Inhabited since prehistoric times, in this area there have been Ligurians, Romans, Byzantines and Lombards. Before the year thousand in its territory was Verabolo, the site of a Roman and then ‘pago’ Byzantine. Before the Lombard conquest, in the Byzantine era, the local church, organized around the ancient parish church of San Vitale, was dependent on the bishop of Ravenna and not from that of Reggio. Along the ridge Valestra Fosola probably was the limes, that is the border between the territories subjected to Byzantium and the Lombards. Hornbeam was particularly important at the time of Matilde di Canossa, Marchioness of Tuscany and last representative of the dynasty of Attoni (cadet branches of the same family, or simple vassals bearing the same surname, continuing in families Iattoni / Jattoni in nearby Val Parma). In the Castle of Carpineti still exists, located on the crest of Fosola-Valestra – from which you can enjoy the view over the valley of the Secchia and the Tresinaro – it took place on the “Conference of Carpineti” of 1092, during which the ecclesiastical and allies of Matilde discussed peace proposals of Henry IV. The countess, also encouraged by the vehement words of the hermit John of Marola, reached the decision to persevere in the struggle against the emperor, who was defeated and finally humiliated in nearby Canossa. The dissolution of Matilda territories following the death of the Countess, Carpineti passed to several lords. In the thirteenth century, he swore allegiance to the Municipality of Reggio, although loyalty to the city of the plain was often questionable. In particular it is to remember the story of the robber Domenico Amorotto that spadroneggiò in the mountain area for many years. From the sixteenth century it became part of the Este Duchy of Reggio, which shared the fate until the unification of Italy. The idea to dedicate this event to a robber came to us in order to give prominence to the country and to its surrounding areas through a particular figure and not inflated.
Domenico Amorotto (Carpineti? … – Toano, July 5, 1523) was an Italian brigand. It was one of the most notorious bandits of the sixteenth century. and he worked mainly in the Apennines of Modena and Reggio Emilia and the Garfagnana. Born Domenico de’Bretti, it is considered a figure almost legendary in the mountains of Reggio Emilia, and for many years was the obsession of Francesco Guicciardini, at the time the papal governor of Reggio. He went into hiding in his youth, according to some chronicles, after killing an enemy with a knife in the square in Carpineti, and gathered a band of men with outstanding accounts with justice. His “career” started at the local squires service that made use of it for small revenges, then with his father and brothers and Alessandro Vitale, went to Pope Julius II service when, in 1512, they took possession of Reggio. Had the castle of Carpineti with the right to recover the duties in the country, and these privileges were also confirmed by the Pope Leo X. Guicciardini, rose in 1517 to the government of Reggio, despite repeated diplomatic and military efforts, had to fight for several years without obtaining the removal from office of the mountaineer. main enemy of Domenico Amorotto was for many years Cato from Castagneto, a partisan of the Duke Alfonso I d’Este and other figure midway between the bandit and mercenary. On the death of the Pope, all the bands that were operating in Modena and Reggio Emilia mountain rose. So the last war broke out between the From Castagneto and Amorotto that killed the rival treacherously in Fanano castle. He broke so bloody revenge between the two bands, with frignanesi led by Virgilio from Castagneto, brother of the deceased leader, and assisted by the Este on one side and the Amorotto and his brothers on the other. The massacres and looting continued until the Amorotto was wounded by Virgil in a clash at Montese and, while trying to repair Carpineti, was killed in the village of Corneto, as Tybalt Sessi and Antonio Pacchioni, allies from Castagneto. His head and one hand were exposed in Spilamberto fortress and Guicciardini (whose role in the affair is not clear) took advantage of this death to eradicate the gangs in the Reggio mountains. Just outside Civago, a hamlet of Villa Minozzo (RE) a ruin, badly damaged by the earthquake of 1920, is called Torre dell’Amorotto because it probably was one of his shelters.
