Morano Calabro: Historical Documents
Extracts of old printed material related to Morano Calabro, Frascineto, Eianina and other towns of Calabria
© 2002-2005 Alicia Bodily

This translated material can only be used for personal genealogical research.
Esta transcripción puede ser usada solamente para investigación genealógica personal.
Questa traduzione si puņ usare soltanto per ricerca genealogica personale.

'Morano and its Illustrious Houses' by Baron Antonio Salmena of Morano



The Seven Ancient Barons of Morano

(p. 257)
It is not necessary to invoke the authority of learned men, to substantiate that tradition always has the imprint of truth, and that in fact tradition has been the mother of history.
At this point a very ancient popular tradition has been preserved, which states that "at Morano, in very ancient times, there were seven barons and all of them lived within the walls of the old city." And if this number, in 1515, may seem at first glance a little excessive, it will be sufficient to convince oneself of the opposite upon considering that after the 1600's one can count even more.
It must also be understood that in the circle of these seven barons was a true feudal baron of Morano, who then lived in the castle inside the walls, who at all times was part of the nobility of Morano, of the congregation of the nobles, on the seat, among the gentried patronage, among the few old tombs, in the Congregation of the 24 gentlemen, and he was always the head and first lord, the glory and the splendor among the noblemen of Morano.
In the number of the seven barons are included the descendants of the three ex-feudal houses; as well as three subfeudal houses of ancient nobility. Otherwise, the simultaneous existence of seven barons in a feudal land couldn't be explained, nor would it be possible to count seven, all residing in the ancient city, according to consistant tradition; at the same time if we wanted to exclude from the seven

barons of 1515 the three sub-feudal lords as unworthy of a similar title, it would not be easy to substitute them with other three belonging to more distinguished families from that time.
Here is the list of the seven ancient barons, registered according to the order assigned to them by reason of the documented antiquity of their families:

  1. Salimbeni, ancient lord of Castle Salimbeni and other lands, before the year one thousand; first class feudal owner of St. Quirico, Orcia and Arentino in Tuscany, with royal diploma of Charles I of Anjou of 1269, and at other later dates, who came to Morano during the middle of the XVth century. He always lived within the walls.
  2. Pappasidero, feudal lord of the land of Pappasidero, recognized and confirmed as such with diploma of the emperor Henry VI in 1196, and from another of the same date that conferred three feuds to the same family. He always lived within the walls.
  3. Fasanella, lord of Morano, Cirella, Grisolia, from about 1200, according to several writers. Later on he had other feuds. He always lived within the walls.
  4. Sanseverino, first baron of the kingdom, descendant of Targisio, Norman gentleman, who came to Naples at the time of of Robert de Guiscard. He merits this number because he became lord of Morano only at the end of the XV century. He always lived in the castle until after 1515.
  5. De Feulo, subfeudal lord in Morano, from a time that I have not been able to ascertain, but surely before the year 1500. He always lived within the ancient walls.
  6. Della Pilosella, subfeudal family since a time that I cannot be precise, but certainly before the year 1500. The family lived always within the walls, first at the piazza, then at the Hospice.
  7. De Pizzo, who, as qualified nobleman of the city of Fondi in 1500, became sub-feudal owner in Morano with a diploma from the prince of Bisignano in 1515, when we arrive at the number of seven barons. He lived first in the castle with the prince, then at St. Nicholas, always within the walls.
The three ex-feudal owners Salimbena, Pappasidero e Fasanella resembled one another also because their domains, which they had obtained from sovereign concessions, in very close dates one from another, ceased, because of political confiscation, at the same

(p. 259)
time, and time covered with forgetfulness the beautiful feuds, the confiscations and the feudal lords: as opposed to certain small sub-feudal owners about whom we haven't talked, who lament the known fact of the baron of the Fig [obviously someone much less important]!
The reader will certainly ask how is it that brighter traces about the proverbial seven lords can't be found, and about others who lived in Morano before and after that.
I will answer as best as I can.
There are three causes: The lack of ancient records, the pride of the feudal baron, the pride of the other noblemen:

  1. If one is not surprised to find oneself in the dark after the candles are spent, then it shouldn't surprise anyone the lack of news after the ancient documents were destroyed or hidden; but it is also true that for certain families that shone so much in the remote centuries, those of Salimbena, Pappasidero, Fasanella, there are no documents left, some clear proof, some luminous trace? I will demonstrate the opposite right away, and we saw the opposite in part in the preceding chapters.
  2. The second cause was certainly the intolerance of the feudal prince, who rightly believed that he was the one and only actual baron in Morano.
    In fact, as long as the dominion of the house of Sanseverino lasted, so terrible, as Scorza himself said, in Morano no name was written preceded by the title of baron, not even for the seven traditional baronial houses; but this did not prevent them from continuing being such in reality, according to tradition and to the royal diplomas.
    When the direct branch of the princes of Bisignano became extinct in Nicolņ Bernardino Sanseverino, around 1600, a terrible quarrel came up among the several pretenders, and the succession fell back on king Philip. In some documents of the beginning of the XVII century can be found information not only of two, but of four barons living in Morano. I find four in only two documents, the process where the murderous mayor was in charge, and a convention stipulated by Notary Lepotte. In the first one, on page 25, at the base of a declaration there is a signature of Barone Salmena, and he must have certainly signed thus, because the governor had written on top of the

    (p. 260)
    declaration Baron Salimena, who was that magnificent one Matteo Salimbena o Salmena, husband of donna Vittoria De Leo. The other document of 1624, by notary Francesco Lepotte, has the signature of three barons, that is the signature of Muzio de Guaragna, of Giovan Cristoforo Tufarelli and of Persio Tufarelli baron of S. Basilio [S. Basile].

