Following a cholera epidemic on 27 August 1911 which led to the death of 79 people, the Verbicese population turned against the mayor and the rich in the country accusing them to have put “A puriviredda” in the water to poison it.

The town hall was burned and many houses of wealthy people were devastated. Inmates were released from prison. Intervened the army that sat revolt and arrested 101 people. the army remained until the end of the construction of the
aqueduct in 1913.


Click on the image for more information.



In 2017, I visited Verbicaro and took these pictures of the honored dead in the town square.  I recently found this website where you can get more information on the WW1 names:


3rd Great-Grandfather, Biagio Papa, 1842-1916

The picture is of my 3rd Great-Grandfather, Biagio Papa, 1842-1916. He was born in Verbicaro. The picture is taken in San Francisco, date unknown. Back then, men who shined shoes were referred to as "Bootblacks". I think this picture was taken in front of the bar owned by his son-in-law, Vincenzo Pagano. I think the address is about the 1300 Block of DuPont St., San Francsico.

The PDF is a newspaper clipping that talks about the formation of the Bootblack Union in San Francisco, in 1902. Biagio was one of the first Vice Presidents of the Union.

Here is a rough translation of the article:

THE “BOOTBLACKS” UNION IS FORMED. The new timetable and the rate of IO cents. After the repeated meetings held by the shoeshineers of our city, the “Bootblacks” Union was finally established. The Governing Council was also approved by the assembly the new working hours, namely the opening and closing hours of the “stands”, which Bruno regulated as follows: OPENING, at 7 am gold. CLOSING, at 8 pm, except on Saturday, in which it will close at 10 pm, and on Sunday, in which it will close at 3 pm It was also decided that starting from the current August the single rate for each “shine” will be 10 cents., both on work days and on holidays. The Governing Council was composed as follows: PRESIDENT, Antonio Sabbatini. 1.0 VICE-PRES., Pasquale Silvestri. 2.0 VICE-PRES., Biagio Papa. TREASURER, Biagio Cirimele. 1.0 SECRETARY, John Briz. 2.0 SECRETARY, Luigi Guaragna. ADVISERS: Vito Fabrizi, Felice Deluca, Lodovico Dito. GUARDAPORTE, Vincenzo De Felice and Frank Papa.

Here is a link to the article: