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San Giacomo degli Schiavoni, Province of Campobasso, Molise

Province of Campobasso
San Giacomo lies in a hilly landscape a few miles from the Adriatic coast, and is a quiet, farming village a little distance from Termoli, which is the biggest center in the vicinity.

Provinces of Molise

Info

  • Altitude: 169 m a.s.l
  • Territory: hilly, coastline
  • Population: about 1000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 86030
  • Phone Area Code: 0875 Patron Saint: S. Giacomo Apostolo, celebrated on 8-9 August
  • Frazioni & Localities: Colle della Stella, Ponticelli.

What to see

  • Church of Maria Santissima del Rosario, of the 17th century
  • A Roman Villa, located at San Pietro.
  • A fountain about one km from the town, a Romanesque style building with four arches in the center of which a sandstone engraving reads: "I.M.I. - Iesus Maria Iosef; S.G. San Giacomo; 1751". The mule track leading to the fountain was built with slabs of local stone, called "scaloni" (= big stairs).

Events

  • July 25, St. James the Apostle, with band, a procession and an auction held "sott u rllogg" (under the arch of the clock), to grant the highest bidder the privilege to carry the Patron Saint on his shoulder.

History - Antiquity and the Middle Ages

In the area called San Pietro there are remains of a Roman villa of the Republican period (before the 1st century BC, then the next historical information records San Giacomo as a fiefdom of the Bishopry of Termoli from 1000 to 1806. The bishops had a number of farms (called "casali") in the area where the town rises today. One of these casali, situated on the hill called today Contrada delle Piane, belonged to the Templar Knights, probably as a checking point and resting refuge for the pilgrims traveling to the southern ports of Apulia, on their way to the Holy land. In the late 14th century San Giacomo was under the jurisdiction of Termoli.

History - from the Renaissance onwards

The place was hit by the ruinous earthquake of 1456, which killed thousands of people in southern Italy. Local historians mention an almost complete destruction of San Giacomo (that was the name at the time). In the following decades the few survivors were joined by Croatian immigrants, brought to work on the farms and concentrated around the church, where the present town afterwards was built. These immigrants were called "Schiavoni" and this gave the place its name since 1564.