30 July 2021, at 21:00

The Chapels of Anjou and Caracciolo: New Discoveries Regarding the Aragonese frescoes from the Ischia Castle

Presentation of the volume by Serenaorsola Pilato

Presentation at the Castello Aragonese d'Ischia of the volume by Serenaorsola Pilato: "The Chapels of Anjou and Caracciolo: New Discoveries Regarding the Aragonese frescoes from the Ischia Castle - Research and Critical Contributions Regarding the Cathedral’s Crypt."



  • Luca Becchetti (Conservator of the Seals of the Vatican Apostolic Archives, Head of the Restoration Laboratory, Professor of Sealing at the Vatican School of Paleography),
  • Lucia Annicelli (Director of the Antoniana Municipal Library, Consultant for the Diocesan Library of Ischia),
  • Teodoro Auricchio (Director of the European Institute of Restoration).


You must reserve a spot by calling +39 081 99 19 59 or by writing to info@amicidigabrielemattera.com.


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In 2001, while restoration work that had begun roughly twenty years earlier was underway on the frescoes in the aristocratic crypt belonging to the Cathedral of the Assumption at the Aragonese Castle of Ischia, a wall, at that time considered to be closed off, was discovered to be hiding another room. This was how a chapel was randomly unearthed, which was later named Calosirto after the family who owned it.


At that time, Dr. Serenaorsola Pilato conducted an interesting investigation that brought to life new discoveries not only with respect to the frescoes in the newly discovered chapel, but also the entire monument complex of the Assumption Cathedral.


That discovery and those insights led us, as owners, to ask Dr. Pilato for a more in-depth and systematic study of all the frescoes in the crypt, specifically those in the second Chapel, which later proved to be the catalysts in defining an innovative historical reinterpretation of the Assumption Cathedral and the Castle in the rich and articulated context of the Mediterranean.


Her research has, in fact, redefined the role of the Aragonese Castle of Ischia, placing it at the center of a much more complex historical event than the one that has been recounted in texts up until now. Moreover, it highlights its critical importance during that period, which until now has not been fully explored.


In the course of her work, Dr. Pilato, in analyzing the "canonical" sources, subsequently came across inaccuracies and inconsistencies that led her to extend her investigation. In this way, the scholar had to take on the guise and identity of a “detective.” 


The "consolidated" and "official" history of these places gradually crumbled before her eyes thanks to the direct observation and careful analysis of pictorial elements overlooked or clearly misunderstood before. Finally, evidence depicted in the beautiful images that make up the volume, has strengthened and motivated the conclusions reached by this complex and rigorous study.


As owners and custodians of this place so precious from an architectural, artistic and historical point of view, we are proud to have stimulated and supported this research and the dissemination of its extraordinary result. We are sure that continued research will bring to light other critical points of information that are indispensable with respect to the reconstruction of this important corner of the Mediterranean’s history.


We would like to thank Dr. Serenaorsola Pilato, who had the ability and the courage to observe things with fresh eyes, free from academic preconceptions. She took on this research with passion, skill, and dedication. We hope that it represents the starting point of a marvelous journey with respect to studying the history and origin of the Castle and the entire island of Ischia.




Amici di Gabriele Mattera (“Friends of Gabriele Mattera”)

Anna Cristina Mattera, President




(Photos of the presentation in the cathedral: © Marco Albanelli - Amici di Gabriele Mattera)