Northern Italian supremacists, who call their region Padania, are a subset of White Nationalists who equate themselves with blond Germans, and disparage their Southern compatriots as dark "Arabs" and "Africans". They've also been known to attack Greeks, Balkans, Spaniards, Portuguese and anyone else who reminds them of their Southern European heritage. While the evidence that follows thoroughly dispels their neo-Nazi fantasies, it must be stressed that none of it intends to malign Northern Italians, but only to refute this minority of nationalists who draw false racial, cultural and historical distinctions between Northern and Southern Italy.
"Padania" is a recent political construct that has none of the ethnic, cultural or historical connotations the supremacists have imbued it with. It's basically an economic subdivision that allows wealthy Northern upstarts to incorporate the greater legacy of Central Italians into their group.
"Padus is the Latin name of the Po river. Geographically the northern part of Italy is called Val Padana (Padana Valley) and padano is the adjective related to it, e.g. grana padano is a kind of cheese producted in Val Padana. Padania is derived from padano and should mean 'the country of Padans'. The secessionist movement claims that Padania also includes many regions (Toscana, Romagna, Liguria and Sud Tirolo) which are not parts of Val Padana; they call Padania all the northern and northern-centre regions, i.e. the 'richest' part of Italy [Note that many even claim the central regions of Umbria, Marche and Lazio, all the way down to and including Rome]. The real cause of the secessionists is not cultural or ethnic but economic: to separate the richer North from the poorer South."—Giuseppe Bottasini, 1996 [Source]
"The flag of Padania is only a mere invention of the 'Lega Lombarda' [now part of the 'Lega Nord' or Northern League] party in the late 90s, and it has no historical precedents or roots: the flag represents a green centered sun in a white field. The name 'Padania' has always been used with geographical meanings, until the Leghisti (belongers to the Lega Lombarda party) used it to intend a sort of 'Northern Italian nation' (which, of course, does not and never existed)."—Fabio Facoetti, 2003 [Ibid.]
With the way Padanianists carry on about being "Germanic" and about Southerners being "Moors", you'd think the North had never been invaded by non-Europeans, and the South never by German barbarians. In reality both invasions took place, on several occasions. Also, despite what's often said, the Anglo-Saxon establishment in America didn't officially hold the view that Northern Italian immigrants were their racial equals or significantly different from the Southern immigrants.
Saracen Arabs in Northern Italy"Raids of Saracens (c. 889) and Magyars (c. 898) into Lombardy; a Saracen stronghold at Freinet controlled the Alpine passes;" [Source]
"In 991 Venice signed a commercial treaty with the Saracens, initiating the Venetian policy of trading with the Muslims rather than fighting them." [Source]
"Saracens move throughout and raid the Piedmontese area in X century. They leave Piedmonteses some words:
Coefa (veil) from Keifa;
Fàudal (apron) from fodhal (womb);
Fardel (bundle) from farad (camel load)." [Source]
"In 935, [Genoa] was surprised and sacked by the Saracens, but the Genoese fleet followed up the enemy and defeated them near the island of Asinara. In 1008, the Saracens came for the third time." [Source]
"The war between Pisa and Lucca (1003) was the first war between two Italian cities. In 1005, the town was sacked by the Saracens, under the famous Musetto (Mugheid al Ameri)...." [Source]
Huns in Northern Italy
"Attila didn't stay long, though, and by spring of 452 he invaded Italy, laying waste to the important northern Roman city of Aquilea, at the head of the Adriatic Sea. From here he went on to conquer Padua, whose refugees founded Venice, safely protected by the waters of the Venetian lagoon. He then took Verona and Vicenza and the Roman towns of Lombardy including Bergamo, Brescia, Milan, and Pavia. Attila then turned east and headed down the Po River valley." [Source]
Barbarian Invasions of Italy
Italian Immigrants to America
"The status of blacks, however, was only one strand in what Progressives called the era's 'race problem.' The Dictionary of Races of Peoples, published in 1911 by the U.S. Immigration Commission, listed the immigrant 'races' within a hierarchy ranging from Anglo-Saxons at the top down to Hebrews, Northern Italians and, lowest of all, Southern Italians—allegedly violent, undisciplined, and incapable of genuine assimilation." [Source]
All of the material below comes from Carelton Coon's The Races of Europe. It discusses the similar subraces and phenotypes found throughout Italy (with neither Nordics nor blondes being significant anywhere), and shows that minor differences within the country result from natural clines, which have parallels in other European countries, as well as Europe as a whole.
