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Ururi, Province of Campobasso, Molise

The village, which rises on a small hill along the border with Apulia, was founded in the 16th century by one of the earliest groups of Albanian people coming from southern Albania, and still preserves the arbëreshë language and traditions they brought with them.

Info

  • Altitude: 252 m a.s.l
  • Territory: hilly
  • Population: about 2600 inhabitants in 2017
  • Zip/postal code: 86049
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0874
  • Patron Saint: Saints Legno della Croce on 3 May.
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Provinces of Molise

History

In the area there are records of a Roman "Casale Aurora", and later of a Benedictine monastery, but the exact location of either the Casale and the monastery are unknown, though they werre most probably the earliest settlements of Ururi. Shortly before 1500, when it was a fiefdom of the Loritello family, Albanians had already settled in Casale Aurora and the name began to change from Aurora to Urure.

Being highly dependent on agriculture and on the transhumance economy based on the seasonal migrations of shepherds, the village underwent a deep crisis from the late 19th century, and large communities of emigrants were formed in Canada and Northern Italy.

They keep very strong, community relations and solidarity with one another, being twice emigrants, once from Albania and a second time from Molise, and it is common to hear from them, when they meet, the traditional Albanian salute "Ghjaku Shprjshur" meaning "our dispersed blood" [Text edited thanks to Prof. Romeo Hanxhari, University of Tirana].

Events and Festivities

  • Mostly based on an agrarian economy, in the summer a typical peasant tradition is reenacted, the "race of wagons" ("Corsa dei Carri"), an important event in the local folklore.

What to see

  • The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, built in 1731 on the site of a previous church, possibly Santa Maria del Vento.