The Town of Casalduni
Although Pontelandolfo and Ponte are part of the Mountain Community de Titerno and Casalduni is part of the Mountain Community of Tammaro, their histories interweave.
Mountain Community of Tammaro
Ponte, Casalduni’s neighbor to the south, was an
important area in Roman times because the famous Via Latina, that connected two
ancient cities namely Benevento and Valle Telesina and led to Rome was situated
there. It was named for the bridge that
went over the torrent Alenta.
In 980, the Lombard prince, Pandolfo Capodiferro conceded the Anastasia monastery and gave the rights to build a habitable Castle to the Abbot of the S. Lupolo and Zosimo in the Benevento monastery. In 1087, the villagers moved from the Anastasia monastery to the Castle under the rule of Baldovino the Norman, vassal of Count Rainulfo, King Ruggiero the Norman brother-in-law.
The first interweaving between Ponte and Casalduni took place when the Castle was subsequently taken away from Baldovino and became the property of the Fenucchio barony who was ruling Casalduni at the time.
The Ponte Castle belonged to the Sanframondo family in1266 and was occupied by Carlo d’Anjou’s French troops before the famous battle with Manfredi of Svevia. In 1269, the new French King gave Ponte Castle to Giovanni Frangipane della Tolfa who was rewarded for his treason in helping Corradino di Svevia’s capture. Thereafter, many powerful feudatories alternated in their rule over Ponte including the Sanframondo, the Carafa counts of Maddaloni, the Crispano, the Carbone and the noble family Caracciolo.
Since the time of the Normans, circa 1100, it is known to have existed as the feud of Tommaso di Fenuccio and held by the barony of Guglielmo di Rampano of the nearby town of Ponte.
Until the bull of Pope Clemente V in 1335, making Casalduni
part of the territory of Benevento, no documentation existed.
It was not an autonomous town; it belonged to various rulers, including
the Longobards, the Church and the Normans.
Sometime before 1415, a subject of Charles d’Anjou,
Eustasio Sabrano, son of the Count of Ariano Sabrano, owned the land.
In 1445, the Agevin gave this land to the House of Sus, specifically, Illaria of sus, the daughter of Americo, widow of Eustasio Sabrano. By convincing Giovanna II to side with Luigi d’Anjou, the loser in the battle, against the victor King Alfonso of Aragon, the Sabranos lost all properties in Casalduni. The supporter of King Alfonso, Francesco Attendolo Sforza, a mercenary leader, gained all rights to Casalduni.
In 1585, interweaving between Casalduni and Ponte occurs
once again when the Ponte feud was bought by the Sarriano Family, already counts
of Casalduni, who governed until feudalism was abolished.
In 1811, both Ponte and Casalduni were under the Province of Molise and in 1829, Ponte lost its own autonomy when with Francesco of Bourbon’s royal decree, enclosed it with Casalduni.
There were many name changes in the course of
Pontelandolfo’s history. The
Liguri Apuani population was constricted to exile in 180 b.c. by proconsuls P.
Cornelio and m. Bebio Tanfilo. The
village was subsequently called Bebiani and many of the remaining people founded
the village of Ercole. In 800,
several earthquakes and the devastating Saracen Sawdan led to the village’s
destruction and when reconstructed was called Casale di Santa Teodora.
In 12349, Casale’s inhabitants were forced once more to seek safer
shelter because of earthquake, invasions and fires.
According to the Benedictines, it was around the year 980, that a Lombard prince founded the present town. The name Pontis Landulphi originated when the Castle of the SS. Annunziata’s church was being constructed. In 1138, it was besieged by the Norman King Ruggiero, who set it on fire. In 1456, it was hit by an earthquake and in I 1462, besieged and once more set afire, this time by Ferdinando I d’Aragona. In 1466 it belonged to the very powerful Carafa family who strongly supported the Aragon regime. The plague in 1656 and 1746, as well as an earthquake in 1688 add to the devastation of the town.
On 14 August 1861, the Piedmontese soldiers, were ordered by General Enrico Cialdini to set fire to Pontelandolfo and they burned it to the ground. This act was in retaliation for the “bersaglieri” slaughter by some disbanded Bourbonic soldiers, called “briganti” in Casalduni in1860. Spurred by the adherents of the fallen Bourbon regime the local people were revolting. In Casalduni, in 1860, a troop of Piedmontese soldiers commanded by Lt. Cesare Augusto Bracci took refuge in the castle and when they emerged, they were tortured and put to death by the Casaldunians.
After the unification of italy, in 1861, the towns became part of the province of Benevento and the Region of Campania. In 1892, Ponte was separated from Casalduni and united with the town of Paupisi and in 1913 it once again became an independent town.
Casalduni Honor Roll