The Arbëreshë (a name used to describe the inhabitants of pre-Byzantine Albania) migrated to southern Greece around the 11th century. They were noted soldiers and often served as mercenaries in southern Europe. When the Byzantines invaded, the Arbëreshë then moved over to southern Italy. Again they often served as mercenaries during this period and for their services with the King of Naples they were given villages and land to settle in permanently.
Further migration took place over the next few centuries. The remote location of the villages helped the Arbëreshë to remain isolated from the rest of the country and this in turn enabled them to keep their traditions and language.
- Clement XI - pope
- Francesco Crispi - politician and prime minister
- Giorgio Basta - soldier in the Holy Roman Empire
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