Engraving featuring the Battle of Aspromonte

A sad episode in the history of the young Italian State occurred on Aspromonte, a mountain massif in southern Calabria. On 29 August 1862, the royal forces, commanded by Colonel Pallavicini, stopped just over 2,000 Garibaldi volunteers who had disembarked in Calabria four days previously, on the General’s orders to overthrow the Papal State and free Rome from the Papal power. An exchange of fire between the two lines was interrupted by Garibaldi who wanted to avoid a fratricidal battle. The skirmish ended with 12 dead. The Garibaldi volunteers were taken prisoner and the General of the Thousand himself was wounded, arrested and incarcerated in the Varignano fortress in La Spezia.