  3. The third and most important cause was the pride of the lords who descended from the ancient feudal owners themselves, especially those of the first class, quality that was sufficient to confer upon them their title of nobility!… Which, together with the titles that they had on the strength of their generous nobility, caused them to consider with contempt the title of baron, which conferred upon them their dependant and subjecting feudal condition.
    If it had not been that way, how could one explain the undoubted existence of the seven traditonal ancient barons, when one finds not one called by that title? While the royal diplomas show us three of first class, Salimbena, Pappasidero and Fasanella, beyond those that are second class and sub-feudal owners?
    The lords of the great families, especially those of the houses of Salmena, Pappasidero, Fasanella, as we have shown through examples, always wanted to be considered and receive the quality of lords, gentlemen and magnificent ones, and their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters as magnificent ones, gentlewomen and ladies.
    We have considered at great length the value of the ancient titles and epithets, and it is not worth repeating this, but we would do well to remember that those ancient designations of gentleman, magnificent, lord and lady indicated in every individual of the great families, the gentleman with a jurisdiction, the nobleman by reason of birth, the magnificent and the distinguished lady, while the words baron and baroness were nothing more than designations of vassalage.
    Customs change according to times and places, says De Luca, and therefore today things are different. From the time that the designation "magnifico" fell into disuse, from when the nobleman is confused with the gentleman, since the word "sir/lord" is used to name equally the patrician, the bourgeois down to the common individuals, only one title of extremely ancient sovereign concession, indicates the person who is noble by reason of birth, the descendant from a gentleman with jurisdiction, from nobility with holdings.

    (p. 262)
    As has been mentioned, there are two kinds of nobility: The first, the most prized, is natural nobility - the second one is legal nobility, and it is considered of less worth, and the well-known De Luca calls it artificial, because it depends completely on royal license, and it is permitted only to the sovereign with a kind of pretense to change the condition of the persons that are made noble today, but who were not noble yesterday!
    Both kinds of nobility had their titles. The nobleman by birth, the patrician, the magnate had the title of magnificent - eccellent one - sir/lord. Feudal nobility had other titles.

    (p. 263)
    The Norman noun "baron" (free man) is not a title of concession, it is a generic noun used to designate with a feudal title a count, a marquis, a duke, a prince, and in almost all of Italy the designation of gentleman (nobleman by birth) indicated also the gentleman with jurisdiction, just as the noun "baron", confusing the natural nobleman, with the legal nobleman; while ordinarily only to the nobleman was conferred feudal dignity, until among us, as Colletta says: "Avaricious Viceroys, for a vile price, sold to rich plebeians the feudal dignity which they disgraced."
    Because of this, in Morano, were confused the nobleman by reason of birth, and the feudal lord, with regard to the title of gentleman of quality - distinguished gentleman - owner - lord - magnificent, so that only within this limit can be found the seven traditional barons, not outside!
    Let's see how many feudal lords, ex-feudal lords and sub-feudal lords were found in the XVI century and afterwards.

    1. Salimbena - Salimmena - Salmena;
    2. De Feulo;
    3. Della Pilosella;
    4. De Pizzo. - Are the four houses named first;
    5. The commendator of St. John of Jerusalem of Castrovillari, who from an uncertain time had in Morano a benefit, feud or sub-feud, of St. Philip and St. James, feud that belongs to the house of Salmena since 1835;
    6. Pappasidero magnificent Iacobo Antonio of Castrovillari, descendant of the ancient feudal owner, who became sub-feudal owner of the same feud of Olivetto with a diploma from the prince with date

      (p. 264)
      of 1538. Since 1834, this ex-feud, from the prince was transferred to the house of Salmena together to another feud;

    7. Fasanella magnificent Pietruccio from Castrovillari, descendant from the ex- feudal owner of Morano, Cirella and Grisolio, who became in Morano sub-feudal owner of the prince with a diploma of 1538;
    8. Campilongo "descendants of the Norman barons" who came to Morano since about 1580 without a feud or sub-feud, although others in his family held as feuds or sub-feuds several lands in our Calabria;
    9. Rende Luca Antonio of Morano had the criminal jurisdiction of Mormanno, and afterwards he ceded it to
    10. De Guaragna Muzio, baron di Mormanno around the year 1620;
    11. Tufarelli Giovanni Cristofaro, baron of Porcile or Frascineto since about 1620;
    12. Tufarelli Persio baron of S. Basilio during the same time span. - Later he exchanged S. Basilio for Mormanno with De Guaragna;
    13. Pruvenzali Girolamo had from De Guaragna the feud of Roseto during that same time.
      It's curious that Scorza, out of these five barons of the same time span, did not want to name but only two while there was a relationship with them. The mentioned De Guaragna bought from the said Rende, Mormanno, just as he sold Roseto to the other unnamed Pruvenzale.
      He names Giovan Cristofaro Tufarelli and not his brother Persio baron of S. Basilio, and then of Mormanno through the exchange with De Guaragna. He could have instead noticed that only Persio and his descendants who moved to Mormanno, maintained the title of baron, the opposite of the others.
      Furthermore, it seems to me that De Guaragna was not lord of two sub-feuds at the same time. He was of Roseto - Mormanno and S. Basilio in different years, and it's my opinion that neither De Guaragna, nor Tufarelli Giovan Cristofaro, can be counted by their just rights among the barons of Mormanno and Frascineto; but rather barons of Mormanno e Frascineto because they were the first and last barons of their houses;
    14. Spinello Ettore prince of Scalea, even if since the year

      (p. 265)
      1610 he bought from the Royal Court an income burgensatico [that is, property which was completely free from feudal jurisdiction] on the taxes of Morano; but he became a feudal owner of Morano only in 1648, as Domenico Martire states.
      I am not going to venture into details on all of these lords, because I lack accurate information, …

(p. 265)



Since about 1580 the house of Campolongo was among the most distinguished of Morano and it became extinct in Naples after 1800, and I can't be precise about the time of their transfer to that city , or the circumstances that encouraged its members to do so. It is not even possible to indicate easily from which of the several different branches descended the branch that settled in Morano.
At any rate it is certain that it boasted its own origin from the lineage of the Norman who is the glory of the Campolonghi.
Before 1580 there are no traces in Morano of this house, and its name can't be read among the twelve of the Mount [possibly a charitable organization] in 1581. On the other hand, afterwards information can be found of numerous lords, ladies and priests of this town.
That is precisely what encourages the belief that after the year 1580 it took up residence in Morano.

