Sunday, April 26, 2015


This Blog is created in order to maintain "MEMORIES" from abusively erased articles of Wikipedia. And even other things......

It is dedicated to the calabrese Vito, nicknamed "MOSCERINO" Vituzzu (and to understand who is, please go to: or -if you know Italian- read these articles on wikimafia : ).

User Vituzzu (nicknamed "moscerino", that in Italian means "mosquito", because he bothers like a stupid mosquito erasing 1 or 2 % of what I post in Wikipedia) is a not too much clever young man who is excessively ambitious and a bit sick of sadism. He likes to rule the Italian Wikipedia like a little red "ducetto" (dictator), but he has his limits. Limits that have been identified with accuracy by Abd when he wrote the above Wikipediocracy article. Indeed Abd wrote that "Vituzzu is a loose cannon, and he, with the collaboration of a few others, has been causing massive global activity damaging the projects (of Wikipedia), all out of his "hatred" for "promotion," and his acknowledged impatience with policy. He is not one of the major actors in combatting real spam, see the post above, he's minor. Given that relative lack of activity, his error rate is enormous". He seems to enjoy to "ban" people on Wikipedia with a sadism that is probably related to a kind of psychological vengeance because he is not working (he lives in Calabria, the poorest region of Italy). He has relatives that seems to be linked to the 'Ndrangheta, a dangerous mafia of Calabria, and he is "bad to the bones" (as a person, who knows him personally, wrote). But -worst of all- he is connected to leftist organizations (like the national-comunists of Croatian Wikipedia) and he is at their service: someone has defined him as "a traitor of his own  people" always ready to erase and attack all that can show that the Italians are one of the best people in the world. He wrote that "colonies were, definitely, strategical and economical mistakes built upon violence. Finally, 'all other European nations did the same' cannot justify us".....but forgets that the US (the greatest & most powerful country in the world) is the creation of colonization and so -for example- were Spain and France (that were colonized by the Romans). As said before, his intelligence has limits (like his knowledge.........)

But not his ambition (that seems infinite), and that is why I have written two dozen letters to "authorities" complaining about him. I warned him personally to let me in peace in Wikipedia, on the contrary he was going to be the REAL loser....he bragged as usual, and so last summer 2014 he stopped collaborating with Wikipedia & Wikimedia for 5 months: some admins wrote that he was "burned" because he was not promoted to high positions inside Wikimedia. On the contrary, he was "put aside" from working there, probably after those 2 dozen letters were written.....and evidently were read by "authorities"! It seems -according to the same admins- that he decided during those 5 months to have a job in his Calabria, but now he is back in Wikipedia since April with his "hate"....probably increased by his failure at this work. Who knows, may be he was even "kicked off" -because of his "problem" personality- by the employers of the work he was doing!

Vito the moscerino/mosquito cannot understand that in Corporate America only those perfectly "clean" can reach the highest job-levels (because of the strong competence for the best well paid jobs) and that even a couple of letters of well written complaints can damage a career. For example a "professional" letter sent to a US police department will be answered by an investigation that will reach the "Wikimedia " authorities. US police works very seriously! But he, with his "Calabria" mind, cannot understand this. Anyway, I warned him but he wanted all this (against human stupidity there it is nothing we can do, as a philosopher wrote).....but -ALLELUIA!- at least he has started to "disappear" from Wikipedia for some months, and this is a typical indication of withdrawal sooner or later (as seen in many cases of Wikipedians who are no more collaborating with this public encyclopedia).



[[Image:Grand Hotel, Tripoli.jpg|right|thumb|400px|The original "Grand Hotel Tripoli", built in the 1920s in Italian Tripoli]]
'''Italian Tripoli''' Map of italian Tripoli in 1930] was the capital of [[Italian Libya]]. It is related to the history of the city of [[Tripoli]] under Italian control, that lasted from 1911 until January 1943. Officially it disappeared in 1947 after the Peace Treaty following [[WWII]].
During the [[Italo-Turkish War]] of 1911 Tripoli was conquered by the Italian Kingdom. The Italian fleet appeared off Ottoman Tripoli in the evening of September 28, 1911: the city was quickly conquered by 1,500 Italian sailors, welcomed by the population. Tripoli inhabitants welcomed the Italians (p. 36-40)]
By the 1912 treaty signed in [[Ouchy]], Italian sovereignty was acknowledged by the Ottomans, although the local [[Caliph]] was permitted to exercise religious authority. Italy officially granted autonomy after the war, but gradually occupied the region of [[Tripolitania]]. Originally administered as part of a single colony, [[Italian Tripolitania|Tripoli and its surrounding province]] were a separate colony from 26 June 1927 to 3 December 1934, when all Italian possessions in North Africa were merged into one colony called [[Italian Libya]].
[[File:Fiat train at Tripoli's railway central station.jpg|thumb|left|250px|Fiat train "Littorina" at Tripoli Station]]
Since 1937 the governor [[Italo Balbo]] started a policy of immigration of Italians (mainly farmers) who were called the ''Ventimilli'' and some of them settled in the area of Italian Tripoli. Video of Italian settlers arriving in the port of Tripoli] So, by the end of 1937, the city had 108,240 inhabitants, including 39,096 Italians.''The Statesman's Yearbook 1948''. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 1040. At the start of [[WWII]] Italian Tripoli had 111,124 inhabitants of which the Italians were 41,304: 37% of the city's inhabitants. Additionally there were nearly 18,000 [[Jews]] in the Tripoli area. Statistics about Jews in northwestern Italian Libya]
Indeed after the Italian occupation of Libya in 1911, the Jews made great strides in education and economic conditions: at that time, there were about 21,000 Jews in the country, the majority in Tripoli. In the late 1930s, Fascist anti-Jewish laws were gradually enforced, and Jews were subject to moderate repression: still, by 1941 -due even to the partial rejection of those laws by governor [[Italo Balbo]]- the Jews accounted for a fifth of the population of Tripoli and maintained 44 synagogues Jews in Tripoli]
In 1941 and 1942 Tripoli -according to estimates of the Italian governmentIstituto Agricolo Coloniale (Firenze).Ministero degli Esteri, 1946- reached a temporary population of nearly 150,000 inhabitants, due to the arrival of many Italians from [[Benghazi]] and [[Cyrenaica]] who took refuge from the British army attacks during [[WWII]]. As a consequence Tripoli was in those years -for the first time since the Arab conquest in 643 AD- a city mostly [[Christianity|Christian]].
{| class="wikitable"
! Town !! Italians !! Arabs !! Jews !! Total !! Notes
| [[Tripoli]] || 47,442 || 47,123 || 18,467 || 113,212||Population of the main urban centers of Italian Libya, according to the Census of 1939/40,ISTAT. "I censimenti nell’Italia unita I censimenti nell’Italia unita: ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI STATISTICA SOCIETÀ ITALIANA DI DEMOGRAFIA STORICA Le fonti di stato della popolazione tra il XIX e il XXI secolo". Annali di Statistica. XII 2: 269 showing that Italians were the main community in the city of Tripoli
| [[Benghazi]] || 23,075 || 40,331 || 3,395 || 66,801||Most of the Italians of Benghazi took refuge in Tripoli in 1941 and 1942
| [[Misrata|Misurata]] || 1,735 || 44,387 || 977 || 47,099||Half of the Italians of Misurata moved to Tripoli in 1941 and 1942
| [[Derna, Libya|Derna]] || 3,562 || 13,555 || 391 || 17,508||Nearly all the Italians of Derna moved to Tripoli in 1941 and 1942
Tripoli underwent a huge architectural and urbanistic improvement under Italian rule: The incorporation of Tripoli into metropolitan Italy] the first thing the Italians did was to create in the early 1920s a sewage system (that until then lacked) with water & electrical facilities to all the city and a [[Tripoli Central Hospital|modern hospital]]. Furthermore, in the western section of Tripoli was created an industrial area in the 1930s, around a huge tobacco factory (called "Manufattura Tabacchi di Tripoli"), with railway workshops, Fiat Motor works, various food processing plants, electrical engineering workshops, ironworks, water plants, agricultural machinery factories, breweries, distilleries, biscuit factories, tanneries, bakeries, lime, brick and cement works.
Governor Balbo used to say that ''"We Italians found in 1911 a big village of approximately 20,000 inhabitants called Tripoli and now we have in 1940 a modern capital nearly ten times bigger and one of the most developed and vibrant cities of Africa"''. Photos of Italian Tripoli]
In the coast of the province was built in 1937-1938 a section of the [[Via Balbia|Litoranea Balbia]], a road that went from Tripoli and Tunisia's frontier to the border of [[Egypt]]. The [[car tag]] for the Italian province of Tripoli was "TL". Italian car tags (in Italian)]
[[File:TIF.Tripoli,Libya.jpg|thumb|right|280px|''Fiera internazionale di Tripoli'' ([[Tripoli International Fair]]) in 1939]]
Furthermore the Italians - in order to promote Tripoli's economy - founded in 1927 the [[Tripoli International Fair]], which is considered to be the oldest Trade Fair in [[Africa]]. Tripoli International Fair brief history] The so-called ''Fiera internazionale di Tripoli'' was one of the main international "Fairs" in the colonial world in the 1930s, and was internationally promoted together with the [[Tripoli Grand Prix]] as a showcase of [[Italian Libya]]. Filippo Giannini: Colonial Italy and Islam (in Italian)]
Indeed the Italians even created the [[Tripoli Grand Prix]], an international motor racing event first held in 1925 on a racing circuit outside Tripoli (it lasted until 1940).{{YouTube|KEtz-wzbs9Y|Video of Tripoli Grand Prix}} Tripoli during the Grand Prix was visited by the elite tourism of the world and had even some "fashion" shops. Italian women walking near the Tripoli Castle]
The first airport in Libya, the [[Mellaha Air Base]] was built by the [[Italian Air Force]] in 1923 near the Tripoli racing circuit (actually is called [[Mitiga International Airport]]). Tripoli had even a railway station with some [[Italian Libya Railways|small railway connections to nearby cities]], when in August 1941 the Italians started to build a new {{convert|1040|km|0|abbr=off}} railway (with a {{convert|1435|mm|1|abbr=on}} gauge, like the one used in Egypt and Tunisia) between Tripoli and [[Benghazi]]. But the war -with the defeat of the Italian Army- stopped the construction the next year.
Tripoli was controlled by Italy until 1943 when the provinces of [[Tripolitania]] and [[Cyrenaica]] were captured by Allied forces. The city fell] to troops of the British [[Eighth Army (United Kingdom)|Eighth Army]] on 23 January 1943. Italian farmer colonists meeting Allies troops in a Tripoli outskirts village] Tripoli was then governed by the British until independence in 1951. Under the terms of the [[Treaty of peace with Italy (1947)|1947 peace treaty]] with the [[Allies of World War II|Allies]], Italy relinquished all claims to Libya. Treaty Of Peace With Italy (1947), Evaluation and Conclusion]
After [[WWII]] the era of international [[decolonization]] fostered an exodus of Italians from Tripoli, Italian exodus from Tripolitania (in Italian)] especially after Libya became independent in 1953. After 1970 the Italian population of the city (called ''Tripolini'') almost disappeared when Libyan president [[Muammar Gaddafi]] ordered the expulsion of Italians. Gaddafi expulsion of the Italians in 1970] At present, the Libyan Italians are organized in the ''Associazione Italiani Rimpatriati dalla Libia''. Associazione Italiani Rimpatriati dalla Libia] The remaining "Tripolini" struggle to get their confiscated properties History of the Italian refugees from Gheddafi Libya (in Italian)] and even to maintain their Italian cemetery. Attacks on the Tripoli Italian Cemetery]
Since the first years in Italian Tripoli were made many infrastructures by the Italians, even with the participation of the local arab "elite":Journal of Libyan Studies 3, 1 (2002) p. 59-68: "Local Elites and Italian Town Planning Procedures in Early Colonial Tripoli (1911-1912)" by Denis Bocquet and Nora Lafi ( Local Elites] ) the most important were the coastal road (called [[Via Balbia]] in honor of Italo Balbo after his death in 1940) between Tripoli and [[Benghazi]] and the [[Italian Libya Railways|railways Tripoli-Zuara, Tripoli-Garian and Tripoli-Tagiura]].
[[Image:LA CATTEDRALE DI TRIPOLI 1960.jpg|thumb|right|250px|The [[Tripoli Cathedral|Cathedral of Tripoli]] in the 1960s.]]
Other important infrastructures were the enlargement of the port of Tripoli with the addition of a [[seaplane]] facility and the creation of the [[Mitiga International Airport|Tripoli airport]] (later in the 1930s was added another [[Tripoli International Airport|"international" airport in nearby Castel Benito]]). The first modern hospital in Tripoli was created by the Italians: the "Tripoli Central Hospital" main buildings that are standing now were built during the Italian administration of Libya in the 1910s. It was known then as ''L'Ospedale Coloniale di Vittorio Emanuele III'' (or Vittorio Emanuele III Colonial Hospital). The service during those days used to be headed by Italian doctors: notable among them was [[Tomaso Casoni]] (1880–1933) who practiced there from 1912 to 1932. He described there a test for diagnosing [[Echinococcosis|hydatid disease]] based on "dermal hypersensitivity", known internationally after him as the [[Casoni test]]. The original building is still standing and is occupied by the hospital's surgery department.
