Giovanni Nicotera

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The Honourable
Giovanni Nicotera
Italian Minister of Interior
In office
6 February 1891 – 15 May 1892
Monarch Victor Emmanuel II
Umberto I
Prime Minister Antonio di Rudinì
Preceded by Francesco Crispi
Succeeded by Giovanni Giolitti
In office
25 March 1876 – 26 December 1877
Monarch Victor Emmanuel II
Umberto I
Prime Minister Agostino Depretis
Preceded by Girolamo Cantelli
Succeeded by Francesco Crispi
Member of the Italian Chamber
In office
22 November 1882 – 22 October 1890
Constituency Naples
In office
5 December 1870 – 3 October 1876
Constituency Naples
Personal details
Born (1828-09-09)September 9, 1828
Sambiase, Lamezia Terme, Two Sicilies
Died June 13, 1894(1894-06-13) (aged 65)
Vico Equense, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party Action Party
Historical Left
(1870–80; 1887–92)
The Pentarchy
Profession Soldier
Religion Deism
Military service
Service/branch  Royal Italian Army
Years of service 1848–1866
Rank Commandant
Unit 6th Volunteer Regiment

Italian Unification (1815–1871)

Giovanni Nicotera (9 September 1828 – 13 June 1894) was an Italian patriot and politician. His surname is pronounced [niˈkɔːtera], with the stress on the second syllable.


Nicotera was born at Sambiase, in Calabria.

Joining the Giuseppe Mazzini's movement of Giovine Italia ("Young Italy") he was among the combatants at Naples in May 1848, and battle with Garibaldi during the Republic of Rome (1849). After the fall of Rome he fled to Piedmont. In 1857, he took part to the expedition to Sapri, led by Pisacane, but shortly after their landing they were defeated and he was severely wounded by the Bourbon troops.

Condemned to death, but reprieved through the intervention of the British minister, he remained a prisoner at Naples and at Favignana until 1860, when he joined Garibaldi at Palermo. Sent by Garibaldi to Tuscany, he attempted to invade the Papal States with a volunteer brigade, but his followers were disarmed and disbanded by Ricasoli and Cavour. In 1862 he was with Garibaldi at Aspromonte; in 1866 he commanded a volunteer brigade against Austria; in 1867 he invaded the Papal States from the south, but the defeat of Garibaldi at Mentana put an end to his enterprise.

His parliamentary career dates from 1860. During the first ten years he engaged in violent opposition, but from 1870 onwards he joined in supporting the military reforms of Ricotti. Upon the advent of the Left in 1876, Nicotera became minister of the interior, and governed with remarkable firmness. He was obliged to resign in December 1877, when he joined Crispi, Cairoli, Zanardelli and Baccarini in forming the "pentarchy" in opposition to Depretis, but he only returned to power thirteen years later as minister of the interior in the Rudinì cabinet of 1891. On this occasion he restored the system of uninominal constituencies, resisted the socialist agitation, and pressed, though in vain, for the adoption of drastic measures against the false bank-notes put in circulation by the Banca Romana. He fell with the Rudini cabinet in May 1892, and died at Vico Equense, near Naples, in June 1894.


Giovanni Nicotera was the name of a destroyer of the Italian Regia Marina, launched in 1926 and decommissioned in 1940.


Preceded by
Gerolamo Cantelli
Italian Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by
Francesco Crispi
Preceded by
Francesco Crispi
Italian Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by
Giovanni Giolitti