(p. 266)
The House of Campolongo in Morano was not a feudal house, or sub-feudal, but it was always considered as descending from some branch belonging to the barons of Campolongo.
The House of Campolongo boasted and boasts Norman feudal origin since the eleventh century, as I read in the genealogical history, and in the tree of D. Francesco baron Campolongo of S. Marco, joined in marriage to D.a Giulia Bosco, my niece [could also be grand-daughter].
From Naples the family branched out in different places in Calabria, and owned several feuds, beginning by the founder of the family Giacomo, around the year 1100.
Felice Campolongo was then baron of Pietraformosa and relative of Charles V.
Giacomo cavalry captain of Charles V in 1536
Muzio was baron of Acquaformosa.
Giovanni knight of Malta.
Michele baron of San Donato, progenitor of the present baron.
Francesco Campolongo of Altomonte was baron of Lungro and Firmo, and also of Porcile (afterwards Frascineto [or afterwards of Frascineto?] ) because he married Dianora Policastrella of Castrovillari around 1580...
Campolongo was also baron of S. Basile.

(p. 267)



Fasanella of Filippo - Fasanella de Philippis - Fasanella Morano - Fasanella Morano of Catanzaro.
Here is another most ancient family, most illustrious, native to Morano, owner even of Morano for many centuries, it is remembered therefore by several authors and documents, even if they confused it in several ways.

(p. 268)

  1. On the printed material of the lawyer Toscano in favor of [the church of] S. Pietro can be found the certificate of the apostolic notary D. Domenico D'Ajello in which we read that in 1734 there was still at the church of S. Pietro "a sarcophagus with the arms of the illustrious Fasanella family and a chapel with the same device."
  2. On the same printed material appears a report from the parish priest of S. Pietro to the Bishop that states: "Your most illustrious and reverend lordship should have information that about the year of our Lord 1536, the prince of Bisignano Bernardino asked from the parish priest of Morano for a chapel of Mr. Aloisio Fasanella, where the said lord was magnificently buried and the parish priest did not want to give it to him because he could not, [and] out of disgust he built a chapel at the [church of the] Maddalena."
  3. ...Sarcophagus with coat of arms - sumptuous chapels - ornate sepulchres - as the illustrious family - the lord - the magnificently - the owners of many lands - the noblemen - define for us the Fusanella (sic) cited in preference of the other innumerable noblemen that gave honor to Morano.
  4. In 1691 P. Fiore 1691 wrote: "Morano since about 1200 was under the dominion of the house of Fasanella of the same town, but he is most certain that at that time the [same] family ruled, today called Morano Catanzaro, out of the long domination over this land; it could be that the ancient lords of this house abandoned the surname Fasanella and took the surname Morano. At any rate, Apollonio Morano that was

    (p. 269)
    lord on the year 1239, whose posterity kept the lordship up to Giovan Girolamo, whose children, Francesco, Mazzeo and Antonio, as punishment for following the faction of duke Giovanni, were deposed by Ferdinand the Old, who invested it on D. Luca Sanseverino duke of S. Marco, first prince of Bisignano."

  5. [The priest from Cosenza D.] Domenico Martire indicates thus the genealogy of the said house:
    1. Tangredi Fasanella and others around the eleventh century.
    2. Apollonio Morano in 1239.
    3. Tangredi son in 1250.
    4. Apollonio son in 1296.
    5. Scipione son.
    6. Giovan Girolamo son.
    7. Francesco and other children, because of their rebelliousness, were spoiled of everything they had and the land was given to Luca Sanseverino.

    Since about the year 1200 until 1239, the lordship of the house of Morano had not been of such long duration so as to help forget the surname Fasanella, supposing that it was called Morano with the name of the signoria [land ruled by the signore or lord].
    I point out the same to Domenico Martire, and also to the renowned Carlo de Lellis, who cites as an example Sanseverino that assumed as others the surname from the feud.
    The descendant of the Norman Targisio took up such surname because of the feud of Sanseverino, it's true; but Fasanella always retained its surname, and "Morano, Morano Catanzaro" was nothing else that an addition as their title, as, in order to distinguish one branch from another, was added di Filippo, then de Filippi, and in Latin, De Philippis, as we will see from what's left to be said.

(p. 278)

The barons of Guaragna and Tufarelli

I will give a common account about the three more recent barons, Guaragna Muzio, Tufarelli Giovan Cristoforo e Turfarelli Persio, who resemble one another in every aspect, as much as they were different from the other three of a more distant time, in order not to take longer than what is necessary.
In a document of notary Francesco Lepotte, which is preserved in my family's archive, is found an instrument dated March 2, 1624 which reads, "that the close relatives, U. I. D. Muzio de Guaragna baron of Mormanno: Pietro Antonio De Feulo; Giovan Cristoforo Tufarelli baron of Porcile; and Persio Tufarelli baron of S. Basilio got together to lighten the burden of De Guaragna, oppressed by financial ruin."
This authentic document is enough to make certain the existence of the three barons in 1624, as well as that of their respective feuds or subfeuds.
Let's take a look into the origin of these three baronies of the same era, of the same nature and of brief duration, which at the same time had a common end.

(p. 279}
After the year 1600 we find Muzio De Guaragna baron of Mormanno, and to the same era go back the Tufarelli barons, as attested by the following information: The Albanian Hamlet of Porcile alias Frascineto was founded by the bishop of Cassano around 1490 according to the observation of Loccaso in the history of Castrovillari, which mentions and quotes the stipulated chapters between the Bishop and the Albanians. The Hamlet belonged to several individuals, and at about the end of the XVIth century, from the house of Campolongo baron of Lungro and Firmo it went to the duke of Castrovillari Spinelli Cariati from whom, after 1600, it passed on to Giovan Cristoforo Tufarelli.
The Lords of the Maddalena therefore exaggerated when they called Giovan Cristoforo Tufarelli ancient baron of Porcile alias Frascineto.
The barony of San Basilio, then also Albanian Hamlet, has more recent origins. The same Loccaso precisely assigns to it the date of 1510. It was founded by the Bishop of Cassano in the area of the same name, after the ancient monastery dedicated to St. Basilio Craterense. This Hamlet also had different lords, if I am not mistaken, before it went from the house of Campolongo to the Tufarelli family.
The three feuds mentioned above of Mormanno, Frascineto and S. Basilio had their jurisdiction fragmented, remaining to the Bishop the civil jurisdiction. He signed, as at present, baron of Mormanno, Trebisaccia and S. Basilio.
Later, Persio Tufarelli who became baron of Mormanno, moved there, and we will also see a certain De Guaragna, baron of S. Basilio, for a brief period of time.
Dr. Muzio De Guaragna in fact bought through an exchange the criminal jurisdiction of Mormanno from Luca Antonio Rende of Morano; as one can read in a document (platea) of the house of Guaragna of Ferrosanto. In 1638 Francesco De Guaragna exchanged it with Persio Tufarelli, who thus became baron of Mormanno. His descendants maintan, on the statement of P. Fiore, which says, "being once more owners the princes of Bisignano" that they had obtained it from the Sanseverino family.
From the two Tufarelli barons, and from the third brother Rotilio boasted as ancestors those who with this surname saw themselves in

