Lusignana: location, history & people
Lusignana is a small village on the South Western facing slopes of the Apennines. It comprises two hamlets, Vignolo and Posponte, which face each other across a valley and are about half a mile apart. For an historical overview of the area click here.
During the winter months the population of Vignolo (the larger hamlet) is no more than 15, but during the summer months this swells to over 300. In August thee is a sagra (local village festival) at which there is communal dining in the village hall every night – a great culinary and social experience! (For backgound info on the event click here).
The village of Lusignana is named after the Lusignan family who were originally based near Poitiers in modern France. Legend has it that during the 10th century they were awarded the fief of Lusignana for services rendered in fighting muslim forces originating from North Africa. Although ultimately dying out in the late 15th century, the dynasty was of pan-European importance and were one-time kings of Cyprus, Jerusalem and Armenia. Documentation on the history of Lusignana is available as follows:
- The legendary creation of Château de Lusignan by the fairy Queen Mélusine
- The Lusignan family in the 11th & 12th centuries
- The history (and eventual demise) of the Château de Lusignan
- Detailed description of the Lusignan dynasty
- Genetic legacy of the Lusignans – names, blond hair & dialect
- The Cisalpine Repubic & the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy (1797-1815)