Since 1912 the Italian authorities started creating a "city plan", that was one of the first in the world to respect the ancient medieval city called "medina" (without demolitions of old buildings): it was decided to create a new modern city outside the Ottoman walls. Tripoli city plan and architectural development by Italy (p. 46-66)]
The city of Tripoli underwent a huge transformation in those years, with the creation of new avenues, squares, sea promenades and modern buildings. Photos of Tripoli, before WWII and now] From the central square "Piazza Italia", located just south of the old castle and medina, were created huge boulevards (Corso Sicilia, Photo of Corso Sicilia] Corso Vittorio Emanuele III, Photo of Corso Vittorio Emanuele III] Via Roma, etc.) around which new Italian-style modern buildings were developed.Santoianni. "Tripoli: un centro di sperimentazione urbanistica e architettonica", p. 104 In Tripoli was built the biggest [[Catholicism|catholic]] cathedral of north Africa: the [[Tripoli Cathedral]]. Italian government even restructured the ancient [[Arch of Marcus Aurelius]]. Indeed immediately after the [[Italo-Turkish War|Italian conquest]], this Roman monument received conservation and restoration work from the Italian administration, while the zone around the arch was reorganized by the Italian architect [[Florestano Di Fausto]] in the early 1930s.
Governor Balbo gave Di Fausto in 1938 the task of designing the city plan of Italian Tripoli, and Di Fausto, nominated by Balbo chef of the "Commission for Urban Protection and Esthetics", with the main task of designing Tripoli's city plan,Santoianni (2008), p. 59 started to produce a stream of projects for Libya's capital: there the architect outlined the plan of ''Piazza Castello'' (the area around the [[Red Castle Museum|Red Castle]]) and of the square around the [[Arch of Marcus Aurelius]], in the [[Medina quarter|Medina]]. Moreover, he erected public buildings, churches, markets, hotels, totaling fifteen works in few years.
[[File:Green Square, Tripoli (5282695437).jpg|thumb|left|250px|"Piazza Italia" with Italian-renaissance style fountain and buildings]]
His masterpiece in Tripoli is the multifunctional center [[Al Waddan Hotel|Al Waddan]] (hotel, swimming pools, casino, theater), characterized by a long row of arches parallel to today's ''Sharia al Fatah'' promenade: it was one of the predecessors of "modern [[malls]]". Indeed the actual Al Waddan opened in 1936 as the ''Uaddan Hotel & Casino'', just east of the [[Grand Hotel Tripoli]] (now destroyed as it was when originally built in 1925). Historically it was the grandest hotel in Tripoli and was referenced by an American journalist as being "the [[Waldorf Astoria]] of Tripoli" and was also named "a jewel of modern African architecture".{{cite book|last=Segrè|first=Claudio G.|title=Italo Balbo: A Fascist Life|url=|publisher=University of California Press|isbn=978-0-520-07199-5|page=303}} It contained a casino and a 500 seat theatre.
In all these works, the architect Di Fausto resumed his Romano-Greek experience, mixing with great virtuosity ''arabisant'' and ''[[Novecento Italiano|novecento]]'' elements. Even the modern futuristic "Church of Saint Francis" in downtown Tripoli was another work of art of him.
The same residence of Governor Balbo was to become after [[WWII]] the "Royal Palace" of the Libya's king. Balbo even promoted the creation of an international airport at "[[RAF Castel Benito|Castel Benito]]" (now called [[Tripoli International Airport]]), connected by the first international flights in Africa to Italy and to [[Ethiopia]]'s Addis Abeba.
The [[Red Castle Museum]] was established in 1919, when the colonial Italians in Libya converted a section of the Tripoli's ancient castle to a museum to house many of the archaeological artifacts scattered across the country since prehistoric times. The square around the castle was designed in the thirties by architect Di Fausto as "Piazza Castello" and was integrated with nearby "Piazza Italia" and the disappeared "Lungomare Conte Volpi".
In 1939 was created the [[7 October Stadium]], a grass football stadium called "Stadio Comunale di Tripoli" and based in the center of the city. The stadium was initially made for 5,000 people and was used even for [[Athletics (sport)|athletism]] and [[cyclism]] Cyclism in the "Stadio di Tripoli"] sports. It was the only [[Association football|football]] stadium in Tripoli before the [[June 11 Stadium]] was built in the 1970s.
[[File:Palazzo Reale di Tripoli.jpg|thumb|right|250px|The "Palazzo del Governatore" of Balbo, remodeled as Royal Palace in the 1950s]]
The Piazza Italia (now called [[Martyr's Square]]) featured on one side a wide avenue leading towards the seafront with two tall pillars. On top of the pillars still there are an iron-cast, miniature wooden ship on the norther corner, while the other one features a horseback rider. On the Piazza's other side there was the ''Teatro Miramare'', called later [[Royal Miramare Theatre]]: it used to be located across from the Red Castle Museum, but it was demolished by Gaddafi's government after the 1960s to create space for large demonstrations.
Another important building demolished by dictator Gheddafi was the Tripoli railway station, built in 1937. It was the only railway station in Africa served by the state-of-the-art "Littorina" (an Italian passenger train that obtained the world record of speed in 1939 with the model [[FS Class ETR 200]]).
Additionally, a group of villages for Italians and Libyans were created on the coastal tripolitania around Italian Tripoli during the 1930s. Chapter Libya-Tripolitania (in Italian)] They were like satellite towns and interacted with Tripoli. New villages created for Italians and Libyans] In 1939 the most important created and populated only by native arabs and berbers were: "El Fager" (''al-Fajr'', Alba in Italian language), "Nahima" (Deliziosa), "Azizia" (''‘Aziziyya'', Meravigliosa), "Nahiba" (Risorta), "Mansura" (Vittoriosa), "Chadra" (''khadra'', Verde), "Zahara" (''Zahra'', Fiorita), "Gedida" (''Jadida'', Nuova), "Mamhura" (Fiorente).Santoianni (2008). Progettazione architettonica: Sezione Libia All the villages in the outskirts of Tripoli since 1939 were connected daily by bus service to the "Stazione centrale autobus" (one of the first central [[bus station]]s in north Africa), located in the square of the [[Railway stations in Libya|Tripoli Railway Station]].
Libia-Tripoli-1935-lungomare-Conte-Volpi.jpg|Lungomare Volpi and Teatro Miramare (1935)
Libia-Tripoli-1935-monumento-ai-Caduti.jpg|Monument to the WWI Victory (1935)
Maydan elgazayer Tripoli,Libya.jpg|Former "Piazza Cattedrale" (1950)
Tripoli Castle & Teatro Miramare.jpg|Tripoli Castle (1940)
The christian cemetery in tripoli libya.JPG|Italian Cemetery (1950)
Old Tripoli Clock tower.jpg|Clock Tower and "Albergo Vittoria" (1935)
==See also==
* [[Italian Libya]]
* [[Italian settlers in Libya|Italian Libyans]]
* [[Italian Tripolitania]]
* [[Tripoli Province|Italian Tripoli province]]
* [[Italian Benghazi]]
* [[Linea dell'Impero]]
* Chapin Metz, Hellen. ''Libya: A Country Study''. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1987.
* De Martino, Antonio. ''Tripoli italiana, la guerra italo-turca''.Societa' Libraria Italiana. New York, 1912 ( The Library of Congress])
* Istituto Agricolo Coloniale (Firenze). ''La colonizzazione agricola della Tripolitania''. Ministero degli affari esteri, Tip. Del senato di G. Bardi, Roma 1946.
* ISTAT. ''ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI STATISTICA SOCIETÀ ITALIANA DI DEMOGRAFIA STORICA Le fonti di stato della popolazione tra il XIX e il XXI secolo''. Annali di Statistica.]
* Luiggi, Luigi, ''Le opere pubbliche a Tripoli. Note di Viaggio'', in: Nuova Antologia, XLVII, fasc.965, 1 marzo 1912, p. 115.
* {{cite book|last=McLaren|first=Brian|title=Architecture and tourism in Italian colonial Libya: an original modernism|url=|year=2006|publisher=University of Washington Press|isbn=978-0-295-98542-8|page=194}}
* Pagano, Giovanni. ''Architettura e città durante il fascismo''. Editori Laterza. Roma, 1990
* Pal, Go. ''Gaddafi Up-Close'' Publisher AuthorHouse. Bloomington,2011. ISBN 1467041831
* Santoianni, Vittorio. ''Il Razionalismo nelle colonie italiane 1928-1943.La «nuova architettura» delle Terre d’Oltremare''. Ed. Universita' Federico II. Napoli, 2008 (])
* {{cite web|url=|title=The Light and the Line: Florestano Di Fausto and the Politics of Mediterraneità|publisher=University of California, 2010|work=California Italian Studies|author=Sean Anderson}}
{{Italian Libya}}
[[Category:Italian Libya]]
[[Category:Italian colonisation in Africa]]
[[Category:History of Tripoli]]
[[Category:20th century in Tripoli]]


[[Image:Mappa di Asmara TCI 1929.jpg|thumb|600px|Map of Italian Asmara in 1929]]
'''Italian Asmara''' was the capital of [[Italian Eritrea]] from 1890 to 1941, when [[Eritrea]] was called in [[Italian language|Italian]] with the nickname ''Colonia Primigenia'' (first colony) of the [[Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946)|Kingdom of Italy]]. Italian Asmara was even called in the late 1930s as ''Piccola Roma'' (little [[Rome]]), because looked like a typical small Italian city, with most inhabitants being [[Italian Eritreans|Italians]]. Only in February 1947 -with the Peace Treaty following [[World War II]]- the Italians renounced the city.
==Introduction & historical background==
When in the late 19th century the first Italians arrived in the area where it is now [[Asmara]], they found a small Christian village of nearly 200 inhabitants. The missionary Remedius Prutky had passed through Asmara in 1751, and described in his memoirs that a church built there by [[Jesuit]] priests 130 years before was still intact.J.H. Arrowsmith-Brown, translator and editor, ''Prutky's Travels to Ethiopia and Other Countries'' (London: Hakluyt Society, 1991), p. 78.
[[File:Asmara-cinema Impero.jpeg|thumb|right|300 px|Cinema Impero, built in 1937 "Italian Art Deco"]]
Asmara, which was then part of the independent kingdom of [[Medri Bahri]], was ruled by [[Ras Alula]] who had received the title of governor of Medri Bahri from the emperor of Ethiopia.
[[File:Asmara Church.jpeg|thumb|left|260px|Asmara Roman Catholic Cathedral ([[St Joseph's Cathedral, Asmara|St Joseph's Cathedral]])]]
Asmara acquired importance when it was occupied by Italy in 1889 and was made the capital city of Eritrea in preference to [[Italian Massaua|Massawa]] by Governor [[Ferdinando Martini]] in 1897. In the early 20th century, a railway line was built to the coast, passing through the town of [[Ghinda]], under the direction of Carlo Cavanna. In both [[1913 Asmara Earthquake|1913]] and [[1915 Asmara Earthquake|1915]] the city suffered only slight damage in large earthquakes.{{cite book|last=Ambrayses |first=Nicholas|coauthors=Melville, C.P., Adams, R.D.|title=The Seismicity of Egypt, Arabia and the Red Sea: A Historical Review|publisher=Cambridge University Press|year=1994|isbn=0-521-39120-2}}
Italian Asmara attracted a small community of [[Italian Jews]], that grew in the 1930s. The first Jews to settle in Eritrea were [[Yemenite Jews]] who began arriving in the late 19th century, attracted by new commercial opportunities driven by [[Italian empire|Italian colonial expansion]], which saw the colonization of Eritrea at the time. In 1906, the [[Asmara Synagogue]] Photos of the Synagogue and the main churches in Asmara] was completed in Asmara. It includes a main sanctuary which can seat up to 200 people, classrooms, and a small Jewish cemetery. Indeed in the 1930s, the Jewish community was bolstered when many European Jews emigrated to Eritrea to escape [[Nazi]] persecution in Europe.
In the late 1930s the Italians changed the face of the town, with a new structure and new buildings: Asmara was called ''Piccola Roma'' (Little Rome). Italian architectural planification of Asmara (in Italian) p. 64-66] While Eritrea was under Italian colonial rule, architecturally conservative early-20th-century Europeans (mostly Italians) used Asmara "to experiment with radical new designs." "Asmara useful for experimenting with radical designs for Europeans"], ''Washington Times'', publication date 15 September 2007 (accessed 8 December 2010) Nowadays the major part of buildings are of Italian origin, and shops still have Italian names (e.g., ''Bar Vittoria'', ''Pasticceria moderna'', ''Casa del formaggio'', and ''Ferramenta'').
[[File:Sweet Asmara Caffe (8351473807).jpg|thumb|right|300px|An "Italian Caffe" still existing]]
Asmara was populated by a numerous Italian community and consequently the city acquired an Italian architectural look. The city of Asmara (called in the Italian Empire: ''Asmara italiana'') had a population of 98,000, of which 53,000 were [[Italian Eritreans]] according to the Italian census of 1939. This fact made Asmara the main "Italian town" of the [[Italian empire]] in Africa. In all Eritrea the Italians were 75,000 in that year. Eritrea, la colonia primigenia]
The official language was the Italian, while the currency was the [[Eritrean tallero]] until 1921 and later the [[Italian East African lira]]. The city was mostly Christian, with [[Catholicism|catholics]] being the most numerous faith (64% in 1940, including the Italians): the government built in 1922 one of the best churches in Africa, the Asmara Roman Catholic Cathedral ([[St Joseph's Cathedral, Asmara|St Joseph's Cathedral]]).