(p. 280)
Morano - Mormanno - Cassano - Saracena; but we will concentrate only about those of the branch of Morano.
Baron Giovan Cristoforo had 10 sons and several daughters. Many of them married, and all of this would have led one to believe that after a few generations his descendants would have reached [in numbers] the posterity of the patriarch Jacob…
In the numerous branches of Morano there were a great many priests - Curate chaplains of the Maddalena - Parish priests of S. Pietro - Doctors in sacred theology - Illustrious men - Doctors of the law even among the clerics - Notaries - Medical doctors and several general agents of the prince Spinelli Scalea, and therefore almost all have left undying memories of such an illustrious and numerous family, but condemned to extinction with the great-grandchildren of the baron of Frascineto.
Baron Giovan Cristoforo inl 1619 had assigned to his son Glaminio a sum for the celebration of a certain number of annual masses. This legate was the origin, a short time later, of a noisy dispute that lasted longer than a century between the chapel of St. Anne and the families De Bisignano, Tufarelli e Guaragna, who were joined by family ties. Thick printed volumes were compiled, which remind us all too well the members of the Tufarelli family of four generations, and several of their relatives.
Neither did the reverend D. Antonio Tufarelli leave memories of lesser value about the extinct family, who could painfully call himself in 1763 the last descendant of baron Giovan Cristoforo Tufarelli. D. Antonio, having gathered in himself the inheritance of all, founded several chaplainships in [the church of] S. Pietro and in the Maddalena he left several legates and donations and moved the altar of St. Sylvester, which belonged to the family, from the church of the Maddalena to the sacristy, placing on it the marble inscription that will remain as a lasting memento of this illustrious house.
How can one forget Tufarelli who was baron of Frascineto even if his period lasted briefly, that is from about 1600 until 1630, when he laid down the title because the feud was sold to the prince of Cariati? The Tufarelli sustained another noisy suit, but in vain, against the cause Spinelli Cariati to lay claim to the feud of Frascineto (2).

(p. 282)
Muzio De Guaragna in 1624 was baron of Mormanno, just as Persio Thofarello was baron of S. Basilio. A little later they exchanged places. The first became lord of Mormanno, and the second of S. Basilio from which he resigned on October 7, 1643, as attested by an authentic record written by notary Giovan Domenico Rossi. The notary D. Antonio Stabile has in his possession the only list from which one can read what follows: "Donna Isabella Caracciolo princess of Scalea - D. Francesco, Giuseppe, e Biagio De Guaragna - Donna Cardinia Galluppo (4) of Saracena - Purchase and Sale - The Hamlet of S. Basilio with all of its rights, actions, businesses, vassalage, charges, and properties for the sum of 2500 ducats."
The notary said that the De Guaragna and Galluppi parties were from Saracena, we arrive at the conclusion that from many years back this house had emigrated from Morano, to which there was no return.
The same for S. Basilio, owned by the De Guaragna family.
About Mormanno, property of the Tufarelli family, there is what follows. P. Fiore says: "The Criminal jurisdiction of Mormanno belonged to Thofarello with the title of baron by virtue of a purchase made, the princes of Bisignano having been owners another time. The Civil jurisdiction belonged to the Bishop."
Abbott Troyli adds "that with the death of prince Nicola Bernardino Sanseverino, in whom the direct line ends,

(p. 283)
his 41 feuds (including Mormanno) passed on to Donna Giulia Orsino, afterwards to king Philip IV (who reigned since 1621) and from there to Luigi Sanseverino count of the Supenura, except S. Marco and Castrovillari, that by a Royal Decree were given to the duke of Gravina (5).
Ugo of Chiaromonte in 1101 gave Mormanno as a feud to the Bishop of Cassano. In 1433 the Civil jurisdiction was separated from the Criminal jurisdiction.
Alessandro of Chiaromonte imitating the first gave to the same Bishop the land of Trebisaccia. Both donations were approved by the king."
It is also true that the three barons of Mormanno, Porcile and S. Basilio, that we saw in 1624, resembled one another by as much as they were different from the three ex lords (utili signori = useful lords) of Pappasidero, S. Quirico, Orcia and Arentino, Morano Cirella and Grisolia since very remote times.
These three were true first Class feudal lords by sovereign concession, had secular possession and full jurisdiction, and they stopped being lords because of political confiscation during such ancient times that there are barely memories of the feudal lords, feuds, and confiscations.
The other three on the other hand, living there since more recent times, and therefore better known even if they functioned during a brief time span, were no more than sub-feudal owners with fragmented jurisdiction that rose and fell at the same time, and because of anything but political confiscation.
The house of De Guaragna as that of Tufarelli, were located toward S. Pietro, in the circuit of the walls of the old city, in comlete opposition to where lived the lords of the Maddalena in 1734. Tufarelli lived at Ferrosanto in that palatial house that now belongs to Pietro Mainieri and to the children of his brother Carmine. This is too well known to be in doubt.
What not everyone knows is that the De Guaragna house was located right between the palazzi of Mr. Rocco and Mr. Serranł and that it was so ancient that it gave its name to one of the gates of the city, "La porta delli Guaragna". A short time prior to the birth of the poet Biagio [De Guaragna] it had been sold, or perhaps it had collapsed.

