Giro d'Italia 2016

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Chris Green
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2016

Postby Chris Green » 20 May 2016, 11:07

Thank you Torsten.

So Cividale was at some point awarded the Medal of Military Valour in silver; the next question is when and why? Looking at a map of Italian military operations in World War 1, one finds that Cividale was strategically important, south west of Caporetto, during the battles on or around the Isonzo and Piave rivers (it was on this front that Oberleutnant Erwin Rommel won the Pour le Mérite (between 25 and 27 October 1917, with a force of just 150 men he captured 81 guns and 9,000 men (including 150 officers), for the loss of just 6 dead and 30 wounded). One can well imagine that Cividale was to Italian soldiers the first place one could gain some respite from the front, much as Poperinghe was to soldiers fighting around Ypres.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/27/Italian_Front_1915-1917.jpg
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2016

Postby Arthur Radburn » 20 May 2016, 12:33

According to this page -- http://www.istitutonastroazzurro.it/com ... riuli.html -- as translated by Google, Cividale was awarded the decoration in 1979 for its service and suffering during the Nazi occupation in World War II. The region supported the partisan forces fighting the occupation, 404 local partisans and civilians were killed, many people were deported, and towns and villages were destroyed.
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2016

Postby Arthur Radburn » 20 May 2016, 12:41

On an educational point : this thread demonstrates the system of mural crowns and coronets which are used to indicate different categories of local authority in Italy. The current system was laid down by Royal Decree 652 dated 9 June 1943.

A province has a jewelled circlet surrounding branches of oak and laurel, as seen above the arms of Udine :

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A city has a gold mural crown with two "storeys" and eight towers (five visible), as seen with the arms of Noale :

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A 'comune' has a silver mural crown with sixteen towers (nine visible), which we see with the arms of Bibione :

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Some local authorities are allowed, for historical reasons, to have noble coronets. Modena, Foligno, and Benevento are examples of this.

Giorgio Aldrighetti's L'Araldica Civica website ( http://www.iagi.info/ARALDICA/civica/ ) discusses the topic in depth. Google Translate gives a reasonable English version.
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2016

Postby Chris Green » 20 May 2016, 14:21

Arthur Radburn wrote:According to this page -- http://www.istitutonastroazzurro.it/com ... riuli.html -- as translated by Google, Cividale was awarded the decoration in 1979 for its service and suffering during the Nazi occupation in World War II. The region supported the partisan forces fighting the occupation, 404 local partisans and civilians were killed, many people were deported, and towns and villages were destroyed.


Thank you Arthur. The people of Cividale were clearly even more directly involved in WW2 than WW1.

Strangely the Italian blazon refers to two awards: the war merit cross and the silver medal for military valour, but only the latter is shown in the illustration:

STEMMA: scudo rosso alla fascia d’argento, circondato da due rami di quercia ed alloro annodati da un nastro dai colori nazionali sormontato dalla corona ducale. Lo scudo è ornato dalla Croce al merito di guerra e dalla Medaglia d’argento al valore militare per la Resistenza.
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2016

Postby Chris Green » 21 May 2016, 08:42

Today (Saturday) the Giro struggles through the Dolomites. The province of Belluno has a complicated CoA, whose Italian blazon is:

Interzato in palo: al PRIMO di Feltre, che è di rosso al castello torricellato di due, d'oro, aperto e finestrato di nero, merlato alla ghibellina, col motto: ""NEC.SPE.NEC.METU""; al SECONDO di Belluno, che è d'azzurro alla croce d'oro, accantonata in alto da due basilischi di rosso, contromiranti; al TERZO di Pieve di Cadore, che è d'azzurro a due torri d'argento, merlate di tre alla ghibellina, con una banderuola sulla cima di ciascuna, e fra esse un abete al naturale, il tutto fondato sulla campagna di verde; l'abete attraversante una catena di ferro che chiude il passo tra le due torri. Lo scudo sarà fregiato dalla speciale corona di provincia


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The centre pale is the arms of the town of Belluno, which also gives its name to the province:

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Dexter are the arms of Feltre:

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and sinister the arms of Pieve di Cadore (the illustration is of the badge of the former "Cadore" Alpine Brigade (Brigata Alpini "Cadore"):

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Re: Giro d'Italia 2016

Postby Arthur Radburn » 21 May 2016, 16:01

There is more than one version of the Feltre arms. This one ...

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... shows the castle as 'proper', and has a municipal ('comune') coronet above the shield. However, on the Belluno provincial shield, Feltre is represented by a gold castle. And the municipal website ( http://www.comune.feltre.bl.it/web/feltre ) describes it as a city, and the arms show a gold castle and have a city's coronet above the shield.

