Benvenuti / Welcome to
Atina and the Val di Comino
Gallinaro is positioned on a hilly ridge (558 metres) between Atina and Alvito, surrounded by the countryside of the Val di Comino and magnificent mountain views.
The town was known in Roman times and takes its name from the forest named “Silva
Galinaria” which is situated just behind the village -
In 1023 Gallinaro was ruled by the Counts of Sora before being taken by the Normans. In 1067 it came under the Duchy of Aquino. In this era a castle was built on the highest point of the town, which had a commanding 360 degree view. It is said that Gallinaro communicated with the other local ducal fortifications using signals with smoke and fire. In 1280 the town passed into the hands of Rinaldo Gaulard of Arpino. The Church of San Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista was built in 1300 on the site of the old castle.
Gallinaro continued to change hands over the years being ruled by powerful duchies such as the Etendard, Cantelmo, Borgia, Navarro, Cardona and the Gallio families.
There is a plaque in the old town that records two significant events. The first was the terrible pestilence of 1656 which wiped out 17 families. The second was when lightening struck the town during a violent thunderstorm in 1733.
In the late 1800’s the area was plagued by robbers and brigands, and life was hard
with much poverty. Thus many people of Gallinaro decided to emigrate in search of
a better life. A number went to America and many to France. Some became models
posing for artists such as Rodin, Dalou, Falguière and Melin. Some, themselves,
found artistic fame -
From the time of Napoleon’s rule Gallinaro was to become under the jurisdiction of San Donato Val di Comino until finally in 1948 it became a Comune in its own right.
Gallinaro’s Places of Worship include:
The aforementioned Church of San Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista, built in 1300. It was enlarged in the 1700’s and has a Baroque facade. It is approached by a steep staircase, the interior is ornately decorated with plasterwork and frescoes.
The Sanctuary of San Gerardo Confessore :
San Gerardo is the patron saint of Gallinaro. He was in fact born in England and died in Gallinaro in 639 during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. A church was built to mark his burial site and later a hospital was founded. The first church was built during the 12th century and in approx 1713 it was refashioned with the Baroque facade which we see today. On Pasquetta, the Monday following Easter Sunday, traditionally many pilgrims flock to the Sanctuary.
The Cappellina of Bambino Gesù :
The legend is that in 1947 a little girl by the name of Giuseppina Norcia was playing on her own near her home in Gallinaro. It was two days before she was due to make her first Holy Communion and her mother and friends were busy baking cakes for the special occasion.
Giuseppina suddenly saw a little soft shiny cloud descending from the sky on which a baby of incredible beauty was sleeping, Baby Jesus. It is said that he opened his eyes and smiled at her. She ran home to tell her mother but by the time they returned to the spot the apparition had disappeared.
Giuseppina searched the sky for many months in the hope of seeing the vision of Baby Jesus again and as she grew up she retained this hope.
In 1974, she was unexpectedly taken ill, and whilst praying intensely, she is said to have seen Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Saint Michael the Archangel. After a few days, Jesus reappeared with the Virgin Mary and Saint Mesia, (a martyr whose body lies in the church of the castle of Alvito) and was told that she would be healed. Giuseppina was asked to have a little church built in the place where she first saw Jesus. In 1975, in the Via Fonte district a little chapel was built, dedicated to the Baby Jesus and since then thousands of pilgrims have come to the sanctuary to pray and beseech miracles.
Giuseppina Norcia died aged 68 in 2008, She was said to have been a beacon of faith, strength and hope.
During the summer months many emigrants return to their home town, especially to enjoy the Festa di San Gerardo – on the 10 / 11 August and the Sagra del Vino which celebrates the production of the fine local Cabernet wine and also delicious local cheeses and honey.
Common Surnames of Gallinaro are :
ABALDO, ABBRUZZESE, ACCHIONE, ALONZI, AMATA, ANDREUCCI, ANGELONI, ANGELUCCI, ANTONELLIS, APPRUZZESE, APRZZESE FRATTAROLI, ARPINO
BACCARI, BENEDETTO, BEVILACQUA, BEVILACQUA FOIS, BIANCHI, BORRELLI,
BORZA, BOTTONE, BOVE, BROCCOLI
CAIRA, CALZETTA, CAMILLI, CANELLA, CAPOCCIA, CARBONE, CASALE, CEDRONE, CELESTINO, CELLUCCI, CENCE, CIANCHETTI, COCCHI, COLALUCA, COLAROSSI, COLAVECCHIO,
COPPOLA, CORSI, CROLLA, CUSUMANO
D'AMBROSIO, D’ANGELA, D’ANGELIS, D'INVERNO, DE LUCA, DE RUBEIS, DE SANTIS, DELICATA,
DI DUCA, DI FAZIO, DI GIORGI, DI MUCCIO, DI PAOLO, DI STEFANO, DI VITO, DUCA
ERAMO, ESPOSITO, EVANGELISTA
FACCENDA, FALCE, FALCONE, FANTAUZZI, FARINA, FAZIO, FORLETTA, FORTE, FORTUNA,
FRANCHI, FRANCIOSA, FRATTAROLI, GALLAMINI
IACOBONE, IACOBUNI, IAFRATE, IANNETTA, ISOLA
KARSTEN, LA DAGA, LANCIA, LANNO, LEONE, LOFFREDA, LUCARELLI
MACIOCE, MAIONE, MANCINI, MARCANTUONI, MARSELLA, MATASSA, MATTACOLA, MAZZENGA, MAZZOLA, META, MINCHELLA, MINELLI, MONACO, MONTI, MONTICELLI, MONTORI, MORGA, MORGIA, MOSCONE, MUMMOLO
NARDELLI, NORCIA, PACITTI, PALLADINO, PALLISCO, PALOMBO, PARRAVANO, PECCHIA, PELLEGRINI, PERELLA, PERSICHETTI, PERSICHINO, PIGNATELLI, PISANI, PISELLI, PISTOIA,
POGLIARI, POLICELLA, PORRETTA
RANDOLFO, REA, REA, RIOZZI, ROCCI, ROSSI, RUFO, ROTONDI, SALVATORE, SALVUCCI,
SANTANGELI, SAVELLI, SCHIAVI, SILVANI, SOAVE, SPINELLI, STASI, STISI, STRELLO
TAMBURRINI, TANZILLI, TAVOLIERI, TETRO, THOBOIS, TOCCI, TONACHELLA, TULLIO
VACANA, VECCHIONE, VERDICCHIO, VISCOGLIOSI, VITTI, VOLANTE, VOZZA, ZEPPA
Does anyone have any more names to add to this list ?
If you have family that originated from Gallinaro please feel free to Contact me.
I would love to hear from you. Perhaps you have some photos or family information to share and contribute to this site.
Interesting Links Relating to Gallinaro
Website, text, photos
© LM Shapcott 2009 -
Except where photos have been rightfully accredited to the photographer / owner
Photos marked ● are in the Public Domain
Last Update May 2016