(p. 286)


Pappasidero, of old, Leto, or de Leto, later Alitto

Count Passerini, learned librarian of the National Library of Florence, has a precious chronicle of the XVII century, which has served as the basis for the work of many writers. This codex was written in 1673 by the Calabrian Capuchin erudite P. Gesualdo, who during that century was called G. F. Lanzetta, and who was born in Morano, as we have pointed out under note n. 54 of the first book, on page 128.

(p. 287)
It is my impression that this house of Alitto, worthy since that time to be related to such a knight that owned so much, and worthy of the merit of ruling Pappasidero at the very time of the Norman denomination, had to be an illustrious family even before they came into our Kingdom.
P. Fiore in illustrated Calabria, in 1691, with few and not very clear words, seems to have acknowledged the promiscuity of the surname Pappasidero and Alitto. He says: "Pappasidero was owned by D. Giovanni Pappasidero for services rendered to the emperor Henry VI - from D. Giovan Francesco Alitto - from D. Antonio Pappacoda by purchase from king Ladistao in 1390 - and today it belongs to the Alitto family with the title of baron. D. Giovanni Pappasidero gave a great name to this town."
It is easy for one and the same family, since the time it had the feud of the town of Pappasidero, to be called promiscuously Leto, Alitto and Pappasidero, and it wouldn't be the first case. The promiscuity of the surname took place in many noble families and especially in the feudal families. In this case the promiscuity of the surname, as well as the possession of the feud would go back to the Norman occupation, which precedes that of the Swabian emperors, as we can be sure from two items...

(p. 288)
Coming back to the matter of promiscuity, or surname change Leto, Alitto and Pappasidero, I know I have read, but I don't remember where, that in very ancient times the town that later was named Pappasidero was called Regione, and that Leandri Alberti calls it Castello: It is true that either the town took the name of its lord, or that he took the name of the feud, being more probable the second version.
Nicola Leoni in his studies on Magna Graecia and on Beozia, vol. II, p. 135, from number 146 forward, writes thus:
"Either because nothing happened worth remembering, or because little was transmitted by the ancient historians, the history of Calabria, before the Kingdom of the two Sicilies was occupied by the Swabians, remains silent for a period of time.
"..... Two writers related what happened during those times in Calabria: one was Master Alifero, Valerio Pappasidero the other, native of Morano, the first dictating an opuscle of a few pages, the second an entire extensive volume, divided in three parts and followed by a supplement, distributed in four long sections, and many other opuscles, that we will enumerate better in one of the following chapters, all of the volume dictated in pure and most elegant Latin, with an eloquence and agreement of periods that is so enchanting...
"The emperor Henry VI, coming from Germany to Italy, brought along with John and Henry Kalą, two brothers, descendants of the royal blood of England, very dear to him, because he had been educated together with them, and because through their work he succeeded in conquering and retaining many parts of

(p. 289)
our Kingdom and much more of Calabria. Henry was forced by the plague to leave (in 1191) the siege of Naples and to return to Germany, placed the command of his armies, which he used to leave in the Kingdom, in the hands of the two Kalą brothers, giving them later as their feud no less than the fortress and the city of Castrovillari and many other lands, from where to survey and to call his empire, the Calabrias. These two brothers, associating to them Federico Lancia, as an expert of those places, and penetrating into the Kingdom, pushed up into some of the cities in the borders of Lucania, and then, going further, occupied Senise, Rotonda, Morano, Castrovillari, Cassano and other nearby lands and cities, strengthening them with arms and soldiers, from where to be able to resist the Normans that occupied the other Lands and cities around 8"....
(This letter was signed by Leonardo Lainh and addressed to the most noble Giovanni Pappasidero of Morano).
(p. 294)
In 1485, Giusto Alitto, with his other four brothers, took part in the Conspiracy of the Barons. Their feudal properties were expropriated, and all of them were expatriated (as shown in other documents that I have). Giusto found refuge in the Papal States, under the protection of pope Innocenzo; Liberio and Francesco in Taranto and Bitonto; Giuseppe in Maratea and Pietro Marco in Montalbano, from where he went to Bisignano, to whose seat his descendant Giovanbattista was already enrolled in 1645.

(p. 297)


De Pizzi

The noble house De Pizzi arrived in Morano from the conspicuous city of Fondi precisely in 1500, states the document (platea) of Lavalle, and with other documents attests to its nobility.
What kind of family this was before 1500, we should ask to the city where it originated. It is enough for me to know that it was of nobility before that time, and as such established itself in Morano; we are also owners of a document from which we learn that the house De Pizzi was noble and powerful in Fondi, before the battle between the French and the Aragonese started, and perhaps after that it suffered some reversal of fortune.
In 1500, several noblemen of the house De Pizzi took up residence in Morano, and in fact, we find that the magnificent Domenico was nominated general agent of the prince of Bisignano. Such a position in and of itself wouldn't be anything great; but the following diploma informs me with greater accuracy about the quality of this noble personage.
On September 8, 1515, Domenico De Pizzi became also concessionary of prince Bernardino Sanseverino, who on the diploma and privilege, among other flattering words, calls him his benefactor and most beloved friend (sodalem nostrum Dominicum, Pitium de Civitate Fundorum et abitantem in terrae nostrae Morani).
The prince furthermore on the long diploma declares that he is most grateful to Pizzi for the services that he was rendering and for those that he had formerly rendered also abroad; as well as to have helped him during his time of need; therefore, desiring to show his gratitude and generosity on small things, as in great ones, granted to him, to his heirs and successors forever, the mills and the fulling mills [similar to this] of the main Curia of Morano, for the payment of only 450 tomoli of grain, in Neapolitan measure:

