Roccamandolfi, Province of Isernia, Molise

In the center of Molise, at the border of the Matese mountains, Roccamandolfi lies in a landscape of steep rock walls and green valleys. The etymology of the toponym is of Lombard origin, from "Rocca of Maginulfo", a lord of royal family who held the office of Gastald of Aquino at the end of the 11th century.


  • Altitude: 850 m a.s.l
  • Territory: mountainous
  • Population: about 950 inhabitants in 2017
  • Zip/postal code: 86098
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0865
  • Patron Saint: St. Giacomo
  • Frazioni & Localities: Masseria di Rio.


On top of a rock hovering over the center there are the ruins of the ancient castle, built by the Lombards and called "Rocca Maginulfo". In 1196 the castle, at the time under the Normans, helped Count of Molise Ruggiero di Mandra against emperor Henry VI, and was siged for this offence.

Then in the 14th century it was under the Artois and the Roccafoglia, and in the 15th its lords were the Gaetani family, in 1549 passed to Gianbattista D'Afflitto who in 1586 gave it to the Pignatelli family, who kept it until 1806.

The flourishing economy, for centuries based on the seasonal migrations of shepherds to the plains of the Capitanata (province of Foggia), suffered a severe blow when in the late 1800's the lands of Apulia were enclosed and devoted to agriculture.

Between 1880 and 1920 over two thirds of the population left for the United States, Argentina and Brazil. Later on emigrants chose Ontario, where today there is a populous community from Roccamandolfi, and Belgium.

What to see

  • The medieval castle, first built by the Lombards, with mighty walls and towers, today mostly in ruin.
  • The church of San Giacomo, inside the statue of San Gaetano by Di Zinno, and a 18th century altar.
  • The Chapel of San Gaetano.

Events and Festivities

  • July 25: feast of patron San Giacomo.
  • August: Feast of the Shepherd in the mountains of Campitello with dishes based on typical products like lentils, polenta seasoned with oil, peppers and onions, and roasted lamb.
  • First Sunday of June: feast of San Liberato.

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Provinces of Molise
Molise region
Surnames in the Provinces of Molise