Asmara was connected to [[Addis Ababa]] by the ''Via della Vittoria'', a fully asphalted new road of 1077 km built between 1936 and 1939 and served by a weekly bus service that connected the two capitals in four days. A huge modern hospital (called "Hospitem, Ospedale italiano" Actual Photos of "Hospital Italiano" & "Hospital Regina Elena"]) was inaugurated in 1937. Asmara had [[Asmara airport|one of the first airports]] in eastern Africa and was connected to Italy by the [[Linea dell'Impero]], an international flight of nearly 7000 kms between Rome and [[Mogadiscio]]. The first sport activities and structures were made in Italian Asmara in the 1930s: it was even created a football tournament linked to the Italian championships. Calcio (soccer) in Italian Asmara (in Italian)] Furthermore, many industrial investments Italian Eritrea industries] were made by [[Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946)|Italy]] in Asmara (mainly in the metalmechanic sector), but the beginning of World War II stopped the blossoming industrialization of the area.
Italy was defeated in 1941, and the British administered the city from then until 1952. Most Italians moved away from the city in those years: after 1942 started a very difficult decade for the Italians of Asmara.Eros Chiasserini. "Gli anni difficili" ( Eritrea: Gli anni difficili (1941-1951)]) In 1952, the United Nations resolved to federate the former colony under Ethiopian rule, but in 1991 Eritrea obtained the independence after a long struggle''Encyclopedia of Urban Cultures''. Grolier Publishing Co., 2002.
==Italian Eritreans in Asmara==
The city even in 2014 has a small but significant population of [[Italian Eritreans]]. These are [[Demographics of Eritrea|Eritrean]]-born descendants of [[Italian people|Italian]] settlers as well as Italian long-term residents in Eritrea. Those born of mixed race unions are locally called 'hanfets'. Their ancestry dates back from the beginning of the Italian colonization of Eritrea at the end of the 19th century, but only after the [[Second Italo-Abyssinian War]] of 1935 they settled in large numbers.
Indeed in December 1935 the population of Asmara was of only 16.000 inhabitants, of whom 4,000 Italians and 12,0000 Eritreans; but in January 1939 the Asmara population reached 84,000 imhabitants (with 48,000 Italians and 36,000 Eritreans): Emigrazione italiana in Eritrea; p.22] Asmara was the only capital of Africa where the majority of the population was european at the start of World War II.
In the 1939 census of Eritrea there were more than 75,000 Eritrean Italians (over 10% of the Eritrean population then), most of them (53,000) living in Asmara. Many Italian settlers got out of their colony after its conquest by the [[Allies of World War II|Allies]] in November 1941 and they were reduced to only 38,000 by 1946. Although many of the remaining Italians stayed during the decolonization process after World War II and were actually assimilated into the Eritrean society, a few in Asmara were stateless in the 1980s, as none of them were given citizenship unless through marriage or, more rarely, by having it conferred upon them by the State: however in the 1990s all were given Italian passport and nearly all repatriated. In the last decades many of their descendants born in Asmara have moved to Italy, where they have taken the Italian citizenship (like [[Luciano Vassalo]]).
{|{{Infobox Aircraft Begin
|name=Linea dell'Impero aircraft
|image=Savoia-Marchetti SM.75.jpg
|caption=Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 ot the [[Linea dell'Impero]], connecting Rome with Asmara & Mogadiscio in 1940: it was the fastest and longest route in Africa and the most prestigious line of Italian civil aviation
{| border="0" align="center" style="border: 1px solid #999; background-color:#FFFFFF"
|-align="center" bgcolor="#ffbbbb"
! year !! Italian Eritreans !! Eritrea population !! Asmara population
| 1910
| 1935
| 1939
| 1946
| 2008
|colspan=7|'''The ''Italian Eritrean'' population in Eritrea, from 1910 to 2008
One of the most important members of the Italian community in Asmara was Dr. [[Vincenzo Di Meglio]]. In 1940 he promoted -with other Italian doctors- the creation in Asmara of a university section of a faculty of Medicine near the Hospital of Asmara (then called "Ospedale Italiano"): Yearly timetable of Asmara history (in Italian)] it was the first nucleus of the [[University of Asmara]] created in the 1950s. During the last years of [[World War II]] Dr. Di Meglio defended politically the Italians of Eritrea and successively promoted the independence of Eritrea.Franco Bandini. ''Gli italiani in Africa, storia delle guerre coloniali 1882-1943'' p. 67 After the war he supported the creation of the ''Associazione Italo-Eritrei'' and the ''Associazione Veterani Ascari'', in order to get alliance with the Eritreans favorable to Italy in Eritrea. As a result of these creations, he cofounded the ''Partito Eritrea Pro Italia'' ("Party of Shara Italy") in September 1947, an Eritrean political Party favorable to the Italian presence in Eritrea that obtained more than 200,000 inscriptions of membership in one single month.
Indeed the Italian Eritreans strongly rejected the [[Ethiopia]]n annexation of Eritrea after the war: the "Party of Shara Italy" was established in Asmara and Eritrea in the late 1940s and the majority of the members were former Italian soldiers with many [[Eritrean Ascari]] (the organization was even backed up by the government of Italy).
Today there are approximately 900 Italian Eritreans remaining in the Asmara region. However, there are an estimated 100,000 descendants of Italian Eritreans out of the 600,000 population of the city of Asmara.
==Italian architecture==
Italian Asmara represents perhaps one of the most concentrated and intact assemblage of [[Modernist architecture]] anywhere in the world. The urban design within the "Historic Perimeter" of modern Asmara has remained untouched since its original implementation and subsequent evolution throughout the 1930s, and the architectural elements exemplify a superlative example of Modernist architecture in a complete urban setting.
[[File:Asmara-Panorama.jpg|thumb|right|300px|Panorama of modern Asmara, with most buildings and avenues made in the 1930s]]
The city's architecture is heavily influenced by Italian architecture, even because since 1914 the Italians created urban plans for Asmara. The best plan was done in 1937 by Cafiero:
{{Quote|Vittorio Cafiero in 1937 did a new "Urban Plan" for Asmara...maintaining the old street plans, done by the "Cavagnari Plan" in 1914 -that divided Asmara in four sections: the Italian, the native Eritrean, the governmental and the industrial, he added a new section for future development with a "circonvallazione" (round circle avenue). The improvement of the axis around "Roma square", "Mussolini boulevard", "Cadorna boulevard" and the "railways station", moved to the south the administrative/economic center of the planned city... to the southeast there was the green quarter with rich villas around the Ghezza Banda" hill... and to the north of the "Milano boulevard" there was the indigenous quarter. -- Santoianni }}
In 1885, the Italians invaded Eritrea and by 1900 Asmara had become the capital city: the site was chosen mainly for its salubrious highland climate, reliable water supply and ideal geographic location in the center of Eritrea. In the early twentieth century, Asmara represented little more than a tiny highland village, which grew incrementally to become a well-established town by the 1920s.
However, by the 1930s, it was clear that Italy, under the rule of [[Benito Mussolini]], was intent on invading neighbouring Ethiopia and would use Eritrea as the launch pad for this long-held ambition. In preparation for this substantial military attack, an unprecedented quantity of materials and labour flowed into Eritrea throughout the 1930s. In a matter of months, Asmara became a vast building site, as over 70,000 Italians arrived to established new lives for themselves.
The rapid transformation of Asmara from a relatively minor town into Africa's most modern and sophisticated city at that time overlapped with equally momentous events in the world of design and architecture, which involved the global proliferation of Modernism and its various forms, including [[Futurism]], [[Rationalism]], [[Novecento Italiano|Novecento]], and [[Art Deco]]. The spirit of this new age of travel and adventure was embodied in these new architectural forms. Asmara was an ideal blank canvas on which Italian architects could practice and create these modern ideals.
From 1935-1941, thousands of buildings were constructed in the city, most of which reflect various Modernist styles and some of which represent inimitable architectural forms, such as petrol stations mimicking aeroplanes and boats, commercial buildings designed as trains, cavernous cinemas with fine period plasterwork and Art Deco interiors, fine ultra-modern hotels and offices, and government buildings with highly politicised monumental designs.
[[File:Asmara-Night Panorama.jpeg|thumb|right|300px|Panorama of modern Asmara in the evening, similar to the one of an Italian city]]
The city is known for its early 20th century buildings, including the [[Art Deco]] [[Cinema Impero]] (opened in 1937 and considered by the experts one of the world's finest examples of Art Déco style buildingGianluca Rossi, ''Renzo Martinelli inviato de ''La Nazione'', 2009.), Cubist Africa Pension, eclectic [[Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church|Orthodox Cathedral]] and former [[Opera House]], the [[futurist architecture|futurist]] [[Fiat Tagliero Building]], [[neo-Romanesque architecture|neo-Romanesque]] [[Roman Catholic Cathedral of Asmara|Roman Catholic Cathedral]], and the [[neoclassical architecture|neoclassical]] [[Governor's Palace (Asmara)|Governor's Palace]]. The city is adorned by Italian colonial [[villa]]s and [[mansions]], one prominent example being the [[World Bank Building, Asmara|World Bank Building]].
Most of central Asmara was built between 1935 and 1941, so effectively the [[Italians]] managed to build almost an entire city, in just six short years.{{cite news |title=Reviving Asmara |publisher=[[BBC Radio 3]] |date=19 June 2005 |url= |accessdate=30 August 2006 }} {{Dead link|date=September 2010|bot=H3llBot}}
At this time, the dictator [[Benito Mussolini]] had great plans for a second [[Roman Empire]] in Africa. War cut this short, but his injection of funds created the Asmara of today, which supposedly was to be a symbol that [[Fascism]] worked and is an ideal system of government.
[[File:AsmaraStazione.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Asmara railway station in 1939]]
[[File:Cargo lift, Masawa to Eritrea.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Cargo lift Massaua-Asmara]]
The city shows off most early 20th century architectural styles. Some buildings are [[neo-Romanesque architecture|neo-Romanesque]], such as the Roman Catholic Cathedral, some villas are built in a late [[Victorian Architecture|Victorian]] style. Art Deco influences are found throughout the city; essentially Asmara was then what Dubai is now. Architects were restricted by nothing more than the bounds of their imaginations and were given the funds to create masterpieces which we can see today. Essences of [[Cubism]] can be found on the Africa Pension Building, and on a small collection of buildings. The [[Fiat Tagliero Building]] shows almost the height of futurism, just as it was coming into big fashion in Italy. In recent times, some buildings have been functionally built which sometimes can spoil the atmosphere of some cities, but they fit into Asmara as it is such a modern city.
Italian Asmara had even a 19th century fort, Forte Baldissera, and was connected to the port of [[Italian Massaua|Massawa]] by the [[Eritrean Railway]] and by a state-of-the-art [[Asmara-Massawa Cableway|cableway]].
The [[Asmara airport]] was created in 1922, the first such facility to be opened in [[Italian Eritrea]]. It served as the main military airport in the territory. In the mid-1930s, the airport began offering civilian and commercial flights: the first international was the Asmara-Rome, started in 1933. Furthermore, an efficient postal service was created using the Asmara airport. Video of Postal service Eritrea-Somalia]
On 7 July 1935, an agreement was signed with the British "Imperial Airways" to connect Asmara to [[Khartoum]]. A regular [[Kassala]]-Khartoum-Asmara-[[Massawa]] 770 km commercial route was subsequently started with a [[Caproni Ca.133|Caproni 133]] of the Italian [[Ala Littoria]].{{cite web|last=Flavio Riccitelli (A.I.D.A.)|title=ALA LITTORIA S.A. (1934–1941)|url=|publisher=Il Postalista|accessdate=7 October 2013}} During [[World War II]], the airport was nearly destroyed by the British.
Italian Asmara was known in 1940 to be an exceptionally modern city, not only because of its architecture, but even because had more [[traffic lights]] than [[Rome]] had when the city was being built. The city incorporates many features of a planned city. Indeed, Asmara was an early example of an ideal modern city created by architects, an idea which was introduced into many cities across the world, such as [[Brasilia]], but which was not altogether popular. Features include designated city zoning and planning, wide treed boulevards, political areas and districts and space and scope for development.
The city has been regarded as "New Rome" or "Italy's African City" due to its quintessential Italian touch, not only for the architecture, but also for the wide streets, [[piazza]]s and coffee bars. While the boulevards are lined with palms and indigenous ''shiba'kha'' trees, there are numerable [[pizza|pizzerias]] and coffee bars, serving [[cappucino]]s and [[latte]]s, as well as [[ice cream]] parlours. Indeed the first brewery in Asmara (and Eritrea) was the ''Melotti Brewery'', that was founded in 1939 by Luigi Melotti:{{it icon}} Cronologia storica dell'Eritrea] even now it exists but with the new name "Asmara Brewery" and supports one of the best football teams in Eritrea (the [[Asmara Brewery (sport)|Asmara Brewery F.C.]]).
Asmara has been proposed as a possible new addition to the [[UNESCO]] [[World Heritage Site]]s, under the direction of the [[Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project]], for its outstanding examples of 20th century architecture and [[town planning]] when was called ''Asmara italiana''.
|File:Asmara Main Street.jpeg|Main Street of Asmara
|File:Eritrean Central Post Office.jpg|Eritrean Central Post, built in 1938
|File:Bf Asmara Gleisseite.JPG|Railway station in Asmara
|File:Eritrea - Government building, Asmara.jpg|Government building in Asmara, built in 1936
|File:Asmara-church2.jpeg|Church in Asmara
|File:Oper Asmara 1.JPG|Asmara Opera
|File:Asmarapalazzodelgovernatore.png|Asmara "Palazzo del Governatore" (actual Presidential Building)
|File:Fiat Tagliero Building.jpg|Fiat Tagliero Building
|File:Ministry of Trade and Industry.jpg|Ministry of Industry building , built in 1940
|File:Road and Rail to Masawa -a.jpg|Road and railways Massaua-Asmara in 1940
* Alamanni,E. ''La Colonia Eritrea e i suoi commerci'' Bocca ed. Torino, 1891.