(p. 298)
"Et cum omnibus Iuris et Iurisditionibus, actionibus, proprietatibus, prerogativis, et consuetudinis solitis, et consuetis, sicut nostra Curia melius, el plenius tenit et possedit."
He makes a free concession for building another mill, another fulling mill, a water saw, a paper mill and some other similar machine with the waters that came from the mills and the fulling mills already in place, giving the said De Pizzi, free management, as if they were his, of the machines and buildings that for this purpose he would raise in the process of time.
He also gives him permission to have any number and any kind of his animals graze for free, in all the dominions and limits of the State, free from rent for grazing, as well as from any other payment.
The prince states finally, that the privileged concessionary De Pizzi should not pay anything, neither for "Ius Polise" nor pacts and he recommends him "...quam Investituram suam robor, efficaciam veræ realis et effictivalis, possessus, ecc." to the son of his beloved father, the most illustrious Pietro Antonio Sanseverino, count of Chiaromonte, for as much as his love is dear to him, as well as to all the senior and junior officers, under penalty of 1000 ducats, for any inconvenience that the said de Pizzi could encounter.
Who doesn't understand from this diploma the extraordinary predilection of the prince toward the magnificent Domenico de Pizzi, in the flattering expressions, in the free concessions, in the modest sum fixed for the purchase of all the machines and in the exceptional concessions of feudal properties and their rights? In fact the royal commisar in 1546, repeated something about the modesty of the tax, declaring it contrary to feudal concession, and even expressing some doubt as to the validity of that diploma in favor of De Pizzi.
And the expressions full of esteem and affection used by the prince of Bisignano are of great weight, precisely during the time of his greatest splendor, in favor of De Pizzi, whom he calls his dearest friend, his companion, his benefactor, toward whom he was doing everything to please him. It must be understood that the magnificent Domenico was a great lord when he could help the prince abroad, his companion in reverses, who then, fallen into ruin, perhaps precisely because of the generous assistance give to Sanseverino, found himself constrained to follow him to Morano and to live with the means offered to him by his gratitude.
In Morano the house De Pizzi, added since it appeared in this city, in the consortium of noblemen, maintained itself with decorum, until all of the previous century in which it became extinct.
The De Pizzi family owned a palatial house that belonged previously to Pappasidero, and when it became the property of prince Sanseverino, he donated it to De Pizzi, as tradition states. He also owned the Santonicola land that today is owned by the Cinque family; and now it is called the Vein of Carlo Pizzi, a great spring that originates in the same.
(p. 325)



It's not necessary to say too much about the all too noble house of Sanseverino, first baron of the kingdom; I will limit myself to say about it what is related to Morano.
Targisio, most noble Norman knight, came to the kingdom at the time of Robert Guiscard duke of Apulia, by whom he was made Count of Sanseverino. In 1084, as stated in the diplomas of la Cava, he was already count and he adopted as his surname the term "of Sanseverino".
Luca Sanseverino in 1485 became prince of Bisignano, the feud that he bought for the sum of 22 thousand ducats.
Girolamo II, prince of Bisignano.
Bernardino III, prince, married Dianora Piccolomini and had Pietro Antonio, 11th count of Tricarico, 4th prince of Bisignano, the same who received with such splendor in his estates the emperor Charles V, when he came back from Algiers, and received the Golden Fleece (example). Pietro Antonio married a second time, to Evina (sic) Castriota and from this marriage originated:
Nicolņ Bernardino, 10th count of Tricarico, 5th prince of Bisignano, who joined in marriage the daughter of the Duke of Urbino, Isabella della Rovere, from whom he had only one son, Francesco Teodoro, who preceded his father in death at age 14 years and in a saintly manner.
He was probably buried in Morano, because his death happened precisely at the time in which prince Nicolņ Bernardino, after having demanded, in vain, the noble tomb of the Fasanella family, from the archpriest of Morano, founded the gentilitial chapel in the church of the Maddalena.
After the death of Nicolņ Bernardino, there were no other descendants, so the direct line of the princes of Bisignano became extinct with him, leaving the following feuds, according to Scipione Ammirato:
In Calabria, Bisignano - S. Marco - Cassano - Strongoli - Corigliano - Castrovillari - Acri - Altomonte -

(p. 326)
La Regina - Saracino - Malvito - Luzzi - Rose - Ruggiano - Tarsia - Terranova - Casalnuovo - Trebisaccia - Morano - Mormanno - Abate Marco - Grisolia - Belvedere - Sanguinetto - Bonifati e S. Agata - 12 in Basilicata - 3 in Terra d'Otranto, in all 41!
The death without heirs of Nicolņ Bernardino, last prince of Bisignano, originated a fierce litigation in the Sacred Royal Council, among the many pretenders to his estates. The favorite was donna Giulia Orsini who, upon her death, left her rights over the estates of the prince of Bisignano to king Philip IV. The king granted them to Luigi Sanseverino, count of Senapara, except S. Marco and Castrovillari, which with a royal decree he gave to the Duke of Gravina.
Taking a step back, I remember that the most illustrious Antonio Sanseverino, in 1452 founded the monastery of S. Bernardino in Morano. It seems that this most illustrious man was the same Antonio who was Duke of S. Marco, since 1442, and father of Don Luca, who in 1485 became prince of Bisignano, while, since 1452 he must have had connection with Morano, with which some disagree.
Son of Don Luca was Girolamo, who with other barons was murdered in 1487. Girolamo's wife was Bandella Gaetana, and from them were born Bernardino and others.
In 1495, Ferdinando I of Aragon returned the feuds to the rebellious barons; but the house of Sanseverino did not get them back until 1505.
The reintegration by means of the royal commisioner Lavalle, in favor of the prince Pietro Antonio Sanseverino was made in 1546. A short while later the house of Sanseverino became extinct. He was succeeded by his niece Giulia Orsini and her first husband Giovan Giacinto Spinelli, marchese of Fuscaldo, and from there with her second husband Tiberio Caraffa.

[Link: The Sanseverino coat of arms.]



