The remains of ancient copper coins, spears and several burials were discovered in the early years of the 20th century during an excavation campaign conducted in the fields surrounding “Masseria Roseto”. On those fields many centuries before was fought the epic battle of Maleventum between King Pyrrhus of Epirus and the troops of Roman Empire. The tombs discovered there as well as the other artefacts belonged to the brave roman soldiers who perished during the fight.
Subsequently, many new treasures were discovered. Along with the remains of an ancient roman shrine, probably built there to honour the memory of the victorious roman soldiers, were also found traces of buildings from different historical periods such as the remains of an old outpost from the Lombard period (568-774) and the ruins of ancient religious buildings that date back to around the year 1100 A.D.
Another memorable historical event took place on the lands surrounding “Masseria Roseto”; On February 26, 1266 Manfred of Hohenstaufen better known as Manfred King of Sicily and Naples was defeated and slain during the battle of Benevento by the French troops of Charles I of Anjou. The king died fighting bravely and was buried under a cairn, on the battlefield, each surviving soldier adding a stone to honour his courage and his valour in battle. According to the chronicles, however, the body of the king of Sicily was disinterred by the Archbishop Bartolomeo Pignatelli, also Bishop of Cosenza on the Pope’s orders, and carried outside the boundary of the Kingdom of Naples and the Papal State. The Papacy had long been in conflict with the imperial house over their rule in Italy. The dead of Manfred and the destruction of his army, marked the end of Hohenstaufen rule in Italy.
This sad episode was also recalled by Dante Alighieri, who painted a poignant portrait of the young and unfortunate sovereign, in his masterpiece “Divina Commedia”.
I turned towards him, and looked hard: he was blond and handsome,
and of noble aspect, but a blow had split one of his eyebrows
…Then, smiling, he said: ‘I am Manfred, grandson of the Empress Constance …If the Bishop of Cozenza, who was set on by Clement to hound me, had read that page of God’s rightly, the bones of my corpse
would still be at the bridgehead, by Benevento, under the guardianship of the heavy cairn.
Suo roseti latifundo
Publicae propriaque commoditati
Pecunia sua fecit
Marche terrae loci sani
Baro terrae cursani
During the 18th century, after the secularization of the Church property, the lands came into possession of a nobleman, the Marquise Domizio Pedicini, who devoted himself to the renovation of the ancient estate. A commemorative inscription was engraved on the wall of the structure to commemorate the end of the renovation works:
The Cotroneo family
At the beginning of the 19th century we find the name “Masseria Roseto” connected to another key event in Italian History. In the book “L’ORIGINE DELLA PROVINCIA DI BENEVENTO” by the historian Antonio Mellusi, written in 1910 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the province of Benevento, we read:
“On September 2, 1860, at twilight, the column of Garibaldi’s volunteers left Torrecuso, awaiting the arrival of other volunteers they made camp in Benevento on the lands of the Marquis Pedicini’s Masseria.
…in the morning on September 3, 1860 on the fields of Roseto vengeance was finally accomplished, in the same field where, 600 years before, victory was granted to the founder of the ‘Mala Signoria’ of Angevins”.
In the early years of the 20th century Mr Giovanni Cotroneo, who was the administrator of Masseria Roseto on behalf of a neapolitan high rank gentleman, proposed his son Tommaso, to purchase the nobleman’s estate.
The son, officer of the Royal Ship Lepanto, promptly and bravely consented to his father request, investing in the project most part of the money gained during his missions in the Far East and even his wife’s dowry. That was the beginning of a new adventure.
The passing of time and generations leads us to the current owners of Masseria Roseto: Gian Raffaele Cotroneo, Filomena Pacelli, Francesca Saveria Cotroneo and Lino Insogna, who in 2009 began extensive renovation works to save and restore the Masseria to its original beauty since it had been severely damaged during the World War II. The renewed splendour and elegance of Masseria Roseto are the results of such undertaking and years of devotion, the shining example of a story that continues unabated through time and new challenges, a story the Cotroneo Family longs to share with all of its valuable guests as testified by their family motto:
Ingredere fideliter hospes, cor tibi hospites pandunt.
DEAR GUEST WELCOME,
THE HOSTS WILL OPEN UP THEIR HEARTS TO YOU