Rotondi

Main road and main square

The historical via Campanina that branches out from the Appian Way, to catch it again near Avellino, here takes the name of Corso Girolamo Del Balzo and leads from Paolisi to the old centre of Rotondi, passing through a neighbourhood named Botteghelle, literally meaning 'the workshops'. This road is indeed characterized by housing built during the last 2 or 3 centuries, with the main purpose of exploiting their position on the main road for trading agricultural and handcrafted goods. South of the road, more uphill, are located several of the old casali of Rotondi, but they have been completely rebuilt. After taking to the main square, the Corso goes on towards Cervinara.
Houses along the Corso at Botteghelle The Corso in the direction of Maietta House Palazzo Maietta (see below) is located along the Corso, but its position looks like the end of it. The abandoned building in tuff stone, on the left, is Palazzo Gallo (1934). Maietta and Kollarzic houses The notable Kollarzic House, built in 1854, is now abandoned.

Maietta House

Palazzo Maietta

Palazzo Maietta dates back to the 17th century, and belongs to a family that used to be one of the most notable ones of Rotondi. The building is located in a curve of Corso Girolamo del Balzo, in such a way that it faces the street both with a small front and with a longer side. Just behind this longer wall there is an irregularly shaped court, paved in stone, and featuring an old fountain with three stone basins.
The front of the building, instead, features the main portal and a window. They are both framed with finely carved stones, dating back to 1794. Rotondi [CMP Partenio-Vallo di Lauro]

This page includes a small photo gallery: the first and the last pictures were taken in the courtyard of Maietta House.

The front and the gateway to the garden The decorations of the portal and the front window The carved stones framing the portal culminate with the coat of arms of the Maietta family and the name of the man that had this stone portal realized, Domenico Maietta.
Scarcella Building (1920) with its front garden Ilario House with its courtyard (1896) This building lies along Corso Girolamo del Balzo, close to the main square. It is characterized by a two-storey arcade facing the courtyard, closely recalling the residential architecture of Naples. A small square on the way to Cervinara
The core of the old centre of Rotondi is Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, formerly Piazza Grande—its size is indeed notable for a small centre like Rotondi. It was set up around the 16th century as the town market place, and once hosted the church of San Sebastiano and the marquises' palace, both disappeared. The square also gives access from via Campanina to the countryside.
View of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele A spoilt mural painting on the way to the public garden
Part of a cradle for abandoned babies This stone is located on the front of a building of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, hidden among the display desks of a greengrocery. There is seemingly no memory of this, but this building was probably a convent. Hidden behind the stone there used to be a cradle, which could be extracted by pulling the shutter.
Its employment was to allow poor people leave their unwanted newborn children to the compassion of nuns or monks, and in so doing preserve their own anonymity.
Chapel of Sant'Antonio Abate The chapel of Sant'Antonio Abate and Santo Stefano is mentioned since 1333 as a private chapel (a source I have found asserts that it used to belong to the Lanni family): in particular, it is the oldest religious building surviving in Rotondi. However, its current configuration dates back to the 18th century. The current stone portal was indeed set up in that age; and the interior was enriched with a picture of Saint Anthony of Egypt. Remains of the Marquises' Palace Vico Palazzo, on the bottom left of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, is an alley leading to a residential space, which originally was the court of the marquises' palace. It has been impossible for me to find historical information about it (in particular about its ages of construction and demolition). It was made up of 9 rooms downstairs and 11 upstairs, now divided into a series of terraced houses or entirely destroyed (the walls on the left are the remains of an entire wing). The most authentic part must be the arcades and the staircases by the corner on the right. Several sources mention remains of a tower: I do not know whether they refer to the squared one in the middle (close to the corner with the left wing), or the hexagonal structure in tuff stones appearing on the left of this picture.
I personally find it likely that this area was the one mentioned during the 16th century as the Castrum Rotundorum, namely a fortified core.

Clock Tower

Torre dell'Orologio

The clock tower located at the bottom of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele was originally the bell tower of the church of San Sebastiano; it is nowadays sort of a symbol of Rotondi. It was built in stone in the 17th century; the clock, instead, dates back to 1911. In 1920 a marble stone was attached to it, listing the names of people from Rotondi dead during the first world war.
In an age that is unknown to me, the church has been torn down and replaced with a modern building hosting a bank. The original plan included removal of the tower as well, but the population took a firm position against that. Old photo of the church [Facebook]
The clock tower at the bottom of the square The building on the left is Palazzo Maiello (1878). Behind the clock tower is the building replacing the old church. The top of the clock tower The entire tower is nowadays covered in plaster and stuccoes.
Behind the main square there is an area gathering the public facilities of Rotondi: the school, the town hall, the post office, and a nice Public garden (Villa comunale), regularly frequented by the locals. The garden is entirely covered by trees, and features a pond (mostly unused) and a couple of remarkable memorials.
Artwork on the walls of the primary school Landscape of the Villa Comunale
The pond World War II memorial

Air Force memorials

Monumenti dell'Aeronautica Militare

Domenico Cioffi, from Cervinara, is a general of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force), involved in the highest ranks of its health departments. He promoted the donation to the town of Rotondi of a World War II aircraft and a copy of the statue of the Virgin Mary of Loreto, namely the religious patron of the Air Force. They are both kept by the public gardens.
Every year in December a ceremony is held at this statue, which gathers the members of the Air Force from Valle Caudina. It is some years now that the ceremony is held in conjunction with initiatives promoting blood donations. Festeggiamenti in onore della Madonna di Loreto (Retesei)

Local news announcing the 2013 ceremony

The Virgin Mary of Loreto The statue of the Virgin Mary of Loreto, in compliance with the original one, is black. Its altar includes the wing of a war aircraft on its side. The war aircraft It is kept within the premises on the primary school.
Copyright 2014 Antonio De Capua