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Battipaglia is a town and comune in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of south-western Italy, with 50,485 inhabitants.HistoryThe area was given its modern name in 1080, when Robert Guiscard confirmed the possession of lands between the Sele river and Tusciano river to the Church of Salerno. Mentioned in the document, the Castelluccio was then owned by the Church of Salerno, and its subsequent owners would be Count Marcoaldo, the Teutonic Order, the Church of Salerno again, the Doria family, and Marquis Giulio Pignatelli. Battipaglia was officially created by Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies as an agricultural colony in 1858, being defined as an independent municipality by a Royal Decree on 28 March, 1929. The Bourbon authorities chose Battipaglia as the site of an agricultural colony, where families who had survived the 1857 Basilicata earthquake could be rehoused.During the second world war, markedly in 1943, the town was bombed several times by American aviators. In 1953 the town was involved in a disappearance which is still shrouded in mystery, involving its socialist mayor Lorenzo Rago. In the years following the end of World War II, Battipaglia undertook a great industrial growth, also witnessing a big increase in population, mostly people moving from the neighboring towns. In 1969, due to the concrete possibility that two large plants of sugar and tobacco, both employing a significant number of inhabitants, would close, about half of the city protested and gave life to a popular uprising, which would be calmed down few days later, following Italian government's commitment not to close the plants. The few but intense days of social unrest eventually resulted in 2 victims. Since late 20th and early 21st century, the town has managed to combine the agricultural sector (French company Bonduelle established one of its two plants in Italy here) to the technological one.
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