I don't want to go to great lengths to give the long and complicated genealogy of the house of Spinelli, so illustrious and with so many branches among whom are found Great ones of Spain, Cardinals,

(p. 327)
Viceroys, and which was subdivided in so many branches, such as the Spinelli of Fuscaldo - Spinelli Savelli of Seminara - Spinelli of Cariati - Spinelli of Castrovillari - Spinelli of Misuraca - Spinelli of Scalea, all of them great feudal owners.
All of them and other branches descend from that proverbial noble lineage even before in 1535 it was noted among the great of Spain, and before it became related to the grand ducal house of the families of Medici, Gonzaga, Rovere, Toledo, Savelli, Orsini and Borgia.
Don Ettore Spinelli, prince of Scalea, in 1610 bought from the royal court some income in burgensatico [that is, property which was completely free from feudal jurisdiction] over several towns, and it is then that he had for the first time anything to do related with Morano; but no longer in quality of "useful lord". Instead since 1606 the lord of Morano was D. Giacinto Spinelli marchese of Fuscaldo, as first husband of Donna Giulia Orsini who succeeded the prince of Bisignano her uncle.
Signora Orsini married then Don Tiberio Caraffa.
Don Ettore Spinelli was "useful lord" of Morano since 1648, as noted by Domenico Martire, and they succeeded him in seigniory. Trajano who married Isabella Caracciolo - Antonio marquis of Misuraca who in 1685 was the husband of Anna Beatrice Caraffa of the princes of Belvedere - prince Francesco Maria (*) who married Rosa Pignatelli - prince Antonio husband of Giovanna Cardines - prince Vincenzo married Eleonora Ruffo and prince Francesco Girolamo, mounted royal Guard , who married Donna Maddalena Caracciolo - their only daughter, Donna Eleonora Spinelli, was joined in marriage with prince D. Pietro Lanza of Palermo, Lord of Trabbia, Scordia, Butera, ecc., ecc.
At present the princess is widowed, and her second son D. Francesco Lanza, signs as prince of Scalea.

(*)Note: According to his own autobiography, "published in Venice in 1753 in the Opuscoli of Calogerą, with a total of 56 pages, he was born January 30, 1686 in Murano (which by royal decree of 1861 took the name of Morano Calabro, to avoid post-unitarian homonyms), of Antonio and Anna Beatrice Caraffa, of the Princes of Belvedere... He died April 4, 1752, in Aversa, where his brother, Bishop Niccolņ performed his funeral Mass." (Excerpt from the newspaper "Tribuna Sud", yr. 1982, p. 11, by Fedele Mastroscusa) A.B.

First Book Note
  • 54 (p. 128) We do not have definitive information about the degree of relationship between our Diego Lanzetta, doctor of the law, and that father G. F. Lanzetta, author of the precious chronicle of the XVII century; but everything leads one to believe that the writer mentioned, belongs to the same family as doctor Diego, because it is known that the first was Calabrian. This important manuscript is titled: "The traditional origins of several Knights who came from the Kingdom of Naples, with particular information about the families and other important information. - Chronicle of the Capuchin, Father Gesualdo, up to this century. G. F. Lanzetta, in the year 1673 of Our Lord."

Fourth Book Notes
  • 2 (p. 327) The best memento of the house of Tufarelli was the large legate made by it (p. 328) in favor of the missionaries, who often came here to preach, lamenting with grateful heart the extinct household as well as the library left to the young students (who with markers at the entrance remembered Tufarelli) in the monastery of the Capuchins.
  • 4 [3] The ancient nobility of the house of Tufarelli could also be demonstrated on the basis of the noble marriages, among which it is enough to remember that of one of their members with a lady of the Gonzaga family... This document also presents us with a good example of what I have said before regarding the titles and epithets that were given with just criteria. - Donna Isabella the princess - Donna Cardonia the baroness, lady from Messina - D. Francesco the priest. Withoug any title or epithet are named: Giuseppe brother of the deceased baron Muzio De Guaragna and Biagio his son, even he himself a Baron, until the moment in which the feud was sold. - Later on we find written Donna Giulia (a princess Orsini) and Donna Maria De Guaragna (a baroness).
  • 5 From this information it seems that Mormanno was always a sub-feud. It was owned by De Guaragna, by exchange, from Luca Antonio Renda of Morano, and Francesco De Guaragna son of Muzio in 1638 exchanged it with Persio Tufarello.
    Therefore Tufarelli didn't have it from Sanseverino as generally thought, that is after the count of the Supenura (sic) had all the feuds from Philip IV.
    It could have been that the feuds of Mormanno and S. Basilio were exchanged because the house De Guaragna, in financial ruin since 1624, had need of the excess of from the value of their feud over the one owned by Tufarelli, or because the excess was assigned as dowry to Donna Maria De Guaragna daughter of Muzio who married a Tufarello.
    The descendants of the baron Persio Tufarelli can be found in the person of D. Vincenzo, brother and cousins, so I asked them for an explanation, but they replied that they knew less than I did, and because they don't have any family documents in their family, they haven't even been able to find out who were the parents of Giovan Cristofaro, Persio and Rutilio. If so many uncertainties and such deep darkness reign over facts that aren't older than two and a half centuries, it shouldn't surprise that even more could be found in the houses and with the persons, who go back to very long ago, even if I were to spend all my life looking through archives, consulting authors and documents of every kind.
  • 8 [7] From the History of Magna Grecia and of Brezia by Nicola Leoni, Vol. II pages 160-178. With another diploma the same emperor grants as feud to Ruperto Pappasidero three tracts of land in the country of Morano: La Cotura, L'Olivaro and Santo Nicola.
    "Henricus Sextus Dei gratia Romanorum Imperator semper Augustus et Sicilianorum Rex, Ruperto Pappasidero nobili viro, nostro fideli, dilecto gratiam et bonam voluntatem. - Cum Caesareae Maiestati suetum sit virtuti et fidel subditorum condigno praemia tribuere, quod nostra quoque assolet celsitudo: ideirco cum noster carissimus consanguineus Henricus Kalą, noster in Siciliorum Regnis vicarius nobis retulerit, te nobis ipsique Herrico summa fide et virtute nulla et grandia servitio praestitisse, volentes nos illis praemia condigna impertiri, tenore praesentium, de certa nostra scientia, deliberata voluntate ac superna potestate tibi praefacto Ruperto Pappasidero, tuisque haeredibus et successoribus in perpetuum ex tua stirpe descendentibus damus, concedimus et largimus tria feuda, sita in territorio nostrae terrae Murani in Provincia Citerioris Calabriae, unum dictum de Cutura, alterum Olivaro, tertium Santo Nicola, cum omnibus iuribus, redditibus, actionibus, honoribus ad illa quomodocumque spectantibus, ac concedi solitis, et consuetis, sub contingenti feudali servitio, quoties iuxta usum et consuetudinem indicabitur, sancientes praesenti privilegio, ut nulla omnina persona in dictis feudis audeat quovis modo contra istius tenorem te ac tuos successores molestare. In cuius rei testimonium praesens privilegium fieri et Caesareo nostro sigillo in pendenti firmari imperavimus.
    Datum Panormi die quinta Julii MCXCVI Henbic A."

