Origins and history
The name probably comes from late Latin soccus, meaning slipper. It has many other forms in some Italian dialects like chiochia, chioca, chiochiera, ciocero or scioscio in Neapolitan language. The terms "ciociari" and "Ciociaria" have a lexical similarity to the noun ciocia, so many historians thought they have their root word in local footwear's name, so ciociari would mean 'people who wear ciocie'.
Italian peasants and shepherds used to wear cioce especially in Lazio, Molise (province of Isernia) and Basilicata, and they were represented since the 18th century in paintings, in poetry and in storiographic works for their typical shoes and for their coloured clothes. In Abruzzo, Campania, Calabria, Gargano, Etna, Kosovo and Macedonia similar footwears are reported as well.
In the traditional form, ciocie were made of large soles in leather and straps (strènghe or curiòle) with which the leg was tied from the ankle to the knee. Before donning the ciocie, the feet, ankles, and calves were covered by a large napkin (pèzza, plural pèzze), instead of socks.
- Ciocia - pronounced [ˈtʃɔːtʃa], in Rome and Northern Latium.
- Chioca - [ˈkjɔːka], in Abruzzo and Marche.
- Chiochiera - [ˈkjɔːkjera], in Abruzzo.
- Ciòcero - [ˈtʃɔːtʃero], in Minturno area.
- Zampìtto - [dzamˈpiːtto], in Southern Latium, Colli Albani and Mezzogiorno.
- (French) Dubarry A., Le brigandage en Italie depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à nos jours, Plon & Cie, Paris 1875, pp. 269-286.