ISPANI, between mountains and sea

 

The town is situated between the sea and the mountains. Capitello hamlet is a small village on a sandy beach, surmounted by the Norman Tower. Ispani is a beautiful Middle Ages town, founded as a refuge against Saracen attacks on a green hill the dominates the Gulf of Policastro. On the top of the hill there is the nice hamlet, San Cristofaro, called Sant'Agata in the past.
San Nicola di Bari church is very interesting, it was built at the end of XIV century. There is a sculpture made of mortar and stones, portraying Our Lady with the Holy Child.
The summer jazz review “Ispani Jazz” is very nice.

 

HISTORY
This territory was first inhabited during Norman period. On a hill near Capitello hamlet, today called “Castellaro”, Ruggiero I built a castle. During the second half of XVI century Aragons arrived in this area, or at least their soldiers. On a hill there is still a sighting tower built to defend the territory from Saracen pirates. People escaped on the hills where today Ispani and San Cristofaro are. At the end of XVI century Counts Carafa della Spina, escaping from the near Policastro, infested by the malarial fever, moved to Capitello hamlet.
According to a document kept in the State Archive of Naples, of 1746, Ispani and San Cristofaro were not considered a town and so they couldn’t have fortresses against pirates. This is why the inhabitants built very small houses, leaning against each other, in this way the carts couldn't cross the territory.
Then, in 1780 Ispani was transformed into a “University”, that is a municipality.
Ispani, Capitello and San Cristoforo have represented a single municipality since the institution of the Republic.

 

MONUMENTS AND NATURAL BEAUTIES
• Palazzo Carafa della Spina, today it belongs to Elisabettine Bigie Nuns, only the walls remain: they represent the limit of the garden. Then there is the arch that allowed the passages of the coaches and a marble tombstone that represent a warning for Saracen pirates
• San Cristoforo Church of XVI century
• Santa Sofia Chapel, built at the beginning of XVII century
• San Rocco Church
• San Donato al Monte Chapel
• Ruins of a Norman castle of XI century
• San Ferdinando Re Church of XIX century
• Sant’Antonio di Padova Chapel
• Tower on the coast built in 1500 in Capitello
• San Nicola di Bari Church, it was built at the end of XIV century. There is a sculpture made of mortar and stones, portraying Our Lady with the Holy Child
• Sandy beach of Capitello, surmounted by the Norman tower
• Catena Wood with an equipped area

 

FOLKLORE AND EVENTS
• Saint Anthony of Padua Feast (13th June)
• Saint Christopher Feast (July)
• San Donato Feast (7th August)
• San Rocco Feast (16th August)
• Ispani Jazz (August)


 

testi: Stefania Maffeo

 

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