Battipaglia

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Battipaglia
Comune
Comune di Battipaglia
The Castelluccio, the town's most famous landmark
The Castelluccio, the town's most famous landmark
Battipaglia within the Province of Salerno and Campania
Battipaglia within the Province of Salerno and Campania
Battipaglia is located in Italy
Battipaglia
Battipaglia
Location of Battipaglia in Italy
Coordinates: 40°37′N 14°59′E / 40.617°N 14.983°E / 40.617; 14.983Coordinates: 40°37′N 14°59′E / 40.617°N 14.983°E / 40.617; 14.983
Country Italy
Region Campania
Province / Metropolitan city Salerno (SA)
Frazioni Aversana, Santa Lucia Inferiore, Spineta
Government
 • Mayor Cecilia Francese (Forza Italia)
Area
 • Total 56,46 km2 (2,180 sq mi)
Elevation 72 m (236 ft)
Population (30 June 2015)[1]
 • Total 50,831
 • Density 9.0/km2 (23/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Battipagliesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 84091
Dialing code 0828
Patron saint Santa Maria della Speranza
Saint day July 2
Website Official website

Battipaglia (pronounced [ˌbattiˈpaʎʎa]) is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, in the Campania region of south-western Italy.

History[edit]

The area was given its modern name in 1080, when Robert Guiscard confirmed to the Church of Salerno the possession of lands between the Sele river and the Tusciano river. Battipaglia was officially created by Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies as an agricultural colony in 1858, as the Bourbon authorities chose the place as the site of an agricultural colony where families who had survived the 1857 Basilicata earthquake could be rehoused. Eventually, Battipaglia was granted the status of independent municipality by a Royal Decree on 28 March 1929 - during the Fascist government led by Benito Mussolini.

In 1943, the town was severely bombed by U.S. aviators deployed during World War II, resulting in 117 civilian casualties. Although most of the town had been razed to the ground, in the aftermath of the conflict Battipaglia was rebuilt remarkably quickly, even attracting migratory currents from the hinterland seeking for a job. The town therefore experienced an outstanding increase in population between 1951 and 1960, turning into a dynamic industrial area. In 1953, this southern Italian town went under the spotlight of national and international media when socialist Mayor Lorenzo Rago was kidnapped. All research led to no results, and the mayor has not been found since then. In 1969, due to the concrete possibility that two large plants of sugar and tobacco — both employing a significant number of locals — would close, about half of the city gave life to a popular uprising, which would be calmed down few days later following the Italian government's commitment to keep them active. The few but intense days of social unrest — which took place in the context of a wider protest movement by students and workers in Italy and several other Western countries — eventually resulted in 2 victims.[2]

Since the late 20th and early 21st century, the town has managed to combine the agricultural sector (French company Bonduelle established one of its two plants in Italy here) with the technological one (the town hosts one of the nine Italian-based plants of Prysmian, world leader in the production of cables for telecommunications and optical fiber).

Geography[edit]

The municipality borders with Bellizzi, Eboli, Montecorvino Rovella, Olevano sul Tusciano and Pontecagnano Faiano. Its hamlets (frazioni) are Aversana, Santa Lucia Inferiore, Spineta, Belvedere, Taverna delle Rose, Serroni (Alto e Basso) and Rione Sant'Anna.

Population[edit]

The ethnic origins of the inhabitants are extremely varied. The first migration wave, beginning in the nineteenth century, led many people to move there from Melfi and neighboring municipalities. In the 1960s, the local population soared due to the influx of immigrants from bordering areas (including the towns of the Monti Picentini, Campagna, the valley of the river Sele and Cilento), mainly because of the job opportunities in the town's industry and the economic boom experienced by Italy in that historical period.

Over the last two decades, many agricultural laborers from North Africa as well as Slavs (mainly southern and eastern) have moved to Battipaglia, making up about 3% of the resident population.

Economy[edit]

Most of the town's wealth is due to the industrial, craft, and agricultural sectors. Among the most significant companies are: Bonduelle (food), Prysmian (telecommunications cables), Sivam (animal husbandry), Metzeler (auto parts), Alcatel-Lucent (research center), Telerobot (electronic equipment), Nexans (electric cables), Crown (packaging in metal closures), Paif, Jcoplastic, and Deriblok (plastic).

A large number of local dairy companies produce the well-known local buffalo mozzarella (Mozzarella di bufala campana DOP), a famous form of which is called 'zizzona di Battipaglia' (Battipaglia boob) because of its similarity to a female breast.

Culture[edit]

Every first Sunday of July the town's center is decked to the nines for three days on the occasion of the celebrating of Our Lady of Hope (Festa della Speranza). The big town market, whose atmosphere recalls an amusement park where traders can display their wares, lasts from Saturday to Monday, usually ending with a music exhibition in the central Piazza Amendola.

Media[edit]

  • Il Battipagliese (press)
  • L'Occhio di Salerno e Provincia (press)
  • Spiffero (press)
  • La Voce (press)
  • Radio Booonzo (radio)
  • Radio Castelluccio (radio)
  • Radio Mania (radio)
  • Radio CompromessiZero (radio)
  • Sei Tv (TV channel)
  • Sud tv (TV channel).

Demographics[edit]

As for population, Battipaglia is the third municipality of its province, after Salerno and Cava de' Tirreni.[3]

Literature[edit]

  • L. Rocco Carbone, Battipaglia, 70 anni nella sua storia, Massa Editore 1999.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Italian) Source: Istat 2013
  2. ^ ITALIANS BURY 2 KILLED IN RIOTING; Prelate at Battipaglia Rites Asks Calm in Tense City http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50A13F83E5E1B7493C0A8178FD85F4D8685F9
  3. ^ (Italian) See list (from it.wp)

External links[edit]

Media related to Battipaglia at Wikimedia Commons