Home | Valente and DiRenzo Family History - From Our Correspondent in Geneva - Vicolo del Orologio - Earthquake Damage
Vicolo del Orologio, Gambatesa
The scaffolding for repairs at Vicolo del Orologio ("Clock Lane", or, "Clock Alley") to the slight damage from the earthquake of 31 October 2002 is shown in the two photographs below [Map of the Province of Campobasso].
Gambatesa's Municipio ("Town Hall") and prison used to be in these buildings at Vicolo del Orologio, but maybe there were only two rooms, because the village was very small. Maybe this was the location of the only clock in Gambatesa.
A rich man said: Let me be the sindaco ("mayor") and I will sell you the present building where the Municipio is. In what year did this happen? At the Municipio they said they would have to look in their archives and that it would be too much trouble.
Vicolo del Orologio is off to the right of Via del Purgatorio when going from the Municipio toward the Church of San Bartolomeo. [Street map of the village center of Gambatesa]
Maybe the rich man who sold the building to the village was a FERRARI. Another rich family, the IOSA [Il senatore Guglielmo Iosa di Gambatesa], lived in a house near the Municipio, to the right when you look down the street from Largo Fontana toward the Municipio's front door. The houses there are quite big.
Photographs by Angelo Abiuso (Geneva), August 2003.
Update 2004. During the summer I had a talk with Domenico Genovese, who is well known in Gambatesa as M'nguc Muzzet' (M'nguc means "little or young Domenico").
Domenico told me that the Ferrara were the richest family in Gambatesa. Palazzo Ferrara is a beautiful building just in front of La Villa. The Ferrara had 7 masserie ("farms"). If you look at the old military map of Gambatesa there is a contrada ("district") still called Orti Ferrara ("Ferrara Gardens").
Domenico Ferrara was a podestà (sindaco; podestà was the term used during the Fascist era). He was named Podestà a Vita ("Mayor for [the rest of his] Life"). He gave the palazzo ("mansion") which is the municipio ("municipal hall") today to Gambatesa. Part of Piazza Municipio ("Town Hall Square") was part of his fortune. From that comes the saying Puzza nasc n'da case i Ferrare! ("I wish you shall be born in the Ferrara's house"), meaning "May God bless you [with good fortune]!"; but this is an old saying that isn't used anymore.
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Last revised: 28 October 2004 : 2004-10-28 by Robert [Wesley] Angelo
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