    I have transcribed this document to demonstrate Kalą e Pappasidero whose existence once was denied, and to demonstrate that Morano was not a feud of the Normans.

    Source: The present material has been transcribed from the book "Morano and its Illustrious Houses" written by baron Antonio Salmena. Milano 1882. Presso la Direzione Generale della Raccolta Daugnon e presso l'Autore, in Morano Calabro.

    * Baron Salmena perhaps was referring to the following narrative, written by Nicola Leoni, in his second volume of "Della Magna Grecia e delle Tre Calabrie: Ricerche", Napoli, Tipografia di Vincenzo Priggiobba, 1845, on pp. 104 -105:

      [Castrovillari] "This land was always a fertile mother of illustrious citizens dedicated to letters, and to arms, and after that nobody knows anything about them, or they did not make a name for themselves in literature, so we will not talk of but a few. And first, Carlo Calą. From a brief biographical account it is possible to demonstrate how powerful the thought of nobility is in the heart of man, and how much mischief fraudulence can dream, and get from those who are imprudent a prize, for which otherwise they would hope in vain. How many people born from plebeians, or in the hovel of indigence, extend themselves towards the Goddess of blind eyes, showing disdain as a shame the humble origins, manage to find in more ancient times the origin of their ancestry from dreamed ancestors known to fame, and distinguished in virtue, from where they showed to people a sign of insanity, and that they were prey to imposture. This is what happened to Carlo Calą, and we repeat it so as not to betray history.
      He took his first breath of life in 1618 in Castrovillari [This researcher has not found anyone bron 'Carlo Calą' in 1618 in Castrovillari, at S. Maria del Castello, or at S. Maria Cirindola, or at S. Pietro la Cattolica. S. Giuliano is missing A.B.]; in vain would someone else hope that he was born in Naples or Cosenza. He took up to studying esclusively legal siences, made great progress that gave him a name, and high appointments, where he was constrained many times to write about the affairs of the court of Spain with the kingdom of Naples, and to preside during the compilation of the Pragmatic [sanctions] of Aldimari. He acquired the title of duke, through the purchase of the feud of Diana for 50000 ducats, and at the same time the marquesato of Ramonte, and Villanova. To all of these titles he added a certain singular integrity, a gullible spirit. Only one wild thought of higher nobility ruled his mind excessively, this thought was in him as
      "The tempestuous and intoxicating
      Joy of a grand design".

      The fraud was there to procure for him the dreamed nobility. Ferdinando Stocchi, having studied his attitude, gave him a bunch of rolled up writings only imagined by himself. Calą bought them from him for a high price, and wild without delay, such as one who is about to open one's eyes in a new world, avidly unrolled them, and without giving place to critical analysis he read them, and persuaded himself - that his family originated from the royal blood of England, and of Burgundy, and finally that, grafted into the august house of Staupen it was transplanted to Calabria by Giovanni, and Arrigo Calą, one and the other generals under the banners of Henry VI, and that the first one, tired of wielding arms, and loving more solitude, and the cross, than the noise of war and of the court, retiring to hermitages, found the favor of heaven, and, having had the great book of the future opened to him, carried out prodigies and miracles.
      He, happy with his assumed nobility, so as to not let the news go by, from the writings themselves, daughters of fraud, gathered the elements, and he wrote the history of the Swabians during the conquest of the kingdom of Naples, followed by a long biography of the blessed Giovanni Calą, captain general of the Swabians. And this was not all. He built under the roof of his house a temple [chapel], and obtained from the pope the solemn transfer of the bones of his blessed ancestor. Do you see! Stocchi, with devout attention following the sacred remains among the multitude of the rushed city, kept repeating every once in a while here and there,

      Felices asini qui tot mervistis honores,
      Quot iam romulei vix meruere duces!

      Sacred remains! Those were not the bones of the blessed, they were the bones of an ass, that Stocchi had buried in the ground to give greater credit to his fraud. And yet there was no sign, no word of so much impiety. Incense was burned to those bones, vows and prayers were offered to them, and they received the worship of the faithful. Only the terror of death that seized Angelo Matere of Cosenza, accomplice of Stocchi, uncovered the fraud. The temple was demolished, and the history was banished by the Roman inquisition.
      Among others, are left by Carlo Calą a book that refers to the succession that one can buy."

      Although the poor Carlo Calą was deceived by Stocchi, in the Cadastre "Onciario" of Porcile (today Eianina) some peasants tilled the ground in an area called "The Feud of Calą" (See link above) in 1752, demonstrating at least the existence of the surname at that time, and of a feud owned at some point in time.

    Footnote: State Property Documents - The most important reform of the French Decade was the abolition of feudal ownership, accomplished with the law of 2 August 1806, that has marked not only the end of the baronial jurisdiction, but has put on the agenda the question of the State Lands that used to be feuds. These lands in part remained in the possession of the ancient barons who, however, were holding them as alodial property (the term alodial originates from the German words all and Gut and it indicates the complete possession of a property, clear of every feudal charge. The terms alodial and "burgensatico" are, therefore, synonims: they refer to the property that has full title of ownership of a bourgeois nature, and not feudal. In part they became State lands, which the government intended to create a small peasant properties.
    Source:Archivio di Stato di Salerno


    The Catasto Onciario of 1752 is mainly the peasant historical voice, showing for the most part the miserable living conditions of those who were at the bottom of the financial chain. The excerpts from this book give the reader a glimpse of the attitude of those who lived on the opposite side of the spectrum, looking from the top down, although it is evident that for some, at times, the only thing left was their pride.
    The reader should examine the excerpts presented above through the eyes of the time when the work was written and published. Although the attitude of the writer seems by modern standards petulant and arrogant, it provides for the reader insights on the makings of a nobleman or a lady, a baron or a baroness.
    The writer published a fairly well documented account about the barons of Morano, although he lacks some detail in citing the sources, which was not uncommon at that time. The majority of the best documentation is reserved for the sections on the House of Salmena, which does not have direct relationship to the purpose of this transcription, and therefore has not been included. A. B.

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