The Italian-Albanian Communities in Calabria:
Molecular Communities with Distinctive Features of Inland Areas
This study is aimed to shed light on the singular settlement process of Italian-Albanian communities in the South of Italy, especially in the Calabria region. These communities display an original combination of cultural and linguistic features, combined with elements of the surrounding Italian context. The Italian-Albanian communities are localised in inland areas, which are prevalently rural, and suffer an endemic separation from the coasts as well as from urbanised areas. The study demonstrates that regardless a remarkable cultural and social cohesion along with the presence of a strong sense of identity, the Italian-Albanian communities do not exhibit a different path of economic development when compared with the other inland areas of Calabria. Some structural problems such as the loss of population and intellectual capital destruction, which are typical of these disadvantaged areas, are more evident in the Italian-Albanian communities in Calabria. Oriented policy interventions for inland areas are required in order to enhance more attractive life conditions in these communities, which detain an extraordinary biodiversity and an uncommon patrimony of identity elements and cultural assets.
Keywords: Italian-Albanian communities, inland areas, local communities, cultural cohesion, social cohesion