The article aims at inserting the continental Mezzogiorno case into the thread of studies on procedures for individual identification, which has been particularly rich in the international historiography of recent years. The essay reconstructs the introduction of techniques of analytic classification of people and a new kind of travel document in the Kingdom of Naples during the Napoleonic domination, following its developments through the Restoration period until Italian unification. Particularly, the A. intends to highlight how the regulations in force had to face social practices and how the institutions assigned identification and documentary control, i.e. the police, constantly interacted with these practices, often choosing the road of adaptation and compromise. Furthermore, the same development of a specific bureaucratic apparatus, holder of identification function, turned out to be particularly complicated, as conflicts and disputes arose with other institutions, primarily the local authorities.
Keywords: Personal identification, travel documents, police, continental Mezzogiorno, 19th century, Kingdom of Naples.