San Severo, populous town in the Upper Tavoliere, has been shaped, like a few other ones, by the events which took place during its thousand-year history, which delineated the architectonic structures of the urban center and contributed to shape an indissoluble collective identity, in which all San Severo's inhabitants recognize. The history of this town, more than in the books, can be studied wandering aimlessly through the tortuous alleys of the historical center, where the faces of churches, palaces and convents, all in a sober and particular baroque, remind men, of ideas and events with important consequences, which shaped the future development of the town. Except for the southern facade of the San Severino Church, adorned by a rose window, the town has no medieval structure, because on July 30th 1627, it was a Friday, a disastrous earthquake, involving the whole Capitanate, destroyed almost all the town. The life in the industrious town, which had then seventeen hundred inhabitants, flowed more or less quiet until the fateful February 25th 1799, the year of the Parthenopean Republic, when the French troops led by General Duhesme, in order to conquer San Severo, a Sanfedist stronghold, but also crucial road junction for the movements of the Napoleonic troops, invaded the town, sacking it. The revolt of the town against the French troops was however the return of ancient social struggles for properties and civic uses, but it was also the signal of a first realization of the right to freedom and independence which made up the guideline of the Risorgimento struggles, to which San Severo gave its important contribution. It is sufficient to remember the noble figures of don Paolo Venusi and Vincenzo Cavalli. After the Unification of Italy, San Severo was exhausted by the devastation of its countryside, the killing of its cattle and fires of its farms. Just in that summer of 1865 in San Severo the Società Operaia di Mutuo Soccorso (Workers' Society of Mutual Aid) was born, the first serious workers' society in the Capitanate, which, thanks to its founders, among which it is important to remember the leader Vincenzo Gervasio, was crucial in the difficult recovering efforts of the town.In the “short century”, the Twentieth one, the history of San Severo is very similar to the one of many other towns of the Country. San Severo too has its memorial places, no one extraordinary, but all of them are filled with history and fundamental for the civic community.


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