* Boness, Stefan. ''Asmara - The Frozen City''. Jovis Verlag, Berlin 2006. 96 pages. ISBN 3-936314-61-6
* Chiasserini, Eros. ''Eritrea 1941-1951 – Gli anni difficili''
* Dell'Oro, Erminia. ''Asmara addio''. Edizioni dello Zibaldone. Pordenone, 1988 ISBN 88-7692-156-7
* Denison Edward, Guang Yu Ren, Naigzy Gebremedhin, and Guang Yu Ren. ''Asmara: Africa's Secret Modernist City'' (2003) ISBN 1-85894-209-8
* Godoli, Giovanni. ''Asmara: immagine di una città. Architettura e Potere da Ferdinando Martini all'Impero'' (]). Università degli Studi di Firenze Ed. Firenze,2009
* Negash,T.I''talian colonisation in Eritrea: policies, praxis and Impact'' Uppsala University. Uppsala, 1987.
* Podestà, Gian Luca. ''L’Emigration Italienne en Afrique Orientale'', in <>, vol. 1, 2007, pp. 59–84.
* Santagata, F. ''La Colonia Eritrea nel Mar Rosso davanti all'Abissinia'' Libreria Internazionale Treves. Napoli, 1935.
* Santoianni, Vittorio. ''Il Razionalismo nelle colonie italiane 1928-1943.La «nuova architettura» delle Terre d’Oltremare''. Ed. Federico II University. Napoli, 1998
* Trevaskis, G. ''Eritrea: a Colony in Transition, 1941-1952'' Oxford University Press. Londra, 1960.
==See also==
* [[Italian Eritrea]]
* [[Italian Massaua]]
* [[Italian Eritreans]]
* [[Italian Empire]]
* [[Eritrea Governorate]]
==External links== Asmara, Eritrea] Documentary Film about the city and its history, by filmmaker Caterina Borelli History of Asmara]
*;] Ciao Asmara, [[Voluntary Service Overseas|VSO]] volunteer [[Justin Hill]]'s book Eritrea In Pictures] Pictures of Art Deco and Moderne Asmara buildings
* Asmara: la città degli italiani e la città degli eritrei (in Italian)]
* Architettura razionalista ad Asmara (in Italian)]
* Eritrean website (in italian)]
* Racconti Eritrei] di Erminia Dell'Oro (in Italian) Ferrovia eritrea] Eritrean Railway Eritrea] About Eritrea Photos of 2007 Asmara, showing what remains of Italian Asmara] Postcards and pictures of Italian Asmara] Video showing Italian Asmara in the 1930s]
{{Eritrea italiana (Colonia Primigenia)}}
{{Italian colonial empire}}
[[Category:Italian Empire]]



[[File:Banco dItalia (8527950453).jpg|thumb|right|450px|The former "Banco d'Italia" building in Italian Massaua, built in the 1920s Banco d'Italia in Massaua being rebuilt]]]
'''Italian Massaua''' was the name used during the Italian colonization of [[Eritrea]] for the port-city of [[Massawa]]. Map of Italian Massaua (1929)]
On February 5, 1885 Massawa was occupied by 1500 Italian [[Bersaglieri]] under the command of colonel Tancredi. "Occupazione di Massaua" (in Italian)]
Massawa, at the beginning of the Italian civil administration, was the capital of [[Italian Eritrea]] and the only urban center of the colony. From February 1885 until 1897, Massawa served as the administrative center of the region, before Governor [[Ferdinando Martini]] moved his administration to [[Italian Asmara]]. Between 1887 and 1932, the Italians expanded the [[Eritrean Railway]], connecting Massawa with [[Asmara]] and then [[Bishia]] near the [[Sudan]] border, and completed the [[Asmara-Massawa Cableway]]. At 75 km long, it was the longest ropeway conveyor in the world at the time.
In 1890, Massaua had 5,000 inhabitants, of which almost 200 were [[Italian Eritreans|Italians]] residents, with nearly one thousand of Italian military personnel. In the early 20th century, an architectural plan similar to the one in Asmara was adopted for city. It included a commercial and industrial area. Italian Massaua Plan (in Italian) p. 65]
The plan to improve the city that was prepared was aimed at reordering distinct parts that made up the town and that bordered the inlet of the port, the islands of Massawa and Taulud, connected to each other and the mainland by dams, the peninsulas of Gerar and Abd-el-Kader and the hinterland Edaga Berai near the dam Taulud. The "master" plan was prepared by the Italian Central Office of Civil Engineers in 1914, but was approved only for the part about the island of Taulud. The zoning required by the building code of 1915 fixed a structure which was confirmed by subsequent plans of the twenties and thirties.
The island of Massawa, where the ancient [[Ottoman empire|Ottoman-Arab]] core, unlike other urban colonial areas, had a mixed use for a variety of reasons, including a major that was linked to the use of the port, being the platform that limited its northern flank of the island the only one for the docking of large ships. So, in this area were concentrated all commercial activities. The island of Taulud, on whose northern end stood the palace of the "[[Khedive]]" Turkish, was reused first as the headquarters of the Italian military command, and then as the Government Palace: later became the area where was focused the [[Italian-Eritreans]]-metropolitan population. The area reserved to the natives was across the plain of Edgarà Berai, where arose the new suburbs after the Italian occupation. The peninsula of Gerar was given to the industrial area, while that of Abd-el-Kader remained occupied by military installations.
[[File:RailwayMassauaBisha.png|thumb|left|300px|The original Railway Massaua-Asmara in Italian Eritrea was projected to reach Teseney near the Sudan border, but construction was stopped because of WWII]]
The works for the relocation of the port was started in 1913 on the basis of a draft by architect Luigi Luiggi and the Central Office of Civil Engineers of Massawa. In 1921 the city was badly damaged by an earthquake, but the reconstruction was done quickly through the grant of loans and government subsidies to individuals and businesses. In the same year were approved with a new plan where the building were programmed with earthquake standards.
From 1928, with [[fascism]] rule were carried out in the port further expansion works, even in relation to the newly created railway and cableway to the capital Asmara. During the 1935/1936 war with Ethiopia in Massawa was recorded a significant increase in traffic, since it had become the main base for the supplies of the military campaign; and in subsequent years, with the new role of "Port of the Italian Empire", the city saw a great development with the increase of the population.
Italian Massaua in 1938 touched 15,000 inhabitants. Italians favored the development of [[Catholicism]] in the city, and a new catholic cathedral was built in the late 1930s. Massaua Cathedral] The urban plans for the various areas of the city were implemented: in the island of Massawa was traced a road ring, while in that of Taulud was to be built a residential neighborhood. A settlement with industrial plants was expected in the peninsula of Gerar, with new areas to the decentralized Archico-Gurgussum. In addition it was decided the reorganization of the nearby villages of Edaga Berai and Amatereh with the small nucleus Otumlo located inside.
In the port area was planned the construction of a huge "Stazione marittima" (Sea Station) for ocean liners, but the beginning of [[WWII]] blocked all this further improvements of Italian Massaua.
==The Port of Italian Massaua==
At the end of the 19th century, the [[Kingdom of Italy]] created a modern port in Massaua for their newly acquired colony of [[Italian Eritrea|Eritrea]]. Images of Italian Massaua before WWI]
[[File:Massawa station - 2008-10-31.jpg|thumb|left|The Massaua Station on the [[Eritrean Railway]].]]
The Italian colony suffered repeated earthquakes. Most of the city was completely destroyed by the [[1921 Massawa Earthquake|1921 Earthquake]]: it took until 1928 to fully restore the port,{{cite book| last=Killion | first=Tom | title=Historical Dictionary of Eritrea |isbn= 0-8108-3437-5 | publisher=The Scarecrow Press | year=1998}} hampering initially the Italian colonial ambitions.
The Italian colonialists had nevertheless built Italian Massaua to become the largest and safest port on the east coast of Africa, and the largest [[deep-water port]] on the Red Sea. Between 1887 and 1932, they expanded the [[Eritrean Railway]], connecting the port of Massawa with the Eritrean capital [[Asmara]], and completed the 75 kms long [[Asmara-Massawa Cableway]]. "La Teleferica Massaua-Asmara" cableway brochure, translated by Mike Metras, Dave Engstrom, and Renato Guadino] As a consequence the commercial activity of the port grew to nearly one million tons of merchandise, with more than 180000 passengers in 1939.GuglielmoEvangelista. "Porti dell'Eritrea" (])
In early 1941, Italian Massaua had nearly 20,000 inhabitants, of which almost 3,500 were [[Italian Eritreans|Italians]].
After the creation of the [[Italian East Africa|Africa Orientale Italiana]] the Italian government increased the international ship lines serving the port of Massaua: while in the late 1920s were needed 16 days from Massaua to [[Genova]] or [[Venice]] in [[Italy]], after 1939 were needed only 5 days.
List of main ship routes from Italian Massaua in early 1940, just before the start of war against the Allies:"Porti dell'Eritrea", by Guglielmo Evangelista
[[File:ConteBiancamano reconstructed.jpg|thumb|right|250px|Ocean Liner "Conte Biancamano" connected Massaua with Italy and China/Japan]]
* Italia-Massaua-China/Japan ([[Italian Line]]), biweekly
* Genova-Massaua-Mogadiscio-Chisimaio ([[Lloyd Triestino]]), weekly
* Italia-Massaua-Australia (Lloyd Triestino), weekly
* Napoli-Massaua-Assab-Gibuti (LLoyd Triestino), weekly
* Italia-Massaua-Assab-South Africa (Lloyd Triestino), monthly
* Venezia-Massaua-India (Veneta di navigazione), weekly
* Genova-Massaua-Mogadiscio (RAMB), weekly
* Venezia-Massaua-Mogadiscio (RAMB), biweekly
* Genova-Massaua-Assab (I. Messina), biweekly
The service was done with modern [[Ocean liner]]s like the [[SS Conte Biancamano|Conte Biancamano]], "Victoria", "Esquilino" and "Viminale".
In those years there was even a local service (called "linea Circolare del Mar Rosso") that connected all the main ports in the Red Sea. Another (called "linea Intercoloniale") connected Massaua with Assab-Gibuti and the main ports of [[British Somaliland]] and [[Italian Somaliland]].
The port of Massaua was going to be enlarged in 1941, but [[WWII]] blocked it.
Italy was one of the [[Axis powers of World War II|Axis]] powers during [[World War II]] and Massawa was the homeport for the [[Red Sea Flotilla]] of the [[Regia Marina|Italian Royal Navy]]. On April 8, 1941 one motor-torpedo boat of the Flotilla, the ''MAS 213'', made a successful torpedo attack on the british cruiser [[HMS Capetown (D88)|HMS ''Capetown'']] partially sinking it just out of the Massaua port. MAS 213 attack on British cruiser (in Italian)] When the city fell during the [[East African Campaign (World War II)|East African Campaign]], a large number of Italian and German ships were sunk in an attempt to [[Scuttling#Blockade of Massawa (1941)|block use of Massawa's harbor]]. Photo of sunken ships in Massaua port]
From 15 April 1942, later master diver and salvage specialist RNR Lieutenant Peter Keeble (then a complete rookie in both disciplines) was assigned to the clearing of the harbour.Keeble, Peter (1957). ''Ordeal by water.'' Longmans, Green & co. No ISBN number available. He succeeded only in the simple task of salvaging an ex-Italian tugboat. The same month, [[United States Navy]] [[Commander]] [[Edward Ellsberg]] and his handful of crew arrived to take over. The wrecks were salvaged in short order and the port was returned to service, as part of what had now become the British protectorate of Eritrea.
In 1945, following the end of [[World War II]], the port of Massawa suffered damage as the occupying British either dismantled or destroyed much of the facilities. These actions were protested by [[Sylvia Pankhurst]] in her book ''Eritrea on the Eve''.Also detailed in the chapter "The Feminist Fuzzy-Wuzzy" of Michela Wong's ''I didn't do it for you: how the world betrayed a small African nation'' (New York: Harper-Perennial, 2005), pp. 116-150.
[[File:ST-Massowa.jpg|thumb|center|1000px|Massaua in 1888, when just occupied by the Italian Bersaglieri]]
* Mantegazza, Vico. ''Da Massaua a Saati: narrazione della spedizione italiana del 1888 in Abissinia''. Editore F. Treves, 1888. (University of Chicago, 2014])
* Maravigna, Pietro. ''Come abbiamo perduto la guerra in Africa. Le nostre prime colonie in Africa. Il conflitto mondiale e le operazioni in Africa Orientale e in Libia. Testimonianze e ricordi''. Tipografia L'Airone. Roma, 1949.
* Negash, Tekeste. ''Italian colonialism in Eritrea 1882-1941 (Politics, Praxis and Impact)''. Uppsala University. Uppsala, 1987.
