Dimora San Giuseppe in Libertini Palazzo. This historic nineteenth century mansion integrates perfectly with Lecce’s charming historic surroundings and holds great cultural and historical importance built on ancient Roman amphitheater ruins still visible today, it’s attraction in its own right. It’s named after the patriot Giuseppe Libertini the house and adorned with late nineteenth century riches including bass relief sculptures and decorations. It was inside the spacious rooms of Libertini where important and secret meetings took place,between that were to become the main protagonists of the events of 1848.
Giuseppe Libertini’s family sent him to study in Naples in 1844, where he made friends with F. De Sanctis, S. and M. Scare d'Ayala. On the dramatic day of May 15, 1848, at the first sign of revolt, Libertini went to the capital to fight alongside other young citizens at the barricades.
Libertini lived in hiding in Naples until November 16 1849, when he was arrested and imprisoned by the authority on charges of "conspiracy to destroy or change the government and inciting the country’s subjects and the other inhabitants of the Kingdom to take up arms against the royal authority, in May, June and July 1848". (Bernardini, 1913, p. 466). Libertini was subsequently acquitted, due to the fortunate discovery of incriminating documents which later led to a retrial for conspiracy (February-March 1854), which put an early end to Libertini to six years imprisonment in exchange for ‘confinement’.
In March 1858, Libertini moved to Malta, where Fabrizi, after having urged him to write about the political situation in the South of Italy, advised him strongly to go to London. In July 1858, Libertini went to England, where he continued with Italian lessons.
Libertini returned to Italy in In August 1859, the with the aim of arousing an insurgency that would spread through Italy from the centre to the south. This political resistance was planned by Mazzini in response to the stalemate situation following the Armistice of Villafranca, which failed to produce anything and resulted in a series of arrests. After a month of detention in Livorno and Florence, Libertini returned to London for a while. Following the overwhelming success of G. Garibaldi and Mazzini’s expedition to Sicily, Mazzini saw Libertini as the right man to best prepare for the ‘spedizione dei Mille’. In August 1860 he Libertini went to Naples, and was able to do so as a free man, as more than one year of amnesty was granted by King Francis II of Bourbon had canceled the life sentence imposed on him by the Special Court of Salerno to the facts of Sapri.
Together with Garibaldi, Libertini succeeded in coordinating the many insurgency outbreaks, that developed in the meantime, in various areas of Apulia, Basilicata and Calabria. After the departure of Francis II to Gaeta, the the national joint committee was established,which held the city until the arrival of by Garibaldi who led the Naples (7 sett. 1860) together with the moderate G Fllopiemontesi. A few days later, Pisanelli offered him the the position of Director at Banco di Napoli, which Libertini refused saying he was motivated by his patriotic love and desire to be a "better advocate for the cause of national unity rather than an independent man settled in lucrative employment."
On January 27th 1861 Libertini was elected to national parliament and in the early sixties throwing himself into extra-parliamentary action, managing for Garibaldi the preparation of events which culminated in the day of Aspromonte (August 1862). He played an important role as an intermediary, in the secret reports in 1863-64, between Mazzini and Victor Emmanuel II, in view of a possible action for the liberation of Veneto. Between 1864 and 1866 he founded Masonic lodges in the various towns and cities around the Salento, the most important of which was in Lecce moderated and managed by Mario Pagano, who officially held the responsibility until his death.
During the 1866 war Libertini assumed the chairmanship of a committee (with representatives from all political parties) which organized a group of volunteers who were sent to fight in Veneto. Despite Mazzini’s constant requests for action in the following years, Libertini did not participate or collaborate with the La Roma del Popolo * the peoples newspaper which came out towards the end of 1870.
Libertini died in Lecce on 28th August 1874.
You can share and admire the Lecce’s charm and magic steeped in culture whilst staying the night a beautiful historic house.