The History of Campoli Appennino
It is known that the territory of Campoli Appennino has been inhabited since the Neolithic age. Later it became the land of the Volsci, and then Samnites, until they were conquered by the Romans in 293 BC. Several Roman remains have been discovered in the area including a series of walls, the “Aqueduct of Nero“, some Roman villas, and a black and white mosaic decorated with two darting fishes that decorated the floor of a thermal bath.
In the Chronicles off Montecassino it is recorded that Campoli owes its origin to Gandolfo, count of Sora and Aquino, who built a new settlement after the town had been destroyed by the Lombards in the 7th century and was sacked by the Saracens in 843. During the 11th century Campoli was was ruled by Landolfo d’Aquino who built a castle protected by a circuit of fortified walls. In 1157 the town passed to Count Gregorio di Ceccano and was later taken over by the Dukes of Cantelmo, thus becoming part of the duchy of Alvito. The castle controlled the confines of the Duchy of Sora and the Valle Roveto. In 1595 the Duchy was bought by Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio. The Gallio’s held on to their seat until the invasion of Napoleon’s troops, when the town of Campoli was looted and devastated by the French. This saw the end of feudal domination.
In the sixteenth century it was described as a “populated castle, well surrounded by walls” from the territory “almost all in hills” that produced “good grains, barley and maize; good white wines, and delicious honey”. In the mountains there were “good summer pastures” .
Following the Unification of Italy there was a peasants’ rebellion, a social war against the Unity of Italy that lasted almost ten years. The people were lead by notorious brigands who occupied and commanded the surrounding territory.
In the 1853 deposits of limonite were discovered at Monte Omo in the Campoli area. A royal mine was opened at the behest of the Bourbon King Ferdinand II, who sought to enlarge his stock of military armaments. The ore was transported to the Iron Works in Atina for smelting. However the mine was closed down following the fall of the House of Bourbon and the Kingdom of Naples and the Two Sicilies, and the dawning of the Unification of Italy.
Campoli became increasingly closely linked to Sora. For a period the breeding of silkworms was attempted in this area. Many peasants struggled to make a living to feed their families and were forced to leave their homeland and seek their fortunes in a new life overseas in such places as America, Canada and Australia.
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