==See also==
* [[Italian Eritrea]]
* [[Eritrea Governorate]]
* [[Asmara-Massawa Cableway]]
* [[Eritrean Railway|Massaua-Asmara Railway]]
* [[Italian Asmara]]
{{Eritrea italiana (Colonia Primigenia)}}
{{Italian colonial empire}}
[[Category:Italian colonisation in Africa]]
[[Category:History of Eritrea]]


[[File:Sciara-1911.svg|thumb|right|500px|Sciara Sciatt was on the east of Tripoli outskirt, near the coast and Fort Hamidie]]
The '''Massacre of Italians at Sciara Sciat''' occurred in late October 1911 in a village on the outskirts of Tripoli, Libya. Approximately 500 Italian troops (called ''Bersaglieri'') were killed in the incident which occurred during the [[Italo-Turkish War]]. It was the biggest loss of life for Italian troops prior to [[World War I]]. Italo-turkish war]
The Italian fleet appeared off [[Ottoman Empire|Ottoman]] [[Tripoli]] on the evening of September 28, 1911. The city and surroundings was captured in a few days by 1,500 Italian sailors, who were welcomed by the population. Tripoli inhabitants welcomed the Italians (p. 36-40)] Shortly after Smallwarsjournal: Arab thoughts on Italian-Turkish war] the interior of Ottoman Libya broke out in revolt, with the Italian authorities losing control over large areas of the region.{{Cite book
|first=John |last=Wright
|title=Libya: A Modern History
|location=Kent, England |publisher=Croom Helm
Indeed, even before the arrival of the Italian forces in 1911, cells led by Ottoman officers (called "Young Turks"), including [[Kemal Ataturk]], had Libyans infiltrate Italian industry and companies in Ottoman Tripolitania, reconnoiter roads, and take a census of all males able to bear arms in Tripoli and Derna to prepare for a "jihad" by the local Muslims.Bruce Davenport, second chapter
In the weeks after the invasion many atrocities were committed by local Muslims, supported by Turks disguised as Arab Muslims, against the Italian soldiers and civilians, as happened in Sciara Sciat: Sciara sciat and the massacre of Italians]"Cronaca e storia del Corpo dei Bersaglieri", Daniele Piazza Editore, Torino 1986, pag.173
The "11 Reggimento" [[Bersaglieri]] of Colonel Gustavo Fara had its 4th battalion defending the small oasis village of Sciara Sciatt when it was attacked by the Turks and Arabs and was overrun on the October 23, 1911. The surviving 290 bersaglieri were captured in the local cemetery by fanatical Moslems and were tortured to death with considerable sadism.
{{Quote|''I saw (in Sciara Sciat) in one mosque seventeen Italian crucifixed with their bodies reduced to the status of bloody rags and bones, but whose faces still retain traces of hellish agony. It has passed through the neck of these wretched a long barrel and arms resting on this rod. They were then nailed to the wall and died for a slow fire between untold suffering. It is impossible for us to paint the picture of these hideous rotted meat hanging pitifully on the bloody wall. In a corner another body is crucified, but as an officer he was to have refined his sufferings. The eyes are stitched. All the bodies were mutilated and castrated; so indescribable was the scene and the bodies appeared swollen as shapeless carrion. But that's not all! In the cemetery of Chui which served as a refuge from the Turks and whence pulled from afar we could see another show. Under the same door in front of the Italian trenches five soldiers had been buried up to their shoulders, their heads emerged from the black sand stained of their blood: heads horrible to see, and there you could read all the tortures of hunger and thirst (Gaston Leroud and the correspondent of Matin-JournalGaston Leroud , Matin Journal edition August 23, 1917)''}}
Argentine journalist Enzo D'Armesano of the [[Buenos Aires]] newspaper "La Prensa" was present the next morning in Sciara Sciat and reported the cruelty with a description that impressed the Argentinian people. He wrote that many local civilians attacked from the rear the Italian troops with knives, after initially showing friendship in order to approach them.Bruce Davenport, p. 38 The Argentinian reporter wrote that the only three survivors of the 4th battalion accused the Moslem civilians of the Sciara Sciatt oasis of "tradimento" (betrayal)Antonio De Martino. "Tripoli italiana", p. 116-118
[[File:Execution of 30 Turks.jpg|thumb|right|250px|Consequences of Sciara Sciatt: execution of 30 Turks dressed as Arabs]]
At Sciara Sciatt died officially 21 Italian officers and 482 soldiers (290 of them after surrender in Rebab cemetery). Corriere della Sera: Sciara Sciatt]
The consequences of this massacre (and others against the Italian troops) were the retaliation and revenge mainly on [[1911 Tripoli massacre|native civilians in the outskists of Tripoli]]. Even some Turks were executed because found dressed as Arabs, in order to infiltrate inside the area controlled by the Italians and promote treacherous attacks by the local Muslims.
One of the opponents of the Italian intervention in the conquest of Ottoman Libya, a Marxist activist and future dictator [[Benito Mussolini]], started to change his opinion after news of this massacre reached Italy. He, later in the late 1920s, remembered (and always cited) this Sciara Sciatt massacre when imposed his [[Pacification of Libya]].
* Bruce Vandervort. ''Verso la quarta sponda, la guerra italiana per la Libia (1911-1912)'' Stato maggiore dell'esercito. Roma, 2012
* De Martino, Antonio. ''Tripoli italiana. la Guerra italo-turca'' Societa' libraria italiana. New York, 1912 (Library of Congress edition)
* Gerwarth, Robert. ''Empires at War: 1911-1923. The Greater War''. Publisher Oxford University Press. Oxford, 2014 ISBN 0191006947
* Ministero della Difesa.''Cronaca e storia del Corpo dei Bersaglieri'', Daniele Piazza Ed. Torino, 1986
==See also==
* [[Italo-Turkish War]]
* [[1911 Tripoli massacre]]
* [[Italian Libya]]
{{Italian colonial campaigns}}
{{Italian Libya}}
{{coord missing|Libya}}
[[Category:Italian Libya]]
[[Category:Italo-Turkish War]]
[[Category:Massacres in Libya]]



 [[Image:Italian empire 1914.png|thumb|right|500px|Map of the Italian territories in the world before [[WWI]], showing the Italian concession of Tientsin in China]]
'''Concessions and forts of Italy in China''' are the commercial and military concessions & fortifications that the [[Kingdom of Italy]] had in different Chinese localities until [[WWII]].
Italy in the first half of the 20th century has had concessions and fortifications in Peking, Tientsin, Shanghai, Shan Hai Kuan, Ta Ku, Amoy and Hankow. Since 1925 they were defended mainly by the "Battaglione Italiano in Cina" ([[San Marco Regiment|Battaglione San Marco]]) and by some Italian Navy ships, like the gunboats "Carlotto" and Caboto" (later substituted by the minelayer [[Italian minelayer Lepanto|"Lepanto"]]).
[[File:Western Legations Peking 1900 Clowes Vol VII.jpeg|thumb|300px|right|upright=1.4|The small Italian area inside the 1900 Peking Legation Quarter]]
They were ruled by "Consoli" (Governors), all resident in Tientsin:
* Cesare Poma (1901–1903)
* Giuseppe Chiostri (1904–1906)
* Oreste Da Vella (1907–1911)
* Vincenzo Fileti (1912–1919)
* Marcello Roddolo (1920–1921)
* Luigi Gabrielli di Quercita (1921–1924)
* Guido Segre (1925–1927)
* Luigi Neyrone (1928–1932)
* Filippo Zappi (1933–1938)
* Ferruccio Stefenelli (1939–1943)
There was even the [[Treaty Port]] in [[Beihai]] (southern China), that was allowed to have a small area for Italian commerce.{{cite web|url=|title=Free Ports in China|publisher=|accessdate=23 November 2014}}
{{Quote|''In 1932...the Italian shipping company "Lloyd Triestino" opened a new service linking Italy to Shanghai by scheduling on that route two modern trans-atlantic vessels, the "Conte Biancamano" and "the Conte Rosso" (which immediately set a speed world record of only 23 days during the first voyage). With this new service, supported by those of other companies employed in the trade of various goods and products, the economic exchange between Italy and China reached such good levels to alarm Great Britain and France''. Alberto Rosselli {{cite web|url=|title=Italian Armed forces in China (1937-1943)|publisher=|accessdate=23 November 2014}}}}
The Italian possessions in China enjoyed a relatively good economic development with huge Italian-Chinese commerce in the 1920s and mainly in the 1930s.
===Peking Legation Quarter===
Italian troops occupied a section of the [[Peking]] "Legation Quarter" in 1900. Indeed the [[Eight-Nation Alliance]] of which Italy belonged, at the end of the [[Battle of Peking]], obtained the right to station troops to protect their legations in China's capital by the terms of the [[Boxer Protocol]].
The Legation Quarter was encircled by a wall and all Chinese residents in the area were ordered to relocate away. Sealed from its immediate environment, the Legation Quarter became a city within the city exclusively for foreigners and many Chinese nationalists resented the Quarter as a symbol of foreign dominance. Italy had this small concession until 1943.
===Tientsin Italian concession===
{{Main|Italian concession of Tientsin}}
[[Image:马可波罗广场近景.jpg|thumb|right|300px|Main square of Italian Tientsin]]
On 7 September 1901, a concession in [[Tientsin]] (that consisted approximately of half a square kilometer - or 51.42 ha.Tianjin Shehui Kexueyuan Lishi yanjiousuo, Tianjin jianshi, Tianjin: Renmin Chubanshe, 1987) was ceded to the [[Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)|Kingdom of Italy]] by the [[Qing Dynasty]] of China.Laura Rampazzo. "Un pizzico d’Italia nel cuore della Cina: la concessione di Tianjin" (in Italian)] On 7 June 1902, the concession was taken into Italian possession and administered by an Italian [[consul (representative)|consul]]: the first was Cesare Poma and the last (in 1943) was Ferruccio Stefenelli. Along with other foreign concessions, the Italian concession lay on the [[Hai River|Pei Ho]], southeast of the city centre.Sandro Bassetti."Colonia italiana in Cina". Section:Le Forze Armate italiane (in Italian)
In 1917 China terminated the leases of Germany and Austria-Hungary concessions. The districts were converted into "Special Areas" with a separate administration from the rest of Tientsin. But Italy requested the Austrian concession after [[WWI]]: it was obtained only in June 1928 and soon returned to Chinese authorities,{{cite web|url=|title=Italian occupation of former Austrian Concession|publisher=|accessdate=23 November 2014}} when the Second Special Area (the one of former Austrian concession) was in danger of war and occupation during the China civil war.
In 1935 the total population was 6,261, of which 5,725 Chinese and 536 foreigners including 392 Italians, according to historian Pistoiese.Gennaro E. Pistolese, «La Concessione Italiana di Tien-Tsin» p.306 He even wrote that the concession in those years experienced huge improvements and assumed "the role of showcase of Italian art" with rich urban developments. As stated by Woodhead, in 1934 "The Italian concession ... was becoming the most popular centre for the palatial residences of retired Chinese militaries and politicians".{{cite web|url=|title=Maurizio Marinelli: Chinese residents in Italian Tientsin|author=Marinelli, Maurizio|publisher=|accessdate=23 November 2014}}
In the late 1930s the Italian concession of Tientsin and the consulates of Shanghai, Hankow and Beijing lived a quite peaceful period. Italian Tientsin enjoyed a small economic boom, fueled by rich Chinese who moved to live in the Italian area escaping the Japanese invasion of China. But [[WWII]] changed everything.
During World War II, the Italian concession in Tientsin had a garrison of approximately 600 Italian troops on the side of the [[Axis powers]]. On 10 September 1943, when [[Armistice between Italy and Allied armed forces|Italy signed an armistice with the Allies]], the concession was occupied by the [[Imperial Japanese Army]].
===Italian concession in the Shanghai International Settlement===
[[File:Flag of the Shanghai International Settlement.svg|thumb|250px|left|The flag of the Shanghai International Settlement, showing even the Italian one]]
After [[WWI]] the Kingdom of Italy maintained troops in an area of [[Shanghai]], that was used as commercial concession inside the [[Shanghai International Settlement]] (S.I.S.). This settlement was wholly foreign-controlled, with staff of all nationalities, including [[United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland|British]], [[United States|Americans]], [[Denmark|Danes]], [[German Empire|German]]s and [[Italians]].
[[Image:FormerFrenchandItalianConcessionMap.jpg|thumb|right|300px|Italian concession in the S.I.S. (borders in yellow)]]
In reality, the British held the largest number of seats on the Council and headed all the Municipal departments. The only department not chaired by a Briton was the "Municipal Orchestra", which was controlled by an Italian.
The International Settlement maintained its own fire-service, [[police force]] (the [[Shanghai Municipal Police]]), and even possessed its own [[military reserve]] in the [[Shanghai Volunteer Corps]].
Following some disturbances at the British concession in [[Hankow Incident|Hankow in 1927]], the defences at Shanghai were augmented by a permanent battalion of the British Army, which was referred to as the [[Shanghai Defence Force]] and [[China Marines|a contingent of US Marines]]. Other armed forces would arrive in Shanghai: the French Concession had a defensive force of [[Annamite]] troops, the Italians also introduced their own marines, as did the Japanese (whose troops eventually outnumbered the other countries' many times over).
