FROM OUR HISTORY
as Capital of Italy
September 10th 1943 to February
the afternoon of Friday September 10th 1943, the commander
of the naval base of Brindisi, Admiral Luigi Rubartelli
received a radio message, inviting him to go to sea
and meet the warship "Baionetta" which was
on route to the port of Brindisi.
The Admiral never imagined that he
would be meeting the King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele
III, his wife Queen Elena, Prince Umberto, the head
of government, Badoglio and other ministers and officers
of the Italian military.
The "Baionetta" had departed
from the port of Pescara with its prestigious passengers,
who had embarked there, coming from Rome, from where
they had escaped in fear of being detained by the occupying
Germans forces, after the armistice between the Italian
government and the Allied forces.
they were reassured that there were no German soldiers
in the city of Brindisi the King and his family disembarked
and took up residence in the city, residing in the Admiral's
quarters which were the 'Swabian Castle'. The ministers
were housed in the submarine barracks and the Officers
in the Hotel Internazionale.
Due to their hurried departure, the
royal family were lacking in clothing and therefore
shops and military warehouses were made available and
at their disposal.
From the city of Brindisi, the high
ranking officers tried to bring order back to the Italian
army that at that stage was much disorganized and without
command, starting with the troops stationed in the peripheries
of Brindisi and Taranto, whose duty was to guard the
After this difficult period, the government
came together on the November 24th and finally the wheels
of functionality began to turn.
these five months, the King remained in his residence,
seldom going out. One of these few times he was seen
it was in December, when he attended mass in a hangar
at the airport.
The Queen, on the other hand, spent much time with the
nuns at of Cathedral Square, doing charity work.
With the liberation of many regions
of Italy, the capital moved further north to the city
of Salerno, Naples in anticipation of the allied forces
liberating the city of Rome.
With this, the city of Brindisi, returned
to its normal way of life.
(from the top):
- The king Vittorio Emanuele
- The queen Elena
- The king in a hangar at the airport
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» Giuseppe Teodoro
Andriani, Brindisi, da capoluogo di provincia
a capitale del Regno del Sud. 2000
» Lionello Maci, Il Novecento.