Monteleone di Puglia
|Monteleone di Puglia|
|Comune di Monteleone di Puglia|
|Province / Metropolitan city||Foggia (FG)|
|• Total||36.04 km2 (13.92 sq mi)|
|Elevation||859 m (2,818 ft)|
|Population (31 December 2003)|
|• Density||36/km2 (94/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
In 1942, southern Italy was on the verge of social, economic, and political collapse. In the early years of the Second World War many men had been sent away to fight for the Italian army, and their wives were left behind in poverty, rage, and hunger. The event that sparked the revolt of the women of Monteleone was the arrogance of a Carabinieri officer who confiscated a pot of corn flour that was being carried to a local bakery by three women. The women resisted, pleading with the officer. The women were brought by the officer to the Fascist regime-appointed mayor. The mayor sided with the officer, and the women were promptly imprisoned in a warehouse filled with cheese and other foods. The women set the warehouse on fire and escaped. Upon hearing of the hoards of food being stored by the Carabinieri while the people were hungry, an angry mob formed and the Carabinieri office was stormed. Police had trouble controlling the riot and fired warning shots into the air. Soon after, police began firing bullets towards the crowd. Eventually, the citizens of Monteleone - armed with clubs and pitchforks - were subdued. Overall, 180 citizens were arrested and detained. Most rioters arrested had to serve a prison sentence of between a few days and 15 months. This revolt was the first of its kind in Italy during the Second World War.
In the years following the war, a large number of migrants from the town and their descendants established a thriving expatriate community in Toronto, Canada. There is a club in Toronto for those who have roots in Monteleone.