"In other words, the southern Italians are a blend for the most part of Alpines and small Mediterraneans, while among the northern Italians the most important dolichocephalic strain is the Atlanto-Mediterranean. The association of relatively great blondism with brachycephaly merely indicates that both Alpines and Dinarics are characteristically mixed or intermediate in pigmentation. The few unaltered Nordics still found in northern Italy and in aristocratic families elsewhere are far outnumbered by Atlanto-Mediterraneans. [...] The binding element which is common to all sections is the Alpine, which has reemerged from obscure beginnings through a superstructure composed of Dinaric, Nordic, and various kinds of Mediterranean accretions."
|Light / Mixed Eyes|
|Mean Cephalic Index**|
* Red and reddish-brown shades were observed in an additional 16% of this sample.
** Above 81 is in the Alpine-Dinaric range, and below 76 in the Mediterranean range.
All Italians are in fact equally European and closely related, with the same negligible influences from Germans and Saracens, and a normal gradient of Neolithic ancestry that's been somewhat augmented in the South by Ancient Greek settlements. The first two sections below look at paternal DNA, which was most affected by agriculturalists and conquerors. The third and fourth sections look at the entire genome, showing that Northern and Southern Italians both belong to the same genetic cluster, with differences between them being small and again comparable to those in other countries.
"Within the European cluster there is a tight grouping containing Sicily (South Italy), Italy (from all mainland), Germany, Holland, Hungary, Lombardy (North Italy) and Tuscany (Centre Italy). Sardinia lies in a separate branch at the edge of the cluster, and well way from Sicily." [Ghiani et al. 2004]
|NORTH AFRICAN ADMIXTURE|
(HGs 25.2, E-M81, E-M78β)
|Cruciani et al. 2004|
|Semino et al. 2004|
|Scozzari et al. 2001|
"The Italian participants were normal healthy volunteers recruited from throughout Italy: 38 from northern Italy, 23 from central Italy, and 30 from southern Italy. [...] Italy (84 of 86 individuals)...had majority contributions from the 'southern' population group as defined by this population structure analysis. [...] Trends in both the Italian and Spanish participants were also consistent with this north-south pattern: ten of 32 participants from northern Italy had greater than a 10% 'northern' component compared with two of 28 from southern Italy...." [Seldin et al. 2006]
"Interestingly, PC analysis was also capable of highlighting intra-population differences, such as between the two Finnish and the two Italian samples, respectively. A low level of intra-population differentiation in Germany has been reported previously, and was confirmed here. In addition, we detected intra-population differences within the Czech and Estonian samples." [Nelis et al. 2009]
Here are some phenotypes that Padanianists wish only existed in the South. All examples were born in the stated regions and have surnames that are either exclusive to, or predominant in, those regions. Of course, many are likely tanned, but that's of no concern here, since people looking for "mixed" Southern Italians never take tanning into account. At the bottom is a link to several series of random photos of Italians from all regions of the country, where you can see how similar they are from North to South.
The economic gap between Northern and Southern Italy is no secret, but it's also not unique. Regional disparities exist in many European countries, including Spain, Germany, Finland and theUnited Kingdom. Moreover, recent surveys are revealing that the situation in Italy has been misreported by official estimates overlooking a large private sector in the South, and that the visible Southern economy is in fact showing promising signs of steady growth.
"A recent analysis concludes that 'there exists in several zones of the Mezzogiorno a whole fabric of small and very small businesses that escape every census, but that work and make profits, share among themselves a serious level of production, export to other regions [of Italy] and abroad.'
[. . .]
"Every year brings plans either to stamp out or to 'regularize' the South's submerged economy. But a professor of political economy at the University of Naples warns to go slow: 'if we observe these initiatives carefully the image of a Mezzogiorno that is forever the panhandler does not seem to be confirmed. What confronts us is a creeping vitality, almost a new frontier.' According to Professor Meldolesi, the submerged economy is several times bigger than officially estimated.
[. . .]
"This massive sector skews all the statistics. It means that the GDP for the Italian South (and for Italy as a whole) is far from accurate. And the unemployment figures do not reflect reality."[Source]
which looked into the six years between 1996 and 2001.
[. . .]
"Svimez noted, furthermore, that three regions considered 'peripheral' to the southern economy—as well as Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia—'distinguished themselves by their relative dynamism last year.'
[. . .]
"The performance of the three southern regions enabled the south to leapfrog over the north in a curiously inverted growth table for last year that saw the center leading with an average growth of 2.3 percent, followed by the south (2.2 percent), the previously dynamic north-east (1.9 percent), the centre-north (1.7 percent) and the old industrial heartland of the northwest (1.0 percent)."[Source]
The Val Padana has only recently become an important region in Italy, but Padanianists, like Nordicists, imagine themselves as the progenitors of all Italian culture. It's the Central regions that have historically been the most productive, but over the centuries, civilization has gradually spread from the deep South of Italy toward the extreme North, reflecting a larger trend in the West of steady diffusion northward and westward from a starting point in the Near East.
** Other fringe areas of Europe had fewer cultural and learning centers than Southern Italy.