Giorgio Castriota Skanderbeg and Arbëresh tradition

Memories · Campomarino

Campomarino has quite ancient origins. Some archaeological excavations in the hamlet of Difensola show a Paleolithic settlement from the Iron Age (12th-11th century B. C. E.) and a Romanic village recognizable as Cliternia, according to the types of finding. During the XI century Campomarino was chosen by the Templars, who had many ownerships in the area, a witness of the pilgrim journeys towards the Holy Land.

Later, Campomarino was occupied by the Lombards and the Normans. But among all the populations, the only one able to resettle the town were the Albanians in the 15th century, contributing to the rebirth of a community under the Arbëreshë ethnicity. The people’s religiosity, tracing its roots into the Greek-Byzantine tradition, is visible in the ruins of an ancient chapel dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. The main street of Campomarino is named after the Albanian hero George Castriot Skanderbeg, whose epic deeds gave him the title of Athlete of Christ. History says that Campomarino was reached in 1466 by Albanians fleeing from the Turks. Still today the ancient traditions and the typical dialect of that people are in use. Between 1461 and 1470, Skanderbeg (prince of Krujë, Albania) sent an army of 5.000 Albanians led by his nephew Coiro Stresio in the help of Ferdinand I King of Naples fighting against John of Anjou. Then, the populations experienced what is known among as the third migration. The Albanians settlers founded again the lands and lived in peaceful cohabitation with the local people for a long time.

Ururi, Campomarino and Santa Croce di Magliano were populated by Albanians called here by laid or clerical lords, like Andrea da Capua who gave the farmhouse of Campomarino to a group of Albanians in 1495.

The Albanian prince families handed down customs, traditions and language. Still today, even only in the oral form, the Arbëreshë resists, but in the last decades it has experienced a fast decline despite the tentatives of preservation. The Albanians moved in this territory founded urban settlements similar to those in their home country. The urban structure of the houses and lifestyle of these populations was the Gitonia, a neighborhood for the social life of the inhabitants: it featured two-storey buildings with external staircase and an open gallery, still visible in Campomarino. During the centuries the Albanian people melted with the locals. Today, only the language preserves the precious memory of this noble ancestry.

Although Campomarino is Italian-Albanian, the localities of Campomarino Lido, Nuova Cliternia, Ramitelli and Contrada Cianaluca have had a history in themselves with respect to the municipal capital, and do not belong entirely to Arbëresh culture.


Campomarino - Corso Skanderbeg

Site is visitable and accessible
Opening time

Always open.

Useful links

Website Deepening Skanderbeg