San Gennaro Vesuviano
|San Gennaro Vesuviano|
|Comune di San Gennaro Vesuviano|
|Elevation||56 m (184 ft)|
|Population (December 31, 2001)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||San Gennaro|
|Saint day||September 19|
San Gennaro Vesuviano is located in the country-side area around Nola (the so-called “agro Nolano") approximately 25 kilometers east of Naples and nine kilometers from Nola. It is connected to the A30 Caserta-Salerno highway both through the Palma Campania junction and the SS-268 (a state-run toll-free road). There is also a Trenitalia train station called “Palma-San Gennaro”. A shuttle is available downtown to reach the local Circumvesuviana train Station in Rione Trieste.
The early human settlements in the area are very old. The comune of San Gennaro Vesuviano is positioned in the site of the Pianura Campana (the Campania Plain – once named the Planum Palmae) now best known as ‘Il Piano” and surrounded by the Vesuvius and the Mountain “Sant’Angelo”. The Piano represents a natural link between the agro sarnese-nocerino and the agro-nolano, two distinct countryside areas.
Recent archeological findings date early settlements back to the Bronze Age, around 2000 b.c., when a sudden eruption of the Mont Vesuvius wiped out the ancient communities settled in the area. Only several centuries later did new settlers repopulate the area.
In 1631 by means of a deed properly executed by notary Galeota at the Episcopal curia of Nola, Mr. Scipione Pignatelli, count of San Valentino and marquis of Lauro, made a prosperous bequest in favor of the monastic order of the Padri Minori Riformatori of San Francesco. The marquis also initiated an annual trade-fair that is still organized yearly.
The bequest to the Franciscan clerics, included among other things, a piece of land in what at the time was within the boundaries of Palma Nolana (now Palma Campania), to build a Franciscan convent and a small adjoining community.
The inhabited center around Cavallerizza and Convento, grew to become a neighbourhood of Palma Campania and later a self-governing entity by decree of King Ferdinando II di Borbone.
Father Angelo Peluso
Father Angelo Peluso, a Franciscan monk, was born on September 13, 1801 in San Gennaro Vesuviano, when the small village was an hamlet in the neighboring town of Palma Campania. He was very young when he vowed to the clerical order at the age of 18, in a ceremony officiated at the local Franciscan convent. In 1820-1821, during the Neapolitan risings led by Nolan military officers Morelli and Silvati and abbot Luigi Menichini, the monk was temporally allocated at the church of Sanita’ in Nola. The following years were remarkably harsh for the people of San Gennaro Vesuviano. Following the failure of the Carbonari insurrections, the community was burdened with higher taxes and increased financial requirements to repair the buildings damaged by the Vesuvius eruption of 1822 and the floods of 1823.
In those years, persistent abuses from the government of Palma Campania inspired a sense of desperation, rage and hopelessness among the residents of the small “contrada” of San Gennaro.
In 1832, new insurrectionist thrills shook the institutions of Naples and Italy. Father Angelo Peluso conceived and led a rebellion drawing national attention to the small Vesuvian village. Such rising known as the “conspiracy of Father Angelo Peluso” or just as the “Conspiracy of the monk” failed likely for lack of preparation of the co-conspirators who were not fit, psychologically and culturally, to undertake an ongoing rebellion conceived by the revolutionary cleric.
However, some fellows fiercely backed up the Father until the end: Mr. Domenico Morici from Calabria, Captain of the Corps of military engineers; Lieutenant Filippo Agrestri; Mr. Francesco Vitale, a local attorney, and a fellow Luigi D’Ascoli: a rich landowner. According to the trial record, among thousands of insurrectionists who were supposed to gather on the mountains between Lauro and Taurano, only a small group of 27 showed up for the important congregation after a man Pietro Russo had already reported the intentions of conspirators to the local police authorities.
Father Angelo, now a fugitive, found temporary shelter in the Church of the Sanita’. There, he was arrested on September 14 and later given the death penalty. The punishment was commuted to life-imprisonment by decree of King Ferdinando II. The monk died in 1854 in a secluded cell at the penitentiary of the Holy Office. On November 4, 1975, the town council of San Gennaro Vesuviano laid a memorial tablet on the main façade of the Franciscan Convent.
The independence of San Gennaro Vesuviano dates back to 1841 when King Ferdinando II di Borbone issued a decree to recognize the independence of the Vesuvian hamlet (until then identified as “contrada San Gennaro”) from Palma Campania. The local government has since then been dissolved more than once and periodically administered through an external prefect commissioner. More recently, Italian President of Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi ordered the dissolution of the City Hall Government by decree on November 6, 2001 due to undue external influence by the local Camorra clan.
Major Industries and Trading
Nowadays, San Gennaro Vesuviano belongs to a larger industrial district which consists of a territorial consortium of small businesses with a discernible specialization in the general manufacturing industry. Such businesses can somehow carry out an efficient manufacturing process and are able to compete against larger companies.
This situation is the result of consolidated reciprocal partnerships and solid commercial relationships made possible by a marked familiarity with the territory, mutual knowledge sharing and know-how dissemination. The relevant territorial district is led by the township of San Giuseppe Vesuviano which favors the industries of textile, clothing, and fabric manufacturing. These industries are not as developed in San Gennaro Vesuviano where, conversely, there is a noticeable business presence operating in the field of food processing.
The growing globalization, the prevailing family-oriented proprietary structure and erroneous managerial choices have substantially annihilated the once flourishing industry of plastic connectors supplying, nationally and internationally, construction companies and major general contractors.
Agriculture and Farming
Despite the recent overpopulation which makes it similar to a degrading metropolitan outskirt, agriculture is still employed by a number of local farmers and small landowners as a prevailing mean of economical support in San Gennaro Vesuviano.
In particular, hazelnut, grain and tobacco growing (nicotina tabacum: indigenous of North-America) as well as vineyards (although the local grape varieties are not particularly valuable) are still common in San Gennaro. Green vegetable growing is generally only intended for personal consumption and there is no significant tomato growing which is nonetheless very common throughout the whole adjacent farming area of the “agro nocerino-sarnese”.
A limited availability of farming land promotes intensive over extensive cultivation and favors the widespread use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides. On the other hand, financial shortage and backwardness limit the use of industrial machinery for farming, harvesting and on-site processing.
At the present, pig and cow breeding are not relevant industries. There are several specialized horse breeders.