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The nobles of Tropea

a dip in the history of Tropea
Tropea has its own important history both for its geographical location, and for the socio-political reality that has its roots in centuries far from us.

It is placed above a hill of rounded shape, on a rocky turn, which is overlooking the sea.

Other towns in the region retreated to the mountains to escape malaria and Arab and Turkish raids.

Tropea remained on the sea, which opened the roads for her communications with her port.

It was a state city, a royal city, not subject to a feudal regime, with noble administrative government, with an open and living cultural life, for those times, in the literary, musical, poetic, philosophical and theological fields.

In the philosophical field emerges the tropean philosopher Pasquale Galluppi born in 1770 and died in Naples in 1846.

In his palace, next to the church of Jesus, there is a plaque that remembers him and right next door is the church of the Nobles that he attended.

He devoted his whole life to philosophical studies. He was the father of as 14 children. He was able to concentrate on studying among the noises of the little ones who were around him.

In fact, he was a loving husband and father and in love with his country, so much so that he repeated, several times, in his writings: ‘I Baron of Tropea’.

He was a liberal, writer of many books, including the philosophy of mathematics, an academic from France and a professor of philosophy at the famous Frederick II University of Naples. Died in Naples, his remains now rest in the Norman cathedral of Tropea.

In addition to being a philosopher, he was also a poet and is part of the Academy of the Fatigue - whose members gathered in churches or private houses, on the occasion of parties or anniversaries to be celebrated.

The Tropean nobles as early as 1400, had built, in the historic center, defended on the one hand by the sea and the gates, splendid very bright mansions with furniture and valuable paintings.

They did not work and lived on the rents of their properties around Tropea, concentrated in 24 farmhouses over which they had maximum power, exploiting the peasants and starving them, preventing their children from studying because they were linked to their lands.

Every morning the three doors were opened, which Tropea was equipped with; Porta Vaticana, Porta di Mare and Porta Nuova (after the earthquake of 1783) and the peasants entered who brought the first fruits to their lords and were so loaded in their arms that they had to knock with their feet. They were often greeted with the whip certainly not by all the nobles, but for the most part.

The nobles were contemptuous, never happy, they married each other otherwise they took the path of clergy or weapons. Although things today, they have changed the mentality remains the one it used to be. The few remaining nobles try to stay united in their circle, avoiding the rest of the population that now has the power of money in their hands and, not having culture, despises it, as well as despises beauty and exalts profit.

At the time of the nobles there were strict social rules, only they, they lived without work, everyone else broke their backs and suffered living in low diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria, hunger and dirt along with the many children.

The nobles moved in the narrow streets on the carriages and their course was via Rome from the Sea Gate to the Vatican Gate.

Their lives unfolded at night, in their homes illuminated by the fire of chimneys and candlesticks playing dancing and having fun. They often duelled and in the darkness of the streets someone tended to ambush even as a joke, as happened to the young son of the philosopher Pasquale Galluppi who was stuck for fun near his palace: the young Theophilus.

Being Tropea state city that depended directly on the king, (there is a splendid coat of arms with the inscription “Sola Tropea Sub Fidelitate Remansit” Only Tropea remains faithful to the King over the centuries) The nobles did not pay taxes, they are visible today, the holes of the scaffolding in the buildings they left to show the they had not finished So it is clear that society was divided into three social classes: the nobles who administered and commanded; the petty bourgeois who copied their world of living; the torn move of the people and the peasants and artisans.

The seat of the noble administration was the Old Seat which is located in Piazza Ercole.

Today the town hall is located in the premises of the ancient convent of the Jesuit Fathers, via largo di net. The Jesuit fathers who were the preceptors of the children of the nobles.

Next door is the White Chapel of St. Nicholas, better known as the Chapel of the Nobles.

Here their religious ceremonies took place and in case of death, the nobles had their own chapel at the cemetery, connected to the church where their relatives were buried.

Even today there is the chapel at the cemetery, where the members of the association of the Whites of St. Nicholas rest.

One of the few nobles who, having become a priest, did his whole life to the poor and the abandoned was Don Francesco Mottola, born in 1901 in Tropea and died in 1969.

He lived in the most tragic period of wars, hunger and disease. Together with Miss Countess Irma Scrugli he founded the institute of the Oblates and Oblates of the Sacred Heart who were to be roadmen, pray and at the same time alleviate the suffering of others.

Don Mottola is now Blessed and they mislead us in the very year of the celebration of his bliss.


the jewel of the enchanting Cost of the Gods
Church of Piedigrotta - Pizzo

Church of Piedigrotta - Pizzo



Calabria sea