The Count of Capracotta in the History of South America


Libro  - Historia de Sgo del Estero II - TapaA descendent of Capracottesi, Antonio Virgilio Castiglione has recently published his new book Historia de Santiago del Estero – Muy Noble Ciudad (S. XVI a XVIII), in which he mentions Capracotta and its connection to the Spanish Conquest. Carmine Nicola Caracciolo,(1671, Naples – 1726, Madrid) was the first Italian appointed as Viceroy of  Spain. A member of an old noble Neapolitan family, Caracciolo’s titles were those of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, Prince of Santobuono, and Count of Capracotta, among others.

An educated man of letters, Caracciolo was appointed by Philipp V of Spain as Ambassador to the Vatican and then to the Venetian Republic (1702). His first wife was Giovanna Costanza Ruffo, who died in Peru during his term as Viceroy of Peru. The author has devoted attention to Caracciolo because of a personal interest in this historic figure and also because the Count, through marriage in 1597, acquired the fiefdom of Capracotta.

Once situated in the former Kingdom of Naples, Capracotta is today located in Italy.  This town was home to the author’s ancestors as well as to many of the ancestors of late 19th century Italian emigrants to Santiago del Estero, Argentina. The following families can trace their ancestry back to Capracotta : Bilotti, Borsellino, Bucci (Di Bucci), Carmosino, Carugno, Castiglione, Conti, Di Luezzo, Di Lullo, Di Nardo, Di Nucci, Di Rienzo, Di Tella, Di Tano, Gargaro, Gianserra, Giuliano, Griffa, Ingratta, Yocca (Iocca), Labate, Maranzano, Matteo, Paglione, Palumbo, Paoletti, Pettinicchi, Pollice, Quatrini, Santilli, Speciale, Terrera, Trotta y Yanucci. Most of these families settled in Villa Zanjón, where they farmed sugar cane and established vineyards.

Those interested in acquiring Castiglione’s newly published study in Spanish may contact the Libería García Cambeiro, Buenos Aires: [email protected]

Dr. Castiglione’s interview in El Liberal journal of  Santiago del Estero can be found here:

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