Milan - The legend of the bandit of Morivione

The village of Morivione is an area located in the south of Milan, at the entrance of Via dei Fontanili and Via Verro, where there is now the intersection with Via Bazzi.

The name of Morivione is due to a legend, probably true. It seems that at the time of Luchino Visconti, the area was infested with brigands, soldiers of fortune who were once part of the Company of San Giorgio, dispersed after the battle of Parabiago, at the head of which was placed Vione Squilletti. It is said that he used a deafening whistle to attack the enemy (hence Squilletti) and that he had married a certain Esmeraldina Bossi.

On the eve of the feast of St. George, the Milanese, who were tired of the actions of bandits, went to their lord asking him to free them from these scoundrels. He granted their request and the following day he gave battle to the group of thugs that besieged the place. Vione, captured, was killed on April 24, 1339. The next day the population went to the place of the battle and offered to the winners fresh milk, eggs and cream.

In the meantime, on a wall would have been painted St. George killing the dragon, with an inscription: "Here Vione died".

Another variant of the legend, less accredited, narrates that the criminal was called Alessandro Vione and that he was an ex-soldier in the service of the Sforza family, turned into a thief and here found and stabbed to death at the foot of a wisteria by the Sforza's guards. In fact in the village there is an ancient wisteria plant.

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Isola dell'Asinara

Asinara Island - The ancient penal colony

The island of Asinara is an inaccessible area until a few decades ago, whose beauty still intact is the heritage of all.

16 kilometers long and with a surface of 52 square kilometers, it is part of a marine protected area that protects its natural beauty. The entire territory is in fact the Asinara National Park. The name is due to the presence on the island of unique specimens of white donkey, which has also become the symbol of the island and the park.

Asinara has had a certain historical importance. It has become a symbol of isolation because of the penal colony and the lazaret for the quarantine of tuberculosis patients that were established here in 1885. At the time the inhabitants of the area had to leave their lands and move to the northern areas of Sardinia, where they founded the village of Stintino. The Asinara prisons also played a role during the First World War when they hosted prisoners of war, especially Austro-Hungarians. While between '60 and 1997 the island remained in total isolation due to the establishment of the maximum security prison. In this prison were detained under the regime of 41bis some of the most dangerous Mafiosi.

The agricultural penal colony of Asinara had several detachments throughout the island. Each of these was headed by a branch chief, who, in turn, was answerable to the chief marshal, stationed in Cala d'Oliva. Also in Cala d'Oliva resided the director and deputy director, as well as all employed personnel, including doctors.

Asinara is now open again after 115 years of complete closure. So many decades of isolation have had a positive effect. They have preserved the natural environment of the island, saving it from any cement works. And above all allowing the birth of the National Park of Asinara.

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Antonio Boggia

Via Bagnera - Antonio Boggia, the first Italian serial killer

The peculiarity of Via Bagnera? Undoubtedly that of being the narrowest and blackest street in the city of Milan. But what not everyone knows is that it was the scene of true noir meneghini.

Antonio Boggia was born in Urio (Como) in 1799. He was an unsuspected man, of calm, almost good-natured manners, observant of religious practices, extraneous, at least apparently, from vicious tendencies. It also seems that he was a polyglot and thanks to his knowledge of German, he found a job at Palazzo Cusani, the seat of the Austrian military command, as a fochista.

No one could have ever imagined that he would become the "monster of Milan", the first Italian serial killer.
Boggia began to kill in April 1849, and his first victim was Angelo Ribbone, robbed of 1,400 svanziche. His body ended up dismembered and hidden in a basement in Via Bagnera, used by Boggia as a warehouse and office.
Then it was the turn of Giovanni Comi, an elderly accountant. Attracted in the same warehouse, he was hit with an axe, but managed to escape. The police arrested Boggia, who ended up being locked up in the Senavra asylum. He was released after a few years.

Reports of missing men or women who had become untraceable soon began to pile up.
But a new inspection in the cellar of the building in Via Bagnera led to the discovery of four more bodies, four victims abandoned and left to rot. Four people of whom Boggia had gained the trust and from whom he had been delegated to manage their assets. Hence the Milanese saying "fa minga el bogia", which is used to say of those who are falsely kind in order to gain the trust of his victims.

Judged, he was sentenced to death and hanged on April 8, 1862. Near the bastions of Porta Ludovica and Porta Vigentina. This was the last death sentence of a civilian executed in Milan until the Second World War.
Legend has it that his spirit still hovers in the narrow Via Bagnera, somehow anchored forever in the place of his misdeeds.

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