Queer Places:
Cimitero di Poggioreale, Via S. Maria del Pianto, 80143 Napoli NA

Silvia Pisacane ( Genoa , 1853 - Naples , September 16, 1888 ) was an Italian politician.

Silvia Pisacane was born in 1853 in Genoa to Carlo Pisacane and Enrichetta De Lorenzo. Enrichetta De Lorenzo, for the love of Pisacane, had left Naples and her husband, moving to Genoa with her new partner.

In 1857 Carlo Pisacane lost his life with his companions in the tragic expedition of Sapri. The few survivors, including Giovanni Nicotera, were imprisoned. De Lorenzo with her sick little Silvia returned to Genoa and their house was often searched by the police, in whose minutes the woman was indicated as a druda of Pisacane or, for ridicule Pisciacane.

From 1859 Silvia was accepted into the women's boarding school of the Peschiere, whose director was Luigi Mercantini, the author of the famous "Spigolatrice di Sapri". One of the first decrees that Garibaldi issued after the landing in Sicily established that “a pension of sixty ducats per month is granted, life during, counting from 1 October next, to Silvia Pisacane, daughter of the heroic Carlo Pisacane, murdered in Sanza while he fought for the liberation of his brothers in July 1857".

Silvia and her mother moved to Naples, where the girl was immediately adopted by Giovanni Nicotera, in whose house they went to live. De De Lorenzo resumed her political activity and in 1862, with other patriotic women, she was part of the Committee of women for Roma Capitale.

In those years Silvia and her adoptive father were often hosted in San Gregorio Matese, in the country house of the deputy Achille Del Giudice, who was a close friend of Nicotera. The local oral tradition recalls that for her, claudicant and ill with tuberculosis, Achille Del Giudice built a room with adjoining bathroom (unusual at the time), entirely covered with ceramic tiles from Cerreto.

In April 1877 a group of internationalists, led by Carlo Cafiero and Errico Malatesta, gave life to the insurrectional movement of Matese, which moved from San Lupo and involved the inhabitants of Gallo and Letino.

It is not risky to assume that the close friendship between Nicotera, who was Minister of the Interior, and Senator Achille Del Giudice, who was the wealthiest landlord of Matese, was no stranger to the disproportionate military response that Rome deployed for the capture of the group of anarchists.

Silvia Pisacane was 25 years old, and knew well that part of the Matese massif where the anarchist gang moved. She was an intelligent and smart girl, jealous guardian of the large correspondence of her parents. She knew about politics, knew her father's ideals and, raised in the veneration of her figure, certainly shared them. One day, meeting Matteo Imbriani, official monarchist of the grenadiers of Sardinia and grandson of his adoptive mother, she did not hesitate to accuse him of "serving the Tyrant".

In Naples she was engaged to the young lawyer Silvio Pallotta , and it is probable that she had contacts with the internationalists of the city.

When the Matese anarchists were captured, and there was a strong risk that they would be sentenced to death, the lawyer Carlo Gambuzzi , formerly close to Bakunin, asked Silvia for help "and so much the young woman begged to intercede with her foster father, in the name of the affinity of ideas of the analogy of the cases that linked the Matese gang to the memory of Pisacane, that Silvia managed to wrest from Nicotera the revocation of the primitive decision. The threat of summary judgment was averted."

In November 1878, due to certain financial problems, Giovanni Nicotera loaned his friend Achille Del Giudice the sum of 66,000 lire, which was the whole dowry of Silvia Pisacane. Financial problems were in fact a real economic disruption. Debts, double mortgages, fake checks.

For years Nicotera tried in vain to get the sum returned: in 1885 he sent the lawyer Gaetano Cannada Bartoli, one of the best known and appreciated Neapolitan lawyers, who became Pisacane's tutor for the recovery of the dowry.

Not getting anything, in May 1887 he sued Senator Del Giudice. Therefore the Senate was constituted in the High Court of Justice by appointing an investigative commission that for months investigated Del Giudice. From February 1888, for many months, the front pages of the national newspapers devoted ample space to the scandal of Senator Del Giudice who had appropriated Silvia Pisacane's dowry, and who a few months later presented his resignation as senator, which were accepted after heated discussions.

Silvia did not have time to receive even one lira of her dowry. And nothing got even Giovanni Nicotera, who died in 1894.

A few months later Silvia suddenly died, at the age of 35, on September 16, 1888. Many biographies instead erroneously report 1890.

It is surprising that in the death certificate form, in the municipality of Naples, it is written that the father is Carlo, while alongside the indication "mother" there is a note "Signora la madre". In addition to the grammatical error (the correct wording should be "ignore the mother"), what catches the eye is the negative light in which Enrichetta Di Lorenzo was still in 1888, who is not even mentioned in the act of the death of her daughter, who is certainly famous both for her birth, and for her social and political commitment, and for the fame of her adoptive father.

Silvia's disappearance did not go unnoticed. The newspaper Il Piccolo wrote as follows the following day: “afflicted for a long time by an incurable disease, she was already resigned to her destiny and faced death like the daughter of a hero. TheThe funeral took place today at four, and a crowd of friends followed the coffin, which was covered with flowers."

She had jealously guarded the thick correspondence between her parents, but Nicotera's sister, overwhelmed by moral scruples, destroyed all the letters.

After the death of his beloved, her fiancé Silvio Pallotta never married remaining celibate until his death due to rapid illness.


My published books:

See my published books

BACK TO HOME PAGEtrong>