The Adventures of Fra Diavolo

  • The Adventures of Fra Diavolo

Energitismo Insight

Fra Diavolo is the nickname given to Michele Arcangelo Pezza, born in 1771 in Itri, perhaps because school was much fun notwithstanding wearing Franciscan habit, for a promise made by his mother. Fra Diavolo had an interesting life: after a double murder because of a trivial quarrel, he began to roam the mountains of Itri. Then he joined the Bourbon army, where he earned the title of Duke of Cassano, and finally he became a popular leader defending his land from the French invasion. With his guerrillas he was one of the few who, albeit for a short time, who stopped the French imperial army in the gorge of Saint Andrew, including Fondi and Itri, in 1798. In his fort, Fra Diavolo turned thousands of simple peasants into heroes to save their land. When the imperial army was able to win against the popular resistance, they sacked and burned Itri and hanged Fra Diavolo in Naples. Among the works that have been inspired by his exploits, one remembers the opera ‘Fra Diavolo’ composed by Auber in 1830 and the film starring Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel.

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