Italian village celebrates its Scottish ancestors

 

Gurro, a village of 221 residents, sits in the mountains above Lake Maggiore; like others in the area it has beautiful views and picturesque buildings. But it also has a unique history that ties it to the highlands of Scotland. 

In 1525, Scottish mercenaries who had fought in the battle of Pavia, were forced by bad weather to winter over in the village just south of the Swiss border. They never left, the story goes, falling in love with an area that resembled their native highlands.

While the town's infatuation with Scottish soccer teams and kilt-wearing (more by the women than the men!) and bagpipe-playing dates back only a few decades, the unique local dialect includes over 800 words of Gaelic origin, and the names common in the parish register include many Gibis, Pattrititis, Donaldis and Nicolussis, derived from Gibbs, Fitzpatrick, MacDonald and Nichols.

While some Scots question the authenticity of their adoption into a clan, the residents of Gurro don't care, and hold an annual Scottish Heritage Fest, as seen in this video.

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