So, continuing our story of Manardo, to find out if he was a bandit or a hero, we have to go back to the 16th century: the great power of the Catholic Church, the Pope's corruption, the clergys' bribery. In fact, they used to charge people for masses, weddings, funerals and many other religious ceremonies; they would also demand and get 10% of the crops from farmers who lived miserable lives and were starved by the lords' and the landowners' greed.
Morgante Manardo wanted to fight against poverty and injustice. The people were on his side because he opposed the overpowerful Church. That's why the clergy considered him a "bandit" and a "rebel", while ordinary people thought he was a "hero".