Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Italian "Vivandiera"

I found this image on a site for the city of Fidenza.

"Il Risorgimento delle Donne"


Museo Civico del Risorgimento “Luigi Musini”

Be sure and click to get a larger image.
The lady in the photo MAY have been an actress or just a person wearing a patriotic costume posing in a studio with a "prop" rifle. The outfit does look like it could be "serviceable" outside.

Two  modern artists got "close" to this photo although they may be representing another person. Note the short skirt without trousers.

What's interesting for the United States is that the photo resembles the description of the Vivandieres from the 39th New York, Garibaldi Guard in 1861.

"..Vivandieres dressed in blue gowns with red lace and facings, red jackets and Garibaldi hats, decorated tastefully with feathers and colored plumes."
New York Evening Express May 29, 1861*

"..Vivandieres dressed in their blue frocks with red flannel waists, and their jaunty regimental caps, crowned with black and red feathers."
New York Daily News
May 29, 1861*

"...The uniform of the vivandiere is the Garibaldi hat of the Regiment, a red flannel basque, a blue skirt and black laced gaiters of the regiment."
Washington Evening Star, May 29, 1861*


  1. A very interesting post...I have never heard of these women before. I went and looked them up on the web and found this;
    A very neglected part of history IMHO..

  2. ironically, the italian lady can be definited a "blackwater" Vivandiera...
    all red shirt troops leaded by Garibaldi were "private enterprises"... underground paid by Savoia's monarchy, but only under garibaldi own responsability...

  3. Interesting, thank you! At least these forces were not as "evil" as Blackwater/Xe.

  4. ahr ahr!
    oh, I personally don't think that the "blackwater" is "evil"... if the "blackwater" and "i garibaldini" were private armies that do the secret interest of a govern ... they are the same thing.

    but , as you american citizen, you don't know the terrible debate from some North italians and some South italians... the first accuse the others to be more africans that europeans (and parassites), the seconds say that the unification was been only a military invasion and a sacking ... but together send to hell garibaldi...