|Comune di Battipaglia|
The medieval Castelluccio of Battipaglia, the town's most famous landmark
Battipaglia within the Province of Salerno
|Frazioni||Aversana, Belvedere, Fasanara, Lago, Padova, San Emilio, Santa Lucia Inferiore, Spineta, Tavernola, Verdesca, Vivai|
|• Mayor||Cecilia Francese (centre-right civic lists)|
|• Total||56.46 km2 (21.80 sq mi)|
|Elevation||72 m (236 ft)|
(December 31, 2019)
|• Density||900/km2 (2,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Patron saint||Santa Maria della Speranza|
|Saint day||first Sunday and second Monday in July|
The third most populous of its province, the municipality is renowned for the production of buffalo mozzarella as well as for the varied agricultural crops, which make it one of the most fruitful territories of the Sele plain (of which it is also the major industrial pole).
Formerly part of the ancient Greek colonies of the Magna Graecia, the municipal area, like most of the southern Tyrrhenian coast, was the site of strategic settlements during the late Republican-early Imperial Roman times. Archaeological excavations have brought to light several finds probably dating back to as early as the 3rd century BC, belonging to at least two villas. One of those was located in the immediate vicinity of the sea, part of a larger thermal complex. The other one, conversely, was positioned internally and probably served as a productive belt between cereal crops in the plain, and olive crops and vineyards up on the hill.
It is generally believed that the name Battipaglia is formed by the union of the terms batti (to thresh) and paglia (to straw), owing to the activity of peasants in the past. However, some scholars hypothesize that the name could come from Baptipalla, which would indicate a place devoted to Voltumna, a chthonic Etruscan deity.
Battipaglia as a definite townishp was officially created by Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, as the Bourbon authorities chose the place as the site of an agricultural colony where families who had survived the 1857 Basilicata earthquake could be rehoused. It was eventually granted the status of independent municipality by a Royal Decree on 28 March 1929 (during the Mussolini Cabinet), comprising parts of the territories previously included in the municipalities of Eboli and Montecorvino Rovella.
In 1943, during World War II, the town was heavily bombed by U.S. planes, resulting in 117 civilian casualties. Although most of the town had been razed to the ground, in the aftermath of the conflict Battipaglia would be rebuilt remarkably quickly, even attracting migrants from the hinterland seeking work. The town therefore experienced an outstanding increase in population between 1951 and 1960, turning into a dynamic industrial area.
In 1953, Battipaglia went under the spotlight of national and international media when its socialist mayor, Lorenzo Rago, was kidnapped and never found again, in spite of numerous searches by the police.
In 1969, due to the concrete possibility that two large plants of sugar and tobacco — both employing a significant number of locals — would close, about half of the city gave life to a popular uprising, which would be calmed down few days later following the Italian government's commitment to keep them active. The few but intense days of social unrest — which took place in the context of a wider protest movement by students and workers in Italy and several other Western countries — eventually resulted in two fatalities.
Since the late 20th and early 21st century, the agricultural sector — since the area is particularly known nationally for its flourishing dairy sector — has been joined by the industrial one, several companies having established factories in the city.
The municipality borders with Bellizzi, Eboli, Montecorvino Rovella, Olevano sul Tusciano and Pontecagnano Faiano. Its hamlets (frazioni) are Aversana, Belvedere, Fasanara, Lago, Padova, San Emilio, Santa Lucia Inferiore, Spineta, Tavernola, Verdesca, and Vivai.
The ethnic origins of the inhabitants are extremely varied. The first migration wave, beginning in the nineteenth century, led many people to move there from Melfi and neighboring municipalities. In the 1960s, the local population soared due to the influx of immigrants from bordering areas (including the towns of the Monti Picentini, Campagna, the valley of the river Sele and Cilento), mainly because of the job opportunities in the town's industry and the economic boom experienced by Italy in that historical period. Over the last two decades, the aforementioned have been joined by other groups, mainly eastern European and northern African expats.
Most of the town's wealth is due to the industrial, craft, and agricultural sectors.
A large number of local dairy companies produce the well-known local buffalo mozzarella (Mozzarella di bufala campana DOP), a famous form of which is called zizzona di Battipaglia (Battipaglia boob) because of its similarity to a female breast.
Among the most significant companies which established factories in Battipaglia are: Bonduelle (food), Prysmian (telecommunications cables), Sivam (animal husbandry), Cooper Standard Automotive (car parts), Nexans (electric cables), Crown, Deriblok (packaging), and Jcoplastic (plastic).
Every first Sunday of July the town's center is decked to the nines for three days on the occasion of the celebrating of Our Lady of Hope (Festa della Speranza). The big town market, whose atmosphere recalls an amusement park where traders can display their wares, lasts from Saturday to Monday, usually ending with a music exhibition in the central Piazza Amendola.
Battipaglia houses a number of secondary schools, both public and private:
- Liceo scientifico, classico and linguistico “Enrico Medi”
- Istituto di Istruzione Superiore "Besta-Gloriosi" (istituto tecnico)
- Istituto di Istruzione Superiore "Enzo Ferrari" (istituto professionale)
- Istituto professionale alberghiero "Roberto Virtuoso"
- Istituto professionale per l'agricoltura Battipaglia
- Istituto Vittorio Alfieri (private)
- Istituto Robert Kennedy (private)
- Centro studi "Avvenire" (private)
- L'Occhio di Salerno e Provincia (press)
- Battipaglia 1929 (online news outlet)
- Battipaglia News (online news outlet)
- Voce di Strada (web TV)
- Radio Castelluccio (radio)
- BoOonzo (web radio)
- Sei TV (TV channel)
- Sud TV (TV channel)
- L. Rocco Carbone, Battipaglia, 70 anni nella sua storia, Massa Editore (1999).
- "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
- "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
- (in Italian) Source: Istat 2019
- (in Italian) Periodo Romano |date=2018-09-30 }}
- (in Italian) Origins and history of Battipaglia Archived 2017-07-30 at the Wayback Machine
- Cestaro, Antonio (1984). "Il terremoto del 1857 in Basilicata e nel Salernitano: la fondazione della colonia agricola di Battipaglia". Ricerche di Storia Sociale e Religiosa. 13: 17–68.
- Craven, Wesley Frank; Cate, James Lea (1949). The Army Air Forces In World War II: Volume 2, Europe: Torch to Pointblank, August 1942 to December 1943. The University of Chicago Press. p. 534-535. ISBN 091279903X.
- Mottola, Oreste (2007). I paesi delle ombre. La scomparsa di Ettore Majorana, Hemingway e quasi altre trenta storie. Agenzia Magna Graecia. ISBN 8890247592.
- Italians Bury 2 Killed in Rioting; Prelate at Battipaglia Rites Asks Calm in Tense City
- Di Bello, Marco (28 March 2018). "Battipaglia compie 89 anni tra lavoro e crisi". Il Mattino. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
- 40609 Battipaglia on OpenStreetMap
- "Frazioni del Comune di Battipaglia". Comuni e città.it.
- Savarese, Antonio. "La Zizzona di Battipaglia - intervista ad Enrico Paraggio". Foodmakers.it.
- "Battipaglia, Festa della Speranza: il programma religioso e civile". Occhio di Salerno.
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