PISACANE, CARLO, duke of San Giovanni (1818–1857). Italian revolutionary, was born at Naples, and entered the Neapolitan army in 1839; but having become imbued with Mazzinian ideas he emigrated in 1847, and after a short stay in England and France served in the French army in Algeria. The revolution of 1848 recalled him to Italy; he played a part in the brief but glorious history of the Roman Republic, and was the life and soul of the war commission in the defence of the city. After its capture by the French he again went into exile, first to London and then to Genoa, maintaining himself by teaching. He regarded the rule of the house of Savoy as no better than that of Austria. When Mazzini, undeterred by the failure of the abortive Milan rising on the 6th of February 1853, determined to organize an expedition to provoke a rising in the Neapolitan kingdom, Pisacane offered himself for the task, and sailed from Genoa with a few followers (including Giovanni Nicotera) on board the “Caghari” on the 2 5th of June 1857. They landed on the island of Ponza, where the guards were overpowered and some hundreds of prisoners liberated, and on the 28th arrived at Sapri in Calabria and attempted to reach the Cilento. But hardly any assistance from the inhabitants was forthcoming, and the invaders were quickly overpowered, Pisacane himself being killed.
See P. M. Bilotti, La Spedizione di Sapri (Salerno, 1907).