{{Quote|''In ‘Old Shanghai’, there were specific areas with a high concentration of Italian economic activities (in the International Settlement: Kiukiang Road; Kiangse Road; crossroads between Nanking Road and Szechuen Road; Bubbling Well Road), areas with Italian residences (French Concession), other suburban areas with Italians (Zikawei; in this case, they were priests). Moreover, Italians were involved in specific economic sectors (primarily, silk): as the textile sector was developed mainly in Lombardy at that time, most of the expatriate Italian managers and supervisors in Shanghai mills came from this Italian region.''Stefano Piastra Italians in the "Old Shanghai"]}}
In the late 1930s was reinforced the military presence in the small area of Shanghai (that was next to the American concession and north of the [[Shanghai French Concession|French concession]]) controlled by the Italians. The [[Regia Marina|Italian Navy]] stationed in the Shanghai port periodically some ships like the cruisers [[Trento class cruiser|Trento]] and [[Italian cruiser Raimondo Montecuccoli|Montecuccoli]] during the [[Second Sino-Japanese War|Japanese invasion of China]].Shanghai international settlements in red, italian sector #4 on Chinese written map] In 1947 the Peace Treaty forced Italy to renounce to it with article 26, that stated: "(Italy) agrees to the reversion of the said Settlements (at Shanghai and Amoy) to the Administration and control of the Chinese Government".
===Forts in Shan Hai Kuan & in Ta-Ku===
From 1900 until the late 1930s, the Italians even held small forts like the ''Forte di [[Shanhai Pass|Shan Hai Kuan]]''{{cite web|url=|title=Photo of the Fort just conquered with Italian flag|work=Flickr|accessdate=23 November 2014}} near the [[Great Wall of China]] in [[Manchuria]]{{cite web|url=|title=Italian Fort near the "China Great wall" (in Italian)|author=Trentoincina|publisher=|accessdate=23 November 2014}} and the ''Forte nordoccidentale'' in [[Taku Forts|Ta-Ku]].{{cite book|url=|title=Avvenimenti in Cina nel 1900 (in Italian)|publisher=|accessdate=23 November 2014}} The [[Battle of Dagu Forts (1900)|one in Ta-Ku]] (called "N.W fort of Ta-Ku") was held together with the British for a couple of years.Landor, A. "China and the Allies". p. 126
===Commercial Concessions in Hankow and in Amoy===
[[File:Han keou 1912.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Italian consulate in the 1912 Hankow concessions]]
In [[Hankow]] since the 1900 was located an Italian consulate, that later was enlarged in order to have a small commercial concession.
Hankow was the center of catholic missions and had many Italian priests and nuns who were protected by Italian troops in the 1920s and early 1930s (in the late 1920s nearly 40% of the Italian civilians in China were religious personnel of the [[Catholicism|Roman Catholic Church]]{{cite book|url=|title=Guido Samarani, p.52|publisher=|accessdate=23 November 2014}}).
Another small commercial area under Italian control was in [[Amoy]] (Xiamen), after [[WWI]]. Concessions in Shanghai and China (in French)] Amoy's European settlements (like the small Italian consulate) were concentrated on the islet of [[Gulangyu]] off the main island of actual Xiamen in the region of [[Hong Kong]]. Today, Gulangyu is known for colonial architecture, with some examples of the Italian one.{{cite web|url=|title= Gulangyu/Amoy|publisher=|accessdate=23 November 2014}}
In the early 1930s only the small consulate of Hankow remained under Italian control.
==After 1940==
When started [[WWII]] Italy had only the Tientsin concession under direct control, while remained a garrison in the Shanghai international settlement, in the fort of Shan Hai Kuan and in the Legation of Peking.
In 1940 the soldiers of the ''Battaglione San Marco'' were stationed in the remaining areas controlled by Italy: nearly 200 were in Shanghai, 180 in Tientsin, 25 in Shan Hai Kuan and 15 in Peking. They were helped by the marines and sailors of the Italian Navy stationed in Tientsin.Maurizio Marinelli, p.54
After September 1943 -when Italy surrendered to the Allies- started a very difficult period for the Italians in China. Japanese forces took control of the Italian possessions in China, after some fightings (like in the legation of Peking, and with the scuttle in Shanghai port of the ships "Carlotto" and Caboto").
{{Quote|''Italy agrees to the cancellation of the Lease from the Chinese Government under which the Italian Concession at Tientsin was granted......Italy renounces in favor of China the rights accorded to Italy in relation to the International Settlements at Shanghai and Amoy, and agrees to the reversion of the said Settlements to the Administration and control of the Chinese Government.'' Articles 25 & 26 of 1947 Peace Treaty.({{cite book|url=|title=1947 Peace Treaty articles on Italian possessions in China|publisher=|accessdate=23 November 2014}})}}
Finally, on 10 February 1947, by virtue of the [[Treaty of peace with Italy (1947)|peace treaty with Italy]], all the Italian concessions and fortifications were formally ceded by Italy to [[Chiang Kai-shek]]'s [[Republic of China (1912–49)|Republic of China]].
==See also==
* [[Italian concession of Tientsin]]
* [[Shanghai French Concession]]
* Bassetti, Sandro.''Colonia italiana in Cina''. Editoriale Lampi di stampa. Roma, 2014 ISBN 8848816568 (])
* Cucchi, G. ''Una bandiera italiana in Cina'' in «Rivista Militare», n. 6/1986
* De Courten, L. – Sargeri, G. ''Le Regie truppe in Estremo Oriente, 1900–1901''. Roma, 2005
* Dikötter, Frank ''The Age of Openness China before Mao'' University of Chicago Press]. Berkeley, 2008 ISBN 9780520258815
* Landor, A. ''China and the Allies''. Ed. Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1901
* Maurizio Marinelli, Giovanni Andornino. ''Italy’s Encounter with Modern China: Imperial dreams, strategic ambitions''. Palgrave Macmillan. New York, 2014. ISBN 1137290935 (])
* Pistolese, Gennaro. ''La Concessione Italiana di Tien-Tsin'', in Rassegna Italiana, A. XIII, Special Volume (XLI) «L’Italia e L’Oriente Medio ed Estremo». Roma, 1935
* Rastelli, Achille. ''Italiani a Shanghai: la regia Marina in Estremo Oriente''. Mursia Ed. Milano, 2011 ISBN 8842544140
{{Italian colonial empire}}
[[Category:History of Italy]]
[[Category:History of China]]
[[Category:China–Italy relations]]



 [[Image:NewRoadswithrailwaysinItalianEastAfrica.jpg|thumb|right|400px|Railways -in red color- in 1940 Italian East Africa (in orange the newly built asphalted roads)]]
The '''history of Italian colonial railways''' starts with the opening in 1888 of a short section of line in [[Italian Eritrea]], and ends in 1943 with the loss of [[Italian Libya]] after the [[North Africa Campaign|Allied offensive]] in North Africa and the destruction of the railways around [[Italian Tripoli]]. The railways reached 1,561 km before [[WWII]].
[[File:Reteferroviariaconviabalbia.png|thumb|right|350px|Railways -in red color- in 1940 Italian Libya]]
The construction of railways in the African [[Italian Empire|Italian colonies]] ([[Italian Eritrea|Eritrea]], [[Italian Libya|Libya]] and [[Italian Somalia|Somalia]]) did not have, for various reasons, a great development compared to that promoted by other European countries on the same continent.Astuto. "''Questioni ferroviarie africane: il problema ferroviario", p.30
The first rail lines were built mainly for war needs in the absence of efficient means of communication in the occupied territories, after the conquests of Eritrea and Libya. However, were quite limited in the first decades of occupation.
In [[1940]] the amount of railways in operation, between [[Italian East Africa]] and Libya, amounted to 1,556 km of which, however, the 693 km of the Italian section of the [[Ethio-Djibouti Railways|Railway Djibouti-Addis Ababa]] were pre-existing and built by the French Empire for Ethiopia.
The railways were built by Italy from the outset with little potential, because built with narrow gauge rails and with light metal type, and were never of great economic importance because isolated from the lines of neighboring states. Indeed the choice of a [[Track gauge|gauge]] {{track gauge|950mm|lk=on}}, different from the [[meter gauge]] usually used in Africa, contributed to this effect.
Today most of these Italian colonial railways have disappeared: those of Somalia after the British occupation in 1941-1945. The Libyan ones were suppressed in the 1960s, but in the same decade the Eritrean railway between [[Asmara]] and [[Massawa]] was reactivated after long neglect of trafficking.
==Italian colonial railways resumen==
In 1940 the Italian colonial railways had 1,561 km and were the following:
[[File:Eritrean Railway - 2008-11-04-edit1.jpg|thumb|right|Eritrean railway, that now connects only Massawa and Asmara, showing an Italian "class 440 locomotive" at work on the mountainous section between Arbaroba and Asmar]]
{| class=wikitable style="text-align:left"
! Railway name
! Km
! Years when built
! Colony
| [[Ethio-Djibouti Railways|Addis Abeba-Gibuti]]
| 684 kmOnly Ethiopia section
| [[1902]]-[[1917]]
| [[File:Coat of arms of Italian East Africa.png|20px]] [[Africa Orientale Italiana]] (Ethiopia)
| Asmara-Biscia
| 227 km
| [[1914]]-[[1932]]
| [[File:Coat of arms of Italian East Africa.png|20px]] [[Africa Orientale Italiana]] (Eritrea)
| Bengasi-Soluch
| 56 km
| [[1926]]
| [[File:Coat of arms of Lybia (1940).svg|20px]] [[Italian Libya]]
| Bengasi-Barce
| 108 km
| [[1914]]-[[1927]]
| [[File:Coat of arms of Lybia (1940).svg|20px]] [[Italian Libya]]
| [[Eritrean Railway|Massaua-Asmara]]
| 118 km
| [[1901]]-[[1911]]
| [[File:Coat of arms of Italian East Africa.png|20px]] [[Africa Orientale Italiana]] (Eritrea)
| Massaua-Saati
| 26 km
| [[1886]]-[[1887]]
| [[File:Coat of arms of Italian East Africa.png|20px]] [[Africa Orientale Italiana]] (Eritrea)
| [[Mogadishu–Villabruzzi Railway|Mogadiscio-Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi]]
| 113 km
| [[1924]]-[[1927]]
| [[File:Coat of arms of Italian East Africa.png|20px]] [[Africa Orientale Italiana]] (Somalia)
| Tripoli-Tagiura
| 21 km
| [[1912]]
| [[File:Coat of arms of Lybia (1940).svg|20px]] [[Italian Libya]]
| Tripoli-Vertice 31
| 90 km
| [[1912]]-[[1915]]
| [[File:Coat of arms of Lybia (1940).svg|20px]] [[Italian Libya]]
| Tripoli-Zuara
| 118 km
| [[1912]]-[[1919]]
| [[File:Coat of arms of Lybia (1940).svg|20px]] [[Italian Libya]]
| {{Flag|ITA}} ''Ferrovie coloniali italiane'' (Italian colonial railways)
| '''1,561 km'''
==Railways in ''Libia italiana''==
{{Main|Italian Libya Railways|Railway stations in Libya}}
[[File:The first Locomotive arrived in Tripoli Harbor.jpg|thumb|right|250px|The first Locomotive arrived in Italian Tripoli in 1912]]
In Italian Libya the first railways were created by the Italians after their conquest of [[Tripoli]] in 1911. The first section was done in 1912 from the port of Tripoli to Ain Zara, with 11 km of rails using a track gauge of 950 mm. By the end of the same year were done another 39 km until [[Tagiura]] and [[Zanzur]].Stefano Maggi."Le ferrovie nell'Africa italiana", p.12
From May 1913 the [[Ferrovie dello Stato]] started to manage the railways, with the "Royal Law #314". In 1915 the railways in Libya had an extention of 180 km, reaching from Tripoli the cities of Zanzur/Sorman and Bivio Gheran/Henschirelabiad. After [[WWI]] were completed all the works (with the railways Stations) in the 118 km of the Tripoli-Zuara.
The construction of the lines in [[Cyrenaica]] began later: the first lines were in fact only small [[decauville]] trains, a purely military track, in the [[Italian Benghazi]] and Cyrenaica area.Stefano Maggi."Le ferrovie nell'Africa italiana", p.13 Another small decauville was done around the port of Derna. Small decauville in Derna] In the fall of 1914 was opened a stretch of 19 km between Benghazi and Benina and two years after the next leg. Between 1926 and 1927 were opened other sections until Barce, completing the 108 km from Benghazi. At the end of 1926 were added 56 km of railway between Benghazi and [[Soluch]].
In the 1930s there were five small railway lines in Italian Libya, 3 in Tripolitania and 2 in Cyrenaica:
* Tripoli - Zuara; Tripoli - Vertice 31; Tripoli - Tagiura
* Benghazi - Barce; Benghazi - Soluch
The Italian authorities -after the construction of these initial 400 km of railways in five lines around Tripoli and Benghazi- decided to give priority to the construction of [[road]]s in Libya, when [[Benito Mussolini]] took control of the Italian colonies. However Italian experts studied the possibility of building a "Transaharan railway" from Libya to the [[gulf of Guinea]] in cooperation with the French authorities: but it remained only a colonial dream.Stefano Maggi."Le ferrovie nell'Africa italiana", p.22-23 After 1927 no more railways were made in Libya, but during [[World War II]] the need of railways transport to the front during the war in the frontier with [[History of Egypt under the British|British Egypt]] changed this approach.
In 1940 was started the study of connecting the Tripoli-Zuara with the [[Tunisia]] border: in summer 1941 were nearly ready all the 60 km of this track line, that were not activated because was given priority to a new line from Tripoli toward [[Egypt]] (because of the needs for the war against the British empire).