From Encyclopedia Treccani: Bretti, Domenico Biographical Dictionary of Italians – Volume 14 (1972) Gaspare De Caro
Bretti (Amorotto, of Amorotto), Domenico. – Born in the last two decades of the century. XV in Carpineti (Reggio Emilia) from a named Amorotto innkeeper, was kept sheep killed when a very young fight, his own age. Then took refuge in the mountains that divide the Garfagnana from the territories of Modena, Reggio and Parma, where for his courage and ferocity became the head of a large band of mountaineers who spread terror in the region, dominating undisputed the Apennine transits and not even refraining from taking swift and fierce raids in the lowland countries. The war between Julius II and the Duke of Ferrara Alfonso I, for the inevitable civil unrest that accompanied the conflict considerably strengthened the banditry in the area and who am taking advantage of it more than any other was the B. who became powerful, ally and protector several minor bands of Emilia and Tuscany. It was this power that the papal government decided to rely on them in 1512 during the events of the dedication to the conquest of Modena and Reggio. Aid paid to the Holy See together with his father and brothers and Alessandro Vitale B. was offset by Julius II on September 10 of that same year with the donation of the proceeds of duties, the gabelles and hospices that the Apostolic Chamber received at his district Carpineti. Even Leo X wanted to secure the border through the B domain with the Este state and confirmed the donation on short of 6 May 1513. The papal governors of Reggio, Giovanni Matteo Sertori and Giovanni Gozzadini, made use of B. to hold off the favorable faction to the Este town, and on behalf, of the Gozzadini B. destroyed in 1513 the castle of Bebbio family. However this its “ecclesiastical” activities, B. continued to accompany that of brigandage and was often well-paid instrument of revenge of the various lords of the region, without much distinction of Guelph and Ghibellines: so he earned the favor of Correggio, the Pio da Carpi, John Boiardo Scandiano, the Scaioli and Manfred of Reggio, captain Melchiorre Ramazzotto of Bologna. Of course the massacres, fires, disruption of daily order where B. was responsible could not help but worry about the pontifical authority, but having it as an ally rather than an enemy on the borders with the Duke was of too much importance because the authorities in Rome and Emilia those not willingly shut both eyes on the Bretti deeds. Indeed in 1516, through the intercession of Gozzadini, Leo X granted him in fief the Carpineti castle then became the center of his business. The situation changed radically when in early July 1517 he became a governor in Reggio Francesco Guicciardini. B. shortly after his arrival, in order to impress with a show of force the new governor, came down one night to the floor and stood in front of Reggio with about four hundred mountaineers, wandered around the city for a long time and then ended up ritornarsene among its mountains. Guicciardini was not to be intimidated and, strengthened the garrison of Reggio, churches in Rome that it was removed at B. The Carpineti fortress. In this request, such other subsequent that G. advanced to get a free hand against B. that prevented the exercise of authority of the governor and did not allow you were receiving taxes in the territory of which he considered himself lord, the Roman authorities responded negatively . But Guicciardini never tired of insisting with letters that did not hesitate to define the outrageous protection granted by the Church authorities to a robber, and finally in December 1520 he obtained the removal of B., which was drafted with good commission in the guard of Bologna . But in the same month Guicciardini found conspiracy against his life by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, in which even resulted involved the Bretti. These probabibnente not know that the plot originated at the court of Ferrara, but the Guicciardini thought of finally having the chance to get rid of B., showing how treacherous on the political level: the then accused in Rome, in a letter to Cardinal de ‘Medici, and B. immediately fell into disgrace, was banished from the ecclesiastical state and its goods were confiscated. But he was not man to suffer without reacting: in January 1521 he returned among its mountains and reconstituted the band, starting his brigands