Italy

 Gaelic

 

IT01a
The Stuart Court in Rome

IT01
Plaster Statue Makers

IT02
Sons of Fish & Chip Men

IT03
They took the Low Road

IT04
The Arandora Star

IT05
The Most Scottish Town in Italy

 

IT06
John Bellany

IT07
Picinisco
 

 

Scotland's links with Italy stretch as far back as the days when the south of the country formed the frontier of the Roman Empire. The first legions entered what is now Scotland in around 79AD, and over the following few years they penetrated as far as the Moray Firth and inflicted a terrible defeat on the local tribes at the Battle of Mons Graupius. The Roman presence in Scotland ebbed and flowed, but the remains of frontier systems and military outposts can still be seen (including the Antonine Wall, left, a world heritage site built in the 140s).



Over a thousand years after the last Romans had withdrawn from Britain, Scottish soldiers were campaigning in Italy as part of their long tradition fighting outside their own borders. In February 1525 there was a Scottish force attached to the French army of Francis I as he campaigned against an Imperial Army (Spanish and Holy Roman empires) in northern Italy. At the Battle of Pavia the French army was utterly destroyed. Some of the Scots managed to escape, retreating into the bitter winter storms until they reached a settlement at Gurro. Here, weary and defeated, they sought shelter from the blizzard and abandoned their plans to return to France. Much of the town's population now claims descent from these Scottish soldiers.

In the medieval period the strongest connections between the two countries came of course through the Catholic Church. By 1592 there was a Church of St Andrew of the Scots in Rome (Sant'Andrea degli Scozzesi, left) which served those Scots living in the great city, including those training for holy orders and those escaping the Reformation. Rome's importance for Scots was considerably increased in 1717 by the arrival of James Stuart, the son of King James VII & II. James, known to enemies as the Old Pretender, established his exiled court in the Palazzo Muti, and it was here that his sons Charles Edward Stuart and Henry Benedict Stuart were born. These last members of Scotland's longest royal dynasty are buried in the Vatican. Although Charles Edward is well-known in Scotland for his leadership of the 1745 Rising, his younger brother was also an influential and well-known personality in Italy, becoming a cardinal and occupying a palace in Frascati. He died in 1807.

One of Henry Benedict's protégés was Charles Erskine, who was born in Rome to the artist Colin Erskine (related to the Earl of Kellie and Mar) and his noble Italian wife Agatha Gigli. Erskine became papal envoy to Britain in 1793 and performed well at a time when anti-Catholic sentiment was still dangerous. Like his royal Stuart mentor, he lost much during the French Revolution.

The nineteenth century saw major change in Italy as it headed towards unification. The resultant pressures led to a considerable migration of Italians to Scotland in the later decades of the century. By the time of the Great War there were over 4,000 recognised Italian-Scots, and during the Second World War the fight against Fascism led to a suspicion and mistrust of communities connected to Italy: many were taken into preventative custody. Today more than 70,000 people in Scotland are believed to be Italian or of Italian descent. Many still maintain strong connections with Italy, and places such as Barga in Tuscany have established considerable ties to Scotland.


 An Eadailt


Tha ceanglaichean na h-Alba leis an Eadailt a’ sìneadh air ais chun an ama nuair a bha ceann a deas na dùthcha na chrìoch den Ìmpireachd Ròmanach. Thàinig a’ chiad lèigiun a-steach don dùthaich ris an canar Alba timcheall air
79AD, agus thar nam bliadhnaichean a lean fhuair iad cho fada ri Linne Mhoireibh agus fhuair iad buaidh fhuilteach air na treubhan ionadail aig Blàr Mons Graupius. Bha làthaireachd nan Ròmanach ann an Alba a’ lìonadh ’s a’ traoghadh, ach tha na tha air fhàgail de shiostam nan crìochan ’s ionadan armailteach rim faicinn fhathast (a’ gabhail a-steach Balla Antonine (clì), làrach dualchais cruinneil a thogadh anns na 140an
).

