Albanian linguistic heritage
Southern Italy’s Italo-Albanians, or Arbėreshė, make up ethnic and linguistic communities which are guardedly bound to their traditions.The most massive presence is found in Calabria, which has a total of 32 communities, including 3 in the province of Crotone: Carfizzi, Pallagorio and San Nicola dell’Alto.
The Arbėreshė have lived in this area for more than five centuries, and have brought with them their Byzantine–Greek customs, costumes, epic songs, folklore, rites and traditions.
The emigration took place in several waves, starting in the second half of the fifteenth century and continuing up until to the second half of the seventeenth century. The first two expeditions were of a military nature, as the Albanians had been called upon by the Aragonese in order to strengthen their armies in their struggle against the House of Anjou.
But the most significant emigration took place after the invasion of Albania by the Ottoman Turks, and following the death of national hero Giorgio Kastriota Skanderbeg in 1468.