Many aristocrats living in pre-unification states made an important contribution to the process of the Risorgimento. From the time of the revolutions of the 1820s and 30s they opposed the obscurantism of the restored regimes, and achieved a hegemonic role in the final phase of the national struggle. However, they represented only one component within a deeply divided class. Patricians who remained faithful to the Pope and the Bourbons refused to recognize the new nation and the Savoy monarchy. My paper focuses on the role played by the Southern nobility in the resistance spearheaded by the Bourbons against the new kingdom, and in the war fought to regain the throne of the Two Sicilies. Of particular interest are both the internal divisions within the Bourbon nobility and its diverse political strategies, and the role of the Neapolitan nobility who had emigrated to France, analyzed both from the viewpoint of its relationship with the king and in relation to the conditions of life in exile abroad.
Keywords: Bourbons, nobility, resistence