Before the arrival of the Albanians, the area where Lungro originated was already a populated hamlet. The name Lungro appears for the first time in a written text in the year 1195. The text, a concession from Ogerio of Bragalla (now Altomonte) and his wife Basilia to the Basilian monks, dated 2 May 1195, states: " We Ogerio Lord of Bragalla, and my wife Basilia , for ever give this place, and tenement to (lit. 'on behalf of, for') the Abbey in the Church called Saint Mary of the Fountains, of the Monks of Saint Basil near the Hamlet of Lungrium". There is no information before that time, but in all likelihood the founding of the village goes back to that date.
Neither is there certainty about the
origin of the name Lungro, only assumptions. De Marchis in Lungro (1858),
states: "What is the origin of the name of the Town, about which we are
talking, nobody knows, and those curious about things referring to their own
town, to the shame of so many inquiries, got always confused among the various
traditional conjectures, without being able to find a base on definitive
information. In so many ancient papers it is called Ungarum, and Ungro, and
afterwards the letter L was added, for which at present it is written . Lungro.
Some of the extremists held it as true, that during the excavation of the foundations of the village a human skull covered with a plated iron helmet, was attributed to a Hungarian warrior who died in the area; which accident had given the first founders a reason to call the rising village, Ungro......
To the two conjectures which I have
mentioned, I am adding the third, that in my view seems the most plausible and
the least strange because it is sustained by the particular conditions that
exist in the area.
The Greek word υγρwς , igros is pronounced υγγρwς, ingros, which means 'humidus', humid. The sound of the Greek letter epsilon , υ, in Latin is exchanged by u, therefore this 'ingros' is pronounced 'Ungros',...."
There isn't agreement on the time of arrival of the Albanians either. Rodot� believed that the Albanians had established themselves in Lungro in 1502. He had arrived at this conclusion from reading the documents kept in the archive of Lungro. De Marchis, instead, states: "After so many detailed searches to that end, I have been able to discover nothing, and have arrived at the conclusion, that the great writer was misled by the person whose charge it was to give him such information. I on the other hand believe that the truth is that the Albanians were received into the hamlet well before 1502, and here is the demonstration for my argument. Geronimo Sanseverino, Prince of Bisignano, who during the time period that follows their arrival became the owner of Altomonte, declared in a privilege of his, with date 9 March 1486, the rights that the Albanians living in that Hamlet exercised over the teniment of Bragalla, dictated, which I transcribe to testify of my assertion. " Quum Albanenses sive Graeci multi convenissent ad habitandum in Casalibus Ungari, et Sancti Angeli de tenimento Altimontis, Venerabilis Monasterii de Sancta Maria de Ungro, et fuissent numerum tuguriorum, sivi habitationum eorum sexaginta,�"
According to De Marchis the arrival of the Albanians in Lungro must have taken place between 1467 and 1486.
Tajani, confirming the thesis of De Marchis, considers that their arrival is as early as 1476 to 1478: " Then more houses were added around the ancient abbeys, other small aggregates came up in mountainous or wooded areas, and from these came out all the villages now known as Lungro,Firmo, Acquaformosa, Castroreggio, Cavallerizza, Cerzeto, Civita, Falconara, Frassineto, Percile, San Basilio, San Benedetto, Santa Caterina, San Giacomo, San Lorenzo, San Martino, Santa Sofia, Serra di Leo, Marri, Cervicato, Farneto, Mongrassano, Plataci, Rota: names almost all of which were already in place for these uninhabited villages, and a few that were assigned at that time."
De Marchis stated: "� only 17 families made up the entire Albanian Colony who found refuge in the Hamlet of Lungro, with the following surnames. Stratic�, Mattan�, Jerojanni, Cagliolo " Belluscio " Prevat�, today Loprete, " Vaccaro; Musacchio, Brescia " Damisi " Gramisci " Manisi " Marco Cortese " Tripoli " Cucco, today Cucci " Bavasso " Matranga, today Matrangolo."
(Translation of Alicia Bodily)