[[File:Litorrina railcar.JPG|thumb|right|250px|A Fiat ''Littorina'' of the Eritrean Railways still working in 2012]]
So, in spring 1941 the Italian government started the construction of a new railway (with a standard African track gauge of 1435 mm) between Tripoli and [[Tobruk]], but by December 1942 all was stopped because of the Italian defeat in north Africa: of the 1040 km only 18 km were fully done in Tripolitania, while 40 km were partially ready in Cirenaica from Barce toward [[Derna, Libya|Derna]]. Le ferrovie coloniali italiane in Libia (in Italian)] In summer 1942 was conquered by the Italians (with Rommel's [[Afrika Korps]]) the railways line built by the British and New Zealanders New Zealand Engineers; the Western Desert Railway units] from Egypt until Tobruk, near the Egyptian-Libyan border. But a few months later the Marsa Matruk-Sollum-Tobruk line was back in Allies control. Western Desert railway]
Until the 1950s the railways remained active. But by the 1960s there were only two small railways in Libya, departing from Benghazi and using classical ''Littorine'': Benghazi-Barce and Benghazi-Soluch. In 1965 the last remaining stations in Benghazi and Soluch were closed. Today no active railway exists in Libya.
==Railways in ''Eritrea italiana''==
[[File:AsmaraStazione.jpg|thumb|right|thumb|250px|"Littorina" in the Asmara station in 1938]]
{{Main|Eritrean Railway|Railway stations in Eritrea}}
The railway in [[Italian Eritrea]] was built in two times: the first line in the 1880s from [[Italian Massaua]] to the Saati forts and successively in the early 1900s was built the line until [[Italian Asmara]] and Cheren-Bishia. Italian Postal cards of the Eritrean Railway]
The first railway line was started in early 1887 and completed the next March: it was made of 27 km between the port of [[Massawa]] and the military fortifications of Saati, in coastal Eritrea. It was a purely military line -with a [[track gauge]] of 950 mm- built in support of the campaign against the [[Ethiopian Empire|Abyssinia]] kingdom. The defeat of Adua was even attributed by various military specialists to the lack of supplies, as emphasized by the general [[Oreste Baratieri]]. As a consequence the neo Governor [[Ferdinando Martini]] demanded the extension of the line to Asmara because of its importance for the logistics control of the colony and—because he did not obtain adequate answers from the Italian Government- he did the work with limited finances and in small steps.
So in 1900 was started the construction of the second -and main- line toward Asmara and western Eritrea. Indeed the railroad at the end of 1901 from Saati came to Mai Atal and in September 1904 to [[Ghinda]]. In March 1910 was inaugurated the stretch up to [[Nefasit]] and finally, in December 1911 what remained up to Asmara. For the continuation until [[Cheren]] it was needed to wait until July 1922, and to February of 1928 in order to reach [[Agordat]]. In March 1932 was reached the small town of Bishia and here the construction was halted permanently when at 351 km away from [[Italian Massaua|Massawa]].Stefano Maggi."Le ferrovie nell'Africa italiana", p.7-8
The line was placed under the management of the ''Ferrovie Eritree'' ("FE"), supervised by the Italian "Ministero delle Colonie". FE used the trains with steam traction and even the locomotives ''Mallet'' built by [[Gio. Ansaldo & C.|Ansaldo]]. Historical photos of the Eritrean railway and of the locomotives] In 1935 were put into service two petrol/gasoline railcars "Littorina" and then the (state-of-the-art) type ''Railcar ALn 56'' [[Fiat]].Nico Molino. "Littorina", p.26-27
[[File:RailwayMassauaBisha.png|thumb|left|350px|Railway Massawa-Asmara-Bishia in Eritrea. With red dots the route in years of largest extent (1887-1941)]]
According to some projects made in 1939, the line should have been divided at Elit near Bishia, reaching with a branch [[Tessenei]] (and then go to the [[Anglo-Egyptian Sudan]] border) and with the other branch go to Om Ager on the border with [[Ethiopia]]. The railway station and the "terrain line" was prepared in Tessenei but never saw the tracks; tensions with Britain followed the war in Ethiopia (1935–36) and led to the decision, as a purely military matter, of not to bring the line at the border. But this decision had harmful effects on the development of agricultural colonies already implanted in the area. Plans were made to activate the route from Bishia until Tessenei and Kassala when conquered by the Italian Army in summer 1940, but the Allies conquest of Italian Eritrea in early 1941 blocked it.
The section Agordat-Bishia was demolished during [[World War II]] by the British military, who reused the rails to arm a provisional military line, with a British gauge of 1076 mm, between Walka (inside Sudan and near [[Kassala]]) and Tessenei.
There was even one small railway with 600 mm track gauge, used only for commercial transport (and for military services): the Mersa Matuma-Kululi.
* ''Mersa Matuma-Kululi'': Nearly 90 km south of Massaua was built the so called "Potash Transport Railway". It was a {{convert|42|km}} long {{RailGauge|600mm|lk=on}} gauge [[potash]] transport railway{{Cite web|url=|title=Building the line|accessdate=24 March 2009}} built to serve the locations Adaito and [[Badda]], located between [[Massawa]] and [[Assab]]. A decauville gauge line was built in 1905 by the Italians inside the port of Mersa Fatuma and from it into the hinterland until Kululi (called "Colulli" in Italian) near the Ethiopian border. Map of Italian Eritrea in 1936 with detailed railway route to Kululi (click on sections 4 and 7)] Potash production is said to have reached about 50,000 metric tons after this railway was constructed.
==Railways in ''Somalia italiana''==
{{Main|Mogadishu–Villabruzzi Railway|Railway stations in Somalia}}
Despite various projects, dating back to the late 1900s, the first railway was authorized only in 1918 and led to the construction of a small section starting in [[Mogadishu]], which stopped -after just 29 km and 6 years of work- in [[Afgooye]]. The single track railway had a {{RailGauge|950mm}} [[narrow gauge]], as established in 1879 by an Italian law on minor gauges.
[[File:RailwayMogadiscioVillabruzzi.jpg|thumb|right|250px|In green the Railway Mogadiscio-Villabruzzi (1914-1941)]]
The continuation was realized only in accordance with the needs of transportation of an agricultural colonial society that had been formed by [[Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi|Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta]], who founded the ''Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi'', a big agricultural settlement for the cultivation of bananas, cotton and sugar cane.
For this purpose it was needed a form of transport for the shipment of the goods to the port of [[Mogadishu]]: https://mogadishuimages.files.wordpress.... Map showing the railway station of Mogadiscio in 1935] in September 1927 were opened the remaining 84 km of the [[Mogadishu-Villabruzzi Railway]] from the port of Mogadiscio to the Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi.
[[File:Ex-somali loco Mai Atal.JPG|thumb|left|250px|A Diesel locomotive moved from Somalia to Eritrea in 1942 by the British]]
The railway in 1930 moved 19,359 passengers, and was used by the Italian authorities even for tourism. "Ferrovie Somale" postcard] In the same year 43,467 tons of products (mainly agricultural) were transported, with earnings up to 1,591,527 [[Italian Somaliland lira|Somali lira]]. Most products transported were bananas, cotton and coffee, from farm plantations of the area of Villabruzzi, to be exported through the port of Mogadishu. ''Ferrovie Somale'', a government company, administered the line.
During [[WWII]] the tracks and the stations were heavily bombed by the Allies.
In 1941, the railway was dismantled by [[United Kingdom|British]] troops when they occupied [[Italian East Africa]] (''Africa Orientale Italiana'' in [[Italian language|Italian]]). Since then the railway, except for a few tracks within the Mogadiscio harbour, was no longer used.
In 1942 some diesel locomotives and related materials were moved by the [[British Government]] to [[Eritrea]], to be used on the [[Eritrean Railway|Massawa-Asmara railway]]. Photos of a Diesel "Tibb" Fiat locomotive moved from Somalia to Eritrea] These trains were in activity until the early 1950s.
There were even two small railways with 600 mm track gauge, used only for commercial transport and for military services: the Villabruzzi-Ferfer and the Genale-Afgoi.
* ''Villabruzzi-Ferfer''. A small {{RailGauge|600mm|lk=on}} gauge railway of 250 km was constructed between Villabruzzi and the Somalia-Ethiopia border in order to solve the logistical problems related to the occupation of Ethiopia. In 1928-1936, the track was initially built in sections until [[Buloburde]]. The first railway section was 130 km long. It started in Bivio Adalei of the Mogadishu-Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi railway. In summer 1940, at the beginning of the Second World War, the line was extended by the Italian army by about 150 km. The railway now reached [[Ferfer]], near the present-day Somalia-Ethiopia border. http://mogadishuimages.files.wordpress.c... Map of Italian Somalia showing the decauville from Bivio Adalei toward Ethiopia border (red line continuous is the Mogadiscio-Villabruzzi railway)] Somali troops from the [[Italian Somali Divisions (101 and 102)|First and Second Somali divisions]] of the Italian colonial army helped during the construction.
* ''Genale-Afgoi''. In 1924, a minor railway was built in the same region. It had a small track in 600 mm gauge, Genale-Afgoi. The railway was 46 km long and united the farming settlement of [[Janale|Genale]] with [[Afgooye|Afgoi]] on the Mogadishu-Villagio Duca degli Abruzzi route. Construction was managed by the Società Agricola Italo Somala (SAIS), which opened the track so that its plantations' powered sugar cane could be transported to the Mogadishu Port.
==Railways in ''Etiopia italiana''==
{{Main|Ethio-Djibouti Railways}}
The most important line in the African colonies of the Kingdom of Italy, the [[Ethio-Djibouti Railways|Djibouti-Addis Ababa]] long 784 km, was acquired following the conquest of the Ethiopian Empire by the Italians in 1936.
[[File:Djibouti Italian 1936-38.jpg|thumb|right|250px|Italian troops at the Djibouti railway station]]
[[File:Addis Ababa Platform.JPG|250px|thumb|left|Station of the Djibouti-Ethiopia Railway in [[Addis Ababa]]]]
It was a railway with a standard [[meter gauge]] that had been built between the 1897 and 1917 by Emperor [[Menelik II]] with the decisive contribution of the French capital and that was managed by a French company, the ''Compagnie du Chemin de Fer Franco-Ethiopien'' ("CFE").
The route was served by steam trains that took about 36 hours to do the total trip between the capital of Ethiopia and the port of Djibouti. Following the Italian conquest was obtained in 1938 the increase of speed for the trains with the introduction of four railcars high capacity "type 038" derived from the model ''Fiat ALn56'' Fiat ALn56 "Littorina"] (called "Automotrice ZZ-AB 1-4"Molino,Pautasso, tab.p.88).
These diesel trains were able to reach 70 km/h and so the time travel was cut in half to just 18 hours: they were used until the mid 1960s. Image of a Fiat ALn56 in 1964 Addis Abeba station] At the main stations there were some bus connections to the other cities of Italian Ethiopia not served by the railway. Dire Dawa bus connection to Harrar] Near the Addis Ababa station was created a special unit against fire, that was the only one in all Africa. "Pompieri ad Addis Abeba" (in Italian)]
{{Quote|''In 1936, during the occupation of Ethiopia, the Italians considered the construction of new routes from Addis-Ababa running as follows: Addis-Ababa, Dessie, Adigrat, Massawa: covering 1000 km; Addis-Ababa, Dessie, Assab - Dessie, Gondar, Om, Ager; Addis-Ababa, Megheli, Dollo, Mogadishu. All these projects had to be abandoned due to war operations''. Jean Pierre Crozet}}
Projects of connecting to the Eritrean railway network did not found practical realization in 1939. In the same year was studied the possibility of connecting the Ethiopian station of [[Dire-Dawa]] to the port of [[Assab]] in southern Eritrea, in order to bypass the [[French Somaliland]]. Until 1937 there was a protective military unit in the trains, because of the ethiopian guerrilla Photo of Italian soldiers defending the ethiopian railway trains]
In spring [[1941]], following the surrender of [[Gondar]] and the abandonment of the colony by the Italians, the line passed to be managed by the British Armed Forces and later -with the return of the [[Negus]]- the railway went back to the "CFE".
In 1912 were moved to the just occupied Tripoli 12 "Locomotives R.401", built in Germany by "Berliner Maschinenbau A.G. Schwartzkopff".Nico Molino, "Littorina", p.50
[[File:Eritrean Railway class 202 - 2008-11-04.jpg|thumb|right|Locomotive Breda R.202 still in use in Asmara railway station]]
[[File:Ansaldo 442 steam locomotive in Eritrea.JPG|thumb|left|Ansaldo R.440 steam locomotive in Eritrea]]
After [[WWI]] 9 "Locomotives R.301" arrived in Libya (5 in Tripolitania and 4 in Cyrenaica), while another 2 arrived in Eritrea and 2 in Somalia.
In the 1930s were sent to the Eritrean Railways a group of 12 [[AnsaldoBreda|Ansaldo]] "Locomotives R.440", some still used today. In Eritrea there were even the small "Locomotives R.202", built by "[[Società Italiana Ernesto Breda|Costruzioni Meccaniche Breda]]" of [[Milano]]: 2 are still in use.