Thairis air mìle bliadhna às dèidh do na Ròmanaich mu dheireadh tarraing a-mach à Breatainn, bha saighdearan Albannach ag iomairt san Eadailt mar phàirt de an traidisean fhada a’ sabaid taobh a-muigh an crìochan fhèin. Sa Ghearran 1525, bha feachd Albannach ceangailte ri arm Frangach Phroinseas fhad ’s a bha e ag iomairt an aghaidh an Airm Ìmpireil (ìmpireachdan na Spàinn agus nan Ròmanach Naoimh) ann an ceann a tuath na h-Eadailt. Aig Blàr Pavia, chaidh an t-arm Frangach a sgrios gu tur. Thàinig aig cuid de na h-Albannaich air teicheadh, a’ tarraing air ais ann an stoirmean guineach a’ gheamhraidh gus an do ràinig iad tuineachadh aig Gurro. An seo, claoidhte agus ìosal, shir iad fasgadh bhon chathadh-sneachda agus chuir iad dheth am planaichean air tilleadh dhan Fhraing. Tha mòran de dh’àireamh-sluaigh a’ bhaile seo an-diugh a’ dleasadh sinnsearachd bho na saighdearan Albannach sin.


Anns na meadhan-aoisean, thàinig na ceanglaichean a bu làidire eadar an dà dhùthaich tron Eaglais Chaitligich. Ann an 1592 bha Eaglais Naoimh Anndrais nan Albannach san Ròimh (Sant'Andrea degli Scozzesi, clì) a bha a’ frithealadh nan Albannach sin a bha a’ fuireach sa bhaile mhòr eireachdail sin, a’ gabhail a-steach iadsan a bha a’ trèanadh airson nan òrdughan naomha (na sagartachd) agus iadsan a bha a’ teicheadh bhon Ath-leasachadh. Mheudaich cudromachd na Ròimh do na h-Albannaich gu mòr ann an 1717 nuair a thàinig Seumas Stiùbhart mac Rìgh Sheumais VII & II. Stèidhich Seumas, a bha aithnichte le a nàmhaidean tron ainm Old Pretender, a chùirt fhògarraichte anns a’ Phalazzo Muti, agus b’ ann an seo a rugadh a mhic Teàrlach Èideard Stiùbhart agus Eanraig Benedict Stiùbhart. Tha na buill dheireannach sin de sliochd fhada rìoghail na h-Alba air an tiodhlacadh sa Bhatacan. Ged a tha Teàrlach Èideard glè aithnichte ann an Alba airson a cheannais ann an Ar-a-mach 1745, bha a bhràthair òg mar fhear buadhach agus aithnichte cuideachd anns an Eadailt, a’ tighinn gu bhith na chàirdineal a’ còmhnaidh ann an lùchairt ann am Frascati. Bhàsaich e ann an 1807.

B’ e Teàrlach Erskine aon den fheadhainn don tug Eanraig Benedict comhairle, a rugadh san Ròimh don neach-ealain Cailean (a bha càirdeach do dh’Iarla Cheallaidh is Mhàrr) agus a bhean uasal Eadailteach, Agatha Gigli. Thàinig Erskine gu bhith na thosgaire don Phàp ann am Breatainn ann an 1793 agus choilean e a ghnothaich gu math aig àm a bha faireachdainn an aghaidh nan Caitligich fhathast cunnartach. Coltach ri a neach-comhairle rìoghail Stiùbhartach, chaill e mòran aig àm na Reabhlaid Fhrangaich.


Chunnaic an naoidheamh linn deug prìomh atharrachadh anns an Eadailt agus i air an t-slighe a dh’ionnsaigh aonachd. Lean na cuideaman a thàinig mar thoradh air an sin gu imrich nach robh beag de dh’Eadailtich a dh’Alba anns na deicheadan deireannach den linn. Aig àm a’ Chogaidh Mhòir bha còrr agus 4,000 a bhathar ag aithneachadh mar Eadailtich-Albannaich an làthair agus san Dàrna Cogadh Mòr lean an t-sabaid an aghaidh Faisisteachd gu droch amharas agus dìth earbsa ann an coimhearsnachdan a bha co-cheangailte ris an Eadailt: bha mòran dhiubh air an toirt an grèim airson an dìon. An-diugh, thathar a’ creidsinn gu bheil còrr air 70,000 neach ann an Alba bho shinnsearachd Eadailteach. Tha mòran dhiubh fhathast a’ cumail suas cheanglaichean làidir leis an Eadailt agus tha àiteachan anns an Eadailt leithid Barga ann an Tuscany air ceanglaichean làidir a stèidheachadh le Alba.