Foundation "Agostina Piccoli"
Fondazione "Agostina Piccoli"
The origins of the Croatian minority in the Italian region of Molise go back to the flight of the Croats from the conquerors of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th and 16th centuries. Croatian settlements in Italy were established along the entire Adriatic coast from Marche to Puglia. The Croatians were very welcome in the largely uninhabited areas and towns. Today, however, the residential area of the Croatian minority is limited to the small region of Molise. The approximately 2,200 members live in the towns of Montemitro / Mundimitar, Acquaviva Collecroce / Kruč, San Felice del Molise / Filič and Tavenna / Tavela. The villages are located in the interior of the region, an area of particular naturalistic, historical and archaeological importance. There are, for example, holy sites of the Roman and Samnite cultures. Around half of the Molise Croats speak the original Croatian language, the preservation of which is one of the most demanding challenges of our time. In addition, the Molise Croats are not a politically recognized minority and therefore have no right to legal or political representation. They are only legally protected by their status as a linguistic minority. The Molise Croats are primarily committed to preserving the language and traditions through non-governmental organizations, but public institutions also recognize membership of the Croatian minority and maintain relationships with Croatian diplomatic and political representations. Social and cultural events largely target the traditions and origins of the community.
The language of the Molise Croats - who call themselves “Kroate iz Moliza” in their mother tongue - is a Croatian dialect, which is mainly characterized by the centuries of isolation from other Slavic languages. The language is often called "na-našo" (our way). One of the most important events of the organization is the literary competition with the publication of texts and poems in Molise Croatian.
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