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Montalto Uffugo

stemma Montalto Uffugo is located in Cosenza Province in the northern portion of Calabria. Surrounded by mountains, Montalto Uffugo is fairly large by village standards. It is the second largest city in Cosenza Province. The largest is the city of Cosenza. This is the village of my Grandfather, Giuseppe Napolitano. My Grandfather was born (in 1892) and raised in the Parantoro section of Montalto Uffugo. The records also gave up some family who died in nearby villages of Paola, San Benedetto Ullano, San Vincenzo La Costa, San Fili, South America and of course, America. The community seems very proud of it's long history and heritage. It is an old city even by Italian standards and the oldest Church in Montalto Uffugo - Madonna Della Serra was built in 1227. It's baroque architecture and beauty are the pride of the comune. It was reconstructed in the 1500's and major repairs had to be done after the earthquake of 17. Unlike much of Calabria, Montalto Uffugo enjoyed a comfortable life with lush farmlands, steady trades, nobility, castles, religious centers and growth ensuring jobs. Over the last century they have enjoyed a steadily rising population rather than a declining population. In 2001 the population boasted 17,382 residents. In 1901 the population was 6,991. Still, much of the younger generations have moved north seeking education and work.

Opera

Montalto Uffugo's most famous citizen was Ruggerio Leoncavello who wrote the great opera Pagliacci. His father was a judge in Montalto Uffugo and the family spent years living in Montalto. Leoncavallo stated that he based that opera on an actual occurrence in Montalto when he was a child involving a troupe of clowns and a murder that involved one of them. Today, the town is still very proud of Leoncavello and hosts an annual internationally attended opera competition in his name. I have found evidence of the Leoncavallo family in the Stato Civile records of the town.



A brief history

of Montalto Uffugo

Vintage Montalto UffugoMontalto Uffugo has a long history dating back Milena. Documents regarding Montalto Uffugo date back as far as 166 BC. In antiquity, this comune was called "Aufugum". Aufugum in latin means hidden or escape. They had reason to escape when 86 Valdesi were slaughtered and the rest of the town had to submit to new rule. There have been many notable archeological finds here with obvious ancient Greek and Roman influences.

It was upgraded to a municipality by the powerful Roman Empire during the invasion of the Visgoths.

The name of the town was simply Montalto until after the unification in 1870 when "Uffugo" was added to Montalto in memory of it's history and previous name. Montalto Uffugo was a religious center for the many orders of the Catholic faith. Several convents and monasteries were built there. A Norman tower is a reminder of Montalto Uffugo's long history and is evidence of the Norman occupation here. At one time there was a Jewish presence there too and the remains of a Jewish shop still exist today. Perhaps this is why the Spanish inquisition was in the area. Some of the people from Montalto can trace their lineage back to France, Spain and Albania.

State Civil Office

Where To Write for records
Comune Ufficio di Stato Civile
Via Municipio, CAP 87046, Montalto Uffugo (Cosenza), Italy

Phone: +39 984 931853

Person in charge: Giuseppina Abate