Riccia, Molise

Comune di Riccia

Coat of arms

Location of Riccia in Italy

Coordinates: 41°29′N 14°50′E / 41.483°N 14.833°E / 41.483; 14.833
Country Italy
Region Molise
Province / Metropolitan city Campobasso (CB)
Frazioni Paolina, Sticozze, Mancini
  Mayor Micaela Fanelli
  Total 69.9 km2 (27.0 sq mi)
Elevation 680 m (2,230 ft)
Population (28 February 2010)[1]
  Total 5,517
  Density 79/km2 (200/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Riccesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 86016
Dialing code 0874
Patron saint Madonna del Carmelo, St. Augustine
Saint day August 28

Riccia is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Campobasso in the Italian region Molise, located about 15 kilometres (9 mi) southeast of Campobasso, with a population of about 5,600.

Riccia borders the following municipalities: Castelpagano, Castelvetere in Val Fortore, Cercemaggiore, Colle Sannita, Gambatesa, Jelsi, Pietracatella, Tufara.


The first people who lived there came with Oscans. By the time of the arrival of the Samnites (4th century BC) the area was well developed and prosperous, as noted by objects found in the excavations of the area.

During the Social War (9088 BC) the area was destroyed and the Romans colonized the Sannio area. The colonists included Roman troops from Ariccia, near Rome. They named the place "Ariccia" which then was changed to "Saricia", then to "Ricia" and finally, "Riccia".

In the second half of the 6th century, Riccia came under the rule of the Lombard Duke of Benevento.

In the 13th century, Riccia became part of the Monastery St. Pietro e Severo (St. Peter and St. Xavier), located in the nearby town of Torremaggiore. This ecclesiastical feudalism lasted throughout the Hohenstaufen period.

In 1238 Frederick II joined the castle of Riccia with that at the town of St. Severo, and exchanged it for the monastery at Torremaggiore. This exchange was confirmed in 1266 by King Charles of Anjou, who conceded Riccia to the famous jurist Bartolomeo De Capua, whose family ruled Riccia until 1792.

In May 1397 Count Andrea De Capua brought to Riccia Costanza Chiaromonte, the queen of Naples, who was disowned three years earlier at Gaeta by Ladislaus of Naples. The unfortunate lady lived in Riccia until she died in 1422; she is buried in the Church of Maria delle Grazie (Church of St. Stefano Corumano).

In 1500 Bartolomeo II De Capua built a castle in Riccia that was considered one of the more attractive castles in the area and also restored the church of St. Maria delle Grazie in Tuscan style, where five feudal lords and their ladies are buried.

In the beginning of this feudal period, the rulers of Riccia, the noble De Capua family, were fair and generous with the peasants. But over the years the peasants endured many hardships. Finally they rebelled, releasing enough hate and fury to burn down the castle in 1799. Today a few remains of the castle with its medieval watchtower may still be seen in the historical quarter of Riccia. The noble family De Capua became extinct with Bartolomeo VI in 1792. Their family rule left vivid imprints on the history, political and military, of their kingdom and Riccia.

In World War II, Riccia paid its price with 84 dead among the fallen and wounded, but it was not bombed. After the war, because of the scarcity of work locally, Riccia had a strong outflow of immigration to northern Europe (France, Switzerland, Belgium Germany) and to Latin America (Venezuela and Argentina). However, in recent years, with the resources and intelligence of its people, and the efforts Giacomo Sedati Riccia has arrived at a level of prosperity and harmony similar to that of the past.

By decree of the President of the Republic, dated 15 October 1986, Riccia earned the title of "City".


  1. All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat.
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