist Association of Fiume in 1901. Elected Communal Representative of Fiume in 1901. Appointed Chairman of the School Board of Fiume. Elected to the Hungarian Parliament in 1905. Supported Young Fiume (Giovine Fiume or Giovane Fiume, an Italian irredentist association inspired by Giuseppe Mazzini's Giovane Italia). Elected Mayor of Fiume in 1914, but the election was blocked by a veto of Emperor Franz Joseph. Drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army in World War I and sent to the Russian Front. Refused to fight for the Empire and surrendered himself to the enemy. Fled to Rome in 1916 and founded the National Committee for Fiume and the Quarnaro (Comitato nazionale pro Fiume e Quarnero). Supported the unification of Fiume to the Kingdom of Italy. Returned to Fiume in 1918 after World War I. Abandoned irredentism and supported the autonomy of Fiume. Opposed Gabriele D'Annunzio and the Italian Regency of Carnaro in 1919-1920. President of the Free State of Fiume from 1921-1922. Forced to resign and fled to Porto Re in Yugoslavia in March 1922 after a coup d'état overthrew the government of Fiume. Lived in exile in Belgrade until 1934 and devoted himself to anti-Fascist activities. Moved to Paris in 1934. Demanded the restoration of the Free State of Fiume after World War II, on the grounds that he was the legitimately-elected president. His arguments were ignored by the Allied Powers. 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. Died in exile on March 30, 1959 in Rome.