It tells of a highly successful reactionary rhetoric that in May 1860 in Sicily there was an invasion by a foreign army. The Mille who followed General Garibaldi were actually blood-thirsty mercenaries paid by Freemasonry or some foreign nation. The terrified Sicilians suffered this invasion. From that moment on, Sicily from happy and rich land turned into hell. In this essay instead we tell the story from the point of view of the protagonists of the time. It will be explained that Sicily had lived a long period of armed opposition in Naples during which it had built the idea of a revolutionary island in the European collective imagination. And this image was the daughter of his intellectuals, like Michele Amari, who were always in opposition, first as independence, then as Sicilian nationalists and finally as Piedmontese and Italians. Not only were intellectuals almost all anti-Bourbon, but also a large part of the aristocracy, the clergy and the class of bankers and traders. In this essay we will try to trace a profile of the Mille and the Picciotti who followed them, explaining that they were almost all young bourgeois, students, traders, landowners and artisans. Concluding with an inversion of the rhetoric of conquest: it is not the Piedmontese who occupied Sicily, but the opposite: it was the Sicilians who conquered Piedmont and Italy.
Keywords: Reactionary rhetoric; Invasion; Opposition; Collective imagination; Intellectuals