In order to improve the passenger service in the late 1930s were sent to the African colonies the ''Littorine'' Fiat (of the same type that developed in the record-famous [[FS Class ETR 200]]): in Eritrea arrived 11 of these modern trains (9 were the diesel model FE A.62-70), while in Libya arrived 8 of the huge capacity model FI 040 (5 in Tripolitania and 3 in Cyrenaica). In Etiopia were sent in 1938 four passenger-locomotives high capacity "Fiat Diesel 038", derived from the model ''Fiat ALn56'' (officially named "ZZ-AB 1-4").Nico Molino. "Linee Ferroviarie: Littorina", p.33-34
In the Ethiopian railway were even used the original steam Listing of steam locomotives in Ethiopia] and diesel Listing of Diesel locomotives in Ethiopia] locomotives found when conquered the country in 1936. The Italian "Garatt Ansaldo" locomotives were added in 1939. Various locomotives in Ethiopian railways]
In late 1940 arrived in Libya the state-of-the-art locomotive Fiat/Ansaldo [[FS Class ALn 772]], that used diesel and electricity power. It was supposed to be working on the Benghazi-Barce railway, but was captured after a few weeks of use by the British during their [[Operation Compass]] and sent away to be studied by Allied experts.Francesco Ogliari. "Le ferrovie coloniali italiane in Africa", p.62-63
File:Tripoli Stazione Centrale.jpg|Railway station of [[Italian Tripoli]] in 1940
File:Benghazi Central Station.jpg|Railway Station of Bengasi in 1930
File:Barce Stazione Centrale.jpg|Railway station of [[Marj|Barce]] in 1930
File:Benghazi Italiana.JPG|Port of Benghazi railways tracks
File:Fiat Train Passing in to Cyrenaica.jpg|"Littorina" [[Fiat Ferroviaria|Fiat]] in [[Italian Cyrenaica]]
File:Fiat train at Tripoli's railway central station.jpg|"Littorina" in [[Italian Tripoli]] station
File:Keren station - 2008-11-01.jpg|Keren station in [[Italian Eritrea]], now a bus station
File:Agordat Airport 1982.jpg|Railway Station of [[Agordat]] (Eritrea), now used as airport
File:Road and Rail to Masawa -b.jpg|Fiat "Littorina" near [[Italian Massaua]]
File:Road and Rail to Masawa -a.jpg|"Littorina" in [[Italian Eritrea]]
Image:StazioneferroviariaVillaggioDucaAbruzzi1929.jpg|Villabruzzi's railway station in [[Italian Somalia]]
File:Central railway station of Tripoli.jpg|Steam locomotive inside Tripoli station in 1920
File:Benghazi Railway System after World War II.jpg|Benghazi station destroyed in 1943
File:Ghinda station - 2008-11-02.jpg|Old colonial train still used in 2008 [[Ghinda]] station of Eritrea
*Astuto, Riccardo. ''Questioni ferroviarie africane'', in "Rassegna economica dell'Africa italiana",Vol.XXIX. Roma, 1941
*Basuyau, Vincent. ''Le chemin de fer de Djibouti à Addis Abeba'' (Mémoire de DEA). Université de Paris I-Panthéon Sorbonne. Paris, 1991
*Crozet, Jean Pierre. ''The Franco Ethiopian and Djibouto Ethiopian railway'' Detailed Website on the Addis Abeba-Djibouti railway (])
*Gatti, G. ''Le ferrovie coloniali italiane''. Ed. GRAF. Roma, 1975
*Maggi, Stefano. ''Ferrovie e stazioni nelle colonie italiane'' (in "Architettura ferroviaria in Italia. Novecento"). Ed. Dario Flaccovio. Palermo, 2004, pp. 129–138. ISBN 88-7758-597-8.
*Maggi, Stefano. ''Le ferrovie nell’Africa italiana: aspetti economici, sociali e strategici'', seminario "Nineteenth century transport history. Current trends and new problems".Istituto Universitario Europeo, Fiesole, 20 maggio 1994]
*Molino, Nico & Pautasso, Sergio. ''Le automotrici della prima generazione''. Ed.Elledi. Torino, 1983. ISBN 88-7649-016-7
*Molino, Nico. ''Linee Ferroviarie. Littorina'' in "Mondo Ferroviario # 55". Editoriale del Garda, Rivoltella, 1991.
*Ogliari, Francesco. ''Le ferrovie coloniali italiane in Africa'' (in "Tutto TRENO & Storia", n. 4, 2000, p. 46-69). Duegi Editrice, Albignasego, 2000.
==See also==
* [[Eritrean Railway]]
* [[Mogadishu-Villabruzzi Railway]]
* [[Ferrovie dello Stato]]
{{Italian colonial empire}}
[[Category:Italian Empire]]



 [[File:Tripoli airfield under attack2 1943.jpg|thumb|450px|Photo of Tripoli-Castel Benito airport under attack in January 1943]]
The '''Tripoli-Castel Benito Airport''' (in Italian ''Aeroporto di Tripoli-Castel Benito'') was a military and civilian airport Photo of the Tripoli-Castel Benito airport with a SM-74]
near [[Tripoli]] in [[Italian Libya]], between 1934 and 1943. After [[WWII]] was enlarged and it is the actual [[Tripoli International Airport]].
Originally the Tripoli-Castel Benito Airport was a [[Regia Aeronautica]] (Italian Air Force) airfield created in 1934 in the southern outskirts of [[Italian Tripoli]]. Un sogno italiano third chapter] It was the operational base for the:
* "15° Stormo da bombardamento" with Savoia Marchetti SM. 79 and SM.81
* "13° Gruppo da caccia" with Fiat CR.32 and CR.42
[[File:Parafromitalianlibya.jpg|thumb|150px|left|Libyan paratroopers at Castel Benito airport]]
Later the first units of Italian parachutists were trained and formed shortly before the [[Second World War]].
The first Italian Military Parachute School was located at the airport. The first troops trained were two Libyan battalions, the [[Libyan Parachute Battalion]] and the 1st [[Ascari del Cielo Paratroops|National Libyan Parachute Battalion]], of the [[Regio Corpo Truppe Coloniali|Royal Colonial Corps]].{{sfn|Fowler|2010|p=61}} Successively was created a paratrooper battalion with Italian volunteers, that later was increased and named [[185th Airborne Division Folgore|Folgore]].
In 1938 the [[Italian Libya]] governor [[Italo Balbo]] enlarged the military airfield (located 33 km south of Tripoli) and created an international airport for civilians served mainly by [[Ala Littoria]], the official Italian airline: the ''Aeroporto di Tripoli-Castel Benito''.
The airport was connected to Rome even by the "Linee Aeree Transcontinentali Italiane" ([[LATI (airline)|LATI]]), Map of LATI flights] that did a postal (and civilian service) to Africa, Asia and South America LATI] from Italy.
The new airport had direct flights to [[Tunis]] and [[Malta]], done with [[Savoia-Marchetti SM.73|Savoia-Marchetti SM-73]] of "Ala littoria". Flights and photos of Ala Littoria, with map (in spanish)]
Castel Benito airport was connected even with internal airports of Libya, like the ones of Benghazi ([[Benina International Airport]]), Ghadames ([[Ghadames Airport]]), Sabha ([[Sabha Air Base]]) and Kufra ([[Kufra Airport]]).
Another flight served by "Ala Littoria" was toward the [[Italian East Africa|Africa Orientale Italiana]], with more than 4000 km: it was used mainly for military transport and mail service and was created in 1935, from Tripoli to [[Kassala]] ([[Sudan]]) and Asmara in [[Italian Eritrea]]. It was served by the [[Caproni Ca.308 Borea]], with capacity for a crew of 2 but with only 6 passengers. Le "linee aeree dell’Africa Orientale Italiana", by Vincenzo Meleca]
In 1938 [[Air France]] started a regular flight from [[Marsiglia]] to Tripoli, later enlarged to Benghazi and [[Damascus]].Italian Postal and Air service beginnings, p. 258 (in Italian) (])
In 1938 the Ala Littoria's international flights from the new civilian airport were:Paolo Ferrari. "L'aeronautica italiana", p. 28-68
* Roma - Malta - Tripoli
* Roma - Tunisi - Tripoli
* Roma - Tripoli - Benghazi
In spring 1939 was even started a flight to [[Italian Eritrea|Eritrea]], [[Italian Ethiopia|Ethiopia]] ad [[Italian Somalia|Somalia]]:
* Roma -Tripoli (Benghazi)- Cairo - Karthoum - Asmara - Addis Abeba - Mogadiscio (nearly 7000 km)
Indeed in 1939 was started by Ala Littoria a passenger service with international travels to [[Rome]] (Italy) and [[Addis Abeba]] (Ethiopia and Africa Orientale Italiana): it was one of the first intercontinental flights in world history and was called ''[[Linea dell'Impero]]''. The service was done (using mainly the Benghazi airport, but even the Tripoli-Castel Benito airport) with [[Savoia-Marchetti SM.83|Savoia-Marchetti SM-83]] carrying nearly 30 passengers. Rosselli: The air links between Italy and Italian Africa]
In summer 1939 was experimented the possibility of direct flights between Libya and Eritrea, bypassing Egypt and Sudan controlled by the British Empire. The son of Mussolini, [[Bruno Mussolini|an experienced aviator]], was able to make a direct flight from Castel Benito airport to Kufra airport (near the desert border Libya-Sudan) and to Asmara in [[Italian Eritrea]]: this new route was used by military airplanes after [[WWII]] started.
{{Quote|''In 1939, more and more attracted by the idea of establishing a similar regular service between Italy and Italian East Africa, Bruno Mussolini (in the meantime appointed general manager of LATI) and his staff carried out a long technical cruise with their SM83-ATTE to Tripoli and the Kufra Oasis (Libya), Asmara, Massaua, Gura and Agordat (Eritrea). The voyage proved to be very useful to acknowledge those flight experiences necessary for the future war missions.''Rosselli, Alberto. "The air links between Italy and Eastern Africa". Section: The debut of the Transatlantic SM83.}}
[[File:Wreckage of Italian hangers and airplanes ouside Tripoli.jpg|thumb|right|250px|Tripoli-Castel Benito airport in January 1943]]
The airport was used even as a military base, where some [[Savoia-Marchetti SM.74|Savoia-Marchetti SM-74]] operated successfully even as civilian transport airplanes. The last of these airplanes, nicknamed "Millepiedi", did the last flight to Italy from Tripoli-Castel Benito airport on January 7, 1943 SM-74 Millepiedi in Castel Benito airport] before the arrival of the British Army (that fully destroyed the airport and conquered Tripoli on January 23).
The airport during [[WWII]] suffered huge damages and was attacked continuously by Allies bombers. The most destructive raids were on November/December 1941 and in December 1942/January 1943.
After the airport was captured by the British in January 1943, the airfield was renamed [[RAF Castel Benito|RAF Station Castel Benito]] and was used by a number of Allies operational squadrons involved in the [[Western Desert Campaign|desert war]] and in the [[Tunisia]] battles.
==See also==
* [[Ala Littoria]]
* [[Tripoli International Airport]]
* [[LATI (airline)|LATI]]
* [[RAF Castel Benito]]
* [[Italian Tripoli]]
* [[Linea dell'Impero]]
* [[Ascari del Cielo Paratroops]]
* Abate, Rosario. ''Dal Borea ai Libeccio (Ca.308-Ca.318)'' Edizioni dell'Ateneo & Bizzarri. Milano, 1978
* Ferrari, Paolo. ''L'aeronautica italiana. Una storia del Novecento''. Franco Angeli Storia ed. Milano, 2005 ISBN 88-464-5109-0.
*{{cite book|last=Fowler|first=William|date=2010|title=The Secret War in Italy: Operation Herring and No 1 Italian SAS|location=Hersham, Surrey|publisher=Ian Allan Publishing |isbn=9780711035287|ref=harv}}
* Maravigna, Pietro. ''Come abbiamo perduto la guerra in Africa''. Editoriale Tosi. Roma, 1949.
* Rosselli, Alberto. ''The air links between Italy and Eastern Africa.June 1940-November 1941'' Nuova Aurora Edizioni. Firenze, 2012
* Thompson, Jonathan W. (1963). ''Italian Civil and Military aircraft 1930-1945'' Aero Publishers Inc. New York, 1963 ISBN 0-8168-6500-0.
{{Italian Libya}}
{{coord missing|Libya}}
[[Category:Italian Libya]]
[[Category:World War II airfields in Libya]]



 [[File:Perihan and Mussolini.jpg|thumb|350px|Carla Maria Puccini, on the right side of the photo, was the daughter-in-law of the politician [[Benito Mussolini]]]]
'''Carla Maria Puccini''' ([[Gondar]] - February 16, 1941) is an Italian actress born in Ethiopia.{{fact|date=March 2015}}
Carla Maria Puccini was born in [[Italian Ethiopia]]. She married [[Romano Mussolini]], one of [[Benito Mussolini]]'s sons, and had a daughter: Rachele.{{fact|date=March 2015}}
In 1965 she appeared on Italian TV in the mini-series ''Tenente Sheridan'' and worked as actress in the special production ''La donna di fiori'', under regist [[Anton Giulio Majano]]. IMDB: Carla Maria Puccini] In 1966 hosted the [[Sanremo Music Festival|1966 Festival di San Remo]] with [[Mike Bongiorno]]. In 1967 she worked in four episodes of the Italian TV mini-series ''Questi nostri figli''. Questi nostri figli]
In 1968 she was a secondary actress in the movie ''Rose rosse per il Führer'' (appeared as "Code name, red roses" in the English version), Code name, Red Roses] produced by [[Fernando Di Leo]].
==Movies & TV works==
*''La donna di fiori'' (1965), director [[Anton Giulio Majano]]
*''Rose rosse per il führer'' (1968), film director [[Fernando Di Leo]]
==See also==
* [[Italians of Ethiopia]]
[[Category:Italian film actresses]]