With Garibaldi's Thousands (I Mille)

 "Naples, July 2, 1857

The public mind is in such an excited state that in speaking of the recent attempt, and of the actual position of the provinces, it is difficult to distinguish truth from falsehood, or even the probable from the improbable. As I have already stated, a telegraphic order arrived late Sunday night from Gaeta that a number of steam frigates should be got ready with all speed. The officers of the Marine were at San Carlo , and the fact of their being called out of the theatre created much sensation and spread general alarm. All hands were at work in the arsenal during the night, and on the following morning two steamers were despatched to Gaeta"

This is the beginning of a long reportage that the correspondent of "The Times" of London  in Naples sends to his readers in Britain under the heading "The Italian insurrection" .

What is going on in the Reign of the Two Siciles, as the kingdom of Naples was  called at the time?

An attempt to bring about  a general insurrection for political freedom and unification of Italy is being waged by an expedition of 300 volunteers, lead by a former Neapolitan officer, Carlo Pisacane,  landing at Sapri " which is a  small village on the Gulf of Policastro,  close to the provinces of Calabria, Basilicata, and Salerno, and admirably chosen for such an attempt.Once disembarked, the small force pushed on into the interior. "At the time, this attempt had big echo in European public opinion and in the British one in particular, as it viewed with great simpathy the Italian movement for independence. 

The hope to ignite a liberal insurrection in the Reign of the Two Sicilies rested on the active liberal leaders of the area, foremost among them Vincenzo Padula, who was born in the house "CasaPadula", in a family already renowned for its liberal ideas. As many bright young people at the time he was sent to study in the local seminar of Teggiano in the absence of a school system.

Death of Carlo Pisacane

Back in his home town, he began organizing the clandestine  local liberal committee. Vincenzo Padula was able to build up a network spanning over the whole province, hiding arms in the house and the sorrounding garden, where the ruins of the castle offered many suitable hiding places.

But the  bourbonic police was after him and  arrested him with other conspirators just weeks before the landing of the  small expeditionary force led by Carlo Pisacane (June 1857).

 Pisacane headed for Padula, knowing the place to be one of the centers of liberalism and unaware of Vincenzo Padula's arrest. Deprived of the support of the local liberal leaders, Pisacane's group faced the regular Neapolitan army in the small streets of Padula, where most of the patriots were savagely massacred.

The imprisonment of Vincenzo Padula lasted another 2 years,until he was exiled to Genoa, then a foreign town and port of the Piedmontese Kingdom. In Genoa Vincenzo met Garibaldi, and joined in his brave volunteer's expedition of the "Thousand" that landed in Sicily and succeded in defeating twice the Neapolitan army (battles of Calatafimi and Palermo, May-June 1860) and to effect a general insurrection in the island.Vincenzo fought always gallantly, but fell, aged 28,  at the battle of Milazzo(July 1860) that completed the   liberation of Sicily from the Neapolitan rule