When I was 21, I worked at an archaeological project in Firenze, for the Ministry of Culture, excavating a 16th century kiln for pottery, inside the Fortress da Basso. Living for two weeks inside the Fortress, I breathed art and history more than air, learning the importance of them as oxygen for mind and soul.

Thomas Allocca

Winnili Medieval Museum

Museum Town of Roscigno Vecchia

1. The ambition

History, art, landscape, science, knowledge and skills in general, are a priceless resource for intellectual and spiritual growth, but they must produce also practical benefits for daily life survival. Beside academic activity, they must create jobs, economy, they must stimulate real estate investments and urban regeneration, they must be the local attractive resources make possible to generate propulsive economic systems at larger scales. A museum that doesn't guarantee territorial benefits, systemic dialogue with the territory, it is an unuseful monologue, a cost, not a resource.

The Winnili project, officially started on July 2023, after in June we found evidences of a medieval town, completely ignored by the historians, dating the town not earlier the 16th century. The Winnili project is aimed to look for the medieval settlement of the museum town of Roscigno Vecchia, with the ambition of creating a territorial medieval museum, connecting the medieval heritage of the whole Cilento, and creating tourist economy through real estate investmets and urban regeneration.

2. The four historical mistakes to guide the project

Four the foundamental historical mistakes we have verified and theorized regarding the medieval history of Roscigno Vecchia, and making them, the pillars of the Winnili project.

(1) The origin of the town was not in the 16th century but not later the 10th, and it was not an anonymous medieval rural village, but a fortified town, home to one of the most important centers of power and culture ofsouthern Italy. (2) The town development was not from the valley up to the mountain, but from the mountain towards the valley, and never loosing the medieval core. (3) The name Roscigno comes from the name of the founder, that we have identified, making wrong any other theory by historians. (4) The history of the landslides, existing in the area since the Middle Ages, and that was reason of movement of the old town to the new one between years 1910-1960, is not true, but invented by the mayors of the 20th century, to benefit of public subsides for mountain towns under risk of landslides, and for a realty speculation project by landlords supported by politicians.

3. The medieval monastery

Before the revolution by Saint Francesco of Assisi (1181-1226), that changed the history of Christianity into a more universal message of harmony with Nature and joyfull sense of spirituality, over any god, over any religion, the history of Church was just sad austerity. In this context, the austerity of the monks of Saint Basilio of Cesarea (329-379) in the orthodox lands of the East headed by Byzantium (then Constantinople, today Istanbul), and of the monks of Saint Benedetto of Norcia (480-547) in the West lands headed by Rome, dominated the history of Christian Church for at least seven centuries. Basilians and Benedictines were the most authoritative and powerful religious Orders of the whole Christianity during the early Middle Ages. Thus, considering that our theory is that Roscigno was already structured as a fortified town in the second half of the 10th century, we can suppose its first religious community was Benedictine, and not yet Franciscan as reported in the 18th century. These considerations will make a huge difference in the research of the structures, because they had different structural and architectural styles.