The change of coronet indicates a change in municipal status, but I wonder whether that also accounts for the change in the tincture of the castle.
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2016

Postby Chris Green » 22 May 2016, 07:57

Sunday's gruelling time-trial starts from Castelrotto in South Tyrol (Alto Adige), or as 95%+ of the inhabitants would call it Kastelruth. Its arms are probably a play on the "Kastel" part of the name, but there is no castle. On the other hand there are many mountainous outcrops that might be represented by the raguly bend (ah but it doesn't start from dexter chief so it isn't really a bend, and is it really raguly?):

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The autonomous province of South Tyrol is a political oddity, being a largely German-speaking area annexed to Italy following the Austrian defeat in World War 1. Italianisation under Mussolini largely failed except in the more densely populated areas of Bolzano/Bozen and Merano/Meran and German remains the principal language. The former political status - the Princely County of Tyrol - is recognised in the "Euroregion" of Tyrol-South-Tyrol-Trentino and in the coat of arms of South Tyrol:

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which look suspiciously like the old arms of Gefürstete Grafschaft Tirol:

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Re: Giro d'Italia 2016

Postby Arthur Radburn » 22 May 2016, 15:47

Chris Green wrote:Sunday's gruelling time-trial starts from Castelrotto in South Tyrol (Alto Adige), or as 95%+ of the inhabitants would call it Kastelruth. Its arms are probably a play on the "Kastel" part of the name, but there is no castle. On the other hand there are many mountainous outcrops that might be represented by the raguly bend (ah but it doesn't start from dexter chief so it isn't really a bend, and is it really raguly?):

Image
According to a few websites which I consulted, the arms are derived from those of the family which were the lords of the area in the 11th century. Various Italian and German blazons describe the arms along the lines of a silver battlemented wall on a blue field. If they really are battlements, then the wall must be in perspective (which might account for the shading), but perhaps there's an Italian/Austrian/Tyrolean heraldic convention in this regard. To my English eyes, it looks like 'Per bend abaisse raguly Azure and Argent'.
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2016

Postby Chris Green » 23 May 2016, 08:41

Monday is a rest day for the Giro d'Italia, so I thought I would illustrate the arms of Italy. The current "emblem" is a post-WW2 device reminiscent of Soviet Russia. Its only saving grace is that the star is white rather than red (and even that has a thin red border).

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That such an obviously socialist/communist device should have been chosen is very odd, given that the recently elected government that decided on it in 1948 was Christian Democrat (and had won by a landslide). Even more strange is that it has survived nearly 70 years despite most of the many governments being right of centre.

The Italian armed forces were clearly having nothing to do with the symbols of socialism. The naval ensign (1947) sports a clever CoA combining the arms of the four principal Italian naval states: Venice, Genoa, Amalfi and Pisa with a Roman "corona rostrata" (awarded to victorous naval commanders):

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The arms of the Italian army are an example of trying to hard to depict everything and achieving a jumble. Virtually the only missing elements are a tank and a helicopter (they nearly forgot the grenade, but squeezed it into the motto!):

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The Air Force followed the example of the Navy with a CoA of 4 quarters. Q4 is obviously Venice. I'll see if I can identify Q1 Q2 and Q3 later:

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Incidentally Italian practice is for each "Stormo" (Wing) to have a CoA rather than a badge for each Squadron as in UK and Commonwealth practice.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Military_coats_of_arms_of_the_Italian_Air_Force

The Carabinieri is the only element of the armed forces of Italy whose CoA has a direct link to the previous monarchy, using the red field and white cross of Savoy:

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The Italian blazon is to be found here:

http://www.carabinieri.it/arma/curiosita/carabinieri/nell-araldica/stemma-araldico-2002/2002

(Previous versions can be found in the menu at the right hand side.)
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Re: Giro d'Italia 2016

Postby Chris Green » 24 May 2016, 08:03

Today (Tuesday) the Giro resumes at Bressanone, better known to the majority of its inhabitants as Brixen and to skiers as Piose.

The CoA is hardly original, being the Agnus Dei:

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The official blazon is:
(de) Auf Rot ein rechtsschreitendes, rückwärtsschauendes weiBes Lamm mit goldenem Nimbus, das mit seinem linken Vorderhein die weiBe, van rotem Kreuz geteilte Osterfahne hält.
(it) Di rosso all'agnello di bianco, con il capo rivoltato, nimbato d'oro, portante col piede sinistro una bandiera di bianco inquadrata da croce di rosso.


So the emblazonment to be found on Wikipedia with the lamb standing on a base vert is inaccurate.

The current design was granted in 1966, but is a return to the original arms from 1304. From 1928 until 1966 the lamb stood on a crenellated city gate:

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Arguably Brixen's most famous son was Oswald von Wolkenstein (1376/7-1445) whose life was nothing if not eventful - poet, composer, diplomat, soldier.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_von_Wolkenstein

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Anyone interested in early music should look up von Wolkenstein in Spotify. "Durch Barbarei, Arabia" is well worth a listen.
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