San Mango sul Calore
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|San Mango sul Calore|
|Comune di San Mango sul Calore|
|• Total||14 km2 (5 sq mi)|
|• Density||88/km2 (230/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
It is east of Naples and north of Salerno, about twenty kilometers from the city of Avellino. Nearby, Monte Tuoro is covered with dense forest, where asparagus and a variety of mushrooms such as porcini, black truffles, ovuli and chiodini abound. The comune is bordered by Castelvetere sul Calore, Chiusano di San Domenico, Lapio, Luogosano, Paternopoli and Taurasi.
Ponte Romano also known locally as Ponte del Diavolo or Ponte di Annibale. This bridge is the oldest man-made structure in San Mango, built in about 100 BC. The bridge is composed of bricks, mortar and cobblestone taken from the Calore river that flows beneath it. It was part of the old Napoletana road that passed by the Sant'Anna chapel, curving down to the Calore River. The road eventually met with the Appian Way, the ancient Roman road that ran from Rome to Brindisi.
Many villagers from San Mango along with many other southerners began to leave Italy for North and South America at the end of the 1800s. Italy had experienced an economic growth spurt, but that had been heavily concentrated in the north. France had placed heavy tariffs on Italian agricultural products, crippling the rural economy. In fact, southern Italy could not even rely on the North to sell its wine, olive oil, and fruit. Ironically, its major trading partners were South America and Northern Europe. The net result was an average income that was barely half of that of northern Italians. It was not until 1906 that special laws were passed to provide the south with roads, irrigation and schools. Meanwhile half a million southerners left the poverty-stricken country every year for the first decade of the 20th century. To make matters worse, World War I crippled any potential benefits from the relatively progressive legislation. The literacy rate remained low: it had improved to 51.3% in 1901, but it was far worse in the south.
Ellis Island records indicate that the United States received immigrants from San Mango as early as in 1896. The Werra, which carried several San Mangese to America in 1900, was built in 1882 by the North German Lloyd Line. These immigrants settled for the most part in Boston's North End, North America's first Italian community. But in the next two decades, many families originally from San Mango left Boston for industrial towns in western Connecticut. Stamford, one such town, has long had an association of San Manghese. Other popular destinations included Canada where many San Manghese migrated and settled in the city of Montreal, province of Quebec and Regina, province of Saskatchewan.
In 1901, 79% of Italian immigrants were men. Referred to as "birds of passage", many moved back and forth from their native land to the land of sometimes unfulfilled promises. Many had left unproductive and highly taxed lands only to find low wages and long hours. About half engaged in demanding physical work such as construction, freight handling and railroad work. Several men shared a single room, sometimes sleeping on newspapers to scrape and save enough money to bring their families over.
World War II and today
San Mango and, of course, the south in general then had to endure the rise of fascism and the effects of World War II. On a positive note, electricity arrived in San Mango in 1936 with the construction of a power plant on the Calore. Today the plant's turbines are powered by the combustion of fuel and not by water, which is diverted to the Puglie, but for many years it provided nearby regions with electricity. But throughout the Second World War, San Manghese had to endure food shortages, and later, bombing by Allied forces, abuse from Nazi soldiers when Italy switched sides, and typhus. Typhus is caused by bacteria group known as Rickettsias. They are transmitted by lice, and the disease is a common killer in times of war. Sulfa drugs at the time could have saved lives but were not available in San Mango. Consequently, several paesani died.
San Mango sul Calore was completely destroyed by the earthquake that struck southern Italy on 23 November 1980. The re-construction was led by the creation of a set of houses known as Villagio Canadese or Canadian Village. It was named after the fund-raising efforts from Italo-Canadians. Notable during the reconstruction the effort of Comboni priest Father Ezechiele Ramin.
The patron saint of San Mango Sul Calore is San Teodoro, known as the young recruit. There are two main statues of San Teodoro with one containing relics of his fingers which can be found in the main church. Incredibly, the original church was destroyed during the 1980 earthquake yet the two statues were unharmed.
Notes and references
[Ellis Island Records]http://www.ellisisland.org/
Puleo, Steven. From Italy to Boston's North End: Italian immigration and settlement, 1890-1910 : a thesis. 1994
Riccio, Anthony.Portrait of an Italian-American Neighborhood: The North End of Boston. 1998
Todisco, Paula J. Boston's First Neighborhood: The North End.1976