companies. Guicciardini immediately promulgated a proclamation with which imposed on B., the son and brother Bartolomeo Vitale a size of 200 ducats and sent an expedition on the mountain to the orders of the captains Pelino Bears and Nicholas Cimicelli. They were burned the houses of B. and his, but the knowledge of the places and especially the favor of the bandit Montanari made clear, so that Guicciardini was forced, albeit reluctantly, and not without a certain feeling of humiliation, to come terms with him, allowing him to withdraw undisturbed in the lands of his patron, Gianfrancesco da Correggio. Shortly after Leo X, in view of the imminent war against the French, he thought to use again of B., so that the pardon granted to him and his (18 May 1521). When the death of Leo X (1st December 1521), for the instigation of Alfonso d’Este, supported bands formed in Frignano by Cato from Castagneto, and the heavy fiscal pressure from papal broke Apennines Tosco Emiliano fierce guerrilla-called “war of the mountain”, Alberto Pio, that in the absence of Guicciardini, then at Parma, saw to the defense of Reggio, B. entrusted to the command of the Mountain and left him a free hand because, by methods that they were their own, Ganga rinsurrezione. B. began with great commitment to the work and the looting and fires reduced to obedience the mountaineers rebel, becoming even scrupulous collector of taxes imposed by pontifical authority. He also managed to surprise Cato Castagneto in Fanano and smote him and his followers, but have appeared the Panciatichi, mountaineers of Pistoiese allies of Cato, was forced to close in COMETO to send him where he was freed from the militia to the rescue from Bologna by Captain Ramazzotto. In recognition of the service of the B. Pope Adrian VI he returned the Carpineti feud and made his brother Vitale magistrate of Castelnuovo ne ‘Monti. Returned to Reggio government in September 1522, Guicciardini was forced to grant him the command of the Mountain, but did not stop the thought of eliminating the robber, whose official position exasperated his pride. Then he made representations to the Duke of Ferrara, through rincaricato business Este in Florence, to act together against the bandits. Alfonso I, in enmity to Guicciardini, did not join, without renouncing on its behalf for attempts against the B .: In fact, he sent the captain Masino from the oven with six hundred soldiers to the aid of Virgil Castagneto, brother of Cato, but November 10 1522 to Mocogno B., together with the band of his ally Cantello from Frassinoro, inflicted a crushing defeat to the rival gang and militia Este. Then the duke began to listen to the advice of Ludovico Ariosto, who, as governor of Garfagnana, had had some contact with B. and told him “to keep Domenico, if not a friend, at least not an enemy” (Letters, p. 102 ), also it considered that the B. professed “good servant” of the Duke, claiming to pursue against the men of Castagneto only a private vendetta. But when the B. descended into the territory again Este and Riva burned forty farmhouses making an atrocious massacre, Alfonso I decided to end it, and sent against B. Ferrara a body that soldiers, who joined Virgil Castagneto confronted the robber in Riva and Monforte 5 July 1523. on the banks Scoltenna sanguiosa took place a battle in which the B. was severely wounded; while his followers carried him out of the fray and tried to reach COMETO, there came from the Reggio ghibellino Tybalt Sessi, personal enemy of B., perhaps sent by the Guicciardini: the Carpineti men were defeated and B. was killed.
Sources and Bibl .: F. G., The Legation of Emilia, Correspondence, in unpublished works, edited by G. Canestrini and M. Cellini, VII, Florence 1865, passim; L. Ariosto, Letters, edited by A. Stella, Milan 1965, pp. 101 s., 142 s., 177, 185 s .; C. Campori, Of some leaders of the faction in the mountains of Modena, Reggio and Bologna in the sixteenth century, in Acts and memories of R. R. Deputation of Homeland History for the Provinces of Modena and Parmesan, VI (1872), pp. 18-24; G. Livi, Guicciardini and Domenico Amorotto, Reggio Emilia 1879; L. Chiesi, Reggio Emilia under Popes Julius II, Leo X, Adrian VI, Reggio Emilia 1892, pp. 39 s., 61, 85, 87-90; A. Ballet, History of Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, 1925, pp. 286-288, 294-298; G. Fusai, Lodovico Ariosto poet and Commissioner in Garfagnana, Arezzo 1933, pp. 34, 36-42, 122 s