The Real Colony of San Leucio

In 1750 Carlo III and his wipe, queen amalia, acquired an area adiacent to the park of vanvitellian Palace from the hands of the original owner count Michelangelo Gaetani of Acquaviva.

The project was appointed to Luigi Vanvitelli, who marked a path of straight roads intended to conjoin the royal palace with the antique building known as “Belvedere”. Located at the center of San Leucio, the building was a castle belonging to a large landed estate, which design is a made according to the Renaissances tradition of country sides noble mansions.

The starting point of San Leucio’s community was the derived from here, a small hilly village of the town of Caserta, this also dates back to king Charles (Re Carlo) design to render the area as the hunting reserve clotest to the royal palace of Caserta.

The king was called to the thtone of Spain then, his son Ferdinand IV begins the proper formation of the core People of San Leucio. In 1778 Ferdinand transformed the buildings of Belvedere, which would collect “all the workings and manufactures that was scattered in different homes and all those youth under supervision of the most dignified priest”. In 1799 a new mill was built at the north-east of Belvedere.

The general urbanistic scheme is consist of an area almost totally assigned for agricultural activities around the primary center know as “la Vaccheria”; which was also a zone intended for manufacturing activities around the old building of Belvedere and the third most close to the entrance of the fortress possessing residential character only.

The urbanistic composition, curated by architect Francesco Collecini, who was also responsible for the entire work of San Leucio, was very much detailed down to the most rigid axial concept, roads, streets, buildings, etc.

It also presents a clear and precise symmetrical order. The extraordinary two rows of settler’s houses, which, facing the Belvedere, stretch to the east and to the west, the building complex of Belvedere contains the church, school, the royal residence, main citizens, deposits; including spinning mills, spinners and other equipement of the factory.

Houses are arranged into two rows that are named respectively as San Ferdinando (the right side district) and San Carlo (the left side district).

The Code of Leuciano

It was issued in 1789 a single constitution for the life and work of the community: the Code of Leuciano.

The famous code constituted the legal foundation of the entire community. The establishment of the community of Caserta persuade to consider the latter as a chain of idealistic theories of sec. XVIII and XIX as a matter of fact, the case of San Leuciosymbolizes the actualization of ideologic principle carried out in synchrony with its time.

Thanks to the cultural spirit, San Leucio has been effective, with is way, it even supported the founders of San Leucio. In fact, the constitution originates from the movement of studies promoted by “Illuminismo” (Enlightment) witch found in Naples in the 17th century, a place of receptive and productive culture.

Contributed even the politics of minister Tanucci revolt, in didactic sector, to the professional qualifications of young workers, implemented trought a number of applied art centers, which was directly connected to San Leucio.

The Code sanctioned the right and duty to work and equality with regard to the entire community. “It is to all of you artists, the law that I impose, is that of perfect equality”Ferdinando writes, from these principles rises a series of particular laws; some with exterior character, and otherfarmore decisive. The retribution of work is carriedout with increasing compensation up to an amount corresponding to the work of most qualified experts.

The publication of Leuciano Statute retained the principle of a change in the policy of Ferdinando IV: “when the Code appears, I will generate world wonders, contentment of napolitans, which, although they knew none of the king’s concept, they presume hope to witness the expansion of the generative principles of the colony in the kingdom” [Cfr. P. Coletta, Storia del reame di Napoli].

The Silk

We now come to the techical aspects of the leuciana production, through details of the production is being furnished by Rossella Rinaldi: “… the update of cultivation techniques and spinning system is verified, however, gradually, following and intense study conducted in merit to the possibility of application in Mezzogiorno (south Italy) by some criterias and machineries successfully used in Piemonte…

First installations inside belvedere, were, however, made in 1783, after various surveys, it was been decided to establish the spinning wheel inside the 50th century old palace , and after was the knitting machine for fabrics.

The experimentation of the tecniques and machineries suitable for productive process was, however, constantly accompanied by labour research qualified to professionals to give them proper contribution in the direction and in the coordination of different sectors of the production.

[R. Rinaldi, The Silk, in aa.vv. from artistic handicraft of industrial design, Electa napoli 2004, p 100].